Flirc Review

A lot of people these days have resorted to a mouse-keyboard combo when it comes to desktop PCs. But then again, it’s not something that everyone would want when it sitting in front of their TVs.  Rather, they’d want something convenient, like a remote control. And there’s one product that lets you do just that. Enter the Flirc.

Flirc is basically a USB dongle offering a combination of an infra-red receiver and a micro controller, which works as a keyboard. The product offers support for Linux, OS X, and Windows operating systems.

This device is capable of receiving signals from your remote control. It then converts the incoming signals into keystrokes. From your XMBC computer’s point of view, it would appear as if a USB-based keyboard is attached where the user will be pressing the keyboard keys.

Flirc is a bit different compared to today’s I.R. adapters. In a conventional manner, I.R. adapters would entail a computer to understand its own commands, something the LIRC (Linux Infrared Remote Control) is meant for. What’s more, the process through LIRC entails advanced technical knowledge if your remote control isn’t supported. LIRC is never intended for newbies.

This is where Flirc come into the picture. Flirc is automatically detected as a USB keyboard. It eradicates the need for XBMC drivers. Any media center app supporting a keyboard and functioning as an input device will support Flirc automatically.

Flirc Review – What’s in the Box?

Contents of the product include:

  • 1x Flirc

The Product

The Flirc Receiver – Making Your Entertainment Setup Complete

Flirc is a really small product. It’s basically an I.R. adapter receiving I.R. commands via a remote control. Its build quality is superb (the manufacturer is U.S-based). Its white and transparent colors make for excellent I.R. reception. As a result, the remote can be pointed in any direction without missing any signal. Since the signal it receives is stronger, it can be conveniently placed at the back of a desktop (if a reflecting surface is available).

Flirc’s hardware and software are able to “learn” its incoming infra-red signal by associating it with a keystroke of a virtual keyboard. If a user is accustomed to going through a great ordeal in configuring a remote control, the Flirc will be appreciated thanks to its elegance and simplicity.

Flirc is exceptional with its XBMC support. It’s able to provide support for other known media center apps including Microsoft’s Media Player and Boxee. If a user wants to, the Flirc can be converted into a full functioning keyboard.

Flirc’s XBMC has numerous functionality.  A user can have access to any XMBC feature through keyboard presses. So if the remote control can carry out keyboard presses, the user has further control.

At present, Flirc can support just about any remote control in the market. Its XBMC also has support almost any platform available. Flirc aims to a make a user’s remote control functional with XBMC installation on any PC that supports USB-based keyboards. Flirc even has support for the Xbox 360 after being paired before with PC running on an OSX, Windows, or Linux operating system.

Currently, Flirc can house as much as 160 keys.

The OFF button on the remote control can easily be mapped via the Alt+F4 combination. Soon after, when the OFF button is pressed on the remote control, Flirc will automatically send the combination to the computer.

One great aspect with Flirc is ability to stored programmed keystrokes within the device itself. This lets a user plug the Flirc to another computer while allowing for the remote control to function normally without re-programming or installing any software.

Using the Product

The process of installation is as follows:

  1. Plug the Flirc into the computer USB port.
  2. Go to the manufacturer’s official website to download the required software.
  3. Choose the current operating system of the computer.
  4. Choose the latest Flirc software version.
  5. Wait for the software download.
  6. Run the installer.
  7. Choose the default options and select “Install this driver anyways” when prompted (for Windows users since the software’s drivers has yet been assigned).
  8. After the installation is successful, ensure the Flirc is properly plugged into the USB port of the computer.
  9. Open the software.
  10. For paring: press the needed key combination.
  11. Press the remote button. The IR codes is immediately saved within the device itself.
  12. Once initial pairing is done, the Flirc can now be utilized in any computer or other smart devices.

Programming is straightforward with Flirc. The product is detected almost immediately as a USB keyboard without having to install any XBMC drivers. Media applications with a USB-based keyboard as an input device was detected and handled well by Flirc.

When using the Flirc on several remote controls, the Flirc was able to detect them without a hitch. Its approach in mapping the device in the form of a remote control is what makes the product unique.  It does a fine job in mimicking just about any media application being thrown at it.

Flirc worked seamlessly with the latest versions of Windows and OSX operating systems.

With that in mind, Flirc never failed to impress. It’s more than capable of supporting any remote control in the market.

Software

The product’s configuration app is enough to configure with any remote control with infra-red technology. The app helps a user walk through the process in getting virtual keys associated with the user’s remote control buttons. All that’s required is to press the remote control’s button when asked to.

The “Minimalist” option will show case a screen that lets a user map out simple navigation commands: right, left, down, up, and others. All that’s really needed is to press the GO button located on the right hand portion, and having each button be mapped out separately.

The software comes bundled with an extra four controller layouts. The user can map out any keyboard button, be it Windows Media Player, XBMC, or BOXEE. So whichever button is being mapped out on the remote control to the Flirc, the mapping process will be executed when pressed.

Flirc Raspberry Pi Cases

One of the most common uses for the Flirc receiver is with a Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi is one of the most popular choices for people looking to create a Kodi box for their home entertainment setup due to its cheap price tag, small form factor and its ability to run Kodi incredibly well.

When building a Kodi box running on Raspberry Pi there are a few different enclosures that you can choose from to install the Raspberry Pi board into. Whilst the options currently available aren’t terrible they are certainly nowhere near as nice as the Flirc designed Pi boxes.

The Flirc designed Raspberry Pi boxes are constructed of aluminium giving it great cooling capabilities without the need of using a fan which can add noise to the box. The top and bottom of the box are soft touch shells which give the box a premium look and feel. Secured by 4 screws you are able to remove the shell to gain access to the inside of the case for easy installation. Flirc has made use of rubber feet to help raise the box off the ground allowing the box to remain cool.

For those of you that use Kodi, Flirc also offers a Kodi Raspberry Pi case which was designed by Flirc and the Kodi team. The Kodi box looks fantastic and is a great look for those that want to show off their Kodi box.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, Flirc is a versatile and worthy device that works right out-of-the box without any issues or whatsoever. Flirc has completely lived up to it promise on delivering an easy to use product that really does give you more control over your media.

Flirc is an amazing product that should definitely find it’s way into your home!

Where to Buy

If you are interested in picking up a Flirc receiver for yourself you can do so by heading over to the Flirc website.

Design
Features
Performance
Usability
Value
4.2
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