Brainstorm re: HTPC, remote controls etc.

I'm thinking that next year I'll seriously look into building a small HTPC so I've got a reliable device on which to play Blu-rays (without having to worry about region codes), DVDs, MP3s, downloaded videos, streams etc. I might even use it for Steam Streaming, though that's not much of a priority.

However, what I'm hoping is that I'll find a way of controlling it remotely that is as user-friendly as possible and that allows me to play music via the HTPC (which would be hooked up to my sound system) without having to switch on the TV. My idea, which may be entirely naive, is to run Win 10 in Metro mode and remote desktop on my iPad 3 (since I've now got an iPad Air 2 for everyday use).

Is this feasible? Is it something that can be made to work well? Or are there aspects to this that I'm obviously ignorant of and that change things?

"Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods


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    useless4useless4 Registered User regular
    Where are you storing the media you want to play ? on the pc or on external storage?

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    RDP from your iPad should let you launch music and do other things fine, but I'm pretty sure when you RDP into a machine then video displayed to monitor will lose the desktop and will display the lock screen. The TeamViewer app should let you get remote control (TV on both ends) without affecting video on the target machine.

    I recall the touch interface on the RDP apps on Apple store not being great (right-click being particularly annoying), but that was years ago so perhaps updated or newer apps are better.

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    ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    @useless4: Different things. I'd have some media on a My Book Live, other online, yet other on DVD or Blu-ray hooked up to the PC.

    @Djeet: I didn't know about the lock screen. That'd change things if I wanted a one-app-fits-all solution. TeamViewer sounds good though. Re: touch controls, these seem to work better with Win 10 and the latest version of the RDP app.

    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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    hsuhsu Registered User regular
    The friends I know who have an HTPC use a Harmony remote (by Logitech) along with KODI (formerly known as XBMC) to make their HTPC remote control friendly.

    Personally, I just run the ps3mediaserver on my PC to steam to my PS3 in my living room, as the PS3 has apps for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Blurays, and DVDs, along with a decent enough remote control to deal with it all. Granted, I don't have a home stereo setup in the living room (my Klipsch system is connected to my computer), so should I upgrade to a 5.1 or 7.1 setup, I'd need to also upgrade to a Harmony remote.

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