Glorified Remote?

Discuss My Media Center for Windows 8, Windows RT, iOS, Android, and WP, and ask Ceton for support.
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foxwood

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Glorified Remote?

#1

Post by foxwood » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:04 pm

I was excited to try this app when I got the e-mail this morning - my better half had asked whether she could watch some of her shows on her handheld, and that was what I thought I'd get with the Ceton Companion.

Of course, by the time I figured out why the "Play" button in the interface wasn't doing anything, the 15 minute refund window had expired, and I had paid for YARC (yet another remote control).

OK, it's my fault for not paying more attention to the details in the e-mail, but the tag "Your Media Center Everywhere" is more than a little misleading, unless you NEVER use your Media Center to actually watch stuff :(

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newfiend

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#2

Post by newfiend » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:20 pm

I believe that they will be adding this functionality over time.. From what I remember from one of Motz posts is that the steaming functionality is something "on the road map" buy will not be in this initial release.

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Venom51

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#3

Post by Venom51 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:29 pm

Even at the point you want to call it a glorified remote. It's at the very least a good one. Simply being able to sirf the guide without covering half of whats playing on the screen has got to be worth something. Picking recorded content to wach from the mobile device is nice. Aside from some of the remote buttons not working on 32 bit installs at the moment its well worth the 5 bucks already. Any additional feature set beyond it is just adding value.

You may be just a bit jaded.

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#4

Post by barnabas1969 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:50 pm

I've gotta agree with Venom. I expected to pay more than $4.99... even without the ability to watch videos on the phone. Heck, if they get protected content to work on a phone/tablet... we're 90% of the way to SoftSled (and it would finally give me a reason to buy a tablet!). I'd pay at least $50.00 for that alone!

foxwood

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#5

Post by foxwood » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:35 pm

As I only ever watch recorded TV, "surfing the guide" is of zero value to me. I know that lots of people still watch live TV, but there are increasing numbers of people who never see the EPG. So, as features go, it's not worth 5 bucks to me.

Adding new recordings is something is something I do, but I already do that without interrupting what SWMBO is watching, by opening a remote desktop to the server and adding it there. I've done that from both my netbook and from my tablet in the last few days - the Ceton Companion might streamline that slightly for the tablet, but it's not available for the netbook, so it's YAGUI (yet another GUI) to do exactly the same task.

So yes, the Ceton Companion is a neat application, but it does nothing to make MY life easier, because it doesn't do anything that I care about. It seems that it delivers some useful functionality for people who watch at least some live TV, but it's hard to see the value if you've transitioned to a recorded-TV-only world.

I doubt that I spend more that 3 or 4 minutes a week managing my "media collection" - I only have it for the purpose of watching it. The Ceton Companion won't help me with what I spend most of my time doing, and I don't need it for the 3 or 4 minutes that it would be useful for. I understand that other people have different use cases, but I don't think mine is all that unusual any more, and I just want to give people who use their Media center the way I do a heads up that Ceton Companion might not be as useful to them as it appears at first.

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#6

Post by AndresE » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:00 pm

So far the app is showing the promise of what I have always hoped for: a merge of Remote Potato App and MyMovies App.

Remote Potato app has been great for remote scheduling and streaming content but it has no remote control function and I cannot tune a channel from the guide.

MyMovies has a GREAT remote control but does not control the TV portion or media center.

Ceton Companion app is a big step in the right direction. For my lifestyle/usage this would be my wishlist:

1) Better iPad UI. The remote screen should not scroll when the iPad is horizontal. Also, there are no numbers and the shortcut buttons are not intuitive. The MyMovies App remote control is the standard. Start there and improve.
2) 30 sec skip for extenders - I know this is already on the list. Can't wait.
3) Streaming recorded content and movies to iPad - A feature that is in the Remote Potato App and should be as good or better than that experience
4) Leverage the MyMovies database if possible for the movie gallery. Merge that collection with movies recorded off of TV and give the option to show either 1 or combined view.
5) Resume recorded TV instead of always restarting.
6) Overall UI polish. I have been writing code for a long time and the UI looks like it was designed by a software developer and not a UI designer.

Overall I would rather have the app out where it stands and have these as incremental updates. It already is great to surf the guide and launch the channel from the guide. Love being able to launch recorded tv from the app. I am definitely excited to see this app develop over time.

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#7

Post by chappy » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:33 pm

I purchased this fully expecting to be able to stream video from my MCPC... Sigh ... is there an eta for this feature or am I doing something wrong? If this actually ends up working, it will be right up there with the invention of sliced bread.

