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SageTV Software Discussion related to the SageTV application produced by SageTV. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to the SageTV software application should be posted here. (Check the descriptions of the other forums; all hardware related questions go in the Hardware Support forum, etc. And, post in the customizations forum instead if any customizations are active.)

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  #141  
Old 02-10-2007, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flachbar
Does XP Home offer any important functionality that you won't find in XP Pro ? Nope you don't, so this analogy isn't valid.
Huh? First, it's the other way around (Pro has better functionality). Second, I specified two ways Pro is superior (networking and encryption).
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  #142  
Old 02-10-2007, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samgreco
Man, you and I are in COMPLETELY different worlds. I have ONE programmable remote. Admittedly a pretty good one. A Home Theater Master MX-700. It controls everything in my home theater system (I love Girder ). My wife couldn't be happier. I have it programmed to go to whatever program on the PC it needs with one button press. Runs a macro, changes inputs on my AV receiver and TV accordingly.

If I tried to use my system your way, I'd have to put down the remote, pick up the mouse, put that down and pick up the remote again. I think you get my point.

Now, this is important... Your way isn't wrong, just wrong for ME. You need options.

And this is the real problem with UI design. You cannot possibly please everyone with one. You need options.
Well, I guess your wife is easier to satisfy than mine, but one remote would never cut it here. We control what's on the TV as a team!

But I really have to disagree with the rest of what you wrote. I do just fine with the mouse. The only thing I use a remote for is to turn the TV and receiver on and off, and I could do without if I'd just get off my butt.

But to claim that you can't satisfy everyone is just wrong. You can have a UI that satisfies both mouse and remote users. SageMC apparently doesn't do that.
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  #143  
Old 02-10-2007, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickp
The point that I'd been attempting to make in an earlier post is not that one interface is better for everyone, just that options are good and it's very difficult imho to discover all of the wonderful work that is contributed by the community from the front page of the site..
I'd agree with that, but my complaint (before getting sidetracked on the mouse thing) was people complaining that Sage's UI is "outdated." That doesn't mean squat.

And I'm not one of those people that's against change. Word 2007 is much more modern looking than it's prior version, and from what little I've used it--it seems rather intuitive compared to the prior version. So it's more modern and an improvement. If it were more modern and less functional, I wouldn't use it.

I'm all for making Sage more customizable, but I could care less what it actually looks like, as long as it does not look amateurish. To say it looks dated isn't saying anything.

If there are improvements to be made, say what they are.

Last edited by Goodspike; 02-10-2007 at 08:33 PM.
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  #144  
Old 02-10-2007, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickp
...snip...

If I'd seen sagemc or meekel screenshots when I'd first gone to take a look at SAGE then I probably wouldn't have spent more than two years running btv/bm. ...snip...
First, thanks - I really appreciate that comment.

Second: http://www.sagetv.com/sagetvstudioGallery.htm

I didn't count the clicks, but it's maybe 10 from the home page. I wouldn't mind my STV being used in more of a prominent way for marketing purposes, but by doing so, Sage would have to stand behind it, and seeing as my STV is far from perfect, I wouldn't blame them for not doing so.

The obvious problem is of course, that if Sage starts promoting it's MCE look-alike, they're inviting attention from Redmond that they probably wouldn't want...
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  #145  
Old 02-10-2007, 11:13 PM
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Crashless, I was just looking over the Meekell STV screenshots on your web page. Looks pretty slick! Guess it has been a while since I had really seen it.

It's too bad there is not a better area to see the custom STVs and plugins then the download area of the forum. It would really make a difference if there could be more of a visual list of what is available in these categories with a screenshot thumnail (linked to a full set up large screenshots images), a brief description and list of features, and a link to download discussion and the download page. Uh, once again, something like the old Meedio Maid site. I'm sure Andy could swing it! Too bad Yahoo bought them out and destroyed it. I always loved the looks and flexability of Meedio, but the PVR and client functionality hardly materialized. They never had a change against SageTV in that category and that is kind of important...
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  #146  
Old 02-10-2007, 11:49 PM
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First off, regarding SageMC and mouse use, the only time I touch a mouse is when something goes wrong. If you can't program your remote to handle everything you need in Sage (MC or otherwise), you have the wrong remote. Really. I'm not saying that using a mouse is an invalid decision, but I could never understand why people insist that they _have_ to use a mouse just because it's on a computer.

