If you’re interested in using Windows 8 for a home theater PC you’re going to need to be able to control it with a remote control. This feat, in and of itself, is pretty simple. Take the Windows Media Center infrared receiver, and plug it into your Windows 8 machine. Grab your Media Center remote, and you’ll notice that the arrow keys on the remote have no trouble moving amongst the tiles. The OK button on the remote will also launch any app that that the cursor is currently highlighting. So that’s great, but how do you get back to the Start screen? That big green button on the remote looks like a home button, and that’s how it has always worked in Windows Media Center. Tapping that button will do what it always has though. Assuming you have Windows Media Center installed, it will launch it.
So how do you get back to the Start screen while using a remote control? Well, by default it just isn’t possible. Fortunately an enterprising user over at the Windows Experts Community who goes by the name milli260876 has found a way. The solution involves editing the Windows Registry, so you need to approach this with caution. This should be a relatively safe modification though, and the first step will be to make a backup of the key that is to be modified. Follow the steps below, and your Media Center remote’s Green Button will no longer launch Media Center. Instead it will act as the Start button.
- Launch the Registry Editor by typing regedit from the Windows 8 Start screen.
- Navigate to, and export the following key. This will work to restore things if you really mess this process up. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\HidIr\Remotes\745a17a0-74d3-11d0-b6fe-00a0c90f57da
- Double-click on the binary value named ReportMappingTable to modify it.
- Scroll to the bottom of the binary data and add the following. You don’t actually type the spaces, it will automatically input them for you: 0D 00 00 00 04 08 00
- Reboot your computer.
- Launch an app, then click the Green Button on your remote. If you are returned to the Windows 8 Start screen then you did everything correctly.
Source: Windows Experts Community