[mythtv-users] Minimal button requirement for remote controls?

xavier hervy xavier.hervy at bluebottle.com
Fri Nov 6 14:44:21 UTC 2009

Yeechang Lee wrote:
> David Engel recently wrote:
>> With a limited number of keys on most remotes, you often want to
>> overload them for different contexts and Myth doesn't always make
>> that easy or possible currently.
> I suspect there needs to be a consensus on what comprises a minimally
> acceptable MythTV remote so that keybindings and on-screen prompts can
> be built around it.
> The closest thing I've found to a consensus is the "Remote Controls"
> section of the HOWTO
> (<URL:http://www.mythtv.org/docs/mythtv-HOWTO-11.html#ss11.1>), which
> describes a remote with 20 keys. Other key 1 and 2 don't have to be
> bound to INFO[*] and NEXTCARD; in fact, I'd argue that with only 20
> buttons they'd be more useful as PAGEUP and PAGEDOWN. (How many
> remotes out there other than Apple's, no matter how minimal, don't
> have Ch+/Ch- buttons?) This, in turn, would free 3 and 9 for David's
> since-removed work that added 0-9 as 10%-increment jumpkeys within
> lists, which would be an alternative to/preferable to my work--which
> MythUI in 0.22 greatly improved by making global--implementing the
> Speaking of those bindings, unlike Ch+-/Ch- very few remotes have
> "Top," "Middle," and "Bottom" buttons. They *are* going to have 2, 5,
> and 8. After upgrading to 0.22 I quickly (re)bound
> PAGETOP/PAGEMIDDLE/PAGEBOTTOM to them. Although by doing so I lost the
> 2 binding to sort program lists by title--a conflict that didn't
> previously exist since the bindings weren't available pre-0.22 in
> lists with that sort functionality--the new 0.22 MENU popup menu in
> said lists still lets me sort that way.
> The on-screen prompt still mentions 1 and 2 as sort keys,
> though. Another example of the need for a minimal-remote consensus is
> that, if all the number keys--not just 3 and 9--were freed from being
> used by default for anything other than the digits themselves, then 1)
> on-screen prompts can be rewritten accordingly to avoid the sort of
> inaccuracy that resulted from my rebinding, and 2) David's 10%
> functionality could be reimplemented via keybindings
> (PAGE10/PAGE20/PAGE30/etc., etc.) and users would have a choice of
> which set of bindings to manually bind to use to rapidly navigate
> large lists. 3 and 9 won't be freed unless a consensus exists that any
> MythTV-compliant remote will have Ch+/Ch- buttons, though.
> Finally, let me briefly readdress the Apple remote. While I admire its
> minimalism, I think most MythTV users would agree that said minimalism
> is insufficient for our use. In any case, having six buttons is only
> feasible for Apple's purposes because users can do things like holding
> down the Menu button for secondary actions; given that MythTV users
> use LIRC and keyboards--neither of which can easily distinguish
> between "long" and "short" button presses--that isn't going to work
> for us.
> [*] This of course changed with 0.22, but I trust that eventually we
> are going to move away from the strange need for two "menu" buttons.

I have to disagree. I am mainly using a wii remote with only 10 buttons 
(including info + menu) and it is sufficient.
Personally I believe 7 buttons should be enough (arrow key, select + 
back + menu). The rest SHOULD be accessible via a menu. It is up to the 
user to use extra button as a shortcut.

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list