LinuxMCE Forums

General => Users => Topic started by: DHHJ on November 27, 2009, 11:41:33 pm

Title: LMCE vs Windows 7 MCE
Post by: DHHJ on November 27, 2009, 11:41:33 pm
Well here goes- some heresy talk!

I've tried over the past months to get LMCE to a working state. After viewing the YouTube video, I was excited and embarked on a mission. Being a Linux noobie, I expected some frustration but I've been around PCs for some time and figured I could make my way through- with some forum support of course!

Much to my dwindling disappointment, I have found the LMCE experience to be painful, to say the least. The clean install worked well-I did have some trouble with dual network cards and NVidia drivers but eventually I got it up and running. I must say that I was disappointed with the poor, almost childish graphics / icons in the Orbiter, even with UI2/Alpha blending/OpenGL, the interface looks very kludgy.

I had an awful time with dual monitors, as I scoured the xorg.conf file, changing parameters, re-booting- it was all very manually intensive. MP3 tagging was a chore as Cover Art was very temperamental at best. In attempting to install X10 devices, I uncovered the frailty of the Web Admin interface- it is very mysterious and not intuitive at all. I tried an Air Mouse, a diNovo keyboard, Samba drives and such- but the bottom line each time was that LMCE never delivered as promised.

So I have gone over the dark side and started to look at W7MCE. I did have to fork out some $$ for a version but I have to tell you, I'm amazed at how stable and feature full the product is. I was up and running with 100 or so mpegs, 15K mp3s, a remote Linksys camera, full X10 control, running dual monitors with full macro capability in 30 minutes. Like it or not, the product is real and stable and IMHO, worth the cash.

Now I expect you will all cry foul with a litany of rebuttals but I'd ask you to think about how a relatively closed development environment of a handful of part-time programmers can ever compete with the Enterprise juggernaut. I'm not a Windows fan by any stretch, but when I search the forums and see the Admins talking about how people should step up and help, "it's all in the Programmers Guide- have you even bothered to read it?", I think the LMCE development concept should be re-considered. I sense that the Admins are egocentric and even bully some users- I can imagine the frustration in putting in countless hours of effort but give me a break- why has there been one release over the past 18 months? Give up some control- spend some time with some real documentation so that others can help. Don’t reply with …well the Wiki is available for editing, where are your edits- I’m talking about a good description of the system level, data flow diagrams, software architecture- the basics so that you can start and make some sense of it all- GSD, DCERouter, Myth, Pulto, sqlCVS, Datagrid, etc.

So in my experience, LMCE was definitely worth a look but falls short of its Plug and Play, simplistic, and from the main web site “Modern Fancy UI”. With too few developers, an open architecture that appears closed to the select few, an Un-Modern Fancy UI and a lack of support for a new Release Candidate, I’m using Windows 7- with mControl, MyMovies and a few (free) plug ins- I’ve got a system that is delivering, consistently and so far flawlessly.

Let the howling begin……….
Title: Re: LinuxMCE vs Windows 7 MCE
Post by: tkmedia on November 27, 2009, 11:49:11 pm
Thats great I am glad you are happy with it....

I have some windows only hardware i would love to get rid of pm if your are interested.

Title: Re: LinuxMCE vs Windows 7 MCE
Post by: Kooma on November 28, 2009, 08:13:54 am
Interesting. Being a LMCE retard for several months now... just happened to check and noticed that I have one computer with W7MCE. It sure looks and feels great, but how do you add X10 (or preferably Z-wave) support for W7MCE? How about other more exotic (RS232) stuff? Any links out of this forum?
Title: Re: LinuxMCE vs Windows 7 MCE
Post by: King on November 28, 2009, 07:14:34 pm
Oh well!  ::)
Title: Re: LinuxMCE vs Windows 7 MCE
Post by: pcbastard on November 29, 2009, 09:31:18 am
Ok, the man has a point.

I have to say that even though I have been an HA enthusiast for 20 plus years, I still am completely lost with LMCE.
But I really was only looking for a way to run my videos from a server without the need to locate one of hundreds of videos when my daughters wanted to watch one.  And I did get that.  All the other controlling features made me want more.

