Physical Remote for OpenHab

I’ve found over the past few months that while the Android interface is effective most of the time, there are some days that I just want a physical remote when using my home theater. Trying to navigate around menus is complicated at times looking down at my phone/tablet to find the up/down/left/right/enter buttons and then look up to see where on the screen I am and on and on. Sometimes I just want a mute button to hit when the phone rings. I also just want to have a remote around for guests to use if they just want to put on the TV. I’ve searched aroud and I’ve not really found a good answer in any previous posts. To be clear, what I’m looking for is a remote for the OH system itself. I still want the OH system to be sending the commands to the end devices. Has anyone found a good answer to this?

You should put up a specialized sitemap to reflect your favorite actions only. Use either UI (HABpanel or Basic UI or Android app) to access it.

And what’s wrong with using the remote of your TV (or Kodi or whatever mediaplayer you’re using) ?
Assuming you have an OH binding to control it, you’ll get OH events if you press mute etc., these you can trigger upon to execute rules to make happen whatever you want in addition to muting.

I have a favorites menu. That’s not my problem here. There are times where I simply don’t want to be holding a phone/tablet/etc to execute a task. I don’t like navigating around on-screen apps with a touchscreen remote. For example, if I’m scrolling through a TV guide looking for what I want to watch I may end up hitting the down button a dozen or more times before I get to the channel I want. Inevitably, I end up hitting the wrong button at some point because my finger drifted off a little. For things like that, I just want an old fashioned remote with a button I can feel under my finger.

As far as using the remote for the devices, that’s complicated because they are in another room (closet). I use OH exclusively to control that room. It either uses IP API controls (e.g. Roku, Denon, etc) or IR controls through a GlobalCache IR box.

Using a physical remote for home automation is a little bit backwards imo. I scripted my setup to mute the tv or pause movies when the phone rings, turn the lights a little brighter etc, for things i can’t automate i use voice commands via alexa. For osd menus and stuff i use a smart ir remote that can control all the devices. You could use LIRC to use an IR remote to control openhab maybe

That’s where the contradiction lies. Control is not automation. And automation is not necessarily control.
The OP needs control. And sometimes a remote control at hand on the coffee table remains the easiest way to interact with a device.
I understand the OP need although I don’t have a solution at hand. Maybe:
I still haven’t built it but I have the bits ready


Wifi or Bluetooth would be better probably, then you could control your stuff from all over the house.

What you are looking for is a usb ir receiver . Search flirc

I use a mi Cube. Put the desired channel logo up and give it a push: turns everything on/changes channel. Turn it: volume up /down, shake it : pause, double tap : mute, free fall (toss & catch) : everything off.
This is a zigbee device interfacing through Conbee /deconz /openhab 2 and Harmony hub.
I have described deconz/oh2 interface in a previous post.
My 85 years old mother loves this. Have a pink one for 6 TV channels and a white one for 6 radio channels.

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You hit the nail on the head. I have rules beyond rules at this point to automate all of the different steps in the process. What I need is a better way to control, to send the commands. Just turning the system on is a dozen automated steps that I have a single command for. I have Sonos ONE speakers everywhere to convert Alexa commands into OH commands and then use Amazon Polly to provide me anything I want back out the Sonos. But think about this, what if you need to scroll down a guide 30 times. Do you really want to say “Alexa, down.” 30 times? Sure you could write a rule to convert a number and hit it 30 times but that doesn’t work when you are just surfing chanels. Think about it another way, what is the difference between a physical remote and the android app (excluding any kind of rich content like graphs or such)?

I’m a fan of the wifi suggeston. IR is a no go for a bunch of reasons in the room, it just doesn’t fit. So the question is, does anyone know of a device or combination of devices that can be programmed to send OH a command through the API when a button is pushed?

Try this


Binding can be found here.

Understood, same with me. But again, what’s wrong with using your TV/mediaplayer for that ? You only want to access functions of that, right? Its remote and UI are optimized for that.
Point is OH does not need to be involved at that stage, and it’s clearly faster and less prone to error when it isn’t involved. Still you can involve it.
For my own TV I’m using my dreambox’ remote to turn on TV, OH will notice status change and trigger all required automation action such as to set a proper lighting scene, lower roller shutters, put the AVR into proper sound mode, mute the phone and so on.

It’s all in a closet. There is no line of site for the remotes to work. I use OH and GlobalCache modules to send the IR commands to those boxes.

I use openMQTTGateway and use ir …the web site is

Have you considered deploying an IR repeater[extender] ?
Remember the KISS principle.

You could buy a Logitech Harmony Hub. Before this I had several ‘universal’ remote and everyone had some problem, since I have Harmony Hub and a Harmony Remote (I have the Harmony Ultimate) I don’t use any other remote controller. You can control every device with it, it has physical buttons, so you don’t have to use phone/tablet (but you can because it has an app) and you can easily integrate it into OH. For example I control my lights depending on what I’m watching on TV.

It’s like NEEO, but a little cheaper…

Can the harmony be configured to send calls to the OH api?

I’m not sure, not using for this. However I have several rules triggered by Harmony Hub Acitivity changes

I can’t imagine using an IR for my smarthome. The sounds terrible :slight_smile: The best interactions are those that require no hands at all: voice control. I’d look at Amazon echo integrations for OpenHAB2, personally. Perhaps putting touch panels around the house instead of IR remotes, if you really feel strongly about it.

Exactly. If anyone who is not into IT (and most importantly IoT) and asks “how you control your ‘smart’ home”, I always say that I don’t really control it… In my opinion what makes it smart that you don’t have to do anything (or just make a simple voice command) it will do its actions automatically. Just spending money and time on a smart home solution which one and only main goal to control everyThing from a controller or from a smarthome is just a waste of time (and money).

I have been reading this post because I’m searching for the same solution. Disapointed about the Sonos I just bought as it’s lacking a plain old remote. So I just thought: why not connect a remote control to OpenHab and configure my most wanted instructions for the Sonos and why not: the other connected devices.
Can you please share the rest of the story: did you find the perfect solution in the meantime?