On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 6:41 PM, Richard Morton
<firstname.lastname@example.org>wrote: > This is where remote controls on phones should be, review what media
> you have available on the remote device, playback on the big screen.
> While playback is occurring allow the remote device user to continue
> to browse media wihtout interrupting playback.
> Also the remote device user can control the normal media controls such
> as volume, pause, fast forward etc.
> Google has just attempted it with "leanback".
I've used a ton of phone-based remotes on my iPod and HTC Evo. I've used
remotes for media players such as MythTV, Boxee, XBMC, Plex, as well as PC
remote controls like RemoTux(I think that's the name? My iPod's at home),
Gmote, and various VNC clients.
I completely agree that this is a step in the right direction. IIRC at least
one of the Boxee remotes gives the feedback on the device showing what's
currently playing and lets you bounce around while your stuff is playing on
the big screen. But I haven't found one killer app yet that does everything
we need or want from such a device. MythDroid seems to be decent at two-way
communication by telling you what recordings are where, but it's been so
buggy for me that I haven't been able to use it to its full potential.
I think we're at the point where the technology is there, both on the media
player and the power of the phones we're using; what we need is somebody to
take the reins and put everything together into one usable, slick package.
I'm not so sure if or when this will happen, with all the fragmentation of
media players and aggregators that are out there (Boxee? Plex? Roku? WD?
Sonos? Google TV? Myth?).
Off the top of my head, to be a truly great remote, we need, in no
1) Two way communication. Show screenshots or album arts on the remote
2) A truly dynamic interface - I think MythMote on my iPod changes its
available control buttons based on what type of media I'm playing and what
menu I'm in on Myth
3) Launch-and-go usability - Right now it's still a little dodgy to
configure your remote for the correct device. It should be maybe three
clicks to launch the remote, pick your frontend of choice, and launch your
4) A killer app - Something amazing that blows the others out of the water.
For Myth, it could be a transcode button that 'sucks' the content to the
mobile device to watch on the road. For the aggregators like Boxee, it could
be a personal dashboard that recommends other things to watch based on what
you're watching with a one-click launcher to the new content. For the geeks,
a great remote control for Linux / Windows / whatever that's part VLC, part
portable trackpad or keyboard. For anything with a microphone, voice input
would be nice.
4) A nice front-end to a web interface that makes scheduling recordings or
setting up playlists super easy, perhaps even when not on the local LAN. How
cool would it be to set up recordings and queue up playlists that launch
when you get home?
5) Use of the existing technology - Why isn't there a bluetooth proximity
detector? Pause the show when I walk out of the room! Know that I want to
control my kitchen HTPC when I'm near it, and play back the show where I
left off in the living room! Things like this aren't too technically complex
(from a 5000 foot view) yet nobody's doing anything about them!
I haven't paid much attention to Google TV yet. I'm heavily invested in
MythTV and Boxee (My Boxee Box ships tomorrow!) and I just don't want to get
involved with yet another media player at this point. But I've spent a lot
of time daydreaming about the perfect system, which would include the
perfect remote, so this is a topic I like to talk about. We have all this
great technology with our mobile devices and a clean slate with the big
touchscreen phones (Don't get me started about tablets) and yet nobody has
taken the ball and run with it yet.