Control you XBMC

My last article about XBMC I showed how to turn a Raspberry Pi into a media server. But you do not want to control you XBMC with a keyboard that is connected to the Raspberry. This is way too uncomfortable. The best thing would be a remote control like you use for your TV…but how?

Wireless keyboard

My first thought was to buy a wireless keyboard. For this it is important that you check if the keyboard is supported by Raspberry without any problems. For this you can check this list. If you want to control your media server with a keyboard, this has the following advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

  • many keys! Yes, sometimes it is good to have many keys and to use an input device that you already know.

Disadvantages:

  • you need an extra keyboard for you media server. It is another thing that lies around in your living room.
  • a keyboard is a big remote control

Smartphone

The next and best idea is to use your smartphone as remote control. Yes! it is possible and for me a very good idea. Nearly everyone now has a smartphone. You have it with you all the time, so it does not lies around somewhere in you living room.

If you use iOS or Android, just look into your AppStore. You should find an app called XBMC Remote App. I have tested it for my iPhone and can say it is awesome. You only need to turn remote control on at your XBMC. Whit this option activated you can connect with this app over WLAN. After some clicks you can control your media server with your phone.

If you can not find such an app for some reason, you can also control your media server with a web interface. You just have to insert the IP address of your Raspberry Pi into your browser (don’t forget to activate WLAN) and you should see a XBMC web interface. There you can also find a remote control. For a small display this is a bit tricky… a better solution would be to use this with a tablet.

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