Author Topic: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad  (Read 5833 times)

Morganic

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GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« on: November 23, 2008, 03:02:23 pm »
Hey Guys

First I would like to introduce myself. I am a founder of Cedia Award Winning UK Custom Installation Company www.finitesolutions.co.uk. I have designed and installed with systems with AMX, Crestron, Lutron, Linn, B&W, Imerge and Kaleidescape.

Just over a year ago I moved out to Hyderabad to personally setup a software & web development company. I have been following the progress of LinuxMCE over last 6 months and I think what the community has created is absolutely tremendous. I would like to take my hat off to you guys for all the innovation and hard graft.

I am not a programmer, but I do have a very good relationship with technology, and now have my own programming resources. I am also apart of the local Hyderabad open source community www.twincling.org, which I recently posted about LinuxMCE.

There are many limitation of LinuxMCE that need addressing so it will be embraced by the custom installation industry. The GUI is one of these, and I personally think this is a more important area to focus on, rather than the home automation side of things and getting it to do everything with everything. M$ Vista will win hands down on this, and is currently well worth the financial investment, despite the limited functionality, media compatibility and overall reliability. The mass majority of users just want to watch films and listen to music, as easy as possible.

I know that we all have different opinions on what is more important and should come first, and that is all part of the beauty of opensource, creating a parallel code which all works together.

I am not here to whine about LinuxMCE, but am here to offer my professional opinion, rally support from my local open source community and utilize my spare resources when available.

The areas that I am interested in tackling are as follows.

    * GUI (with the options of removing redundant menus)
    * "Now Playing" and play list editing
    * Bluray ripping and playback


Please advise me whether these are worth pursuing, are there still fundamentals that need addressing first and who are the key guys to talk to.

Thanks

Morgan
Jetway JNC62K
AMD 9550 Quad Core (which should be underclocked, but isn't)
2GB Ram
OCZ Tech V2 30GB SSD
3 x 1TB HDD in Raid 5 (2TB capacity)
None of which seems work with LinuxMCE, as screen turns off after selecting "install"... This I will resolve!

posde

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 03:45:50 pm »
You might want to look in the dev forum for tschak's screencasts regarding HA Designer, to get an idea, on how to go about creating a new skin for LinuxMCE.

Play with, use it, abuse it, and after a couple of month, you will know what needs to be done.

Have fun.

rgds
Oliver

Morganic

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 06:13:00 pm »
Found it!

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Developers_Guide#9.3.1_HADesigner

Nice one.

Is this XBMC worth looking into? I don't want to start some big argument, like in the previous GUI post. A few pros and cons would be great, to help me make decision of to research deeper or not.
Jetway JNC62K
AMD 9550 Quad Core (which should be underclocked, but isn't)
2GB Ram
OCZ Tech V2 30GB SSD
3 x 1TB HDD in Raid 5 (2TB capacity)
None of which seems work with LinuxMCE, as screen turns off after selecting "install"... This I will resolve!

posde

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2008, 07:19:17 pm »
Depends on what you need. There are lots of projects providing pure media center functionality.

Whole house solutions are not so widely spread. Invest some time, think about what you really want, and you will make sound decision.

rgds
Oliver

hari

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2008, 07:46:56 pm »
we have some unique features (like e.g. follow me).

br, Hari
rock your home - http://www.agocontrol.com home automation

colinjones

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2008, 08:36:43 pm »
Morganic

In short, you will find that the primary issue in getting LMCE to have a more slick interface (like VMC or some of the other OSS media centres) is thoroughly outlined in many posts from the devs, particularly TSCHAK909.

As with everything, there are swings and roundabouts - with LMCE part of the focus of the GUI is to be as device-agnostic as possible so that once you have designed a new skin, it can be applied to everything from the On Screen Orbiter, to web pads, mobile phones, VoIP deskphones, PCs, etc. The system handles the rescaling and reorganising of the screen. To an extent, this is always going to limit just how much of the eye-candy hardware acceleration functionality you can access as the "design" needs to be applicable to more than just PC hardware with accelerated graphics.

There are people right now looking at more visually attractive skins over the current engine, but this will not take it to the level of full eye candy! There have been discussions in the past about how to get to the next level of UI engine, but resolving the swing/roundabout thing seems to be the major blockage.

Morganic

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2008, 03:20:08 am »
I appreciate the difficulty of one size fits all, I we would have always custom designed each different lay out for our clients.

If we were to limit the hardware and give clear guideline of what could be usedwhich would mostly cover the needs of the masses (to be discussed within the community), create a fixed range like what fiire has done, but also think about orbiters. Most people including the custom install guys will be happy to buy what hardware is recommended, even if this is limited.

Could we then develop individually GUI's for each of those fixed hardware devices. Then add to the menu where you choose the graphic your system supports.

  • Basic
  • Mid - no alpha bending
  • High - with alpha bending
  • Spec 1 - 720p/1080p - opengl 3D interface
  • Spec 2 - PAL - opengl 3D interface
  • Orbiter 1- itouch (or other suitable device)

Then the community can still use with random products and configurations, and the general masses can get a GUI they are proud to have on their new TV or Projector.

Cheers.
Jetway JNC62K
AMD 9550 Quad Core (which should be underclocked, but isn't)
2GB Ram
OCZ Tech V2 30GB SSD
3 x 1TB HDD in Raid 5 (2TB capacity)
None of which seems work with LinuxMCE, as screen turns off after selecting "install"... This I will resolve!

tschak909

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008, 03:33:46 am »
I think you're wanting to dictate what you want to help with, before you even understand what you're helping with. This is a fatal mistake.

