Here is a quick look at some of the new features in development for ModernMedia UI+, the highly anticipated app designed to significantly enhance Windows Media Center.
The focal point of the redesigned interface is the new program guide, which utilizes screen space efficiently to display more program information than the traditional layout.
Detailed Guide: Season and episode information, movie release year and star ratings are included in program cells, along with applicable program status indicating new, live, premiere or finale.
Scrolling Titles: Program titles exceeding the width of the cell automatically scroll from right to left to display the full title when the cell is focused.
Metadata Icons: Program details indicate content ratings, closed captioning, secondary audio and more.
Expanded Program Information: Redesigned to make better use of screen size with inclusion of channel logo, supplemental data such as descriptive program fields, Rotten Tomatoes scores, additional reviews, cast images and biographical data, among other items.
During media playback, several new overlays can be activated on top of the video content to offer additional functionality. These onscreen enhancements can be accessed using standard keystrokes and remote commands.
Live Data: Provides real-time information from online services for areas of interest like weather conditions and forecasts.
Reminders: Displays upcoming programs that have been added to the reminders list.
Recent Channels: Browse and select from a list of recently watched channels.
Most of the existing UI elements, specifically those related to live TV and video playback, have been completely redesigned with some added improvements as well.
Mini-Guide: Like the full guide, the mini-guide has received a major redesign and also shows more program details.
Information Bar: Relocated to the bottom of the screen and redesigned with inclusion of channel logo, additional program details, metadata icons and audio/video stream data like codecs, resolution and number of audio channels.
Seekbar: Repositioned to the bottom of the screen and modernized with a colored progress indicator to reflect playback type (green for live TV, white for video file or recorded TV).
Player Controls: Updated icons, reduced size of controls and relocated below seekbar.
Windowed Mode Overscan: Video overscan is now disabled in windowed mode, displaying content without cropped edges.
Additional features are being developed to further improve the Media Center interface. Some features are subject to change.
And finally, the wait is almost over as ModernMedia UI+ will be ready for release in April!
UPDATE: The release has been moved to May in order to ensure broader compatibility at launch.