Once a Kodi media center is up and running most people begin to look for options they have for input devices other than a basic mouse or keyboard. Mainly remote controls that can control Kodi like you would a standard TV. These come in many different styles and layouts from small wireless keyboard/mouse combos to standard remote controls.
There are apps for Kodi that will turn your phone into a remote control such as Yatse or XBMCee but most people want a dedicated remote control for their media center.
So here’s a breakdown of physical hardware remote controls that can control your Kodi media center.
MCE remote controls
MCE remote controls are very commonly used with Kodi. They come with the remote control and infrared receiver dongle that make it all very low cost and plug-and-play.
RF Remote controls works very similar to the MCE but instead of infrared they use 2.4 GHz radio frequency to send a signal to a from a dongle to the remote control. These are also cheap and easy to set up but are used less than the MCE remotes since they transmit the 2.4 GHz range. 2.4 GHz range is commonly used in Wi-Fi, more traffic on the 2.4 GHz range degrades the Wi-Fi signal. If your streaming your media using Wi-Fi in the 2.4 GHz range then it would be better to use a MCE remote.
Gamepads can also be used to control Kodi depending on your setup. If you’re running Kodi on a PC a Xbox 360 controller works well with Kodi. PS3 gamepad controllers can also be used.
Compact wireless Keyboards
Compact keyboards are a good way to control a Kodi media center. They work the same as the infrared or wireless remote controls but simply with a small keyboard and mouse control pad. These are cheap and easy to use. They come in different layout styles if you go this route it is a good idea to look through them to see what style would fit you.
You may already have the hardware to do this depending on how you are running Kodi. Some TVs have what is called HDMI CEC that will control a media center box with the TV original remote control.
HDMI CEC works by sending a signal over the HDMI cable to the media center box.
Flirc is a small infrared USB receiver dongle that will enable your existing remote control to be mapped to your media center box. Flirc can be difficult to setup so it is often used with Raspberry Pi setups as it is more for hobbyist.