[mythtv] MythTV Usability Report

Kevin Kuphal kuphal at dls.net
Sun Jan 8 02:34:39 UTC 2006

Jono Bacon wrote:

>--> General
>* G1 - When watching a show, you should be able to hit the record
>button to record the entire show if it has been watched from the
>beginning and as such the live TV buffer contains the show.
This is in the latest developer version (SVN) and will be in the next 

>* G2 - If you schedule a show to record, you can only watch the show
>at the same time as recording it by first selecting Media
>Library->Watch and then selecting a show. This is unintuitive - you
>should just be able to watch TV like normal and be able to view the
>channel while the show is recording.
Perhaps, but for many, "channel surfing" becomes unintuitive once you 
work with a DVR/PVR for a while.  More often than not, you have already 
marked everything interesting for recording and simply spend most time 
in Watch rather than LiveTV.   But many changes in the next release of 
Myth are related to bringing Live TV and Watch Recordings more together

>* G3 - Switching between channels is far to slow - this slowness makes
>skipping through channels rather laborious.
Unlikely to be improved.  There is a certain ammount of time required to 
build a multi-second buffer for pausing/rewinding LiveTV.  Also, most 
enable "browse mode" which does not change channels immediately but 
cycles through the guide information onscreen while the current channel 

>* G4 - The term 'Optical Disks' in the menu is not particularly clear
>- I suspect most people know its a Disk, but not optical.
The menus and their text is completely customizable

>* G5 - In the Upcoming recordings screen, the use of dimmed and
>non-dimmed entries in entirely unclear - what do they signify? It is
>certainly unclear to me and my other half. The other problem is that
>many of the entries listed in Upcoming will not actually be taped
>because it says the recording will be taped at a later time. If it is
>not going to be taped, why is it still in the list?
>* G6 - Many of the screens in MythTV (such as Upcoming and Set
>Priorities) have specific letters in each entry. These letters
>obviously refer to something specific, but there is no legend
>displayed on the screen to say what they mean.
Because you may want to force Myth to record the earlier showing.  The 
letters are abbreviations for the full explanation of what is happening 
with that recording and is shown in the detail section.  For example, 
"P" is for "Prevoiusly Recorded" which is also shown on the screen when 
the item is selected.

>* G7 - There seems to be no simple way of cancelling all recordings
>for a show other than finding it in the EPG and changing the recording
>option to not record the show. The ideal solution would be to have a
>list of shows that are being recorded and then when you select a show,
>there are options such as Cancel this recording, Cancel all recordings
The Recording Priorities screen is the best place since it lists all 
recording schedules and you can edit each.  From there you can even hit 
P (PAUSE) to deactivate a recording schedule temporarily rather than 
deleting it.

>--> Electronic Programme Guide
>* EPG1 - When watching TV you will often want to view the EPG.
>Currently you do this by pressing Menu and then selecting Program
>Guide from the on-screen menu. This two step process needs to be
>instead bound to a single key so that you can press one button and
>access the EPG while watching TV.
I believe it already is.  The keys.txt in the source distribution 
explains many of the key mappings

>* EPG2 - When you access the EPG from the main menu, there is no TV
>feed on the top right-hand corner, whereas when you access the EPG
>when watching TV by pressing Menu->Program Guide, there is a TV feed
>in the EPG. This behaviour needs to be unified - I would suggest
>always having a feed of the current TV channel.
Different behaviors for different actions.   Since you are not watching 
TV when viewing the EPG from the main menu, there is no reason to 
display it.  Remember, even that little preview consumes a tuner and 
most people would rather those tuners be available for recordings and/or 
other frontends which are *really* watching TV vs a little preview window.

>* EPG3 - The EPG should not be inside the Manage menu, for a few
>reasons. The first is that you don't really 'manage' your program
>schedule, and secondly because you need to reference the EPG
>regularly. Why take two steps to access the EPG when you likely want
>to access it on the main menu?
Again, the menus are completely configurable, and I, for one, almost 
never use the EPG.  I don't have it on my main menu.


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