[mythtv-users] 3-D UI for Myth, PNP installation, new LinuxMCE

Paul Huber paul2004x at gmail.com
Sat Aug 11 19:09:20 UTC 2007

>> I like the video too.  It looks very promising.  The only problem i have
with it is the only thing i REALLY want from it is the menus,

Right now it's probably not that easy.  However, KDE has said they really
want to make LinuxMCE the default media desktop.  The first thing they want
to do is make LinuxMCE use QT instead of this pluto-customized SDL.  It
seems the next QT for KDE 4 should also support the alpha blending.  When
doing these changes one goal will be to make the menu/GUI more skinnable and
easily re-used for other apps, so MythTV, or Freevo or anybody else can plop
the GUI into their stuff easier.  So hopefully it's coming.

>> Any chance we can plug that navigation system into MythTV? I'm not about
to delete Myth to start again with LinuxMCE, but that navigation system
looks nice. It could to with a couple of theme artists working on it, but
looks very quick to use.

It takes a bit of getting used to the gyro flipping stuff.  But I can
honestly say once you get the hand-eye coordination part down it is *sooo*
much faster and easier.  And it's good for the WAF too because if she gets
used to it, then a normal x/y grid seems really cumbersome.  The theme now
is ultra simple; neutral shading and plain text.  That's inherited from
Pluto, because from I understand they do custom UI's for each commercial
licensor so this is just a vanilla reference.  I've got no design talent at
all and would love to see how pretty it could be made.  Unfortunately I've
played around with the design tool Pluto created, called HADesigner, and
it's really very cumbersome to use.  It's an object-oriented UI design and
thus tries to be sophisticated.  But it's crude, and would be so much better
if it was more like Macromedia flash's tools so designers could get creative
and not get bogged down trying t learn the tool.

>> I was quite impressed with the video, I plan to try it out sometime, but
probably not until I get a spare system I can try it on without wiping my
current myth setup.

That makes sense.  If you can get the DVD installer and have a spare hard
drive, it's only about 20 minutes from the time you put the disk in until
Myth is up if all your hardware is supported.  And the existing recordings
could be moved over.  But I know the feeling that when something is finally
working right you don't want to touch it.

>> Cool, is this supported on more than nVidia cards now?

Yes, but with a BIG problem...  You see those thing clients in the video?
They are pretty slick.  They do full HD 1080i rendering and de-interlacing
and the video quality is orders of magnitude better than nVidia's, plus it
does all the alpha blending stuff.  But, that hardware is expensive and
those drivers are not free.  The manufacturer says they were developed
especially for them by the chipmaker, but they license them.  I know there's
some proprietary stuff going on to get it to work.  What we really need is a
way to do this with all off-the-shelf hardware.  Unfortunately, afaik, only
nVidia's proprietary drivers support alpha-blending for X11 still, and even
then the video quality is not great, particularly with 1080i since nVidia's
not doing de-interlacing.  This is a huge problem for Linux as a media pc
platform.  I personally talked to both nVidia and ATI about this.  In both
cases the response was, basically, "Linux is for servers.  Graphics
performance isn't important.  95% of our graphics driver work is for
Windows."  What I don't get, and I haven't been able to get an answer on, is
Mac.  Doesn't OS X use X11, or something similar?  They obviously have good
video drivers.  Why can't those be ported over to Linux?  Anybody know why
not?  Or have any other inside knowledge?  Also, what about Intel's drivers
now that they're GPL?  I got mixed messages there.  At CES someone from
Intel said the real reason was that Intel's graphics business wasn't
profitable and they wanted to pull resources off it so they were "dumping"
the drivers on the FOSS community by making them GPL, rather than engaging
it.  However, others have said that Intel is actively pushing the
development of the GPL drivers and that soon they should be a stable video
platform for Linux.  Anybody know the truth?

