The GlideTV Software
The second part of the GlideTV solution is their software. This can be downloaded for free from their website. The software is Java based so it will require the latest version of Java. Fortunately, the installer will let you know if you have this or not and even launch the installer if you don't.
After the installation is finished you will see the GlideTV interface. It is not a bad looking UI at all, but I do think it could be made a little better. The idea of having a shortcut button is nice, but most people are going to want shortcuts right on the home screen. When I brought this up to the guys at GlideTV they agreed and are working on something to make the shortcuts more streamlined.
The list of items on the right is very self-explanatory, but we do want to take a look at a few things.
The shortcuts page is very obvious in its use and also in its setup. In fact, when you first open it the software tells you exactly what to do.
The second button is, for lack of a better word...just plain cool. This part of the software lets you actually see everything that is available to watch or download on the internet. If it is on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, you name it, you can find it. If it is a movie or a TV series, free or available for rent of purchase; I know we were impressed with the scope and detail of the information available. The "What's On" portion of the application uses the built in browser. To gather the information it connects to GlideTV's servers. This is why you are able to get the information quickly and in one place. We will talk more about the browser later.
Once you find what you are looking for you can see more information about it and also see where you can buy or rent it, or if it is free (in the case of some TV shows).
As you can see here, the What's On servers are smart enough to even find individual episodes and their status. This one piece of the GlideTV application takes almost all of the hassle out of searching for what you want to watch on TV.
Now we have moved from the realm of the "What's On" to the browser behind the function. This browser works inside the GlideTV and touches many other pieces of the software, but the browser is still a fully functional web browser. It also has a method for displaying and working with Tabs. As you can see in the view above, the tabs are visible in a "media browser" style. It makes finding and selecting the one you want very easy.
The browser has a few settings in store as well. These are much like the settings on the typical browser, only not as deep as most. One that is important to anyone viewing from more than 6 feet is the default zoom level. We found that from a distance of about 7-10 feet a zoom level of 150% lets you see things much better than the stock zoom.
The search function we have already covered above, so we can move right on to the Websites piece. This is another great idea as it groups the most common streaming applications currently on the web; everything from Hulu to Last.FM. Although not a complete listing, it is very comprehensive.
The Apps button is where all of the applications are installed on the system (and can be interacted with by GlideTV). As you can see, GlideTV can interact with Windows Media Center.
In the settings page you have some decent options. One of them does deal with the shortcuts menu we talked about; you can set the software to start on the shortcuts page or on the home screen that we showed above. But there is more than that, you can also change the animation type, set things to run full screen or in windowed mode plus more.
Overall the GlideTV software is very well put together. There are one or two things that need a little work, but for the most part the software is very complete. Having said that, we have spoken with the gang at GlideTV and we have been told there is even more in store for the app (we just cannot tell you what).