I highly recommend watching my screencasts, and spending some serious time with the system, then we can have a more intelligent discussion on what can be done.

Basically, Orbiter is what we have. It has tons of years of work put into it. If you want to extend it, cool, the design is very flexible to allow different rendering engines for targets. This, coupled with designobj variations may be just what is needed.

With this said, we are always open to patches to extend Designer, or Orbiter.

Please understand, the system is designed this way, for a reason. If you want more, then get down in the dirt with us and make it better.

-Thom

Morganic

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 04:06:09 am »
Thanks for the feedback Thom.

I will see what resources there are within the Hyderabad community who are wanting to get involved, and who can assist me in understanding what is really involved on a programming level.
Jetway JNC62K
AMD 9550 Quad Core (which should be underclocked, but isn't)
2GB Ram
OCZ Tech V2 30GB SSD
3 x 1TB HDD in Raid 5 (2TB capacity)
None of which seems work with LinuxMCE, as screen turns off after selecting "install"... This I will resolve!

chipppy

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008, 12:49:49 pm »
Morgan
Raeding throguhn this I get the feeling that you missed the whole free choice idea.  LinuxMCE is about free choice.  There is some restrictions but they have been kept to a minimum.  LMCE dosent support it all but with some work on someones part it can be made to run what ever you want.

An example is the fact that I live in Australia.  There is not a lot of support for the Home Automation system that are installed in Australia (eg C-Bus from Clipsal or the HPM equilevant)  I have C-Bus in my house and I will need to learn and build the coding to support the C-Bus system.

I like the ideas you presented from a professional point of view but this is not about making money it is about free choice.  If VMCE does it better then it is up to the community to chose to match VMCE or not.
The greater Linux community is trying to free everyone of the shackles of the corperate world and reintraduce the concept of free choice.  (I say that while being at work shackled to a corperate job)

I also agree with your comment that this community has done something amazing in creating LMCE.

Please join and contrubute to this community and encorage other to join and contrubute.

ASUS P5Q SE/R, Gigabyte 8400GS - Composite TV, 4GB 1066, Intel E8500 3.15GHz dual core, 500GB HDD + 1TG HDD, Divco FusionHDVT DVB-T Digital Dual 4 TV tuner.

'Cry wolf and let slip the dogs of war'

Morganic

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 07:04:57 pm »
Hey Chipppy

I am all down with the free choice aspect and I do think it is important that LinuxMCE is as cross compatible as possible. In my brief proposal I said to keep the current GUI options, but also to add standardized GUI's that the majority of people really want. I am not proposing to limit the communities options, just to forward the software so it is suitable for the consumer.

I believe open source is also about providing free choice for the consumer, not just the programmers. I want to promote and forward LinuxMCE allowing 3 things.

1. Improve media accessibility, automation, communication and security for those who can not afford it.

2. Allow those who can afford it, to distribute their budget towards improving the quality of their system and ultimately enhancing the experience of listening to music and watching movies.

3. Giving those who feel it necessary to pirate software, a chance to make the right choice.

These 3 things I am committed to. As I said before I will take the advice given, I will gather my resources and research LinuxMCE further, so I will be able to assist you all reaching its potential.

Cheers
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 07:10:57 pm by Morganic »
Jetway JNC62K
AMD 9550 Quad Core (which should be underclocked, but isn't)
2GB Ram
OCZ Tech V2 30GB SSD
3 x 1TB HDD in Raid 5 (2TB capacity)
None of which seems work with LinuxMCE, as screen turns off after selecting "install"... This I will resolve!

hari

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2008, 07:30:21 pm »
3. Giving those who feel it necessary to pirate software, a chance to make the right choice.
could you further explain that point?

best regards,
Hari
rock your home - http://www.agocontrol.com home automation

Morganic

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2008, 03:48:50 am »
we are now living in a culture where it is socially acceptable to pirate software, but is wrong no matter how you look at it. Those companies have invested time, money and effort into a proprietary business model. Technology would not be where it is today if was not for proprietary software.

If today's culture is to reconise they they are stealing, they may consider making a better choice and going for open source software. Once they realise it doesn't quite look, or do everything the way they want, while excepting they can not afford to buy the proprietary software, they are more likely to contribute to that software.

I find that India has a very honest culture, compared to the other nations I have visited. No one really considers piracy to be a real crime here, as no one can justify to pay the retail price, when so free and easy to download. Imagine if they did consider it to be a crime like stealing from a shop, imagine if for every copy of priated windows they were using ubuntu.

You may be saying, "micro$oft can afford to not receive that revenue stream", I couldn't give a fuck about micro$oft's revenue, but I do care about getting a programming oriented country like India behind open source. The world would surely be a better place!

Jetway JNC62K
AMD 9550 Quad Core (which should be underclocked, but isn't)
2GB Ram
OCZ Tech V2 30GB SSD
3 x 1TB HDD in Raid 5 (2TB capacity)
None of which seems work with LinuxMCE, as screen turns off after selecting "install"... This I will resolve!

Zaerc

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2008, 04:10:18 am »
Infringing on intellectual property and theft are two completely different things, please try to keep that in mind. 
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
-- Anonymous


Morganic

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Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2008, 06:09:01 am »
OK, so one is naughty and the other is bad, but neither are as ethical as open source, which is my point.
Jetway JNC62K
AMD 9550 Quad Core (which should be underclocked, but isn't)
2GB Ram
OCZ Tech V2 30GB SSD
3 x 1TB HDD in Raid 5 (2TB capacity)
None of which seems work with LinuxMCE, as screen turns off after selecting "install"... This I will resolve!