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I just added a Hauppauge HVR-2200 (EU version of their HVR-2250 dual tuner card) to my system. The package does not come with the MCE remote controller, IR receiver or IR emitters though I think I have the option to get them as an add-on for another $56. Is there a way I can control the features in Windows Media Centre (Win 7) without purchasing controller pack?

I do have a Logitech Harmony 525 programmable remote but I'm not sure how I can get the TV tuner to receive it's commands.

Also, I currently don't have a cable set top box (using OTA antenna now) but may subscribe to cable in future. I understand that to use the TV tuner with an STB you need to have the IR emitters/IR blasters. In most MCE controller packages, the remotes come with not just the IR receivers but also the emitters that connect to the receiver itself. Are there alternatives to this?

Lastly, I'm considering getting BeyondTV or SageTV as a replacement to Windows Media Center. I found the Win 7 MCE interface quite okay, but would prefer my recorded TV in a non-proprietary format. For those of you who have used both, which do you prefer and why?

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Well, if the card or your system doesn't have an infrared (IR) sensor, you'll need to get one before you can set up the computer to respond to remote commands.

I use my Logitech Harmony H659 remote with our HTPC, using a Streamzap IR receiver on the PC.

In addition to BeyondTV/SageTV, take a look at MediaPortal. It's a free Windows-based media center software package with TV-recording capabilities (based on XBMC code).

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I have visited the website for MediaPortal, but have not tried the software. Is it easy to set up compared WMC? I've tried GB-PVR on recommendation previously, but I couldn't find any channels with it on my old Hauppauge WinTV FM (on WinXP), and it doesn't even list my Asus U3000 Hybrid as a supported device. Some users on the forum suggested editing the setting files manually, but I'm looking for something easier than that. –  Darkwoof Sep 23 '09 at 3:14
    
Also, I just went over their web site again and I think MediaPortal still does not intend to provide support for Windows 7 as yet. (They mentioned having problems with the RC build.) –  Darkwoof Sep 23 '09 at 3:16
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I can answer the Harmony remote question, at least. Have you tried telling the Harmony software that you have a Media Center PC? I have a Harmony One, and did this by choosing Add Device -> Computer -> Media Center PC in the Harmony software. It should set the remote up for you.

You can buy an IR reciever on Ebay for $15 or so - I'm sure a lot of other retailers have them too.

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I have downloaded some settings for HVR-3000 to my Harmony 3000 (that's the one the software recommended). But just not sure how to get the tuner to receive it. Does the IR receiver needs to be a special one? I do have an old generic IR receiver I used to connect to mobile phones and perform PC-to-PC file previously. –  Darkwoof Sep 23 '09 at 3:06
    
I'm not sure - my receiver came with my machine. Sorry. Hopefully someone else can help. –  Roger Sep 23 '09 at 4:13
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