Or, if someone knows how to decrypt the recorded files on my MCPC.

thanks

richard1980

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#8

Post by richard1980 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:27 pm

From the FAQ:

Can I stream my recorded and live TV to my phone/tablet with the Ceton Companion?
Currently we do not provide this functionality, however we do have it on the roadmap for future releases.

barnabas1969

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#9

Post by barnabas1969 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:32 am

foxwood wrote:As I only ever watch recorded TV, "surfing the guide" is of zero value to me. I know that lots of people still watch live TV, but there are increasing numbers of people who never see the EPG. So, as features go, it's not worth 5 bucks to me.
Gee... I usually add new recordings from the guide. I guess you do it by osmosis. :)

Sure... I understand that you do it by remote desktop. I do it that way sometimes too. But the phone app is SOOOO much easier! That's surely worth five bucks. In fact, I used it today to schedule some recordings for the weekend while I ate my lunch in a restaurant. My phone is much easier to use on a small table in a restaurant instead of pulling out my HUGE laptop.

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#10

Post by foxwood » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:44 pm

barnabas1969 wrote:Gee... I usually add new recordings from the guide. I guess you do it by osmosis. :).
If I want to record something that's on next Thursday, I definitely amn't going to scroll through the guide to find it! I search for the title, and record it that way.
barnabas1969 wrote: Sure... I understand that you do it by remote desktop. I do it that way sometimes too. But the phone app is SOOOO much easier! That's surely worth five bucks. In fact, I used it today to schedule some recordings for the weekend while I ate my lunch in a restaurant. My phone is much easier to use on a small table in a restaurant instead of pulling out my HUGE laptop.
My phone is a Blackberry, so that scenario doesn't apply (not that I've ever wanted to update my schedule from a restaurant). I'm also pretty sure that I won't be exposing any service running on my desktop to the outside world without some detailed description of the security measures that will protect the service from attack.

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#11

Post by mrphil » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:18 pm

foxwood wrote: If I want to record something that's on next Thursday, I definitely amn't going to scroll through the guide to find it! I search for the title, and record it that way.
IMO using the app to search is much quicker and easier than using a remote and navigating the WMC interface.

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#12

Post by mike_b » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:36 pm

foxwood wrote: If I want to record something that's on next Thursday, I definitely amn't going to scroll through the guide to find it! I search for the title, and record it that way.
What about TV shows that you have never heard of and may only discover by browsing through the guide. I use the guide often to find shows that I am not familiar with.

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#13

Post by brantmacga » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:15 pm

foxwood wrote:I was excited to try this app when I got the e-mail this morning - my better half had asked whether she could watch some of her shows on her handheld, and that was what I thought I'd get with the Ceton Companion.

Of course, by the time I figured out why the "Play" button in the interface wasn't doing anything, the 15 minute refund window had expired, and I had paid for YARC (yet another remote control).

OK, it's my fault for not paying more attention to the details in the e-mail, but the tag "Your Media Center Everywhere" is more than a little misleading, unless you NEVER use your Media Center to actually watch stuff :(

I too was disappointed they didn't offer streaming, but I have another app on the WP7 that does this called Media Buddy.


I was in the ceton beta, and honestly I'm not going to spend $5 on this app. It doesn't do anything that I can't already do with Media Buddy, and I've already paid for that app (I think it was also $5). Plus I can watch my programs anywhere with my phone, even over 3g network.

As for the remote; I have a program called Media Center Remote that can work as a remote for an HTPC and extenders. My opinion though is that a smartphone is a terrible TV remote. Why do you want to take your attention from the TV screen to stare at a tiny screen and look for buttons? For me, nothing matches a physical remote with buttons I can feel. I think most people who have clamored for this type of feature will realize this after spending some time using it; its just pointless. To me, the way to build a really successful smartphone remote for the TV would be to create one that uses gestures on the screen instead of small icons you have to tap. But even then you have to take the phone out, unlock it, launch the app, etc. . .etc. . . when you could just pickup the remote that's right there on the table/couch etc. . .


I think though the apps is something ceton had to do.

I'm glad though that ceton is putting some effort into media center; at least someone is still interested!

