Control your home theater with any IR remote


This Maker’s sketch emulates a USB keyboard to control Plex when it receives button presses from a remote.


Once you have a home theater PC (HTPC) set up in your living room, how to elegantly control it is a huge priority. A wireless keyboard is an obvious solution, but the limited range and general “largeness” of many of them can make this less than ideal. Of course you could always buy a tiny keyboard meant for this type of use, but if you’ve got an Arduino Micro (ATmega32U4) and an infrared receiver, you can simply use your existing remote!

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A Maker by the name of “Ep1cman” decided to do just that since he had the parts available, as documented the setup on GitHub. In his case, the Arduino receives IR signals from a NOW TV remote and translates it into a keyboard press from a virtual USB keyboard. His sketch will take any unknown IR codes it receives and output them on a serial port. This would, of course, be extremely useful for soemone that wanted to adapt this to his or her own remote control.

One thing that the Arduino does not support by default is waking a sleeping PC. For this, he used NicoHood’s library. He also employed the IRremote library to properly receive signals. Finaly, to complete his control package, he wrote an EventGhost script that allowed him to switch between Plex and Steam.

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