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Television Ubuntu

Ubuntu TV: Coming Soon To a Living Room Near You (Video) 183

Posted by Roblimo
from the forget-the-world-we'll-dominate-your-TV-instead dept.
Apple TV is a little device you hook to your television. Ubuntu TV (motto: "TV for human beings") is going to be inside your TV, says Peter Goodall, Canonical's Product Manage for Ubuntu TV. At CES, he described Ubuntu TV to Timothy Lord in detail. Join them via Slashdot Video to see what's up with this Ubuntu venture, which has lots of competition; "Smart TV" was a major CES catchphrase this year.

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Ubuntu TV: Coming Soon To a Living Room Near You (Video)

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  • by Monoman (8745) on Monday January 16, 2012 @09:51AM (#38712778) Homepage

    I personally would rather see the TV makers stick to making the displays and let other companies like Roku, Boxee, Tivo, etc handle the "smart" parts.

    We have a Samsung smart TV too. We use Hulu quite a bit but have found that the Hulu app appears to suffer from lag sometimes. However, on our older TV (not smart) we have a Roku we use for Hulu and it never experiences the problem. If the TV lags bad I just pause the show on the smart tv and then go resume it on the Roku.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 16, 2012 @10:00AM (#38712844)
      Exactly. There is no money to be made on it after the sale of the TV for the manufacturer, and therefore no incentive to maintain / upgrade the service; or even fix it if it's broken. This is not a good business model for the consumer.
      • by Monoman (8745)

        It would be nice if TVs just had standard slots for tuners/adapter but you can pretty much forget about them standardizing on an interface so others can make money.

        • by zerofoo (262795) on Monday January 16, 2012 @10:55AM (#38713336)

          Samsung is working on a "user upgradeable" TV with plug in modules. There was little detail about it at CES this year, but it appeared from the demos that you could plug in modules to upgrade CPU, operating system, and image processing components.

          I don't know exactly how much of the TV is upgradeable, but Samsung suggested that most of the important bits of the TV could be upgraded this way.

          -ted

        • by SomePgmr (2021234)
          I'd think the TV makers would be scrambling for ways to differentiate. I mean, the buzz of last year's CES was the ill-conceived push for "3d tv". I get the sense most people had the same "meh" reaction I did.

          And while I agree with the gp, that I'd rather have that functionality in a roku (etc), more ways to get content sounds nice to everyone. Standardized ways of doing so might just be a byproduct of manufacturers trying to offer as many services as possible in their devices' feature lists.
          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            I'd think the TV makers would be scrambling for ways to differentiate. I mean, the buzz of last year's CES was the ill-conceived push for "3d tv". I get the sense most people had the same "meh" reaction I did.

            Actually, 2011 CES was all about tablets and e-readers. The 3DTV one was 2010. Which got the "meh" until Apple decided to showcase the iPad a couple of weeks later.

            Of course, this year's CES was more 3DTV/tablet/something-anything meh.

            And while I agree with the gp, that I'd rather have that fun

        • by rickb928 (945187) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:16AM (#38713592) Homepage Journal

          If you have an HDTV, the standard interface is marked HDMI.

          • by Monoman (8745)

            That works great. Now we need an internal HDMI interface and standard slot. Some folks don't want "set top" boxes.

            • There are already HDMI dongles that are small enough to just hang out of the port, powered by a standard USB 5V, that are powerful enough to run Linux.

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          Why? My TV has a nice standard HDMI input (several of them in fact). That's quite sufficient to get video and sound into the TV. That way I can hook up anything I want and not have to worry about whether it has the right size, shape, connector and protocol to fit my TV.

      • There *are* advantages to integrating the software into the TV itself.... I own a 2nd. generation AppleTV box and thought it was great for my needs (primarily watching Netflix streaming content, plus the occasional use to stream some music from Internet radio stations or redirect something playing on an iPhone / iPad to the TV screen). But then I got a Sony GoogleTV on a good deal (refurbished special) and put it in the bedroom. It was a good enough price, I was initially just buying it to get a bigger LCD

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have a Sony Internet TV and Hulu experiences frequent lags. If we stream from Amazon Prime then we never have any problems. I wonder if it's the Hulu client in the smart TV which is actually the problem.

