Control Your HTPC Via The Network

[UPDATED: Feb 11, 2012 – Version 1.4.0 Released]

MCE Controller enables the remote control of a Windows PC over the network.  It runs in the background on a Windows PC listening on the network for commands. It then translates those commands into actions such as keystrokes, text input, and the starting of programs.

I wrote MCE Controller in 2003 for my own home control system. In 2004 I released it publicly so others could use it and in 2005 I made it open source and put it on SourceForge.

Today I updated it for the first time since 2005 to fix a major bug a user had reported.

[Update: Version 1.4.0 released Feb 11, 2012 – I re-wrote the TCP/IP server portion to support multiple simultaneous clients. I also addressed some issues making it even more awesome when combined with the really cool iPhone/iPad app iRule.]

MCE Controller was initially developed to enable integration of a Windows based home theater PC (HTPC) into a Crestron whole-house audio/video system. However, it is general enough that it can be utilized from any control system that supports sending text strings to a TCP/IP port. Most control systems, such as Crestron or AMX, support IR emitting. For many applications, emitting the MCE IR commands will suffice. However, for some installations the reliability of IR emitting and other factors may make IR emitting problematic and MCE Controller offers a robust solution.

MCE Controller can act as either a TCP/IP client or server. When acting as a client the target host and port can be configured. When acting as a server the incoming port can be configured.

MCE Controller runs showing only a taskbar icon. By double clicking on the taskbar a status window is displayed that shows a log of all activity. You can also right-click on the taskbar icon for a menu.

You can check it out here:

http://www.kindel.com/products/mcecontroller/

and here:

http://mcec.codeplex.com

Fair warning though: MCE Controller can be a huge security hole on your network if you are not careful. It pretty much exposes complete control of your PC over an unsecured TCP/IP connection. Use with care (and if you really care enough, you can contribute to the open source project on SourceForge and add security!).

More posts on MCE Controller here.

© Charlie Kindel. All Rights Reserved.

4 comments


  1. Guest

    MCE controller is great, I have recently revisited it after a new installation and can see you have been updating it within the last few days.  You mention in the readme the following: 
    “Windows MCE supports a technology that allows external applications to be
    notified of state changes within MCE. For example, what music track is currently
    playing, or what channel on live TV is currently active. MCE Controller could be
    enhanced to support relaying this state information over the network to other
    devices. ”

    How easy would it be to do this?  I’m trying to extend what you have done and ‘write’ a web front end to act as a remote into MCE.

    Thanks

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