Author Topic: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?  (Read 2904 times)

nickvd

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Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« on: May 25, 2007, 12:35:24 am »
I'm amazed by the depth that LMCE offers, but is this at the expense of a MAJOR headache to install and configure for mass use by someone who can barely turn their computer on?

I've been working around computers for decades, and with linux for over 5 years.  I have yet to get a usable system working...

Why does it come configured to control my lights?
Why does it come configured to control my cameras?
Why does it come configured to control my devices?
Why does it come configured to control my telephones?
Why does it come configured to control my cell phones?

I JUST WANT TO WATCH TV/DVD/MEDIA!!!!!

If I wanted to control my x10 setup (which I dont have, nor will i ever...) I would like the option to add that in.

After hours of work, I was able to get the main screen to work (U1) and while it looks great, it is WAY overwhelming.  I want to watch tv and watch my stored media...

I'd gladly pay the price for Snapstream... WHY? because I can get it installed and configured in about an hour, and it does exactly what I need it to do.

I DONT WANT TO PAY FOR SNAPSTREAM, I DONT WANT TO USE WINDOWS!

I'm getting sick and freaking tired of these linux solutions that are trying to be the be-all-end-all solution for <insert activity here>

I EMPHATICALLY guarantee the beta would be 100% finished already if it stuck to was was required for a MEDIA CENTRE... 

What does controlling my outdoor sprinklers have to do with MEDIA?!?!?

I'm sorry for ranting, i know that this probably doesnt make much sense, but I'm just very frustrated, as I was entering into this expecting the perfect MCE for linux (based on the video that fails to inform viewers that it probably took well over a hundred man-hours to get working properly).

I amwas planning on selling LMCE solutions to my customers, but if I cannot get it to work without spending countless hours on configuration, then how the heck can my customers be expected to use it?


I wish you all luck, and I pray that it ends up working fine, and ALL installation issues are solved.

Want to make LMCE a success?  Create a distro for it ala KnoppMyth.

Cryoniq

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Re: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2007, 01:00:08 am »
Actually, it is a good rant; it does make a point. I am saying that because I have been trying to get exactly media part working for past 3-4 days now and failed. I spent only 1-2 days to get the video card right and get install going. And then when I installed I was following the instructions, which didn't say what to touch in the setup procedure, and restarted as instructed and got Orbital cannot connect to router. Now I am a tech guy and that didn't make sense to me.
Further on it messed with xorg.conf, even if I didn't do anything that should have to do with it.
I also tried to get it to access my little file storage netdisk over here for video files and nothing would show up. I went for the logs in the admin interface and it told me there wasn't any, at first. I never got any files to show up under video section from it. It discovered it and set the shares up, but no directories or files were shown. I fiddler around and suddenly the media director and core screen wouldn't show up. *shrug*
I solved orbital problem, by removing the room I added etc.

The installation clearly need to be easier. But the parts around it also need to be easier, which isn't in LMCE control, like drivers etc.
Still one have to remember that it is free, it is 1.0 or 1.1 beta etc.

But for commercial I think it has a bit to go still. But hey, that is why it is 1.1 beta after all, to adress problems and fix them and make them better in 1.1. I had a go at 1.0 and 1.1 feels like a HUGE improvement for sure still. It is on the right track clearly.

But as the original poster pointed out, why are the other devices there for security etc. My goal with LMCE was to provide my VERY nontechnical better half with a point click media solution so I could drop video content to file server and it would be easy for her to watch it (ok I admit, she is crazy after the Bones TV show episodes. You all know the demand our women put on us :P ).

But.. even if I have a headache, and generally irritated I am going to beat this! It will work dangit! ;P
At least I have something to do.. (it is the 8th time I install kubuntu 7.04 alone on 3 days no.. :P )

natedogg319

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Re: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2007, 02:09:19 am »
dude, what could be better than having the option of controlling your sprinklers from your computer, the fact that  you have the option to do all of these incredible things with LMCE is amazing without being charged way to much. however i can see what you mean, it should come with all of those options but it shouldnt make your installation nearly impossible.. what i mean is, instead of being limited by a program, just limit the program, dont ask for less.   :-)

nickvd

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Re: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2007, 02:41:31 am »
.....the fact that  you have the option to do all of these incredible things with LMCE is amazing without being charged way to much.

