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71
Users / Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Last post by purps on August 21, 2014, 04:11:25 pm »
Both very valid and good points. Being in charge of, and being able to modify, your MD is essentially what i was referring to in my last paragraph. And if you are a VDR user then I can see why loosing that would be a big hit.

How do you deal with watching liveTV using a media player? Does the TV signal, whether it's satellite, freeview, cable, whatever, still go to the core?

Also do you lose the onscreen orbiter? If yes, while not a showstopper, I would say it's a disadvantage, it's great being able to do anything from anywhere.

Cheers,
Matt.
72
Users / Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Last post by posde on August 21, 2014, 02:26:03 pm »
With regards to power usage, I have high hopes that rPi (or similar) based MD solutions will provide the best of both worlds:

1) standardized hardware
2) full MD

phenigma has been very busy with it, and I applaud his efforts.
73
Users / Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Last post by totallymaxed on August 21, 2014, 01:29:37 pm »
For me, the MD has the advantage that I am in charge of it. And *I* have the means to modify it in any way I like it.

Another major point for me is VDR TV consumption. I have yet to find another networkable TV solution that allows recorded and live TV as good as VDR. That's why I stick with MDs.

If I were to watch streaming content, downloaded content or removable disk based content only, I might change my view. But for now, I love the TV functionality my VDR inside of LinuxMCE gives me.

Both very valid and good points. Being in charge of, and being able to modify, your MD is essentially what i was referring to in my last paragraph. And if you are a VDR user then I can see why loosing that would be a big hit.
74
Users / Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Last post by posde on August 21, 2014, 12:44:26 pm »
For me, the MD has the advantage that I am in charge of it. And *I* have the means to modify it in any way I like it.

Another major point for me is VDR TV consumption. I have yet to find another networkable TV solution that allows recorded and live TV as good as VDR. That's why I stick with MDs.

If I were to watch streaming content, downloaded content or removable disk based content only, I might change my view. But for now, I love the TV functionality my VDR inside of LinuxMCE gives me.
75
Users / Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Last post by totallymaxed on August 21, 2014, 12:36:41 pm »
First off I know this post will be contentious for many of you...but read on and then respond;

Back in the day when Pluto Inc were first developing Pluto (of which LinuxMCE & Dianemo are direct descendants) the Tech world was very different;

- Crestron were the Elephant in the room (still are?)
- Everything was expensive (I mean everything)
- There were no inexpensive Media Players or SmartTV's
- No inexpensive Tablets and SmartPhones hadn't been invented
- Building custom hardware was difficult & expensive

Its in this context that PXE booted Media Directors were born. They solved several problems in one hit; They enabled a '10 foot' TV based custom UI, they played local CD/DVD discs and could stream video from the Core, they provided local in-room control I/O at essentially zero marginal cost. At the time all these capabilities made incredible sense even though they added complexity. But today they largely don't.

Today the UI has migrated to your tablet or smartphone and is touch driven, we have low cost IP controllable media players and Blueray/DVD players that can play disc media and/or stream video content from anywhere, independent small IP controlled I/O is cheap and easy to install where ever you need it. The Media Director is a hangover from a previous age. It adds cost, complexity and adds considerably to the amount of energy a system consumes. Its another point of failure and a source of many problems both for those building and installing their own systems and for those using systems too.

How many threads here in the forum relate to problems with MD's? I don't know the number but its a big one. And they continue to cause reliability problems in use too. Yes some installations have MD's that don't cause any problems - but most do experience problems at some point. Of course upgrading from one OS release to another is also problematic too in terms getting displays configured and working properly again.

Removing MD's, using Orbiters on tablets or Smartphones and using IP controlled media players/SmartTV's seems to me to be a much better approach overall and its the one we've taken with Dianemo. It improves overall reliability, lowers energy usage, reduces the physical size of your system while improving video playback quality & performance.

For some of us its the challenge of getting our systems working that is the payback and in that sense MD's improve  systems! But I think for most of us we'd like fewer challenges and more smooth and rewarding usage of our systems. After all there are an infinite number of other pieces of hardware you can get a challenge from when integrating that won't stop your family from watching Game of Thrones ;-)

Comments?