For years I have been dreaming of controlling lights and making movie and TV time an easier task without having to teach my family what equipment needs to be turned on and what settings to make.  Linuxmce can do this (just not anymore--at least for me).  I have spent more than a few thousand bucks on all the bits and pieces over the last 2 years but I should have stopped after the first couple of months. 
Now, I consider myself an HA realist, not an HA optimist.  There is a reason other commercial systems cost $50,000+ 
Because it is that complicated and cannot be realistically maintained/designed by a few brilliant guys only.  LMCE is a colaboration of Linux and a variety of other Linux apps that have been integrated together and weren't necessarilly designed to work together.  It's a patchwork of free goodies that do not get developed at the same time.  Hence, we are always waiting for some developer to fix bugs before LMCE can move forward. 
However, in the end, it's still LMCE for me.  It's FREE and you'll never be able to do the same thing with Windows.  Period.   
Title: Re: LinuxMCE vs Windows 7 MCE
Post by: fearingsept on November 29, 2009, 01:15:14 pm
You know, I see these threads every now and then that tell about how some product whether it be windows based or other is better the LinuxMCE and I usually don't say anything. But I figured I would chime in this time. I am glad that other people have found "Better" solutions for their media and possible home automation. But what positive things come from posts like this?

I am a successful LinuxMCE user. Knowing very little about Linux when I started I still managed to build my own core and MD's out of spare parts given to me. I have a core and 2 md’s and everything works great. I have some lights in my home that are automated and I am still building little at a time on to my system. Over the last 2 years I may have put close to $400.00 in to my system, but when I started I paid nothing for a very long time.

I really think posts like this miss the whole scope of the project. It has very little to do with a pretty UI or that you can play media right out of the box (though I have had a hard time finding media that my LinuxMCE will not play out of the box).

If you want a media player system only… then go with mythTV or a Microsoft product... Linux MCE is not just a media player; it is a home management system. If you read the wiki and take advantage of this forum and actually ask questions about things you don't understand then you get the great results.

Most headaches arise due to the use of unsupported hardware. I at first was very skeptical when my system was not working correctly. I was getting video skips and core lockups and network crashes and did not attribute these problems to bad hardware. But with a little investment ($30.00 here and there) and some patients I was able to weed out these issues and get everything working.

My point is this... we know that Microsoft products have a prettier look and feel, that is what sells their product. And maybe they even seem to support whatever media needs you have better. Still, up to date, there is no other system out there that can do what Linux MCE does. If you are not looking to use Linux MCE within the scope it was designed for then I would advise just not using it. If you are going to critique it at least have an in depth understanding how this system is supposed to work and perhaps an understanding of why it is not working for you.

Hopefully this does not cause any hard feelings; I am just tired of seeing this awesome system get trashed by users who may not see the whole picture.

Title: Re: LinuxMCE vs Windows 7 MCE
Post by: bongowongo on November 29, 2009, 02:10:54 pm
I agree with "fearingsept", but still documentation can be better, it is a weakness in my opinion.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE vs Windows 7 MCE
Post by: skeptic on November 29, 2009, 04:32:28 pm
Since this thread has stayed polite I'll add..  One thing that has concerned me and I've often wondered if it has chased potential devs and/or users away...  LMCE is not completely open source/GPL/free.  For the most part this is a non-issue, but who knows if things would be different without the pluto license restrictions?  Perhaps a company like Acer would throw some development in and sell plug-n-play core with Revo MDs?  Not that there is much of anything that can be done without tearing out the proprietary bits and re-writing them from scratch, but it's something that has always made me wonder what if.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE vs Windows 7 MCE
Post by: wierdbeard65 on November 30, 2009, 10:06:48 am
I, too, have read this thread with interest. A lot of valid points have been made.

I'd like to throw a couple of stones into the pond, however.

IMHO what we have at the moment is an advanced "proof of concept". Yes, HA, telephoney, security etc. all integrated seamlessly into our media experience is what we want. In another thread, I think it was Thom who posted a description of an evening at home with MCE that made me salivate!


