[mythtv-users] Linux MCE project
linux.luser at myrealbox.com
Sat Mar 24 15:46:55 UTC 2007
On 24 Mar 2007, at 12:22, Adolfo R. Brandes wrote:
> Which brings me to what I think will be the long lasting
> contribution of the LinuxMCE project: the user interface. More
> specifically, the fact that it was constructed with a 3-button gyro
> mouse in mind, as opposed to a 30-button IR remote. Was it only me,
> or did "wiimote" pop into your brains immediately?
> Gripe 1. Searching and klunky text input from the remote:
> I realize this is not necessarily a problem with MythTV, but a very
> general one that involves available hardware (the ubiquitous IR
> remote) and the known text input methods. But the fact remains that
> I've always hated typing text messages from a dialpad, and thus I hate
> doing it on the remote. The onscreen keyboard is a step in the right
> direction, but it still seems as tough as entering your name on an
> 80's videogame console. This makes the wife growl every time she has
> to search for something by it's name.
> Which is why I immediately loved LinuxMCE's solution, which involves
> matching an onscreen keyboard with gyro mouse. You can bee-line to
> the letter you want as fast as your personal dexterity will allow.
> Naturally the ideal solution would involve a working wiimote pointer
> driver (not just gyro), given a gyroscope's limitations on accuracy.
> But given the Wii's popularity, surely this will come in time.
Have you used a Wii, at all? It's great for selecting menu items &
shooting baddies, but text input is still quite slow. I'd have
thought that if you were searching for "star wars" then "sta-SEARCH"
would do the job - I can't see that this would be any harder or
slower with T9 input than with the Wiimote. As for sending messages &
emails, entering the names of websites & replying to forum threads -
it _feels_ fine on the Wii, but you quickly realise it's not fast.
As I said before, I'm yet a talker, not a doer, with MythTV, but I
understood that Myth _can_ be controller using a regular mouse. In
this case the gyro-mouse should surely just plug straight in & work
to your current system - I don't think there's much innovative in
Linux MCE's use of it.
> ... Not only is the layout on
> remote controls not standardized, the more functions a device has, the
> more keys it needs. Take MythTV and the grey Hauppauge remote, for
> example. I have mapped every single button on that thing and I'd need
> more if I were to use all of MythTV's functions (many of which are not
> on easily accessible menus), even given the fact that the same button
> can do different things on different screens (which is of course a BAD
> thing). Not to mention all the work that goes into configuring the
> whole shebang.
> To sum it up: if you can pull it off with just 3 buttons and an
> (admittedly) brilliant UI, why 30? Apple, Nintendo and now LinuxMCE
> have already caught up on it.
I entirely agree with you here, although I have yet to see how I'll
feel about a 30-button remote in practice. Since we monkeys learn so
quickly maybe that won't be as bad as I expect it to be, as we
monkeys learn quickly, but the Apple remote seems great to me.
I should be able to free up a little cash for a MythTV box in the
next couple of weeks, but in the meantime I'm watching DVDs through
my MacBook and the 6-button remote is great. Apple's "Front Row"
software doesn't seem to work perfectly with an external screen
connected to my MacBook - it seems to be optimised for a iMac or
MacBook with a single screen - but the remote is ideal for pausing &
My ideal would be to use the Apple remote with MythTV, so that when
you press the pause/play button it pauses the movie & pops up an on-
screen display menu with "skip backward 5 minutes", "skip backward 1
minute", "play", "skip backward 1 minute" "skip forward 5 minutes"
options. Default would be to "play", so that pressing the pause/play
button twice pauses the movies & starts playing it again, just like
you'd expect. I guess a couple more options (like "up to next menu
level") could be added to make fuller use of the left-right-up-down
There's also a 6th "menu" button on the Apple remote, so I'd like to
be able to access all Myth's other functions through use of that &
the left-right-up-down buttons. I guess minimal button-mashing could
be achieved if, when the menu button was pressed during playback, a 3
x 3 box was displayed on the screen; left-right-up-down navigates,
play/pause selects & menu returns to the movie?
I have no idea how well the above could work with MythTV - I'm
planning to see how I feel about remotes once I get Myth up & running
with the one supplied with the Silverstone case I intend to buy. So
it may be that everything I describe is already implemented, however
it seems to me a little unlikely that it'll all "just work" as I
describe, considering how many more buttons the average remote has
over the Apple one.
I think you're right that a wiimote could be very good indeed for
MythTV use - just because I think it's rubbish for text input doesn't
mean I don't agree with you otherwise. The barrier to wiimote usage
here is that I'd likely have to have two wiimotes sitting on the sofa
- one for playing games & the other for watching MythTV - and that
would bug the hell out of me. The only other alternative I can think
of would be to have the bluetooth dongle in the Myth box do bluetooth
spoofing and passthrough when I want to use the wiimote for Wii play,
but I think that's perhaps non-trivial. I don't want to have to
constantly pair my wiimote to whichever box I happen to be using
right now - especially if I watch TV & play games more than once the
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