The fact remains that I CANNOT do all those incredible things without spending countless hours getting things configured properly...

I spent 80 hours (yes, i kept track) configuring my setup, AND IT STILL doesn't work the way it should.

My standard hourly rate for custom programming is $75 per hour (fairly cheap in my area)...

Doing the math... 75*80 = $6000 that I would have to factor into my prices for home setup... That's ridiculous... I'd be better off buying a high end pc and a licence for snapstream, install it and it's working perfectly... Probably for less than a third of the cost...

If it is going to "cost" me this much to get it setup, why wouldn't I just buy a pre-made solution that will work with only a few hours of configuration and custimization.

I realize how hard it is to make things easy to install, easy to use, and to make them all work no matter the hardware config... But how much harder is it to make a system do those things, when you're cobbling together so much functionality?

Get the MEDIA parts working flawlessly, and give me the option to install the Lighting control and the Asterisk control WHEN THEY'RE READY.

The developers are currently splitting their time between all the features that should never be included in the core when they should/could be focusing their time on the core itself.

When you buy a car, it comes complete with everything you need to make it do what it is intended to do.  You then have the CHOICE to ADD OPTIONS that will enhance your enjoyment of your car (leather bucket seats) or the functionality of your car (GPS system, Turbo, Sun-roof).

When I turn on my "MEDIA" centre, I don't want to wade through menus asking me when I want my sprinklers turned on, or that I have email waiting...


I just want to watch my damned tv...

Please understand that I AM NOT bashing LMCE in any way

I'm just starting to get fed up with the everything-including-the-kitchen-sink mindset that is plaguing the linux industry right now.

tkmedia

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Re: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2007, 03:29:04 am »
If you want Tv and media only I have had great luck with KnoppMyth. Not anything nearly as feature rich as LinuxMCE but works good for what it does.
My Setup http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Tkmedia

For LinuxMce compatible  systems and accessories
http://lmcecompatible.com/

mojoJOJO

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Re: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2007, 06:53:27 am »
I have been having the exact same problems as well. While I think that LMCE is great (in concept) it still has a LOT further to go before it can be used by any but the most dedicated techno-geeks. I've spent every free moment I had over the last two weeks trying to get LMCE running. I just recently managed to get through the installation head-aches only to now be stuck in the endless mire of configuration hell. There are just too many options that are not at all required by me or in fact even by most normal people in my opinion.

I'm going to spen a little more time trying to get LMCE configured to a point that I can actually; oh....I don't know......; watch a video on it or something. But I feel my patience wearing extremely thin lately.

I love the idea behind LMCE, but it still needs a lot of work. For future releases I would suggest that they drop all the extra fluff and spend more time working on making it easier to install and set up.

totallymaxed

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Re: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2007, 07:25:35 am »
Well this is a good question... however linux-mce is still in beta so if it was stable and released it would be a better question ;-)

Linux-mce is not finished clearly (hence beta status) and clearly needs more work to get to a stable release. But speaking as someone that has been involved with linux-mce's ancestor Pluto I can say that it is a great improvement in every way over that product. The move to Ubuntu and the work to integrate properly with Ubuntu (as opposed to the slightly unconventonal configs/scripts in Pluto!) is a great move in a very positive direction.

I guess because I am used to Pluto and possibly no more about its inner workings linux-mce is less threatening to me that for some others here. But I do think that the progress being made by the developers (and many of those are part of the Pluto dev team) should be supported and applauded by all of us.
Andy Herron,
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nickvd

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Re: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2007, 07:48:35 am »
If you want Tv and media only I have had great luck with KnoppMyth. Not anything nearly as feature rich as LinuxMCE but works good for what it does.

You're right, and I love my mythbox... It's working great, I had some problems getting it working with my hardware, but it was linux not a myth problem...