      I hate having a TV with the programs built in. We are at the mercy of Sony to push updates to our Internet TV. Hopefully Sony will continue to support the TV and send me frequent updates to fix some of the performance problems in the TV. If they stop supporting the software then my TV is worthless. I

    • by Idbar (1034346) on Monday January 16, 2012 @10:21AM (#38713028)
      No. It's annoying! It's annoying having a tv with plenty of features that go to waste because you end up plugging in one our two our more boxes to input ports. And each one requires anything else to remote control it properly (i.e. Some features are only available through their particular remote). I loved the idea of a smart tv, because it's like having my computer connected to the tv, without the extra boxes and cables.
      • Yes, I love my smart TV. It has a built in media server to play shows I download on my laptop, There's Netflix app that came with the TV, and it still functions as a regular TV. I think getting Ubuntu TV would be great if my cable provider would support it. Of course when the cable company starts losing $10-$25/month because people don't need to rent the stupid boxes from them, they'll most likely block the competing service. My cable co. Charges $10/month for the basic digital cable decoder box and $25/mon
        • Good luck "downloading" Monday Night Football or any other live professional or collegiate sporting event that has become appointment television.
          • by Idbar (1034346)
            You see, the issue is that Sports is a big avenue for profit in the US (well, in general in many countries, but the US has taken very good advantage of it). So while in other countries, they attract you to the cable plans with the "You can watch all the games". In the US, you have the "you can always pay-per-view the games". So they don't want you to have that.

            Note that in the US, cable companies charge you for delivering freely broadcasted channels as well. Go figure why networks don't broadcast their r
            • Note that in the US, cable companies charge you for delivering freely broadcasted channels as well. Go figure why networks don't broadcast their real-time content online for free (after all they also pay for spectrum and broadcasting equipment).

              Broadcasting via any means other than OTA isn't covered by the rights agreements that the affiliate channels have with their "parent" networks. Think of your local stations as a franchise - they're typically independently owned, but "branded" as the network. They don

              • by Idbar (1034346)
                Thanks for the info. I never thought about the business in that way. I guess it makes some sense (at least a bit more).
          • Neither my wife or I like sports so no problem there for us, but I can see your point and how it might affect others. Surly there must be a live internet stream from a sport channel website or pay-per-view or some other alternative. I suppose if you really wanted sports that much you'd just have to suck it up and pay the cable company what they want.

            Where I'm at that would be $25 for the digital PVR, since all sports channels are HD and the basic $10 digital cable decoder I have doesn't work with HD channel
      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        What smart features does your TV have that a separate box couldn't possible ever have?

        • because it's like having my computer connected to the tv, without the extra boxes and cables.

          What smart features does your TV have that a separate box couldn't possible ever have?

          Idbar already said it: fewer cables.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            Roku already solved that "problem".

            Not that one HDMI port and one power cable is such a burden to begin with.

            On the other hand, an external box allows you to standardize the experience between multiple TV sets without forcing you to buy the most expensive component by far from ONE AND ONLY ONE vendor.

            It's bad enough when the $100 box represents a "check in and never leave" vendor lock situation.

            • Not that one HDMI port and one power cable is such a burden to begin with.

              It is when the cable box occupies the TV's first HDMI port and the video game console occupies the TV's other HDMI port.

              • Unplug the cable box from the TV and plug it into the Smart Box. Then plug the Smart box in where the cable used to connect.
          • More importantly, fewer remotes.
        • by Idbar (1034346)
          I'm going to tell you the first one that went to waste on my Sony XBR in the 90s: Picture-in-Picture. It was great to have the chance of checking other stuff while not missing the main one. It was (to me) particularly useful for the news. Then my cable company came to bring the set top box, and bye-bye feature.

          In addition to it, some boxes for some reason whatsoever don't control the TV volume but the local box volume, so you have to use their remote to control the volume (or any other stupid stuff), so y
          • by Belial6 (794905)

            I refuse to pay for features that I'm not going to use

            You may be doing just that by insisting that parts not be included. This is the same debate that went on when things like Network/serial ports/video/audio started being included on motherboards. When adding good enough audio added $80 to the cost of a motherboard, it was bad to include it on every board. When the audio started adding less than $1 the situation changed. It became came cheaper to make one version of the board with audio than it was to do a separate run of boards without audio. Thus, manu

      • by tepples (727027)

        I loved the idea of a smart tv, because it's like having my computer connected to the tv

        But does a smart TV let you play computer games on the TV, or do you still need an external console and are you still limited to the selection of games for that console?

      • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

        Up until a week or two ago, I would agree with you, primarily on the grounds of Remote Control Hell. For the primary television in the living room, maybe a smart TV wins, but I'm planning some small remote monitors with a BeagleBoard in back to serve up reasonably non-interactive content. While a smart TV should be able to meet my needs for such a function, history tells me that it will be locked down in one way or another.

        TV manufacturers' objective is to shorten the upgrade cycle. That doesn't do much

        • by Idbar (1034346)
          I see your point of the "upgrading" cycle. But if they really don't offer something "worth" the upgrade and their features go to waste (as I said in a previous post, like the Picture-in-picture that vanished thanks to the cable boxes), then why do I need anything more than a plain monitor (with perhaps a single tuner if so)?
    • Same here (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Monday January 16, 2012 @10:27AM (#38713066) Homepage Journal

      But id like it for a different reason. I just want a simple pane of glass that displays video. I don't want or need all the extra stuff.

      Doing this just makes them more expensive, more prone to break and repair even worse. Oh, and more controllable by other parties upstream

      Like having an integrated DVD player break on a 2000 TV and you are hosed with a huge bill.. when all you really needed was a 25 dollar one attached to the back of it.

    • I agree, I don't want integrated. It always reminds me of TV's with VCRs in them. The VCR almost always died first, leaving a TV with a built in VCR that didn't work and another VCR hooked up to it.

      • VCR's are mechanical, and so are prone to breaking. TVs are already computers, so adding features is trivial. Do you also argue that your desktop shouldn't play music? After all, that's one more thing that might break.

        • Comparing TV's to PC's is not comparable. What is comparable is smartphones. They don't break, but they A) are eclipsed quickly by new technology and B) have no incentive to upgrade.

          You really think Samsung is going to support your TV 2 years down the road? No, they want you to buy a new TV just like they want you to buy a new phone.

          With the speed at which apps and services are available, your TV will effectively be "broken". I have an old bluray with one of the first Netflix apps built in. It's never b

    • I personally would rather not have any more "boxes" attached to my TV.

      I have a Sony Google TV and I love it.
      I haven't noticed any latency issues.

      BTW, You really can't compare an integrated Sony/Google TV (or similar) solution with Roku unless you ONLY care about streaming. One of the best things about Google TV is the integrated Chrome browser. I love watching some program and being able to pull up a browser in the background and learn about what other movies that actor is in? or what's the name of that son

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I agree. But then again I was always more of an "individual components" kind of guy. When one part fails you don't have to replace the whole shebang, and you can upgrade one part at a time.

      But that's just me, I think most people prefer a stereo to components, and a VCR/DVD/BluRay/wheteverisnext inside the TV rather than a pile of boxes they have to wire together.

      I already have Ubuntu TV -- a computer running kubuntu sits next to the TV and uses it for a monitor. I sit on the couch with a wireless mouse to c

    • we have a Roku we use for Hulu and it never experiences the problem. If the TV lags bad I just pause the show on the smart tv and then go resume it on the Roku.

      Thought about going the Roku/Media TV box as well...but with enough old PC's sitting around...loaded up XBMC Live to control the media on our media server as well as anything online I would want. As soon as they produce enough of them...am expecting to get the $35 Raspberry Pi and running an XBMC ARM port to replace the PC in my room and the living room. Since it fits in an Altoids tin...it will be quieter than any PC...along with the space factor of not having a tower/desktop case with the noise in the bo

    • I'm not sure what the "danger" here happens to be. If the HDTV hardware has enough hardware and capibility it can be updated multiple times instead of expecting to throw out the TV to get the latest version. Or at the very least, it is not clear why it is better to throw out multiple little boxes when the same change in technology forces it.

      In my living room is a "traditional" Dumb TV with 4 boxes connected too it (ignoring the receiver). In my "office" I have a Google TV which has no other boxes connect

  • by frith01 (1118539) on Monday January 16, 2012 @09:55AM (#38712804)

    Computer hardware changes a lot faster than the display components. There is only a limited market for integrated devices unless they are strictly re-formatting/ receiving streams over IP.

    Of course, manufactures would LOVE for you to buy an Integrated device with TV today, so they can sell you a brand new shiny toy in 3-5 years when your display gear no longer works with DRM version X.

    Look at all the VCR / TV combo's sitting in the garage sales cause they dont play DVD's , etc..

    • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday January 16, 2012 @10:13AM (#38712976)

      The VCR/TV combos that I saw were always portable TVs. I quite often saw them in office environments, where they could be moved to where ever training or a presentation required them. In such a case, a separate TV and VCR wasn't a good option, because of having to carry 2 items, and the hassle of rewiring them together each time they were moved. And they probably had a useful life of, what 10-15 years?

      For large screen TVs, building a VCR in wasn't very common. I imagine there was such a product but I never saw one.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      who cares, these cheap ass TV's are lucky to last more than 5 years anyway, dont worry they will sell you a new toy one way or another

    • by chrb (1083577)

      Computer hardware changes a lot faster than the display components.

      It's a good point, but people said the same thing about the iMac and it didn't put buyers off.

      manufactures would LOVE for you to buy an Integrated device with TV today

      Yup, integrate a computer and people will be more likely to upgrade faster to get newer software. Replacement rates for TVs are 10-15 years, it would be good news for the industry to cut this to 48 months or less. Those old TVs will still be useful - even if some of the incorporated closed protocols become non-functional the open ones will still work, so you will still be able to run your own DNLA server and view

  • Debian TV (Score:4, Funny)

    by psergiu (67614) on Monday January 16, 2012 @09:59AM (#38712834)


    apt-get update
    apt-get install latest-tv-show

    Then to get the latest episodes:

    apt-get update
    apt-get upgrade

    • by peragrin (659227)

      You get to type all that in with the number pad on the remote. Because GUIs ate for wimps.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How about MythTV Bittorrent Tracker MythTV-GUI
      Everyone with a MythTV box connected together sharing TV/SAT/DVD/Whatever. If it's a file sharing network then the upload speed of each DSL would not be an issue. Maybe even a "Push - Pull" function. No website to tie it all together. Just built in search for other MythTV systems online. After a year or two every show out there would be recorded and shared. Only new shows/movies would need to be "acuired."

      A hive mind of DVRs! Youtube be damed. MPAA go to h..

      • by vlm (69642)

        Run it over a mostly anonymous networking layer like freenet / i2p / something else, and it might even be "kind of" safe to participate in.
        One big problem is going to be local ad insertion. Ever noticed local ads during network shows? Yeah.
        I use mythtv with hands off automatic commercial detection and skipping so I don't see ads, and if everyone used this, this we'd all theoretically have more or less identical streams, I think?

      • by tepples (727027)

        Only new shows/movies would need to be "acuired."

        That and sports. And political talk shows.

    • by Sfing_ter (99478)

      Add this ppa

      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:drwho2005-daily/ppa

      If you start to hear a strange wooshing sound and your computer turnes blue and begins to fade in and out you've gon too far...

  • If they can provide some content like Netflix, Hulu, etc. than it might be worth looking into. I wonder if it's a full blown linux OS or some cut down version with limited capabilities?
    • by RDW (41497)

      I wonder if it's a full blown linux OS or some cut down version with limited capabilities?

      Well, looks it's going to run Unity so it'll be nearly impossible to tell.

    • We already have so many Media Center GUIs for Linux starting with the XBMC, why is Cannonical not building uppon accepted and popular community made interfaces and instead rolling their own? I mean, again?

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        They could perhaps even improve upon what is already out there filling in some of the gaps that some people perceive in those projects that already exist. They could also greatly accelerate the development of their "new thing" by reusing old code.

        That last bit is the whole point of Free Software.

        Even Windows and Mac users are in on that party.

  • 2012! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 16, 2012 @10:01AM (#38712846)

    Year of Linux on the...TV...?

  • The real problem (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Monday January 16, 2012 @10:07AM (#38712908)

    The conventional wisdom which I'm sure we'll soon be subjected to, is the problem this device has is content, where will they get the TV equivalent of top40 content, etc.

    The real problem this device has, is why would someone buy it instead of apple/roku/homebrew mythtv/boxee/tivo/xmbc/android tv... any others I've missed? What makes this one special other than its a different manufacturer trying to do the same thing. If anything I'm curious how well this device conforms from a user perspective to the boring standard model all the other developers are using. Even the idea that something new or unique could exist in this market is unthinkable.