Regarding Tivo, yes it is a stupid, brain-dead interface. But it's a stupid, brain-dead interface that normal users seem to love. That's because it works for them, and it makes it easy (enough) to do what they want. I don't think anyone is saying that Sage should put non-optional beeps in, but some people love feedback. And more than anything else, deriding the interfaces that work for people isn't exactly blazing a path to success, unless you have something that is actually _better_.

Obviously, different people want different things. Lots of people here seem to hate the idea of change. What I can't understand is why some people are so insistent that there is no reason for a change. Can't you see what's going on in the market? Sage has the power, the flexibility, the "technical chops". But it doesn't currently have an interface that looks or feels anywhere near as nice, for _normal_ people, as the alternatives. Not you and me, normal people. The people who are going to be buying more and more PC/DVR systems in the future. The people who are probably going to pass on sage because it doesn't _appear_ to have the polish of the other systems.

Denigrate Tivo all you like, normal Tivo users are _fanatics_. Maybe it's because they don't know any better, but there have been plenty of other DVR solutions that failed utterly to capture the hearts of their users (UltimateTV, any cable company DVR you can name, Dish, just to name a few).

This issue isn't about power users, or people who can write their own STV's. It's about the larger market of potential users, and that's who Sage has to sell to if they want to survive long term.
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  #147  
Old 02-11-2007, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan111
It's too bad there is not a better area to see the custom STVs and plugins then the download area of the forum. It would really make a difference if there could be more of a visual list of what is available in these categories with a screenshot thumbnail (linked to a full set up large screenshots images), a brief description and list of features, and a link to download discussion and the download page. Uh, once again, something like the old Meedio Maid site.
I'd might have to agree here ... There may be too many different places to look for SageTV add-ins, plug-ins, imports, whatever ...

I see SageTV imports ...
  • SageTV Customizations
  • SageTV Downloads
  • SageTV Community Development (Wiki)
  • Even Personal Developer Sites
There may be more I am not aware of ... Gets a little confusing sometimes ... Especially when one import is in several places with different info ...

No major deal, but would be nice to see one clean / organized looking place for them.

That's my 2 cents ... T.
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  #148  
Old 02-11-2007, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samgreco
I remember the discussion here a while back about how important it was to get Studio. How it would open up STV development. I for one, argued that it would accelerate STV development. What happened ??? It completely died! Go figure.
But STVI development took off, there are now a whole lot more imports than there were (including a lot that I wanted to do but never had the time!)...
Quote:
So I can only assume that creating a new STV must be absolute hell. And maybe that's the real issue.
STV development is programming -- no matter how nice the programming environment, programming /is/ difficult; UI design is even more difficult (this thread is proof of that); testing is annoying, and support is the 10th level of purgatory that Dante forgot about
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  #149  
Old 02-11-2007, 06:41 AM
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I see using a mouse with an HTPC as barbaric. Sure it is a PC and you need a mouse and keyboard for setup but once it is setup it should blend into your home theater just like the Tivo or the PVR box from the cable company (oh yeah both also computers). Not saying that you can't or should not be able to do it but if you are going to use a mouse I would not lock myself into the limitations of a 10' interface and use the more powerful Windows application counterparts.
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  #150  
Old 02-11-2007, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodspike
Huh? First, it's the other way around (Pro has better functionality). Second, I specified two ways Pro is superior (networking and encryption).
You completely missed the point. You said SageMC was inferior to the stock stv because it's not designed to be used with a mouse. This is the only criteria you used to make this determination. Then you tried to use the XP Home vs Pro comparison to backup your statement.

As flachbar said the "inferior" XP Home offers nothing extra that XP Pro doesn't have. The supposedly "inferior" SageMC has many features that the stock stv doesn't have. Which makes your comparison invalid.
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  #151  
Old 02-11-2007, 09:36 AM
samgreco samgreco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nielm
But STVI development took off, there are now a whole lot more imports than there were (including a lot that I wanted to do but never had the time!)...
Agreed. But I meant complete STV or what other apps might call skins. Completely different looks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nielm
testing is annoying, and support is the 10th level of purgatory that Dante forgot about
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  #152  
Old 02-12-2007, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by src666
First off, regarding SageMC and mouse use, the only time I touch a mouse is when something goes wrong. If you can't program your remote to handle everything you need in Sage (MC or otherwise), you have the wrong remote. Really. I'm not saying that using a mouse is an invalid decision, but I could never understand why people insist that they _have_ to use a mouse just because it's on a computer.

