Author Topic: Why Do Media Directors Exist?  (Read 9882 times)

Itsik

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2014, 02:16:41 pm »
Quote
With today's TV's you already have 'smarts' in the TV - just plug a network connection into the TV and it can be controlled from anywhere by any Orbiter. If your TV is slightly too old to have an on-board Network connection then install a Rpi running RaspBMC behind it and you can get all the same capabilities, including CEC control, on your existing TV.

Andrew, could you expand on that a little, mainly on controlling the Rpi and how do you attach it to a room with no MD ?

Thnx

totallymaxed

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2014, 02:57:07 pm »
Andrew, could you expand on that a little, mainly on controlling the Rpi and how do you attach it to a room with no MD ?

Thnx

If you have a recent SmartTV with a LAN connection then you can use that LAN connection to both stream HD video and to provide control of the TV too. Dependent on the TV make/model you may also need CEC control as well as this is the only way to turn on a TV from stand-by for example. In Dianemo we place the TV in the required room and then configure pipes to make sure commands & audio etc are routed correctly from the Core to the TV.

If you have an older TV that has no LAN capability then we can use a Rpi with our build of RaspBMC + CEC installed. The Rpi in this case then performs all the functions of the SmartTV above including using CEC control via the Rpi's HDMI port to power on/off and perform other commands/functions eg input select on the TV in some cases or Vol up/down/Mute. Again in Dianemo we place the TV + Rpi in the required room and then configure pipes to make sure commands & audio etc are routed correctly from the Core to, in this case, the Rpi. One of the big advantages of the Rpi is that not only do you get a great media player by installing RaspBMC but you also get a great CEC control device too for free.

You could also use a commercial media player + older TV - but this would not provide CEC control so in most cases the Rpi is the more economic & less complex solution.

There are a few other details in the above arrangements but thats the basis of how we configure systems with SmartTV's or Rpi + older TV's.

All the best

Andy
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Itsik

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2014, 03:46:41 pm »
Thanks for the explanation Andy.
So if you add a sat box to the same room, controlled by the core, can you configure the the Rpi to switch the TV to the correct input for the sat box?

Itsik

totallymaxed

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2014, 03:53:46 pm »
Thanks for the explanation Andy.
So if you add a sat box to the same room, controlled by the core, can you configure the the Rpi to switch the TV to the correct input for the sat box?

Itsik

Yes you can do that if the TV supports Input select via CEC (which most do). Obviously you need to get the HDMI signal from the STB to the TV but if their in the same room that just needs an HDMI cable. If the STB is remote from the room then you need to get the HDMI signal from the STB in the central rack, to the room, and that can be done with some HDMI over CAT5/6 transceivers (those require a dedicated CAT5/6 cable) or a pair of IP based HDMI over CAT5/6 transceivers that can send HDMI video over a standard gigabit CAT5/6 network cable.

All the best

Andy
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 10:07:42 pm by totallymaxed »
Andy Herron,
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totallymaxed

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2014, 05:52:28 pm »
Below is a url to a Youtube video of our new Athena Orbiter in action. The demo uses our new Athena Orbiter - and has a slick dynamic UI etc...but all the non UI based capability is all part of how you can setup systems without MD's and thats the main point of posting this video. I'm posting it here really to show a Dianemo system without any MD's performing various control functions with Internet Radio, iTunes library based music content, Spotify and streaming a ripped movie to and controlling a SmartTV (Panasonic I believe in this case).

http://youtu.be/0KQAeGia26A

All the best

Andy

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Itsik

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2014, 09:25:49 am »
A Quick question Andy.

Am I correct in assuming that the new orbiter does not work with LMCE ?

Thnx
Itsik

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2014, 09:40:11 am »
Itsik,

I asked the same question in a different thread, and the answer is: No, the new Dianemo HTML Orbiter will not work with LinuxMCE for the time being. The integral part of the HTML Orbiter has been ported over to LinuxMCE, so we (LinuxMCE) might be able to get something going as well.

totallymaxed

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2014, 11:08:32 am »
A Quick question Andy.

Am I correct in assuming that the new orbiter does not work with LMCE ?

Thnx
Itsik

Athena is not compatible with LinuxMCE due to numerous internal differences. We will have some further news on this shortly.

Andy
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Itsik

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2014, 11:11:57 am »
OK, Thank you both.

