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Can you get a universal remote to control a mac mini?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bahamallama, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. macrumors member


    This is kind of 2 questions, I'm looking at getting a universal remote the harmony 1100.
    First off I assume it can function as the apple remote does right? (that's one question!)
    Second, can this or any other universal remote function as a mouse to move around the desktop and launch apps?
    Boxee crashes a lot and doesn't always load on boot so then I have to drag out the keyboard and mouse and get them to sync via bluetooth before I can relaunch the app and I was wondering if there was a way to do this with an universal remote?
    Thanks for any help and if this has been covered already, I'm sorry for posting, I did do a search!

  2. macrumors regular



    Remote Buddy will allow you to use the Apple Remote (and therefor Harmony remote) to emulate keyboard and mouse.

  3. macrumors member


    Thank you!
    I will definitely check it out!
    I'm trying to get the wife into using the mini and the simpler the better, the home theater is already too much so one to control the all will help!

    Thanks again!

  4. macrumors 6502a


    if u have an iPhone go with Rowmote...no iPhone go with dinovo mini...I've tried so many Rowmote by far is the best
  5. macrumors member


    I do have an iphone but I want a universal remote mostly for the wife, she thinks it ridiculous to have so many remotes and stuff.
    You know most women don't get the point of a cool home theater let alone hooking up a computer to the equation!

    I will check out that as well!

  6. macrumors 6502a


    the rowmote gives you the option to use it for different programs, frontrow, boxee, Eyetv..ect...it combines everything into one remote...pretty sweet
  7. macrumors 6502

    To answer your question, a harmony remote has an apple remote setting where it emulates the apple remote. In fact, if you get Plex to view your media, there is a Plex-specific setting.
  8. macrumors 6502

    And along the lines of the OP's question, is there a way to make the menu button on the remote launch Plex instead of frontrow?
  9. macrumors 68020

    what he (fixmymac) said.
    If you buy the harmony remote, in regards to the mini, you will have the same functionality as you would using the apple remote. you will get no extra buttons. Although it would be nice if you have a lot of AV equipment, and you can turn the tv on and off.

    with remote buddy, you can map the buttons on the remote to key presses for different programs. There are pre-existing profiles for most popular programs. you can also set it up to launch different programs. There is also a file browser built in so you can go the folder that contains all the movies that you have ripped, select a file, and start it in the player of your choice.

    also with remote buddy, you can use a wii-mote. It connects via bluetooth. It gives you a few more button options. And if you have a sensor bar* you can use it as a mouse by pointing at the screen. without the sensor bar, you can still use the D-pad on the wii-mote to control the mouse.

    I've been using this setup for about a year, and it works great. All i have in the "entertainment center" is a tv, stereo, and the mini. don't have to worry about cable box, dvd player or other things, so not having the universal remote isn't a big deal for me.

    *a sensor bar is just IR LEDs, no sensing or electronics involved. There are "wireless sensor bars" available, but they require batteries, you might be able to find on that you can plug in. If you (or someone you know) is remotely electronically inclined, you can build your own. I have 2 LEDs and a resistor that plug into a USB port on my mini that I use.
  10. macrumors 6502

    That's brilliant! I do have a Wii as well so I'll have to give that a try.

    I've recently been downsizing my entertainment center as well. I no longer have standalone CD or DVD players. Just TV, AMP, PS3, Wii, Mac Mini. I think the DirecTV box is going to go away soon too.
  11. macrumors 68000


    Yes, I believe you just have to make the "Plex Media Server" always running.
  12. macrumors 68020


    At the expense of not being able to use the other buttons to control iTunes :(

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