Regarding Tivo, yes it is a stupid, brain-dead interface. But it's a stupid, brain-dead interface that normal users seem to love. That's because it works for them, and it makes it easy (enough) to do what they want. I don't think anyone is saying that Sage should put non-optional beeps in, but some people love feedback. And more than anything else, deriding the interfaces that work for people isn't exactly blazing a path to success, unless you have something that is actually _better_.

Obviously, different people want different things. Lots of people here seem to hate the idea of change. What I can't understand is why some people are so insistent that there is no reason for a change. Can't you see what's going on in the market? Sage has the power, the flexibility, the "technical chops". But it doesn't currently have an interface that looks or feels anywhere near as nice, for _normal_ people, as the alternatives. Not you and me, normal people. The people who are going to be buying more and more PC/DVR systems in the future. The people who are probably going to pass on sage because it doesn't _appear_ to have the polish of the other systems.

Denigrate Tivo all you like, normal Tivo users are _fanatics_. Maybe it's because they don't know any better, but there have been plenty of other DVR solutions that failed utterly to capture the hearts of their users (UltimateTV, any cable company DVR you can name, Dish, just to name a few).

This issue isn't about power users, or people who can write their own STV's. It's about the larger market of potential users, and that's who Sage has to sell to if they want to survive long term.
Agreed. "Normal users" like my wife count !
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  #153  
Old 02-12-2007, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlbdude
I see using a mouse with an HTPC as barbaric. Sure it is a PC and you need a mouse and keyboard for setup but once it is setup it should blend into your home theater just like the Tivo or the PVR box from the cable company (oh yeah both also computers). Not saying that you can't or should not be able to do it but if you are going to use a mouse I would not lock myself into the limitations of a 10' interface and use the more powerful Windows application counterparts.
i've talked about this in other threads, but i'll post it here again. I am a PC user living in a dorm, and I don't have a HTPC dedicated box connected to a tv. I have my computer and its monitor (which looks better than most tv's!) to view video on. This way I can record my shows and watch them at my leisure; not having to put tv schedules in front of school work.

I would also like if SageMC supported the mouse in all of its menus because I think it's a much better interface than the Sage Default STV. But unfortunately most people in these forums just say to "use a remote", and although I have one, most of the time I am at my desk watching some tv and browsing the web... yes multitasking. Having to deal with a remote and my keyboard/mouse is just too much to deal with. Hence I am stuck with the default sage interface.

so yes, I think the Sage interface needs an overhaul too, let SageMC be the model? What other powerful Windows application counterparts can I use? I choose SageTV because I thought it was superior to all others as far as PVR functionality (with my 250mce and dualtv).

I use SageTV like any other computer application. I guess it's a completely different usage then what is intended (for SageMC at least). If nobody cares to add this functionality, how can I go about adding it myself... seeing how so many people have requested the same thing.

Last edited by hechacker1; 02-12-2007 at 03:27 AM.
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  #154  
Old 02-12-2007, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hechacker1
i've talked about this in other threads, but i'll post it here again. I am a PC user living in a dorm, and I don't have a HTPC dedicated box connected to a tv. I have my computer and its monitor (which looks better than most tv's!) to view video on. This way I can record my shows and watch them at my leisure; not having to put tv schedules in front of school work.

I would also like if SageMC supported the mouse in all of its menus because I think it's a much better interface than the Sage Default STV. But unfortunately most people in these forums just say to "use a remote", and although I have one, most of the time I am at my desk watching some tv and browsing the web... yes multitasking. Having to deal with a remote and my keyboard/mouse is just too much to deal with. Hence I am stuck with the default sage interface.

so yes, I think the Sage interface needs an overhaul too, let SageMC be the model? What other powerful Windows application counterparts can I use? I choose SageTV because I thought it was superior to all others as far as PVR functionality (with my 250mce and dualtv).

I use SageTV like any other computer application. I guess it's a completely different usage then what is intended (for SageMC at least). If nobody cares to add this functionality, how can I go about adding it myself... seeing how so many people have requested the same thing.
Sorry my comments are directed at HTPC users in the home theater environment. The usage you describe is not for what SageMC is intended for since the desire to hide the fact you are using a PC does not exist (though I myself even have an MCE remote at my personal PC). Why not just use the keyboard if you are at your computer desk?
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  #155  
Old 02-12-2007, 09:51 AM
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As to the eye candy stuff, it's not really important to me, but I won't argue with those to whom it is important -- yes, the stock UI is a bit utilitarian.

