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  #1  
Old 06-07-2010, 03:31 AM
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mickp mickp is offline
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Sage7 vs SageMC UI comparison

Hey there,

I've now spent some time living with the Sage7 UI and have been struggling with some aspects of it as compared to SageMC. In the spirit of "put up or shut up" I decided to put together a doc comparing the two interfaces and describing what I like in each. It's about 65 pages long so I've uploaded a .pdf version rather than making it a forum post.

Download the file here.


Mick.

Last edited by mickp; 09-08-2015 at 10:40 AM. Reason: Fixed broken link.
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  #2  
Old 06-07-2010, 07:59 AM
brainbone brainbone is offline
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Can't seem to view/download your PDF. Keep getting a 0-byte file.
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  #3  
Old 06-07-2010, 08:24 AM
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same here
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  #4  
Old 06-07-2010, 08:41 AM
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Damn. I thougth I'd try the MS Live sky drive thing as my regular site was offline for maintenance. They seem to have stopped serving the file. Sorry about that.

Here's a working link. I'll also update the initial post.

Mick.

Last edited by mickp; 09-08-2015 at 10:49 AM.
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  #5  
Old 06-07-2010, 08:52 AM
Brent Brent is offline
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Wow, that's a lot of analysis Mick. I'll be giving it a read tonight. Thanks
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2010, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post
Wow, that's a lot of analysis Mick. I'll be giving it a read tonight. Thanks
Thanks Brent. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Mick.
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  #7  
Old 06-07-2010, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickp View Post
Thanks Brent. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Mick.
Hmm. Link's not working again....
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  #8  
Old 06-07-2010, 09:26 AM
Khristopher Khristopher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveW View Post
Hmm. Link's not working again....
Works for me.
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  #9  
Old 06-07-2010, 10:25 AM
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Link worked for me. I just went through the first 30 pages in their entirety, then glanced over the remaining ones. First admitting that I haven't yet tried SageTV 7 myself yet, I have the suspicion that I will come away with very similar thoughts regarding the Recordings functionality and the Main Menu. Like you, I've rarely used the default UI. The only time it comes out is when I have to troubleshoot whether or not an import caused an issue and then I get the look of death from the wife.

Unlike you, however, I want my ripped videos and TV combined. I just need filters to get to what I want. If I want to watch a movie, I want to scroll through both what I've recorded and what I've ripped. But, this is a personal preference and I do understand those who don't want them combined.
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  #10  
Old 06-07-2010, 10:58 AM
fresnoboy fresnoboy is offline
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This is quite well done. As a SageMC user, I think you've pretty well documented the areas or annoyance/irritation that didn't quite identify. Your comment about how "chatty" the new UI is for playback is spot on. The clippy comment is painful, but makes the point.

If you hit play instead of select, the recording/video/track, etc... will just play. But at least on my remote, the select button is in the middle of the directional arrow cluster, so select is a much more natural "do it" button than play. I don't mind the complicated menus, but they should be triggered by an option key rather than select I think...

This doesn't seem like it would take much work to develop a UI mod for this though...
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  #11  
Old 06-07-2010, 11:02 AM
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Nice doc. I'm glad you made the point about the mini-guide. For me this is the most important feature that is lacking in V7. This was my only method of "channel surfing" that didn't annoy my wife. It's a must-have!
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  #12  
Old 06-07-2010, 11:11 AM
Rico66 Rico66 is offline
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Very nice write-up

It's pretty much inline how I see it as well. One thing that you didn't mention (which I'm also missing in the standard UI) is the movie specific category under my tv in sagemc, which allows you to browse through upcoming movies and sort them e.g. by date/rating/hd content. I don't think that this option is present in the default UI.
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  #13  
Old 06-07-2010, 11:25 AM
brainbone brainbone is offline
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Thank you for investing such effort in this, Mick. It puts a level-headed voice to many of the complaints I have with v7's UI.
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  #14  
Old 06-08-2010, 08:26 AM
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mickp mickp is offline
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Hey there. Thanks for your comments...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skirge01 View Post
Unlike you, however, I want my ripped videos and TV combined. I just need filters to get to what I want. If I want to watch a movie, I want to scroll through both what I've recorded and what I've ripped. But, this is a personal preference and I do understand those who don't want them combined.
Hi Skirge01,

Re: the WSOGMM, I could see myself liking a system that combined disparate media if it was done well. To me it seems that the main problem would be having a system that would map metadata effectively so that you could search and display imported movies, Recorded TV etc seamlessly.

It would be cool to define search/selection filters in the interface and save them as new menu items that you could select from then on. Kind of like the nice ability that exists in SageMC to add menu items filtered by source path but with an interface and additional filtering options.

I'd reckon that with a good dose of native xml data storage, xquery and xslt you could get something like this to work but it would be a lot of work to do well. I'd hate to see and interface with stuff just mushed together just for the sake of it.

The Ortus team appear to be taking their metadata storage very seriously from what I've seen in posts about having a separate database for it. Maybe they're going to be in a position to pull off the WSOGMM.

Does any other platform manage this at the moment? It could be a real selling point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fresnoboy View Post
This is quite well done. As a SageMC user, I think you've pretty well documented the areas or annoyance/irritation that didn't quite identify. Your comment about how "chatty" the new UI is for playback is spot on. The clippy comment is painful, but makes the point.