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#14

Post by foxwood » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:09 pm

mike_b wrote:What about TV shows that you have never heard of and may only discover by browsing through the guide. I use the guide often to find shows that I am not familiar with.
I have dozens of series set up, and I usually only add a new series after reading a review, or getting a recommendation from a friend. I honesty can't remember the last time I had time to just browse the TV looking for something that might be interesting. As it is, I delete stuff unwatched because I don't have time to watch it.

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#15

Post by jeepguy04 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:33 pm

The app also has a great search feature built into it. So if you add shows by searching the name you no longer have to navigate away from the playing content and enter the name with the number keys on the remote (a tedious process, at least for me). Even if you rdp into the box you still have to open the rdp app and connect to the box, open media center on that connection, navigate to the search function and then type the name.

Not to mention it is a universal search. Over the weekend I was going to start Toy Story for my son. I wasn't in the room with the extender and he is only 2 and doesn't know how to operate the remote. I opened up the app and searched for Toy Story instead of waiting on the movie list to load. The movie came up that I could start in the other room. But also tv shows popped up in the search. There is a short series called Toy Story Toons that plays on the Disney Junior channel. I'd never heard of it but he loves Toy Story so I set it to record.

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#16

Post by Motz » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:49 pm

I think what we learned through our beta process was that almost everyone uses media center differently. Some people browse the guide, some people have a lot of local content, some people use the remote while others don't, and some people only search for stuff. We tried to focus on all portions of the app to make them great for all different types of users.

We are always here listening to suggestions and requests which I think is what will make these apps unique and stand out to everyone. Everyone here is a media center user as well so we want the best media center mobile experience :)
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newfiend

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#17

Post by newfiend » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:23 am

I like the new app.. I think it works quite well. I was at the park with my kids over the weekend and used the app to browse my guide and set up two recordings on my HTPC. Came home hours later and they were waiting for me in Recorded TV. Well worth the 5 bucks IMO.. Motz is right that everyone uses MC differently.. With different Add-ins etc.. I think they did a good job of trying to add a little bit of everything to the app. For a first release it's pretty darn good. I'm looking forward to updates to it.
newfiend~

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#18

Post by barnabas1969 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:12 pm

jeepguy04 wrote:The app also has a great search feature built into it. So if you add shows by searching the name you no longer have to navigate away from the playing content and enter the name with the number keys on the remote (a tedious process, at least for me). Even if you rdp into the box you still have to open the rdp app and connect to the box, open media center on that connection, navigate to the search function and then type the name.

Not to mention it is a universal search. Over the weekend I was going to start Toy Story for my son. I wasn't in the room with the extender and he is only 2 and doesn't know how to operate the remote. I opened up the app and searched for Toy Story instead of waiting on the movie list to load. The movie came up that I could start in the other room. But also tv shows popped up in the search. There is a short series called Toy Story Toons that plays on the Disney Junior channel. I'd never heard of it but he loves Toy Story so I set it to record.
Man, you just gave me a way to sell it to my wife. She doesn't see the point of the app... but her 5 year old daughter is always asking her to start movies on the extender in her bedroom. My wife always has to go to her bedroom to start the movie. I'll get the app installed on my wife's phone... and then she'll understand why this app is cool.

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#19

Post by mikinho » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:29 pm

barnabas1969 wrote: Man, you just gave me a way to sell it to my wife. She doesn't see the point of the app... but her 5 year old daughter is always asking her to start movies on the extender in her bedroom. My wife always has to go to her bedroom to start the movie. I'll get the app installed on my wife's phone... and then she'll understand why this app is cool.
I did this exact thing last night for my wife. In memoriam of Michael Clarke Duncan she wanted to watch The Green Mile but couldn't find it easily in Media Center (my mistake of rebuilding the HTPC before going on a trip) so I started playback from Seattle for her.

barnabas1969

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#20

Post by barnabas1969 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:37 pm

mikinho wrote:
barnabas1969 wrote: Man, you just gave me a way to sell it to my wife. She doesn't see the point of the app... but her 5 year old daughter is always asking her to start movies on the extender in her bedroom. My wife always has to go to her bedroom to start the movie. I'll get the app installed on my wife's phone... and then she'll understand why this app is cool.
I did this exact thing last night for my wife. In memoriam of Michael Clarke Duncan she wanted to watch The Green Mile but couldn't find it easily in Media Center (my mistake of rebuilding the HTPC before going on a trip) so I started playback from Seattle for her.
Actually, it brings up an interesting thought. The 5 year old knows how to use an iPhone, but can't operate the TV and extender from the remote... I wonder if I could teach her how to operate it from an iPod?

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