If you were as lucky as me to actually get a Nintendo WiiU when it launched last Sunday then there is a treat for you if you happen to use WMC. Built into the GamePad is an IR port that can be setup to control your television or set top box from your cable provider. Interestingly enough when you setup your WiiU for the first time it actually has you setup your TV as well, however it never actually asks you to setup your cable box. I figured that this was part of the new TVii feature that was going to be rolled out this December. However, I did some digging in the settings and found out that you could not only control your TV, but you can setup your cable box. On top of that I found out how to make it work with Windows Media Center.
The setup is easy:
- Launch the WiiU settings
- Go to TV
- Select Add Cable Box.
- Select ‘Cable Box’ as the type
- Enter M for manufacture and a list will appear
- Select Media Center PC
- Type 1 is just fine, but you can test it out on the next screen.
Now at any time you can hit the “TV” button on the GamePad and actually use it to control your WMC. The controls are relatively limited compared to a full remote control, however you can navigate the menus, enter channel numbers, start playback, bring up the guide with 1 button push, and change the channels. For a lot of us with complex setups and probably use a universal remote this might not be interesting to you at all, but for me I just think it is cool and is relatively user friendly.
Here is a short video I shot of the setup and a demo: