Difference between revisions of "Selecting the Right UI"

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[[Category:Tutorials]]
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[[Category:Tutorials| UI]]
  
 
==Selecting the Best User Interface (UI)==
 
==Selecting the Best User Interface (UI)==
  
The LinuxMCE UI was designed to be viewed from 10' on a basic television.  There are currently three versions of the UI, and the selection depends greatly in the type of video card you currently have.
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The LinuxMCE on-screen Orbiter User Interface (UI) was designed to be viewed on a basic television from 10' away.  There are currently three versions of the UI, and selection depends on the type of video card you have. See more [[screenshots]] of the different UIs.
  
There is a method to determine if your card will support the UI2. To learn more take a look at [[Graphics Test]] to learn if you can run the newest UI. For more detailed look at the visual differences between UI's click [[Screenshots | HERE]]
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The highest resolution user interface (UI2 with alpha blending) only works with nVidia cards in the 6xxx, 7xxx, 8xxx, or 9xxx series. Use [[Graphics Test]] to determine which UI your graphics card can support.  
  
 
===UI1===
 
===UI1===
 
[[Image:Orbiter.jpg|thumb|500px|left|UI1 or Basic UI]]
 
[[Image:Orbiter.jpg|thumb|500px|left|UI1 or Basic UI]]
 
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Most basic UI, if you can load Kubuntu and you have any graphics this UI will work.  There are no special effects and requires no special drivers. The menus are full screen. When you start media your media becomes full screen. If you need to do something with your media, like change chapters, the media shrinks to a corner of the screen so the rest of the screen shows your media options. And if you need to return to the main menu to do something else, like adjust the lights, your media is hidden while the main menu appears full screen.
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This is the basic UI. If you can load Kubuntu, this UI will work with nearly all graphics hardware, and it requires no special drivers. There are few special effects enabled in this UI. The menus are full screen; when you start media your media also becomes full screen (replacing the menu screen).
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If you need to use the '''media menus''' while your media is playing, the media shrinks to a corner of the screen, and the rest of the screen shows your media menu. If you need to return to the '''main menu''' (to do something else like adjust the lights), your media is hidden while the main menu is displayed.
  
 
===UI2 medium===
 
===UI2 medium===
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Lighter weight OpenGL based version of the newest UI.  This requires a video card that currently supports OpenGL and XDamage uses masks to overlay the media behind the menus.
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This is a lightweight, OpenGL-based version of the newest UI.  This requires a video card that currently supports OpenGL and XDamage. This UI uses '''masks''' to overlay the media behind the menus.
  
 
===UI2 with alpha blending===
 
===UI2 with alpha blending===
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In this case your media is always first and foremost, and the media is always full-screen. If you're not watching any media, LinuxMCE downloads the 'most interesting' photos from flickr.com and presents smooth sliding, cross-fading gallery art as your media. With UI2 your media never shrinks and never disappears. Rather, if you want to bring up the main menu or make some adjustments to your media, LinuxMCE's GUI fades into and out of your media, known as alpha blending. The new UI also includes a 3D media browser showing all the media in your house on the sides of a 3D cube which you can rotate to find what you're interested in.
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In this UI, your media is first and foremost -- the media is always full-screen (it never shrinks and never disappears).
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If you're not watching any media, LinuxMCE downloads photos from Flickr.com, which are presented in the  background (like a screensaver). When the main menu or media menu is displayed, it is blended into the background media image (which is known as alpha blending). This is true whether the screensaver images are being displayed or whether your media (like a video) is playing. This UI includes a 3D media browser, which shows the media files in your home on the sides of a rotating 3D cube.
  
Unfortunately very few video card manufacturers have the necessary composite extensions in their Linux drivers. At this moment the only video hardware we have confirmed UI2 works with are the nVidia 6xxx and 7xxx series; preferably a 7xxx with at least 128MB RAM.  
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Few video card manufacturers have the necessary composite extensions in their Linux drivers to support these capabilities, however. At the moment the graphics cards have been confirmed to support the functions of UI2 are the nVidia 6xxx, 7xxx, 8xxx, and 9xxx series (with at least 128MB RAM).
  
===Controlling LinuxMCE===
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===Controlling the LinuxMCE UI===
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There are several ways to manipulate the UI. Here are some examples.
  
An often over looked issue with regards to which UI to choose deals with how you will be controlling the UI.  Currently there are a few ways:
 
 
*[[Control LinuxMCE using an Infrared remote]]
 
*[[Control LinuxMCE using an Infrared remote]]
 
*[[Control LinuxMCE with Gyro Remote]]
 
*[[Control LinuxMCE with Gyro Remote]]
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*Use the keyboard/mouse of a Media Director.

Latest revision as of 05:05, 9 October 2012

Selecting the Best User Interface (UI)

The LinuxMCE on-screen Orbiter User Interface (UI) was designed to be viewed on a basic television from 10' away. There are currently three versions of the UI, and selection depends on the type of video card you have. See more screenshots of the different UIs.

The highest resolution user interface (UI2 with alpha blending) only works with nVidia cards in the 6xxx, 7xxx, 8xxx, or 9xxx series. Use Graphics Test to determine which UI your graphics card can support.

UI1

UI1 or Basic UI


This is the basic UI. If you can load Kubuntu, this UI will work with nearly all graphics hardware, and it requires no special drivers. There are few special effects enabled in this UI. The menus are full screen; when you start media your media also becomes full screen (replacing the menu screen).

If you need to use the media menus while your media is playing, the media shrinks to a corner of the screen, and the rest of the screen shows your media menu. If you need to return to the main menu (to do something else like adjust the lights), your media is hidden while the main menu is displayed.

UI2 medium

UI2 with medium settings (masking)


This is a lightweight, OpenGL-based version of the newest UI. This requires a video card that currently supports OpenGL and XDamage. This UI uses masks to overlay the media behind the menus.

UI2 with alpha blending

UI2 with alpha blending


In this UI, your media is first and foremost -- the media is always full-screen (it never shrinks and never disappears).

If you're not watching any media, LinuxMCE downloads photos from Flickr.com, which are presented in the background (like a screensaver). When the main menu or media menu is displayed, it is blended into the background media image (which is known as alpha blending). This is true whether the screensaver images are being displayed or whether your media (like a video) is playing. This UI includes a 3D media browser, which shows the media files in your home on the sides of a rotating 3D cube.

Few video card manufacturers have the necessary composite extensions in their Linux drivers to support these capabilities, however. At the moment the graphics cards have been confirmed to support the functions of UI2 are the nVidia 6xxx, 7xxx, 8xxx, and 9xxx series (with at least 128MB RAM).

Controlling the LinuxMCE UI

There are several ways to manipulate the UI. Here are some examples.