At the moment, for the masses, it at best is a hassle and at worst doesn't work at all. I have been trying to so what fearingsept has done, but maybe my "old bits and pieces" are a little older than his :(

I also agree with bongowongo. Most of the information IS all here, but finding it isn't easy - especially if you don't really know what you're looking for or what keywords to use. I've lost count of the number of threads where somone says "I've searched the Wiki/forums" then asks a question. The answer is a link to the Wiki / forum and they apologise with a "that's about the only thing I didn't search for"!! I reckon, as a matter of some urgency, we need to do two things:

1) CLEARLY indicate on each Wiki page how up-to-date it is. This is something the Wiki manager needs to do. Various approaches could be used. How about adding a "created" and "last edited" date into the global page footer? If we see something that hasn't been edited for a couple of years, then we know to treat it with some suspicion. A sdatabase query could similarly insert some kind of text at the top of each page that indicates that the page is of "unknown version". As we trawl the wiki as users, if we stumble on such a page, we can check it, test it and then update the header with versioning information. (Thinking about it, can we have two new categories, please? "Works with 710" and "Works with 810"? Looking to the future, make both of these sub-categories of a new top level "Versions" category. I would add these myself, and if I can figure out how, I will, but the wiki admin is the only person who can do mass alterations or update the footer etc.)
2) EVERYONE and ANYONE who updates / modifies / improves / fixes ANYTHING needs to make sure they document it and make that documentation available on the wiki. That goes for the newest user who managed to use a non-standard NIC right through to the core devs who have made massive changes to the system. Guys, any work you do that is not properly documented is ultimately wasted effort. I know it's a pain to do when you are working on code or whatever, but it must happen. I know a lot do, but a lot don't as well. Ideally, the forum should not be a place to search for information - it should be a place to discuss. Once resolution is found - on to the wiki so we have one place to search!!! It's a COMMUNITY folks, that means EVERY member of it needs to contribute! Not just the few "key" people who do most of the grunt.

I don't wish to decry the hard work anyone has put in, but may I suggest a "feature freeze"? I know we want it to do everything, but in that quest we risk it not doing anything. I'm not suggesting people shouldn't still pursue their own projects within MCE, but as far as the main trunk goes, we should limit updates to fixing known issues. How many times have people posted saying "I had this working then applied the latest build and it broke"? Sometimes, it's the addition of a new feature, sometimes not, but the fact that the core devs are working on these features is delaying (I suspect) the fixing of some issues.

Like, I suspect, a lot of people here, I found the project due to an interest in media. Even the project title highlights media above all else. In the "blurb" (on the video, I think) much is made of the UI being "all about the media". I happen to disagree that it's in any way childish and in any case, you can always re-skin. The fact thet you don't end up with a tiny "picture-in-picture" when you access the orbiter is a real "Micro$oft killer" IMHO. This means that the media side needs to "just work". If ensuring that means that support for a new VoIP provider is delayed, then so be it.

I know others wiill disagree, and that's fine with me. It's an open project and the open-ness should stretch to debate as well ;)

Just my 10Eurocents.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE vs Windows 7 MCE
Post by: wierdbeard65 on November 30, 2009, 10:22:37 am
CLEARLY indicate on each Wiki page how up-to-date it is. This is something the Wiki manager needs to do. Various approaches could be used. How about adding a "created" and "last edited" date into the global page footer?

Ok, either someone is VERY quick of the mark, or I deserve a thwack, so let me do it myself **THWACK**.

There is a "last modified" date there already. I still think we need the new categories though!

Apologies to the wiki admin ;D
Title: Re: LinuxMCE vs Windows 7 MCE
Post by: wierdbeard65 on November 30, 2009, 10:48:18 am
(Thinking about it, can we have two new categories, please? "Works with 710" and "Works with 810"? Looking to the future, make both of these sub-categories of a new top level "Versions" category. I would add these myself, and if I can figure out how, I will.)

Deciding to follow the philosophy of "don't talk about it, just do it" I figured out how ;)

Please see (