beww at beww
Apr 1, 2010, 11:18 AM
Post #4 of 6
On Thursday 01 April 2010 11:21:16 am Nelson Tang wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:43 AM, Brian Wood <beww [at] beww> wrote:
> > I picked up one of the Woot deals, a Kodak Theatre HD Player for $50. It
> > was
> > delivered yesterday.
> > [...]
> > Visual interface is a bit odd, as is the included gyroscopic pointing
> > device.
> I saw this on Woot as well but didn't think it would work well for a
> non-Windows Myth environment. However some number of people were raving
> about the remote control and their plans to remove it and attach it to a
> Myth frontend. Is the remote really that interesting and worthwhile?
A few further thoughts:
The Kodak "mouse" has 3 buttons and a scroll wheel. One of the buttons is used
for the "hide" function, and is thus unavailable for controlling the system,
so we have essentially a two-button device (the scroll wheel doesn't function
as a button, the way most scroll mice do).
It has a blue LED (seems like you can't sell anything these days without at
least one of those), whose purpose is unclear. The LED comes on at seemingly
random times for no apparent reason, and you wind up hitting "hide" to turn it
So you would have to depend heavily on on-screen menus for control.
Manufacturers figured out long ago that on-screen stuff is cheaper than
additional buttons on the remote. Using on-screen "buttons" also allows you to
add or change functions without having to re-design the remote.
The manual warns you to be careful when removing the batteries from the
remote, as they might be "hot". I'm not sure if this is just standard lawyer
speak, or if the unit actually draws enough current to heat up a couple of AA
cells, in which case the batteries probably wouldn't last very long.
The manual also tells you to "place the pointer (mouse) on top of the HD
player and restart (unplug and plug back in) the player, if it doesn't work.
I'm not sure what is so special about the top of the player, is it just the
proximity or is the "top" special in some other way? The fact that this is
mentioned in the manual makes me think it is a common thing to have happen,
not a good sign.
Looks to me as if not a lot of thought went into this "revolutionary" control
Myth depends on having multiple buttons on the remote control, at least enough
buttons for as many functions as you might need. Myth does have some menus
(like "M" during playback), which help with seldom-used functions, so you need
a remote with perhaps a dozen or so buttons.
So Kodak's approach is probably better for the manufacturer, and probably not
better for the user.
Any user interface is to a large extent a matter of personal preference, but I
prefer the dedicated remote button approach as opposed to the on-screen "soft"
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