Windows 8 responsive design for the home theater TV set - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 1 Old 07-19-13, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Keith Lock
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 94
Windows 8 responsive design for the home theater TV set

Web site designers often choose what is called a "responsive" design for their sites in the age of various size screens. What this means is that the design will shrink and grow and choose what features are visible at any given time based on the "size" or "dimensions" of the screen it is being viewed on. This is done automatically.

Windows 8 was clearly designed with tablets and touch screens in mind but people are finding that the new look (and it's myriad of apps) work well on the big screen as well. The new user interface offers an experience akin to consoles and provides fast access to video apps and it looks more appealing than the standard desktop as well. Is the focus on entertainment?

Many say that the Windows 8 Operating system breathes life into their older (and by "older" I mean 2-3 years) personal computers. Attaching the computer to a TV set with HDMI brings about a new home theater system ready for music and video streaming with a stylish design.


When viewing the Windows 8 environment on the big screen TV, your favorite media apps are spread across the screen and easily viewed from afar. Their large size makes them simple to click with an air mouse or remote control. But, it's important you recognize the logo and the branding because the app name text is still tiny in comparison and not so easy to see from a distance. These modern apps run full screen rather than in a window providing a more immersive environment.

There are many complaints about the Windows Store in terms of the apps that it currently provides. Notable video apps (a fair amount) are missing from the selection (same goes for audio apps). Video apps that are absent include: Amazon Instant, Vudu, and HBO Go. MLB.tv for the Win 8 environment pales in comparison to the versions set out for Android and iOS devices.

All is not lost though, Windows 8 has apps for use with: Netflix, Hulu Plus, ABC, Crackle, TED, DailyMotion, College Humor, and Vimeo. YouTube is in there too in a round about way with the TubeTV app. The latest version of Internet Explorer will also let you pin a web site as a tile on the Windows Start screen providing access to more web based versions of your favorite content that currently don't have an app.

On the streaming music side of things, Windows 8 has a couple great selections. SlapDash is a great source of video and audio podcasts and Vevo is perfect for music videos. Internet radio fans have access to: Slacker, iHeartRadio, the 'Pandora' unofficial app MetroRadio, Songza, and TuneIn. Nope, no Spotify right now, but there is a built in Xbox Music app providing access to 10 hours of streaming music each month at no cost.

What about the hub for your own music, video, and image libraries? Well, Windows Media Center is no longer present in Windows 8. The Xbox Video app, while not as powerful, does have some of the features remembered in Windows Media Center. Forget about installing new codecs for unsupported video formats though, and no playing a series of videos in a row with the Xbox Video app. Native DVD & live playback, and recording through a TV tuner are not supported in Windows 8 either.

But there's always a way when there is a will right? Windows 8 Pro (costs about $100 more than the regular version of the OS) users can pay $10 to get the Media Center Pack. Or perhaps the VLC Media Player or a full fledged home theater interface is more appropriate. Those can be installed on the Windows 8 machine to supplement it with the functionality that it arguably already should have.

But no matter how you slice it, Windows 8 looks great on the big screen (for the most part).
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design , home , responsive , theater , tv , windows

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