topfs2 Wrote:I'm not sure I agree, I would say that the average user still plays mostly local content, both legal and not.
and that's exactly why so many people are pissed by the new direction the boxee guys went
over the past few years I have seen many, many "alternatives" to XBMC, either in the realm of dedicated "networked media tanks", set-top boxes, consoles, or PC media centers.
point is: all of which were vastly inferior, either technically, in respect to the GUI, the scraping, or due to content provider restrictions from our media overlords, as poofy already mentioned.
google TV (and for that part also boxee) still have to prove themselves, in respect to the availability of local media libraries as well as (and this definitely will be a bigger point in the years to come) the licensing deals for online streaming content, e.g. with the TV stations, netflix, hulu, and so on.
the distinctive "feature" of XBMC was and still is that it was designed right on spot and from the get-go to the needs of the users, without any company in the background that needs to make various promises regarding hardware, legal implications, content deals etc etc
the GUI is fantastic, the codec and hardware support is awesome, the scraping feature and graphical library presentation just works without any serious competition, and thanks to the newly conceived app system the online streaming power and flexibility will become more and more sophisticated over the next few months.
the only disadvantage I see right now is that since the xbox became obsolete and the need for HD support grew, we still miss a dedicated platform that could serve as the jack of all trades device for people who don't have the knowledge or time to tailor, install and configure an HTPC build to their needs.
sure, the Atom&Ion boxes became a nice reference platform over the past months, and the live versions did make some good progress, but we're nowhere near a live build that would install without problems and work right out of the box. this is right now the main problem that we experience every day in the forums.
I just don't see the point in having an official distribution, an XBMCfreak ISO, and an openelec image. forget android, now THAT'S what I call fragmentation! as far as I understand it, at least the xbmcfreak guy now "works" for the official live distribution but in reality we need to combine all forces to finally have a live system where you can tell the people to download, install, and be happy with it. that should be the focus over the next few months, and we really need to continually update the live iso and not be done with it for at least one year, especially when non-nvidia playback support is still a complete mess and new GPUs appear that need new drivers as well as more recent ALSA snapshots for HDMI.
speaking of HDMI audio: 90% of linux users need advice how to get HDMI audio working, either in choosing the right device as well as getting their menu sounds working again. that's such a high support load that I simply cannot understand why there ain't a more elegant way to get this working right from the beginning either by having advanced hardware detection routines or giving the people a GUI-based option. the integrated alsa mixer in the new plug-in system is a right start but there needs more work to be done.
speaking of hardware support and the plug-in system: integrate far more networking drivers (LAN and WLAN) into the live ISO, and give the users a GUI plug-in for wifi configuration.
maybe I'm just repeating the obvious, and maybe I became somewhat off-topic but I just was in the flow
for tl;dr: summarizing I see a huge potential for XBMC if we finally could tell people "buy this or that Ion system, install the ISO from USB, and be done with it". that's why I still recommend xtreamers to my friends when they see my XBMC and go like "OMG I want that, too!". and I *hate* recommending inferior shit to my friends...