Ugh, I'm tempted not to say this, but I think the studio needs a redo. While it is a great combination of powerful, flexible and easy when working from the ground up or when customizing a particular STV, I think it misses the mark just a bit on reusability across STVs.

Every menu should not be in charge of how to draw borders around something. Every menu should not be in charge of the background color and fonts. A widget author shouldn't have to worry about whether the widget will be used in SageMC or the default UI.

Obviously, attempting to rectify this would be worth at least two SageTV versions, and would be costly for SageTV LLC, and would probably completely break all of the custom work that his been done using the Studio by users and 3rd parties.

... which is why I think it should be put off for a bit longer.

I happen to think the stock UI is quite good, and that anyone who is worried about what they consider to be navigation quirks should look into the dynamic menus plugin. There will never be complete agreement among users as to how the navigation should be laid out... but with SageTV, you have the option to rearrange things! Be happy about that!
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  #156  
Old 02-13-2007, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salsbst
Every menu should not be in charge of how to draw borders around something. Every menu should not be in charge of the background color and fonts. !
Style sheets! .css files! XML styles

IMO: we don't need heavy eye-candy.

Simply:

1. A Sage-supported UI that omits many menu choices that are not prudent for the TiVo-alike expectations: such as "STANDBY".

2. A Sage-supported UI that rewords things so a non-geek can understand. Example: use the term "recording" not "file".

3. Reorganize/reword the menus to greatly reduce the number of button pushes for common actions such as DELETE RECORDING

4. Add that STOP RECORDING choice so often asked for - Live TV or not

5. Have a setup choice to omit from menus things that we choose not to use/do

6. Change the disk drive database indexing so that a PhD isn't required to replace a failed disk or switch to a larger disk or set of disks

Last edited by stevech; 02-13-2007 at 12:10 AM.
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  #157  
Old 02-15-2007, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyar15
These are DESIGNED to be used on the couch, with a "10-foot interface" and a remote. If you want to use a regular computer, you might as well just use WMP or JRMC.
What nonsense!
I have one viewable from a couch, two in bedrooms, one on the desk on a PC in my office. To say that I might just as well use WMP on the one on the desk is mad, as if it gives anywhere near the functuionality...
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  #158  
Old 02-15-2007, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickgillyon
What nonsense!
I have one viewable from a couch, two in bedrooms, one on the desk on a PC in my office. To say that I might just as well use WMP on the one on the desk is mad, as if it gives anywhere near the functuionality...
I am pretty sure he recommended the use of those apps because they have MORE funcationlity not less since you are not limted to a remote.
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  #159  
Old 02-15-2007, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlbdude
I am pretty sure he recommended the use of those apps because they have MORE funcationlity not less since you are not limted to a remote.
To say that WMP has more functionality than Sage in any circumstance is a pretty bizarre argument, don't you think?
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  #160  
Old 02-15-2007, 09:13 AM
Mahoney Mahoney is offline
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It's generally accepted that there is a difference in the needs of a desktop app and a 10 foot app.

A 10 foot app is best controlled by a remote control. A mouse is unwieldy on a sofa, a pointer looks ugly on a non-desktop screen, a keyboard awkward on your lap. If you like using a mouse and keyboard to control your TV form the sofa, OK, it takes all sorts; but I'm afraid you need to accept this puts you in a tiny minority and pretty much makes your opinion redundant unless you are producing an interface for yourself.

Since it has to be controlled by remote it has to be pretty simple. In addition the distance between the user and the screen means it requires very large widgets, menus and fonts, and so cannot display too much on each screen.

A desktop app can display far more, in far smaller fonts, as the user is within 2 feet of the screen. A mouse and keyboar make for a far more powerful input mechanism, so you can have a lot of much smaller widgets. It can look something like Outlook.

In short we ought to be talking about two entirely different UIs here.

The Sage default UI is a 10 foot UI with mouse control hacked on to it. A desktop UI it is not. SageMC is also a 10 foot UI, just without mouse control hacked on to it. Fair play to it, thoroughly sensible design decision. For comparison - check out Sky's download content apps ("Sky by Broadband"). The version that is standalone for your desktop looks quite different from the MCE 2005 plugin that is designed for use from your sofa. Behind the scenes they are identical, but the UI is different.

I'd quite like to have a go at producing a Sage desktop UI, perhaps using Eclipse's RCP; not sure how easy that would be, though! It would be useful to be able to order lists, select multiple items and generally do all the things we take for granted when working with items in things like Explorer and Outlook.
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