    The /. car analogy is good luck trying to tell commuter vehicles apart when trying to purchase a new car. The marketing materials are useless because they either insist that you'll get laid if you select their car, or they're puffed up with useless comparison charts (stereotypically you'll have a column of something like "number of tires" all being 4 in each row, or ships with a steering wheel all having a "Y". Why have that column?). The salespeople just want to sell you the most expensive car with the most expensive dealer addons and the most expensive possible financing package. Your friends will provide mostly useless anecdotes about their individual car's maintenance history and peculiar favorite parts, which mostly tells you more about them than about the car model in general. Any decision making data about use, comfort, reliability, economics are simply unobtainable.

    • by JustNiz (692889)

      >> why would someone buy it instead of apple/roku/homebrew mythtv/boxee/tivo/xmbc/android tv...

      You won't get the option. Ubuntu are taking a page out of Microsoft's marketing strategy. It will just come in your new TV whether you want it or not.

      The early screenshots I've seen of its GUI indicate it will be as user-unfriendly and useless as unity.

      • by vlm (69642)

        You won't get the option. Ubuntu are taking a page out of Microsoft's marketing strategy. It will just come in your new TV whether you want it or not.

        On all TVs? I think that unlikely. Probably not on the rumored to exist appleTV. Not on the large monitor connected to my mythtv box which I colloquially call my "TV". That last idea might be an interestingly bizarre way to get linux on the desktop, what if all computer monitors came with Ubuntu and you could get some real work done while waiting for windows to boot?

        The early screenshots I've seen of its GUI indicate it will be as user-unfriendly and useless as unity.

        I look forward to seeing how hard they'll make it to use, in a weird way its kind of entertaining to watch things devolve, watch the world

  • by grimmjeeper (2301232) on Monday January 16, 2012 @10:07AM (#38712914)

    I just don't see the big consumer demand for these smart TVs. Even among my gadget loving friends, the interest in smart TVs can be described as lukewarm at best. Sure, the integrated capability to stream content from providers other than the cable/satellite company does appeal to some. But I just don't see people banging down doors to get this integrated into the TV. If anything, I see more people using their TVs as big monitors for their PCs and game consoles.

    Perhaps it's just the cynic in me but I see this more as a push by the advertisers as a means to get more of their content delivered. All of the providers will relish the opportunity to embed ads, either in their UI or in their content. Yet another business model being pushed on people who don't really want it, if they care at all.

    • For me, it's cutting down the "box count" and overall volume and energy consumption of the boxes that drive the TV. I've got a WDTV, PS3 and eeePC driving the TV now.

      XBMC on eeePC works pretty well, if you leave it running, essentially by itself, 24-7, otherwise, getting into Windows to launch XBMC is a horridly painful wait, and if you've had something as complex as a browser running in the same session, performance can sometimes be.... lacking. A dedicated, very small and very power efficient, box that

    • by Tim C (15259)
      I wonder if that's because your gadget-loving friends already have PCs, consoles, etc to connect to the TV that handle that functionality, and if "normal" people might be keener on them.

      That said I *think* my TV has some kind of smart functionality built-in, but I've not investigated it as my Blu-ray player does, so I just use that...
    • by div_2n (525075)

      It's not a solution looking for a problem. The problem already exists -- TV makers integrating smart components serving up non-standard content (i.e. movies on demand, Pandora, Netflix, etc.).

      The problem specifically is that all of the software I've seen pretty much sucks. They're TV companies and they should stick to what they do. Which leads us to other vendors. Google TV might be great, I don't know. Apple has their own hardware and always will. I'm not sure how many other integrators there are, but the

  • What would make something like this work is if I can integrate this with my cable box. Now that channels are three digits and I can't remember them, I can use a smarter interface. I would also be nice if my on-demand, my netflix, and hulu were all right next to each other. Services like this usually can't pull this off. But maybe Ubuntu will be seen as less of a threat by Comcast and the others, and they'll allow better integration. If so, that would be great.

    • by vlm (69642)

      What would make something like this work is if I can integrate this with my cable box.

      I wonder if its going to be "push" like my cablebox was or "pull" like my mythtv. I like the pull model because with a few minutes configuration I can expunge entire channels. I don't even see Univision, ESPN, QVC or EWTN as existing. I like it that way. I much prefer scrolling thru 20 channels that I actually watch than almost 80 of which 60 I never watch. The expensive fee movie channels are not grayed out on my mythtv like they are on a settop, they just don't exist.

      I'm worried a commercial settop o

  • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Monday January 16, 2012 @10:13AM (#38712978)

    A Raspberry Pi can hang off of an HDMI port with little or no additional support, the only thing "unaesthetic" about the solution is the power supply cable.