If you hit play instead of select, the recording/video/track, etc... will just play. But at least on my remote, the select button is in the middle of the directional arrow cluster, so select is a much more natural "do it" button than play. I don't mind the complicated menus, but they should be triggered by an option key rather than select I think...

This doesn't seem like it would take much work to develop a UI mod for this though...
Hey fresnoboy,

Thanks for the kind words.

Re: Clippy. YAY!!! Microsoft is good for something I thought that I was being parranoid somehow and it's good to hear some feedback that I'm possibly not imagining that the number of dialog boxes are over the top. IMHO a dialog should be used for something extraordinary that's going on. To use them as a part of the general flow in an HTPC app doesn't seem correct.

Your suggested workaround for this with having a different button might work out for the most part though I think that the features embedded in the dialog boxes might be better exposed in the interface somewhere else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDeGonge View Post
Nice doc. I'm glad you made the point about the mini-guide. For me this is the most important feature that is lacking in V7. This was my only method of "channel surfing" that didn't annoy my wife. It's a must-have!
Thanks. I so agree. How obvious is this? Hopefully Bialio will save us from all of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico66 View Post
Very nice write-up

It's pretty much inline how I see it as well. One thing that you didn't mention (which I'm also missing in the standard UI) is the movie specific category under my tv in sagemc, which allows you to browse through upcoming movies and sort them e.g. by date/rating/hd content. I don't think that this option is present in the default UI.
Thanks Rico66. I'd not noticed that S7 didn't have a movie schedule view. You can dig down and find them in the schedule by category view thinger. I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to expose this as a separate menu item. I'll be sure to add this missing feature to the next revision of the doc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brainbone View Post
Thank you for investing such effort in this, Mick. It puts a level-headed voice to many of the complaints I have with v7's UI.
Thanks brainbone. That's an amazing compliment. I'm glad you liked it.

Mick.
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  #15  
Old 06-08-2010, 08:45 AM
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Skirge01 Skirge01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickp View Post
Re: the WSOGMM, I could see myself liking a system that combined disparate media if it was done well. To me it seems that the main problem would be having a system that would map metadata effectively so that you could search and display imported movies, Recorded TV etc seamlessly.

It would be cool to define search/selection filters in the interface and save them as new menu items that you could select from then on. Kind of like the nice ability that exists in SageMC to add menu items filtered by source path but with an interface and additional filtering options.

I'd reckon that with a good dose of native xml data storage, xquery and xslt you could get something like this to work but it would be a lot of work to do well. I'd hate to see and interface with stuff just mushed together just for the sake of it.

The Ortus team appear to be taking their metadata storage very seriously from what I've seen in posts about having a separate database for it. Maybe they're going to be in a position to pull off the WSOGMM.

Does any other platform manage this at the moment? It could be a real selling point.
The metadata is definitely key here and I agree. However, initially, I'd happily settle for them simply being set as movies and allowing me to browse them all in a single interface. Thus far, razrsharpe's TVE is exactly the type of interface I want for my entire collection. I've requested that v2 support movies, as well, but it's obviously his call. With the filters he says he's working on, it sounds like it may be a great way to manage an entire collection of TV and movies, no matter where they came from.

As you said, others are working on some serious backends, so we may have quite a few options at some point in the future. Plus, plug-ins would most likely be able to query those backends and make use of all that data. I'm pretty sure I read that at one point for either Phoenix or Ortus. I do look forward to the future of SageTV.
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  #16  
Old 06-08-2010, 10:42 AM
Rico66 Rico66 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickp View Post
Thanks Rico66. I'd not noticed that S7 didn't have a movie schedule view. You can dig down and find them in the schedule by category view thinger. I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to expose this as a separate menu item. I'll be sure to add this missing feature to the next revision of the doc.
Yes you can dig down into the categories (I think somebody has already created a plug-in that pretty much does this and moves movies to the top level for tv). But the category view has less functionality compared to SageMC. You cannot sort by ratings, start time, hd content etc. afaik.
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  #17  
Old 06-08-2010, 11:31 AM
tchapin tchapin is offline
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This was a really interesting document. I was planning on doing something similar.

One area that I think both Sage7 and SageMC could use improvement is how the settings are organized. I see in the Sage7 demo that I've tried so far that the whole settings piece is pretty much carried over from v6.

There are several issues that I have.

1. The general organization, such as the naming of the major categories, doesn't make much sense to me.
2. There's no indication which settings will effect all clients / extenders / placeshifters, only the one you're using, or a general server property
3. The way that the settings themselves are titled and the names and behavior of the options as you set them are inconsistent and could be improved.

I'm hoping to have some time this weekend to write something up about this.

I had started doing a general mapping of the SageMC options menus, but there are so many that I never finished it. In general, I think that SageMC's options seem more thought out, but #2 from my list definitely still applies.
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  #18  
Old 06-08-2010, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khristopher View Post
Works for me.
Working for me now... Must have just caught it at a bad time.... DNS wasn't able to resolve his domain when I tried it a couple days ago.
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  #19  
Old 06-10-2010, 02:49 AM
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SageMC v7.0.1 pre-release 1

Yay. I just noticed that Mike has released an update SageMC v7.0.1 pre-release 1 to SageMC which appears to address the 7.0 related issues I've mentioned in the comparison doc.

Thanks Mike.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:53 AM
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I should have a full release available in the plugin repository within the next day or two, thanks to stuckless' help.

Aloha,
Mike
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