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Topics - jemenake

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Feature requests & roadmap / First impressions and suggestions for 710
« on: February 28, 2008, 11:49:41 pm »
So, I took my first crack at setting up MCE 710 a couple of weeks ago, and I've got a few thoughts.

First, I humbly suggest that the MCE installer query the user about what features they want to use at the beginning of the install process. Personally, I want my HTPC to be a media player. I want to be able to put in an optical disc or flash drive or memory card or go to a shared folder and play just about anything found there. Additionally, it would be great if I could rip DVD's to the hard drive. I don't need TV tuning. I don't need home automation, etc.

Now, the fact that MCE even *has* all of this stuff is just mind-boggling. I'm in awe... really. And... there may come a time in the future where I want to try the home automation stuff, but not just yet. Nevertheless, the MCE installer asked me a bunch of questions about the layout of my house, etc, which it really didn't need. And, even after installation, there were a bunch of options on the screen that weren't set up (like "Live TV", which, when selected, merely gave me a strange looking screen saying either "No Signal" or "Not Configured" or something like that).

What would go a long way toward making MCE easier to setup would be a screen where you can select the fundamental roles you want from MCE: Media playing? TV tuning? Home automation? Web browsing? Multi-room viewing? And then, MCE could just walk me through setting up those features *and* would only show the buttons pertaining to those roles on the main screen. Of course, at any time, the user would be able to return to this "role selector" and select/deselect items. If they selected anything that wasn't configured yet, then they'd be walked through the configuration for it at that time.

Overall, it appears that MCE allows me to select things that aren't configured (like "Live TV") and, instead of alerting me that it's unconfigured and inviting me to configure it, it just dumps me to some useless screen.... which isn't any fun.

The demo movie for MCE asserts that I can plug in an infrared receiver and MCE will offer to configure it. However, my HTPC case has one built-in and was already plugged into the USB header on the motherboard when MCE was installed. So, I'm guessing that MCE knows about it, but I'm not sure where to go to configure it. I guess what I'm aiming at with this comment is that things need to be made more intuitive. I'm used to my TiVo, where it's pretty easy to figure out where to go to watch/record/adjust something. Mind you, MCE is not completely devoid of intuitive advances; the gyro remote navigation (although I haven't tried it) looks fantastic, and I can't wait to get either a gyro mouse or a Fiire remote. Now, I just wish the on-screen menus were simpler.

That's all I can really think of for the moment. But I'm wondering if these sentiments are echoed by other members here....

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