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Command Fusion, Global Cache, XBMC, FireTV - Success


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After lots of faffing, I have two FLIRCs connected to a FireTV and Windows based XBMC, translating IR codes from a Global Cache iTach IP2IR into simulated qwerty keyboard keys. I'm using Command Fusion's iViewer app on an iPad to present the user with a touch screen virtual keyboard. iViewer is in fact controlling a fairly large and complex AV system and I desperately wanted to remove the need for a physical keyboard.


I just wanted to give a quick run down of some useful tools and the issues I encountered.


Because of the sheer number of unique IR codes needed (150+) to cover a full keyboard implementation for two devices, rules out using an old remote control to programme the FLIRC. So instead I used IR Master http://hifi-remote.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=13655 to generate clean Pronto Hex IR codes using the JVC protocol. I initially used NEC1, but this interfered with some other devices I have, not to mention  conflicting with some standard MCE IR codes, including the Streacom IIRC device installed in the XBMC HTPC.


As a side note, the Streacom IIRC unit should be capable of acting as an IR keyboard, but if you can work out how to use the custom programming tool then you deserve a medal.


I then used Global Cache's iConvert tool to convert the pronto hex in to something the iTach unit understands. I wrote a simple AutoIT script to convert each code, pulling the pronto hex code from a file, converting it in iConvert and saving the converted code back to another file.


Once I had configured the iViewer app on the ipad to send the JVC codes in response to me pressing the keys on the iViewer virtual keyboard, I set about programming the FLIRC using the XBMC, FireTV and Full Keyboard profiles in the FLIRC GUI. This took some time, especially as I encountered some issues erasing keys when I made a mistake. I did not find any way around this other than doing a full wipe and starting again taking more care.


The only other problem I encountered concerns the US keyboard mapping in the FLIRC GUI. For XBMC this means that symbols were not being interpreted correctly. If FLIRC is going to be your only keyboard then you can configure windows  to just use a US keyboard layout, but  I want to be able to easily switch back to a UK keyboard. For this I found this utility, http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/20994/Using-multiple-keyboards-with-different-layouts-on. This remaps the layout for each keyboard. You would think this would be something Windows could do on its own, but apparently not!


The keyboard layout doesnt seem to be an issue for FireTV because it only makes use of the Alphanumeric keys as far as I can tell.


I'd be happy to expand on the steps if this doesn't make sense, but it might point someone in the right direction and save them time.

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