Newguy2

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2014, 08:01:40 pm »
Might sound shallow and insignificant,  but in addition to the previously mentioned reasons, the look on visitors faces when they walk in and I pickup my gyration remote and bring up the floor plan on UI2 alpha blending while watching live tv....priceless. It sets lmce apart. sure the same floorplan can be seen on my tablet, but there's no awe factor when it comes to doing this on a touchscreen device anymore since there's an app for everything nowadays. So for me, I have UI2 in the family room where guests gather.   I will be replacing my md in the master with a rpi though. Question. ...this may be a stupid thought. ...but how is everyone dealing with the need to constantly recharge tablets and phones used as orbiters? Also it gets a bit annoying when your phone times out and you have to unlock and wait for wifi to reconnect just to change the channel or have it up constantly running down the battery. Then when the battery in the tablet or phone is dead,  you have no choice but to find another orbiter  or sit there with the tablet plugged in changing channels or doing anything needed.  Picking the gyration and pressing channel up, using a onscreen ui and changing the batteries every 8 months is more convenient to me.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 12:18:36 am by Newguy2 »

posde

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2014, 08:10:14 pm »
My iPad gets put into the charger every other day or so, and the Joggler is wired to 240V so doesn't have a battery either.

jamo

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2014, 10:23:47 am »
Might sound shallow and insignificant,  but in addition to the previously mentioned reasons, the look on visitors faces when they walk in and I pickup my gyration remote and bring up the floor plan on UI2 alpha blending while watching live tv....priceless....

Agreed. The overlay is pretty awesome and that's where LMCE as an integrating option is fantastic. It also means that even the least smart TV can be "smart" because the media-director provides the smarts... and it provides consistent smarts across any brand of TV / display.

I personally love the concept of a media director - it is very scalable - can be very small and low power (Rpi) or heavy duty for doing bigger work if that is your requirement.

My only gripe, and Andrew hinted at it earlier, is the video/ hardware support issue - but I'm going to post about that in a separate thread as I have some thoughts on how we as a community might be able to address that.

James

totallymaxed

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2014, 06:11:57 pm »
I understand the 'wow' factor that UI2 + Overlay has. But it also has, in a significant number of cases, the opposite reaction from family members. We used to use UI2 + Overlay as our standard config on MD's and we stopped doing that because for many people it looked dated and was a challenge to use with a gyration style remote too. It's one of those features that looks great in a demo when someone see's it used briefly as it delivers a lot of eye-candy - but in real use its actually not that friendly to navigate or use (we have plenty of user feedback on that!).

Secondly it proved to be the single most frustrating setup area for both installers & for software customers. getting reliable installs on MD's using UI2 + overlay was always a challenge and very often tripped people up. Using a SmartTV, a Rpi based media player or a commercial media player presents a much less challenging UI as it aligns more closely with how other devices work, and for most people seems more familiar to them in use. I'm certainly not holding up SmartTV's or even Raspbmc as having the best UI in the world, but in general they seem to be easier for most casual users to handle.

One last thing, obviously running a full MD/Orbiter on a Rpi is now possible. But you still have all the complexity of the MD/Orbiter code base to deal with and fighting X etc when configuring the MD. Our experience of that with large numbers of systems, and even larger overall numbers of MD's, is that you can expect a high failure rate of those MD's from software issues. Combine that with major energy savings and you have a big reason to not use MD's (obviously if your using Rpi hardware energy use is not a factor either way of course).

All the best

Andy
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Newguy2

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #43 on: September 29, 2014, 06:50:31 pm »
I understand the 'wow' factor that UI2 + Overlay has. But it also has, in a significant number of cases, the opposite reaction from family members. We used to use UI2 + Overlay as our standard config on MD's and we stopped doing that because for many people it looked dated and was a challenge to use with a gyration style remote too. It's one of those features that looks great in a demo when someone see's it used briefly as it delivers a lot of eye-candy - but in real use its actually not that friendly to navigate or use (we have plenty of user feedback on that!).

Thats what's great about lmce to me....options.....I had ui2 and I used the ui2 to "wow" people.  But I also used the gyration remote without using it as a air mouse and thanks to (i think was) tom who worked on it, its functionality was similar to a normal ir entertainment center remote. The ability to  press one button, bring up mythtv and flip through channels using the channel change buttons, then as company walked in bring up that floorplan while watching the game is great.  Then other times I used my phone/tablet. The least convenient in my opinion was using my phone/tablet,  but like I say,  with a md you have options. Just my 2 cents. It sounds as though Dianemo will not have the option to implement a rpi as a full md?

totallymaxed

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Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« Reply #44 on: September 30, 2014, 01:09:16 pm »
Thats what's great about lmce to me....options.....I had ui2 and I used the ui2 to "wow" people.  But I also used the gyration remote without using it as a air mouse and thanks to (i think was) tom who worked on it, its functionality was similar to a normal ir entertainment center remote. The ability to  press one button, bring up mythtv and flip through channels using the channel change buttons, then as company walked in bring up that floorplan while watching the game is great.  Then other times I used my phone/tablet. The least convenient in my opinion was using my phone/tablet,  but like I say,  with a md you have options. Just my 2 cents. It sounds as though Dianemo will not have the option to implement a rpi as a full md?

Well never say never re MD's but I can't see us doing an Rpi MD ourselves - there's nothing to stop anyone choosing to back port the lmce Rpi MD though (at least in principal). We do have the Dianemo Raspbmc-CEC software though that does almost everything a full MD can do apart from run UI2 + Overlay.

All the best

Andy
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