Make Plex HTPC work a bit better with Windows Media Center remotes

Back in my day, we had to get up to change the channel.

Make Plex HTPC work a bit better with Windows Media Center remotes
Yes, that is indeed my hand.

As mentioned in that one post about my dilemma with auto-login, I still use a HTPC. Plex has made this a bit easier to handle however, as they released a proper "Plex HTPC" app, that way I don't have to wrangle with setting up Windows Media Center (even though I will for TV) nor using the buggy and retarded mess that is Kodi.

I wanted a nice remote for this whole setup as well. I have been interested in Windows Media Center since I was a small kid, dreaming of the fancy HTPC setup with the full projection TV and 5.1 surround audio... except for the fact that this is reality. We actually had the latter two long ago, but not the computer part.

Now that I am (far from a) grown-up, I now have this sort of system. We went from projection TVs to pretty nice flat-screens, but this is far from my point. As part of several PCs of the time, Microsoft actually had remotes and IR receivers/transceivers for WMC.

Stolen from HP's website

Early on, with the copy of Windows Media Center bundled with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, there was also a fuckin' IR keyboard. Is that shit not awesome?

(picture) Stolen from eBay

The benefit of these is that they're designed FOR Windows. Now, for other OSes and systems, just pray it works.

eHome is the codename for Windows Media Center. But yeah there's the thingy.

Since it's designed for Windows, keybinds are actually mapped into the registry:

It's magic! (if you don't understand this)

Now, I am too lazy and cannot care enough to manually hack this file ourselves. But, if you want to, here's a different guide for this:

There is a tool called "Advanced MCE Remote Mapper" designed by some guy on the Kodi forums:

A lot easier to figure out.

We can even export and import these mappings!

Now, how the fuck does the Plex HTPC keybinds work?

Well, they're JSON files located in %localappdata%\Plex HTPC\inputmaps\default. Plex even has the format documented:


But, it does take the old format from Plex Media Player (an older Plex desktop/HTPC client).

Now, we can override the default input maps by just copying the files outside of the default inputmaps folder.

That's actually exactly what I've done to map this to fit the Windows Media Center remote better:

Place this keyboard.json replacement file in the inputmaps folder, outside of default.

As for the remote itself, the default profile had to be adapted to Plex HTPC:

Save this as MCERemote.txt in the same folder as AdvancedMCERemoteMapper.exe, launch it, then click "Load Saved MCE" and "Apply To Registry".

Reboot your system and have fun.