I do want most of the functionality that LMCE offers, I just don't need it NOW, but in a few months/years, etc...  The stuff I'd need to purchase to have LMCE control it is out of the question financially right now.  So having the other features a plugin, or otherwise able to be disabled (along with OSD controls) would be such a plus...

Since you wouldn't need as much running on the core, it would be much more stable, and much more reliable, not to mention any potential for conflicts is severely reduced with a smaller footprint...

I just want to mention again how impressed with LMCE I am.. the video of a properly configured system blew my mind...

I just want to bring to light that no matter how many features and functions something has, if it is so unusable that it takes hours just to make it work right, I (along with many other people) would be better off with something with fewer features that works perfectly and is easy to configure...

Besides... how many people are going to have an irrigation system that is capable of being controlled by LMCE...

c4onastick

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Re: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2007, 08:34:20 am »
I agree, LinuxMCE looks fantastic (the video blew me away too), but it seems it may have been released a little prematurely. I'm going on the 8th or 9th install now, trying to get it to work. I'm not slacking on the hardware either, I just built this box specifically for this purpose. Its important for us to test it for them though, so that we can help get it working by the time its ready to be called stable.

robertsaron

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Re: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2007, 06:21:38 pm »
Quote
I'd be better off buying a high end pc and a licence for snapstream, install it and it's working perfectly... Probably for less than a third of the cost...

I tried snapstream, and it worked for a day. I uninstalled/reinstalled it several time. It kept changing my location without me doing it. I would set it to utah and comcast, and go back to set up a recording, and what you know comcast and utah were no longer there. after several hours of messing with it. A friend had loaned me his version of snapstream, cause he had the same issues was gonna see if I could fix it for him.

I am looking forward to LMCE even though there are lots of problems. Open source I have found to be more reliable, and easier to fix and get working than some product I pay 90$ for.

cckrobinson

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Re: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2007, 10:26:10 pm »
People need to adjust their expectations.  Unfortunately the demo video set the bar pretty high.  This is effectively still a beta product. The majority of problems people are having are related to hardware incompatibility.  That's completely understandable at this point.  It takes people like us to report our problems so that they can be fixed in future releases. 

If you want to install LMCE then be prepared to spend multiple days getting it to work properly.  I currently have a fully functional system (although my HD playback is less than stellar).  The in-laws were in town last weekend and we spent 30 minutes sitting around the TV watching the screen saver.  That feature alone make it worth the effort in my opinion.

If you only want to spend a few hours then install KnoppMyth.  My buddy just assembled a 4 tuner HTPC from scratch and installed KnoppMyth in one evening.  He came in this morning and said that he was watching TV before he went to bed.  How did he do it? He made sure that the hardware he bought was supported.

My 2 cents.

 

Todd

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Re: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2007, 11:10:21 pm »
It seems the hardware compatibility is a big issue.  Once people start having success, I would like to see them post examples of systems that work (what hardware you use that works out of the box).  This should include what systems work with standard definition tvs and HDtv.

cckrobinson

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Re: Is LMCE Ready For Public Consumption?
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2007, 11:54:29 pm »
Here's my working setup:

  • Abit UL8 motherboard
  • Athlon 64 3500+ CPU
  • Nvidia 6600GT AGP card (I'm using DVI)
  • 2 GB of Dual channel RAM
  • Onboard audio using SPDIF connection for 5.1 sound (worked out of the box).
  • Hauppage PVR-150 NTSC card (worked out of the box)
  • Avermedia A180 ATSC card (had to manually configure it)
  • 4 port Firewire card (haven't tried it yet)
  • Harmony Remote using the Windows Media Center IR box via USB (worked out of box)
  • Olevia 532H LCD Monitor connected via a DVI->HDMI converter
  • I'm using UI2 with Alpha Blending at 720p (had to fight with it to get it working)

Follow this guide to setup the Avermedia A180 card:
http://www.jnewcastle.com/blog/2006/10/06/install-avermedia-a180-on-ubuntu/