[kwlug-disc] UPnP Remote Desktop Server

Charles McColm chaslinux at gmail.com
Mon Oct 18 14:19:23 EDT 2010

On Sun, 2010-10-17 at 22:02 -0400, unsolicited wrote:

> I'm confused. You want to stream your desktop to your TV? As in VNC 
> (remote control), or as in your TV acts like a 2nd monitor on your 
> Linux box?

We have my old Ubuntu desktop hooked up to our television. It boots to
Gnome then runs XBMC via Prefences > Startup Applications > XBMC (an
entry I made).

The box has a 256MB Nvidia video card in it, 1GB RAM and a 250GB hard
drive (hardly anything by today's standards). I had an ATI TV Wonder
remote control and infrared dongle from an old video capture card that
I've plugged into the USB port of that box. The infrared reception of
the little dongle is great! I can be in the kitchen (about 20 feet away)
and change channels without problem (even though our living room couch
is in front of the direct site to the infrared dongle). The ATI remote
works out of the box with XBMC, but some of the controls take a bit of
getting used to and it's far from friendly. But... I put together a
graphical map of the buttons on the remote and what they do in XBMC
(it's in Gimp format):


A little explanation of the buttons: 

* the big circle acts as a mouse would act (I rarely use it in XBMC
except when I can't quit out of something and have to move the "mouse").
* mouse click is NOT the same as enter, I use it in conjunction with the
mouse wheel (above).
* menu options is different depending on where you are. For example, use
it to queue music (Return/Enter works just as good for that though).
* navigation in XBMC is done through the tiny arrow buttons (Navigate
menus on my image).
* the Return/Enter button is the one you'll use most of the time to
select something within XBMC.

All the other buttons I've labelled Play/Pause/Stop/Mute Volume/Volume
Up/Down are pretty self explanatory. The one oddity is that when you're
playing a song (I'm betting it does it with video too) the Navigate
Menus button left and right will move to the next song/video (as opposed
to fast forward). I suppose this makes sense.

I'm sure the buttons can be remapped, but when I set this up I had to do
it fast without looking too deeply at XBMC or LIRC (which you need for
the remote).

One thing I've left out is "ESCaping" from a menu option. I use the
mouse/mouse click to get out of some of the menus and the navigation to
get out of others. It's not a great setup, but my wife is using it
(until we get our boxee box ;-).



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