[mythtv] MythTV vs. Vista MCE: First Impressions (Looong!)

Colin Guthrie mythtv at colin.guthr.ie
Mon Jun 4 14:47:15 UTC 2007

Justin Hornsby wrote:
> All of this comparing apples & oranges is futile IMHO.

Probably correct!

> MythTV takes a certain amount of aptitude & intellect to get going.
> That's not necessarily a bad thing either!  Sure it has its downsides
> (it doesn't make my morning coffee & toasted bagels) but for free it
> does plenty more than I'd expect it to, more ably than I'd expect for
> no financial outlay.

I think this is a fairly pointless defence too though. The "well, it's
free so what do you expect?" response is equally old as these futile
comparisons ;)

I am always amazed at what Free software can do. I consider myself a
fairly advanced user and my whole desktop and computer network systems
have been 100% Free/free for a number of years.

Many open source/free apps are very polished and the number of visually
impressive/low on feature products that seem to be coming out in the
open source world of late is evidence that more and more people are
adopting free software who are not deeply steeped in it's history/nor
fully embrace all the concepts that built it.

So while I pretty much subscribe to the fact that Myth is indeed my
favourite app in this field and while I also am happy and very grateful
for the excellent support and community members, I still feel it's a
shame that the project still does not seem to attract developers who are
good on the UI/frontend/visual first impressions front. Not a complaint
as I wouldn't do that without first getting my hands dirty, just an

> A colleague of mine at work is a *real* Windows fanboy & lately he's
> been expressing his outright frustration at Vista's MCE effort.
> Sounds to me like I have good reason to be yet another smug Linux user
> :)

Yes the main difference is that if I really cared enough about the
gripes I have in Myth I /could/ fix them. In MCE there is no option. I
like that choice even if I rarely get the chance to do much about the
actual fixing.... :p

> None of the 'comparison' reviews I've ever read offer any *real*
> conclusions - just Linux vs MS sentiment & flames best steered clear
> of.  If mythtv is 'losing' some users like those who whine in places
> like avsforum & slashdot, so much the better IMHO.

This is no doubt correct! It's still useful to get a feel for what
drives a user to use another product. I know Myth doesn't aim to gain
market share etc. but I am a firm believer in market forces. If it walks
like a duck and quacks like a duck, chances are..... it's a duck. If
users are generally abandoning or choosing PVR Product X over Myth, then
I am sure there are lessons to be learned from looking at Product X to
see what Myth can do differently for the benefit of it's *existing*
users. Sod trying to win back users or whatever, that's not the
important thing, what is important is ensuring the UI continues to be
polished rather than simply let to rot because it works "OK". So I still
think there is value in these kind of articles for this reason alone.

Perhaps I'm way off base tho'? ;)



|     Colin Guthrie      |
| myth(at)colin.guthr.ie |
| http://colin.guthr.ie/ |

More information about the mythtv-dev mailing list