Some considerations for choosing the default button behavior:
- Some users will not have channel groups. We, for example, use MythTV for public channels here in NZ which amounts to about 10 channels of which only 4 have decent prime time viewing. We are probably in the minority though.
- Some users will have massive numbers of channels, e.g. those with cable subscriptions. Surfing up and down channels is probably not all that useful for finding something decent to watch but probably fine if the desire is to simply have Live TV behave like a simple TV. Many cable channel subscriptions come with smarter boxes which show more useful channel choosers, e.g. with program descriptions etc.
- Some PVR addons will support time-shift. For those it is possibly desirable to have the existing skipping and pause functionality remain unchanged. My guess is that time shift would probably only be for shortish periods of time, e.g. do something while ads are playing and then go back without worrying about missing start of show. Or replay that thing that just happened because didn't hear or due to some other distraction.
- Some remotes have dedicated Channel Up / Channel Down buttons
- Some remotes have a very restricted number of buttons, e.g. the Apple Remote, which doesn't leave much room to play with.
- Up / Down / Left / Right are often used for Big Skip Backwards, Big Skip Forwards, Small Skip Forwards, Small Skip Backwards. For restricted remotes also Pause and Stop (e.g. Default for Up pauses for the Apple and Wii Remote, and Down stops - or at least it did last time I tried those remotes).
- A lot of PVR users will be using digital channels as analog gets turned off around the world to free up spectrum for 4G and the like.
- Most digital channels these days don't support immediate channel change. There is typically always some sort of delay for opening tuner, streaming some data to disk, then stream detection, then wait for first key frame etc. At best a second, at worst >5 seconds.
- Most PVR users are probably already using a system that needs a remote with a decent number of buttons, e.g. many MythTV users seem to have full blown remotes, e.g. with numbers and Channel Up / Channel Down.
- Some remotes have a numeric keypad, which can be used for choosing channel directly (although I don't know how it works with channel numbers like 10.3).
https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/1773 will set the default behavior (when watching LiveTV) to be:
Up - change channel up. I have a Channel Up button which I'd prefer to use. Much easier to explain and remember for others in the household, especially since the MythTV addon supports time shift.
Down - change channel down. I have a Channel Down button which I'd prefer to use. Much easier to explain and remember for others in the household.
Left - change to lower channel group. This conflicts with small skip backwards for us so I'll have to change it.
Right - change to higher channel group. This conflicts with small skip forwards for us so I'll have to change it.
My preference for our remote control would be the following (for our somewhat limited setup). We have a remote with Channel Up and Channel Down buttons.
Up, Right, Down, Left - Unchanged to support time shifting of Live TV (one of the few carrots to move to using XBMC as the TV interface rather than the plain ole TV).
Channel Up - bring up small OSD with channel information for the next up channel. Keep pressing Channel Up until a desirable channel is found and then press OK. Or press channel down to go down to a previous channel (in case we decide to go back to a previously seen channel). If we had channel groups then I could imagine using Left and Right when this OSD was displaying to move between channel groups.
Channel Down - as above but start with next down channel.
Enter/OK - Bring up usual OSD which has a button to go back to the full list of channels with the currently showing channel minimized. Restricted remotes don't have enough buttons to support "Back", they only have "Stop".
What are other peoples preference for their remote controls for Live TV?