    So, for me, the question is: which free software package is going to port themselves to a sub-$100 HDMI out solution that can hide behind a flat panel first: Ubuntu, or XBMC?

    I can already buy a WDTV Live for ~$100, but on Raspberry Pi I'd have the option to "shell out" of the media center if desired.

    • by psergiu (67614)

      Most TVs now have a USB port (used for firmware update on "non-smart" TVs) - just use a micro-USB cable to power the RPi from the TV itself.

      • Most TVs now have a USB port (used for firmware update on "non-smart" TVs) - just use a micro-USB cable to power the RPi from the TV itself.

        Cool - if the port will source 700mA (will need ethernet to get access to the NAS).

    • by vlm (69642)

      So, for me, the question is: which free software package is going to port themselves to a sub-$100 HDMI out solution that can hide behind a flat panel first: Ubuntu, or XBMC?

      Doesn't it already run Debian, in which case it's just "apt-get install mythtv-frontend" and tada its done? I also had to configure, if I recall, GDM as a login manager, modified the GDM config files to autologin as the mythtv user, installed ratpoison as the display manager which is never used buy mythtv got worked up unless run under a window manager, did something to make ratpoison start off mythtv-frontend (or was it some .x file?) and it just worked?

      Its all a puppet recipe for me, that I set up severa

    • by shish (588640) on Monday January 16, 2012 @10:51AM (#38713290) Homepage
      XBMC already runs nicely on the pi; the software-rendered GUI maxes out the CPU (I'm not sure if this is before or after the software renderer improvements they're working on), but hardware accelerated 1080p30 playback is fine - one of the XBMC developers was given access to an alpha board IIRC. Apparently the integration is one of the many things the Pi people have been asked not to talk about, so I presume things are brewing behind the scenes and they don't want to be assaulted with questions until it's 100% finished.
  • by vlm (69642)

    Whats the boot time on a "smart TV"?

    I know my old tube TV started up in about 3 seconds and the picture was stabilizing for about 10 to 15 seconds.

    My current very new LCD starts up in about 10 maybe 15 seconds I haven't timed it, but its much slower than the tube it replaced. Spends a weird amount of time displaying the LG logo when its "up" but doing ... something, I guess.

    My old cable settop DVR box, before I cancelled/returned it, took a good solid 5 minutes to boot. More than even the longest TV comme

    • by shish (588640)
      I have a hanns-g monitor with nothing smart about it at all, and it takes 10-15 seconds to go from power on to displaying something, and has 5-10 seconds of blankness when switching resolution (even "switching" from 1080p to 1080p). Much slower than even their slightly older models, and I have no idea why. I dread to think how painful it would be with an OS installed...
  • Smart idiot box (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Monday January 16, 2012 @10:28AM (#38713072) Homepage

    Beware anything the marketing department label as smart.

    Only general purpose computers are "smart". Everything else is a gadget or toy.

  • by Sporkinum (655143) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:03AM (#38713428)

    Cable TV is priced to where I don't see the value in it anymore. I got ride of cable, upped my internet to the next tier, and connected an HTPC to the screen. The HTPC has a tuner card with rabbit ears, so I can DVR a few OTA shows, and the rest is all streaming and downloads. There is so much of that available, I don't really feel like I am missing anything.

    • by tepples (727027)

      There is so much of that available, I don't really feel like I am missing anything.

      Including live broadcasts of professional and collegiate sports? Monday Night Football, for example, is available only on cable or satellite. At least one head of household in my extended family has told me that if money becomes tight, he will go back to dial-up before going back to OTA.

      • by Tim C (15259)
        Horses for courses; personally I'm not about to cancel my cable subscription, but I never watch sport (literally never, absolutely none of it interests me in the slightest).
      • by Sporkinum (655143)

        Not really a fan. I can look up scores and highlights after the fact if I want to. There does seem to be quite a lot of live sports on OTA on the weekend though.

  • The functionality was lke a boxee box with a tv tuner. The booth dude said you could get to a linux shell and that there were plans in the works to make it a DVR as well. Even though a lot of us could build that functionality ourselves, I think there is a market if you can get tv+boxee+dvr all in one. Ultimately the price will determine if the project lives or dies though.

