UniFi Remote Control

Woohoo! I managed to digitize the codes for the UniFi set top box remote control into LIRC format. I can now control the set top box from my PC, which means no more being stuck on one channel when viewing IPTV from upstairs.

The codes were easy to grab compared to the Astro remote. I used an old MCEUSB2 transceiver connected to my Ubuntu desktop PC, it was practically plug and play (compared to the mess of building kernel drivers on CentOS). Hmm … maybe it’s a sign I should replace my CentOS MythTV server with Ubuntu?

For those who want the codes, you can grab them here: http://bit.ly/aFcneK

You can build a simple serial IR blaster using the instructions here:  http://www.lirc.org/transmitters.html (Namran, just grab yehuat’s one, he’s not using it any more).

So I’m now one step further to getting UniFI IPTV integrated into my MythTV environment.

Next I need to:figure out how to position the IR transmitter so it hits both the Astro set top box AND the unifi set top box OR figure out how to build a two headed serial IR transmitter OR get the mceusb2 transmitter working on CentOS together with the existing IR blasters.Write a simple web app that can simulate the remote control, so that I can use it outside of MythtTV. This is useful for interactive features and Video on Demand, where there’s a lot of clicking on the remote required.

On a related topic, seriously considering replacing CentOS in my my MythTV box with Ubuntu. Reasons:

  • PRO: All the clients ({my|wife’s} {desktop|laptop}) are running Ubuntu. Downgrading the version of mythtv to match my CentOS installation is a real pain.
  • PRO: Can easily play downloaded video content that are in .mkv and other newer codecs in Ubuntu, with CentOS have to go hunting around and hacking different apps to make things work
  • PRO: Quite likely the HDMI audio output on my Nvidia card will work with the newer drivers in Ubuntu vs CentOS.
  • PRO: LIRC seems to work out of the box easily. I can probably safely update the system without breaking things.
  • CON: It’s not CentOS. This will mean I have no more non-virtual CentOS boxes at home, thus ending a 12 year relationship with RedHat based OS’es.
  • CON: Ubuntu … kind of sucks for a server environment. The startup scripts are a mess, it uses a newer apache with “different” locations for most things, etc etc etc.
  • CON: Which Ubuntu? The upcoming 10.10 (and upgrade every 6 months) or stick with the Long Term Supported 10.04?

Hmm …

This post was originally published as a Facebook Note at 2010-10-05 21:12:49 +0800.

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