Matt - see my earlier post in this thread re LiveTV etc. But the short answer is you can watch live TV via you actual TV - we provide control of the TV for this purpose and you can also watch live TV via any STB's you have controlled by your system too (either locally in the room or sometimes via a video matrix for a larher install where you have centralised STB's distributed through an HDMI Matrix).
Yes you do loose the Orbiter UI on the TV... but you have it instead on your tablet or smartphone instead. The UI then is right in your hand... and you can switch to any room/device and control it without having any TV's on at all...or turn a TV on from tablet/smartphone if you want to etc etc.
All the best
Gotcha. I always liked the idea of the centralised TV feed, and then TV in other rooms was just an Ethernet cable away. I used to use that extensively (we don't watch TV any more). However I guess you still get that with what you are saying regarding the use of a video matrix.
I have smartphone, jogglers etc running orbiter, so I guess I could live without the onscreen orbiter, however I still use it, but that might just be because it's there.
I think a R-Pi MD would be the best of both worlds. A LMCE-controlled XBMC R-Pi would also be interesting. I can't say I've had many issues with the MDs themselves. Is what your suggesting more reliable simply because it's not running its OS via the cable? Because a media player is still a standalone piece of hardware that can potentially fail.