Control LinuxMCE with Gyro Remote
LinuxMCE's original, 'normal' UI works on nearly all graphics platforms. 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.
LinuxMCE has a new 'alpha blended' UI, aka UI2. 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.
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.
You can navigate UI2 using either a keyboard/mouse, or a Windows XP MC remote and a Tira, IRTrans, USB-UIRT or other compatible infrared receiver, or for best results, a special gyro-based remote, which will be available soon, and which has standard buttons, plus the ability to control the by moving the remote. When the system starts with UI2 you will see the gallery art first thing. Press the 'start' button on the MC remote, or the F7 on the keyboard, or the middle 'menu' button on the gyro remote to bring up the main menu. Use the arrows or the mouse to highlight the option you want, or move the gyro remote in the air, and click the 'OK' or 'left mouse' button to select. When there are lists of content, such as when you chose 'Media', 'Audio', you can make the list rotate in 3D as the side of a cube by arrowing past the top and bottom, or move your mouse or gyro remote past the top and bottom of the list.
When media is playing, you can use the normal keys on the i/r remote to control the media playback and volume. Or press F6 or the 'media' button on the gyro remote, and then move left and right to adjust playback speed, or move up and down to skip through chapters/tracks/channels/songs depending on the type of media. With the left and right movement you have both absolute and relative. Absolute means keep the button held down while you move left and right. This is quite useful with the gyro remote. Press the left button, and if you move your hand all the way to the left you are at the beginning of your media, all the way to the right and you are at the end. Or, tap and release the button, then when you move left and right you are in relative, or jog shuttle mode. Move slowly to the right for slow motion forward, further to the right for 400x forward, back to the left to rewind, and so on. While you are watching LiveTV or a DVD you can use the absolute function of the left gyro button and move up and down to scroll through a tumbling menu of either channels or chapters depending on Media being displayed.
Press F8, or the 'ambiance' button on the gyro remote, to control the 'ambiance', that is lights and volume. Move up and down to adjust the light level, left and right to adjust the volume level. Like with media playback, holding the button down while you move is 'absolute' mode--ie all the way left is volume mute, right is full blast--or tap and release for relative mode--the further you move to the left the faster the volume lowers.
With a mouse, the right button is the 'cancel/off', with the gyro remote it is marked 'X'. If you have a menu on screen it makes the menu disappear. Tap when there's no menu on screen and whatever media you were playing stops. Press and hold to turn off the tv or power down the system.
Thus with UI2 you can control the entire system using only the 3 buttons on the gyro remote, plus the ok and cancel buttons.