Android Remote Control
From DigiTV eHub Help
DigiTV-RC for Android Phones
Mobile Phone Remote Control App
Many high-end home entertainment systems come complete with a smart remote control that differs from the standard TV remote control in several ways. Usually, they are dedicated touch-screens that show a customised set of buttons depending on the aspect of the system that you wish to control and, more often than not, are a costly addition to the setup. Some remote control manufacturers provide programmable controls so that the user can tailor the appearance and operation to best suit their needs (eg Logitech's Harmony series).
The advent and modern proliferation of the smartphone has provided a convenient platform to host such a dedicated touch-screen remote control for DigiTV in the form of an app, without the need for the user to buy an additional remote control unit.
Currently, the DigiTV RC app has been written exclusively for Android smart phones (operating system v2.1 and up) since it provides the greatest flexibility in terms of phone/tablet PC hardware available right now, although an iPhone version is being considered for the future. The app is available for download from our website and directly via Android marketplace.
What it is and what it isn't
The DigiTV-RC app is designed to work with the DigiTV software/hardware combination that you have on your PC. It allows most of the major functions of DigiTV to be controlled remotely (ie from around the world), and will display live TV and Radio served from your home.
It is not a free app that you can download and expect to see TV magically appear on your phone if you don't have DigiTV version 4 (or higher) hardware/software installed on a PC acting as your TV host.
Why a new remote control?
It's a good question since DigiTV already ships with a standard IR remote control that gives access to all of its functions, so why do we need another variant?
The need for this new type of remote came from our own experiences of using DigiTV over a number of years in various different ways. Some users use DigiTV on their computers in much the same way as any other application, while others have built home entertainment systems from it that have completely replaced their TV and video recorder. Since DigiTV-HD v4.5 now supports music and DVD libraries, it seems sensible to assume that more and more users will fall into the latter category.
In order to use a standard remote you have to be sitting in front (or at least in line-of-sight) of your DigiTV setup and be willing to interrupt your viewing briefly to navigate the on-screen menus to access the function you need. This pre-supposes that you are actually viewing DigiTV at the time you need to access it, and indeed are in the same room let alone the same house, city or even country as the hardware.
A smart remote gets around all of these problems by providing all of the information you need to access the functionality you desire from the touch-screen in your hand, thus negating the need to bring up the main on-screen menus or even for the TV/Projector to be on in the first place. Since all communication is handled over a wireless (or 3G) network there is also no need to be in the vicinity of your setup when you want to access it.
Consider the following scenarios
User A uses DigiTV as his main entertainment system and it is housed in a dedicated server in a cupboard somwehere in the house. He uses a large-screen projector complete with electronic drop-down screen and surround-sound audio system for his viewing, but the projector is off right now and he wants to pipe music into his living room. Rather than power up the projector and then go through the DigiTV menus, he simply takes his mobile phone and with the DigiTV RC app selects the music he wants.
User B is a passenger in a car sitting still on the M25 just outside Leatherhead. She suddenly remembers that she didn't set a programme to record that evening and won't be back in time to see it. Using her Android phone, she connects directly to her DigiTV server at home and selects the programme she wants from the EPG menus. It'll be recorded and waiting to view once she makes it back.
User C is sitting in a hotel room in Paris and missing British TV, especially as he knows the new series of Top Gear is on right now on BBC 2. He whips out his phone and using the hotel's WIFI, he gets his home DigiTV system to serve Top Gear directly to the phone and watch it as it's being broadcast. Alternatively, he could just wait and watch it at any time of day on 'Dave' when he gets home.
As mobile phones become more powerful, and wireless access points more commonplace we are actively investigating additional modes of operation that will allow you to remotely view and playback all of the content stored on your home DigiTV system on your mobile phone, giving you access to live TV, recordings, music and films without the need to pay for subscriptions or duplicate/synchronise your libraries across multiple devices.
v2.0 of the DigiTV-RC app goes a step towards realising all of this. Due for release in May 2011, this version adds live TV functionality that works over a WLAN or 3G connection as well as other useful features such as Wake on LAN/WAN (WoL/WoW) and remote PC shutdown.
All of the functionality you need to control your home entertainment no matter where you are. And best of all, the DigiTV RC app is free and downloadable from Android marketplace.
For information on how to operate the DigiTV-RC android app, please see the sections below:
Setting up for the first time
When you install and start the DigiTV-RC app on your smartphone for the first time, you will need to enter a little information so that the app can communicate with your DigiTV application on the host PC. For help on what's required, see the section below:
The Front Panel
The main screen of the DigiTV RC app is the front panel upon which are displayed all of the buttons needed to access the many functions within the app. For a complete guide on the front panel, see the link below:
You will probably find that the TV and Radio Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) functions are the ones that you will most use on the DigiTV-RC app. To find out how to get the most from them, see the link below:
Remote PC wakeup/shutdown
Otherwise known as Wake on LAN (WoL) or Wake on WAN (WoW) this feature allows the DigiTV-RC app to remotely shutdown and wake the host PC via the connected network if the PC's hardware allows this functionality. This extends to the internet if the PC has an interner router connection which means that control of the PC's state can be effected from anywhere in the world.
Wikipedia has a good page explaining how it works, but for how to use it via the DigiTV-RC app including a brief explanation, please see below:
Live TV and Radio
This feature is new for v2.0 of the app. It extends the functionality of the remote control to cover the presentation of live TV and radio streams on the smartphone across a WIFI or 3G network. If you already have the v2.0 or greater of the app communicating with your DigiTV setup, then there is no more setting up to be done for remotely viewing Live TV or radio - all communications are handled automatically.
Although the DigiTV-RC app performs many functions, it aims to abstract much of what goes on from the user in an effort to make the system both accessible and easy to use. As a result, there are only a few settings that the user needs to be aware of and these can be found in the following section: