Virtual Remote Control app from other devices

Back in my TiVo years I used @wmcbrine's excellent "Network Remote" and it was always super cool and convenient, especially when I was working on my laptop with TV on in the background. I loved that app:


I know something like this is possible via the Channels API and I see older projects that would probably help (RBchannels and pychannels) but I'm wondering if anyone's developed software (or a web app?) that would allow for remote control / channel surfing from a computer to a Channels DVR client.

I also know I can use the Channels app itself for starting content on-demand, but what I'm thinking about are software alternatives on the computer I'm working on, for simple remote control of the other Channels client device, for sending commands such as channel up/down, toggle mute, play/pause, skip back, skip forward, etc.In a dream world, this type of functionality would be baked into a tab in the Channels DVR web UI, that would scratch the same itch too.

Any thoughts or discussion appreciated!

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You could build this very easy with vanilla JavaScript and html.

Would be a simple fun project.

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When living on a small boat for 2 months, I use an Android tablet to view Channels. It sure would be nice to have a remote, especially in bed. Is there anything that exists to do this?

I'm not sure about other solutions, but this physical remote control works for play/pause, FF/Rew, and controlling volume on tablets. I use this with Channels on the 12" iPad in my kitchen. I wish it was more functional but for now it works better than no remote at all. And if/when Channels adds this feature to the client app, it should work for live channel surfing (channel up and down) too, which would be AWESOME: No Channel surfing? - #5 by maddox

A web-based remote that could control Channels' clients on any other device would be cool too, because then you could use your smartphone or laptop as a virtual remote for the tablet.

Good idea, I'm learning and tinkering around! In the meantime I quickly set up Shortcuts in macOS Ventura, pinned to the menu bar, for my most commonly used commands. So far they've been great for when I'm working on my laptop with a TV on in the background, with audio on, at least in-between phone calls.

I have the new Siri remote now, so one shortcut on my Mac to toggle mute and Closed Captions at the same time, is very useful to me.

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HTML and JS won’t work, I tried it. I forgot about the security policies of browsers. You can’t POST with JS to another domain.

Nice. Looks good. This is why we made them. At least they’re there to build on.

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As far as I can tell from my reading, this device will not do FF/Rew on an Android Tablet.

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That seems to be the case for other devices as well.

I just went to try with my remote, I've had it in the drawer for years, but it turns out the battery is dead. I don't have a CR2025 on hand so just ordered some from Amazon. Will report back!

Sorry for the delay on checking this, just managed to test it out again. I can, in fact, FF/Rew via this Satechi remote, on my iPad running Channels, by holding down the right arrow or left arrow buttons.

Back on topic to this thread though, I've explored different ways to control Channels on multiple AppleTVs from a Mac. Now sharing here, in case it helps others looking for similar solutions.

I leveraged Shortcuts (available in macOS Monterey and Ventura) to create a menu of frequently used commands. I also created one for "Channel Surfing," that's just a short collection of favorite channels to jump around between:

Here's how to set up something similar via your own Shortcuts:

Also, CiderTV is a Mac app that can control an AppleTV via Bluetooth. It feels a bit clunky though.

I recently learned about, and vastly prefer ATV Desktop Remote, which works via network commands. I've set it up for control of two AppleTV's so far and it's working perfectly.

It would be awesome if this same sort of remote control could be used on Channels running on an iPad. That would allow us to remotely control the iPad, from a Mac (or iPhone) via network commands. Maybe one day...