Big Screen Blog

Media Center, Windows Phone7 + Silverlight Goodness..

Big Screen ‘by Remote’ v0.5i Released (Now with Show and Episode Guides)

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A(nother) new version of Big Screen ‘By Remote’ has been launched (v0.5i)– and is available from the Big Screen Global website. Please see below for what’s new in this release – including a cool new feature called the ‘Episode Guide’.

Also of interest – I was interviewed by Ian Dixon on TheDigitalLifestyle.com’s Media Center Show about By Remote and where it’s going (which was published last night) . Please visit the following link : Podcast- The Media Center Show #249 – By Remote – and have a listen.  Please note that this was recorded about 3 weeks ago – so some of my comments/statements might be a little out of date.

Anyhow – back to v0.5i release – here’s the new features (taken from the release notes) :

*Fixed* By Remote Server was crashing on External Access by certain Windows Mobile 6.x devices (and some other devices).
*Fixed* Some minor problems with incorrect channel being shown on popups and incorrect Icon being used for ‘other screenings’.
*New* (SL) Brand new ‘Guide’ tab (replaces series Tab) – allows you to view movies, sports, doco’s, kids and music shows that are upcoming.
*New* (SL) Episode Guide – allows you to view entire Episode Guide for Show + match upcoming episodes. (see below for more info on how this works)

I want to extend a big thank you to www.xpmediacentre.com.au user (and TGB user) ‘helderlima’ from Brazil – who stayed up to nearly midnight to help me resolve the problem with Windows Mobile devices (which was crashing the by remote server). I was previously unable to reproduce this problem – as although my wife owns a windows mobile device – she doesn’t have a data plan (and my iPhone SIM with 3g data goodness is unfortunately locked by my carrier for use with my iPhone only).  Anyhow – thanks to this user I was able to see the crash first hand – and then actually fix it!.

And since a few pic’s tell a thousand words – here’s a bit more of a rundown of the two new Silverlight UI Features that I added into this new version (which both need a little more work to be 100% – but nevertheless work fine in their current form for this version).

Note: You can click on any of these pictures below to get the original screen captured versions in higher resolution

First up – the ‘TV Series’ tab has now been replaced with a tab called ‘guide’. The ‘tv series’ functionality is still there of course – but now users can click on ‘genre’ based tabs such as ‘Movies’, ‘Sport’, ‘Doco’ (Documentary), ‘Kids’ and ‘Music’ to view upcoming shows (nb: the tv series filter is still filtered by start letter – wheras these other new genres are selectable by the day they are on). The example below shows the selection for Sports –

image

Next up – possibly a new feature of much greater interest to many users is the integration of the EPG based tv series information with a ‘Episode Guide’. This new feature (which is somewhat tucked away from direct access in this version) – can be accessed by going to the ‘All Episodes’ tab in Program details popup (if you are viewing a show that is classified as a TV Series). See below for where to find this button.

image

Once you click on the ‘View Episode Guide’ button (located under the list of upcoming episodes from the EPG – see above) – a new window will be shown – and a search will be performed (against an online source) for all potential shows matching the title. (see below).

image

Once you select the Series that matches the one you want to know about – the entire Episode Guide gets downloaded for you. By Remote will then automatically match all the upcoming episodes with episodes located in the Episode Guide (using some internal smarts to handle different formatting/punctuation) – and show you a list of these matched episodes giving you the full ‘Season Number/Episode Number’ and original Air Date (in the US). See below.

image 

You can then of course view any Season you wish by selecting the drop down list which will let you know if Episodes have been matched per season (see below left) – and once selected – it will show you the full list of episodes for that season (see below right).

image   image

Anyhow – this feature is something I think that will be very useful for a lot of people – and personally it’s very useful for me (in Australia). Not only are we behind by up to several episodes in some popular series (and I like to check what’s coming up) – but often the tv networks will start showing repeats (and not advertising it as such) – and it’s a good way to double check on this.  Additionally – some newly launched channels in Australia have aired a number of previously un-shown series right from the beginning – and it’s a good way of finding out where they are up to so I can make sure I don’t miss the new episodes.

 

To check it out for yourself – go and grab the new v0.5i version and take it for a spin..

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Written by mobilewares

March 26, 2010 at 3:51 am

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