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mac mini, flirc, and tv remote


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I guess my google fu is bad, as I can't find this topic


I just bought a mac mini off ebay, and learn about flirc as solution for remote control


I have a raspberry pi running openelec, and connected to my panasonic plasma TV

I am able to control certain part of xbmc via panasonic TV remote


what I want to do is replica this functionalities with the mac mini/flirc/xbmc


From my understanding, you need to plug flirc into usb port, and then run flirc app on the machine itself


With the mac mini, usb port are all in the back

and as far as I know, all mac mini has a buildin IR receiver in the front(??)



If flirc is plugged into the back of the machine, can flirc still "catch" the IR code that I am pressing on my TV remote when it's in front of the machine?



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1. You don't need to run Flirc application for Flirc to work. You only use the app to program Flirc to recognize your remote and send specific key strokes to the computer.

2. Flirc has a very good sensitivity but it also depends on the type of surface you have behind the Mac Mini - how good will it reflect IR signal from the remote. I wouldn't worry much about this. You can always use a short USB extender cable or even a small mirror right behind the Mac if it doesn't work out of the box :).

3. I don't know how Mac Mini's IR receiver works and if you can access and use it for your own purpose. But I suppose it's not a problem for you as you want to use Flirc anyway.

4. With Raspberry Pi you are probably using HDMI CEC to control XBMC with TV remote. When reusing the remote without CEC enabled for Mac Mini + Flirc you can run into a unwanted behavior on TV like some communicates or warnings (it depends on the TV). You need to know which keys are inactive on TV's remote when in HDMI input mode to avoid conflicts with TV functions. On the other hand if you also use the TV with other inputs (like Air or Cable TV etc) and use the remote in a normal way with the TV then you will also send the same signals to the Mac Mini which may also cause unwanted behavior. I would recommend a separate remote (maybe universal one if you want to use one remote for all equipment).

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