On 8/10/07, Damian <damian at gingermagic.co.uk> wrote:
> Paul Huber wrote:
> > There's a full walk-through video in HD with a professional voice-over
> > that starts with a clean PC and shows everything so there are no
> > surprises, and you know exactly what you'll get.  You can get a quick
> > low-res view on Google Video:
> > http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2176025602905109829&hl=en
> > <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2176025602905109829&hl=en> or
> > download it in high-def ogg theora & wmv formats on linuxmce.org
> > <http://linuxmce.org>.   This new version of LinuxMCE is now integrated
> > with MythTV, and a big improvement; the "yes it worked as expected" rate
> > in our poll went from 23% for 1.0 to 86% for this one.
> >
> > Installation is 3 keystrokes and <20 minutes.  For U.S. users with a
> > compatible pvr card you only put in your name, your room, your data
> > direct username/password and pick your lineup.  Everything else is done
> > automatically and you don't need to run myth-setup.  I/R tx/rx (usb
> > uirt, tira or IRTrans) are fully PNP.  Cable or satellite boxes are
> > automatically setup, including the i/r, as shown in the video.  Most
> > TV's and stereo's with serial control are also PNP, and there's a
> > 'direct av' mode to handle all the inputs so you can watch it in
> > high-def while you record.   It offers a pxe/network boot, so you can
> > enable network boot on any other pc's in the house and they
> > automatically boot as MythTV slaves with no configuration.
> >
> > Both MythTV's UI and LinuxMCE's work in parallel and are synced.  Hit
> > 'guide' and use Myth's EPG, or hit 'media' and use LinuxMCE's
> > alpha-blended 3d-cube flipping guide.   There's 1 click recording that
> > syncs with Myth and you can navigate 100 channels in about 10 seconds
> > and schedule 10 recordings on different channels in < 1 minute.  There's
> > an add-on to mythweb to upload icons for your shows and channels so you
> > can quickly spot them in the 3d guide as they fly by.  Choose Menu,
> > Recording to view recordings in Myth's UI, or Media, Video within
> > LinuxMCE's, and it has the same 3d gyro-controlled visual navigation.
> > Everything is shown in the new video.
> >
> > As far as when to use LinuxMCE vs. KnoppMyth vs. others…  KnoppMyth is
> > hands-down the lightest Myth installation out there.  LinuxMCE isn't
> > trying to compete there; it's a 4GB DVD installer and is a lot more
> > picky about the graphics hardware it runs on because it uses 3d open gl
> > extensions, x11 compositing/alpha blending, etc.
> >
> > Where LinuxMCE adds value is: 1) If you have an nVidia graphics card and
> > like the alpha-blended opengl UI.  It really is 10x faster to navigate
> > an EPG.  2) If you want a multi-room setup.  AFAIK it's the only
> > solution to automatically set up network boot for the whole house so you
> > can add more myth slaves. 3) If you want to integrate other a/v devices,
> > like cable/satellite box or tv/av control it's all pretty much
> > automatic; no conf files, just use the remote.  4) If you want
> > smarthome.  You don't need to use it, but if you want it, it will
> > control your lights, give you a VOIP pbx, add home security, etc.
> >
> > There seems to have been a mis-understanding after the first release.
> >   I heard that LinuxMCE was 'ripping off' Myth or trying to take credit
> > for it.  Sorry if it came across that way.  LinuxMCE is a desktop +
> > distro, like KDE is a desktop and KnoppMyth is a distro.  When KDE shows
> > the eye-candy and the bouncy Firefox icon, they're not trying to suggest
> > they developed Firefox; they're just showing the cool stuff they added
> > it to it.  And when KnoppMyth shows Myth, they're not taking credit for
> > Myth, but showing their distro they that makes Myth easier to install.
> > The new demo video makes it clear that the TV component is from MythTV
> > and gives explicit credit.
> >
> > Lastly, in response to the earlier post that LinuxMCE was a repackage of
> > Pluto, which was a repackage of Myth + Mister house.   Pluto has no
> > connection to Misterhouse, and afaik they never even used MythTV since
> > they had a commercially licensed PVR.  Pluto's Myth integration was
> > non-functional and almost non-existent.  I did most of the Myth
> > integration.  I dug through their code.  They have around 5 million
> > lines of their own code; it took me 8 hours just to compile what was in
> > their own svn.  Afaik that's several times bigger than myth and most all
> > other FOSS projects, so it can't be called a 'repackage'.   Pluto helped
> > and encouraged me to do LinuxMCE so it wasn't a 'rip off' either, but
> > rather a port so a Linux user could get a solution like their Einstein
> > solution for Monster Cable I saw at CES but for 1/10 the price, and it
> > would be part of a normal Linux desktop rather than a separate and
> > proprietary distro which is useless to a normal Linux user.
> >
> > Bottom line…  I'm trying to build bridges.  MythTV is a critical and
> > central component of LinuxMCE, and I think LinuxMCE adds a lot of value
> > to MythTV, and we'd both be better off if there was better communication
> > and collaboration.  So, I'd encourage Myth's users to check out the new
> > video and comment if they think this is on the right track and adds
> > value to Myth and would like to see more integration with Myth or not,
> > and I'll watch the thread.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> > mythtv-users at mythtv.org
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> It looks great.
> Any chance we can plug that navigation system into MythTV? I'm not about
> to delete Myth to start again with LinuxMCE, but that navigation system
> looks nice. It could to with a couple of theme artists working on it,
> but looks very quick to use.
> Damian
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users at mythtv.org
> http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
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