All the best

Andy
76
Users / Re: Android Touch Orbiter now downloadable from Web Admin | Dianemo
« Last post by totallymaxed on August 20, 2014, 05:51:17 pm »
Did you get a chance to do any testing Andrew - looking for an Android solution for Dianemo, and see the same issue as reported in this thread with Dianemo and the touch orbiter.

Yes I did. But I obviously then forgot to post an update here. Sorry!

There are some basic issues with this version of the Android Touch Orbiter that are not now compatible with Dianemo and would require a reasonable amount of effort to fix.

However we are developing a new Orbiter that is built in HTML5 and renders its in-screen UI in HTML5 too. See this thread for some screen captures and some details; http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.msg99799#msg99799

There are several major advantages to our new HTML5 Orbiter;
  • It can be rendered by any modern web browser or by an embedded HTML5 view in a wrapper App on any device and any OS.
  • It renders to a live HTML5 canvas and therefore the pre-rendered screen bitmaps are not required.
  • No Orbiter regens are required - ever. As we are not pre rendering screens as all Orbiters have required us to do previously
  • It can render dynamic UI elements like sliders or any other control you can imagine that can be coded in HTML5
  • Orbiter screens/UI's can be designed & layed out by anyone with ordinary HTML5 design skills - No HADesigner required!
  • New Skins can be designed without any programming or low level skills - just HTML5
We hope to ship the new HTML5 Orbiter as a Dianemo update in mid Q4 2014.
77
Users / Re: Power saving topic
« Last post by totallymaxed on August 20, 2014, 12:55:04 pm »
The whisperer device is in svn but is not being build. I am not aware of any corresponding UPnP code in our svn. Could you (or Radu) point me to the appropriate place, so I can incorporate it into the build?

Thanks.

Radu the best person to do that. One of the problems that may have caused this (based on a vague recollection of a discussion) is that our whisperer based device templates have a bunch of dependencies in terms of screens and our different pipes system etc. All of which would need to be resolved to some extent to get our devices environment working acceptably outside Dianemo.
78
Users / Re: Can I control a DLNA device (SONY TV) from Linuxmce?
« Last post by totallymaxed on August 19, 2014, 11:49:38 am »
Just a quick update on this topic;

We use a combination of device templates to control SmartTV's. See our Wiki page section for specifics; http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_S#TV_Control_In_Summary. I think this section needs some updates for other brands of TV's - which I will follow up on asap. Most modern SmartTV's are controllable to some extent by using our Universal UPnP template alone but every make/model varies a lot in this respect. One universal limitation is that if you force  SmartTV's into stand-by mode with an 'Off' command they will not respond to an 'On' command to wake them up again (because the network port is powered down in stand-by mode!). So we always use our CEC HDMI over IP device to power up TV's from stand-by.

So depending on the brand of TV we use one or all of the device templates mentioned to deliver control of the TV. Its a little bit messy but until TV manufacturers standardise how they implement this this is not going to change - don't hold your breath for that!

All the best

Andy

79
Users / Re: Can I control a DLNA device (SONY TV) from Linuxmce?
« Last post by dextaslab on August 18, 2014, 02:18:11 pm »
This code is good, just needs some modification to work: https://github.com/UnlimitedStack/Auto3D/blob/master/Auto3D-Sony/SonyTV.cs

The registration code connects and prompts for registration on the TV (PS I have a KDL-40EX520)
80
Users / Re: Android Touch Orbiter now downloadable from Web Admin | Dianemo
« Last post by mardibloke on August 18, 2014, 12:09:21 am »
Earlier versions of this version of Touch Orbiter work fine on Dianemo. However I'm not familiar with what was updated in this version and that may be causing an issue. One of my co-workers is testing with some Android tablets so i will ask him to test this.

Regards

Andrew

Did you get a chance to do any testing Andrew - looking for an Android solution for Dianemo, and see the same issue as reported in this thread with Dianemo and the touch orbiter.
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