    • by BLKMGK (34057)

      and DRM will kill it stillborn. Every single thing he demoed can already be done with XBMC and MythTV including the illegally ripped movies and YouTube channel he showed. Plex also looks more put together. Boxee just killed their PC platform, it cannot support the DRM. How will these guys do it better? NetFlix? Amazon? Huluu? DRM.... CableCard? DRM although maybe something like an HDHomerun CableCard could work - I could do that now I believe.

      So what problem exactly are they solving other than putting it in

  • by Krneki (1192201) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:19AM (#38713622)
    Smart TV, how to sell 20th century technology to mentally lazy people.

    If you want to watch quality programs you search it for yourself, you don't sit on the couch and expect to get served.

  • Feel free to read my recent posting history for my opinion on "SmartTVs" - to put it succinctly, they're a waste so long as manufacturer and content provider greed dictate a fragmented, proprietary ecosystem. If Ubuntu wants to really dive into "living room" media, I'd much rather they create a "Ubuntu TV Box" of sorts. Aesthetically pleasing chassis and cutting-edge hardware support (Latest HDMI/DisplayPort, WiDi wireless display technology, 802.11N built in, Gigabit Ethernet, 2+ USB3.0 ports for extern

    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      ok, so Ubuntu is coming up with 'Ubuntu embedded' for device manufacturers (in this case TV devices) to stick a pre-written software stack in there to provide extra functionality.

      I'd say this is less about providing true 'my TV is a computer' but rather 'my TV has one hell of a EPG'. The TV manufacturers generally don't spend much effort on the GUI aspects, which is one reason why Ubuntu might do well here - they get someone who's already written that pesky software, once integrated, they've got additional

    • "Compared to the various proprietary solutions out there, this "UbuTV" box would be far more extensible"

      Why?

      The people that provide the content don't give a crap about platforms. The providers are perfectly able, and proven capable, of blocking platforms they don't like. If they decide to "googlize" this mythical product of yours, the platform is dead. Period.

      So why would an Ubuntu box be more successful than Google? Or Apple?

      • The key difference between this UbuntuTV box as I describe it is the power and featureset of Ubuntu Linux behind it, which means that it isn't simply beholden to content providers through normal means. It doesn't have to rely on a sole "app store" or be designed with only processing content from iTunes in mind. As it would have a "real" browser and flash/HTML5/OggTheora/Moonlight etc... it could access all the content streams that are available online; it wouldn't just have to sit around and necessarily wa

        • by BLKMGK (34057)

          So how is this different than XBMC, MythTV, or a combination of both of them together? You'll note that several of the services you mentioned are DRM protected and that the ONLY video source save a tuner and some illegally ripped movies he showed was YouTube. How exactly does this box differentiate itself and why aren't they simply supporting what's already pretty mature instead of going their own way? You do realize that much of the claims you've made could be said of the Boxee software right? They just ab

  • Wow, way to kill any interest in a product. That was the most fragmented and confusing demo I've seen in ages.

  • This makes sense. Once Ubuntu took over the desktop, it was only natural to move in to the living room. It's not like they've slipped to the #2 spot for distro users or anything; or that their own Unity desktop is still full of bugs.
  • That movie browser is totally unusable for browsing movies.
    It has no support for a folder hierarchy and it take the whole screen to only display 6 titles at a time. No thanks.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      it's not supposed to work with your large network attached collection of movies.

      it's supposed to make you rent the latest blockbusters.

      that's why it's a big thing for ubuntu, they're hurting for monay.

      • by JustNiz (692889)

        Even if its purpose is only to rent movies, I still want to see more than 6 at a time listed.

        If it doesn't support locally stored media then its even more useless to me.

  • by BLKMGK (34057)

    Why wold you not work with already established projects like MythTV and XBMC? These are already pretty polished and XBMC is most often installed on some form of Ubuntu to begin with. What will they do for content that Google hasn't already attempted? How will they support the draconian DRM that nearly ALL "content providers" insist upon? Did anyone else notice that one of the only providers in his list was YouTube? Sure he had a a listing of TV shows too but MythTV has had that forever too. In fact the movi

  • This is akin to having a cool new type of car... that is not allowed to operate on any good roads (read: content). Kinda pointless, like Google TV.
  • by ponos (122721) on Monday January 16, 2012 @05:19PM (#38717942)

    How about a decent interface for a desktop Linux-based OS instead of a horrible interface for netbooks, laptops, 24", tablets and TVs? How about they get that right for a start...

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