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Operating Systems Television Ubuntu News Entertainment

Ubuntu TV Finally Gets a Close-Up 146

Posted by timothy
from the it's-only-a-model dept.
Barence writes "Canonical has unveiled the first screenshots and details of Ubuntu TV. Plans for versions of the Linux distro for tablets, smartphones and TVs were unveiled last year, and now the television is — perhaps surprisingly — the first of those to arrive. 'It's a simple viewing experience for online video, both your own and routed over the internet,' Jane Silber, Canonical's CEO told PC Pro. Movie streaming services will be supported as well as live television broadcasts. Ubuntu TV will be integrated into television sets, but Canonical was unable to confirm any manufacturers. It will be released later this year."
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Ubuntu TV Finally Gets a Close-Up

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  • Mythbuntu (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:05AM (#38636084)

    Looking at the screenshots, it looks like it's running MythTV with a custom theme

    I wonder how the Mythbuntu folks feel about this.
    Seeing as this Ubuntu respin has never been officially endorsed by Canonical (to my knowledge), may be seen as a bit of a hijacking of the project...

    • Re:Mythbuntu (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 91degrees (207121) on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:33AM (#38636188) Journal
      This is well within the rules of free software though, so it doesn't really matter what they think.

      Does Mythbuntu have a mechanism for renting/buying movies though?
      • Also it will be completely irrelevant until they get rid of that hideous brownish/pinkish coating.
        It's not the 70s anymore Mark, move on!

    • Re:Mythbuntu (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:43AM (#38636222) Homepage

      Seeing as this Ubuntu respin has never been officially endorsed by Canonical

      If something called Ubuntu TV and presented by Canonical isn't endorsed by Canonical they must be pretty schizophrenic over there ;). Anyway, did Canonical need the endorsement of Debian to create Ubuntu? Or did Mint need the endorsement of Canonical? I don't see why Canonical should have to ask permission to make a respin of MythTV. If they could actually get some market traction (which I'm not holding my breath for) then patches and improvements will hopefully make their way back. Or not, since there's no law that require you to work well with upstream. If it turns out to be nothing but MythTV with a skin I'm sure most people will hear about that anyway.

      • Re:Mythbuntu (Score:4, Informative)

        by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:27AM (#38636322)

        By "this", in

        Seeing as this Ubuntu respin has never been officially endorsed by Canonical

        I meant
        "Seeing as Mythbuntu has never been officially endorsed by Canonical"

        Mythbuntu was a third party respin of Ubuntu, that integrated MythTV into the distribution and comes with custom front-end configuration software and other things to ease the setup of a MythTV system

    • Re:Mythbuntu (Score:5, Informative)

      by LordKronos (470910) on Monday January 09, 2012 @10:16AM (#38636918) Homepage

      Looking at the screenshots, it looks like it's running MythTV with a custom theme

      I wonder how the Mythbuntu folks feel about this.
      Seeing as this Ubuntu respin has never been officially endorsed by Canonical (to my knowledge), may be seen as a bit of a hijacking of the project...

      Uh, what screenshots are you looking at? The ones in the linked article? It looks nothing like MythTV, other than in the generic way in which you could say any media app (Windows Media Center, Sage TV, XBMC, etc) looks like MythTV (you know, it's got a program guide, and a list of videos with coverart). If there's one thing in there that makes it painfully obvious that it ISN'T mythtv, it's got to be the screenshot that shows you can rent/buy movies...myth doesn't have anything at all like that.

      • ...other than in the generic way

        Ohh I can so see the Apple, Sony and Microsoft lawsuits!
        Microsoft: "All yor media playorz R belong to us!"
        Sony: "That's our look n feel right there!"
        Apple: "You have round corners!?!?!?!"

  • by Anonymous Coward

    but Canonical was unable to confirm any manufacturers. It will be released later this year.

    Oh dear. Released by who then?

    • Re:Oh dear (Score:5, Funny)

      by 1s44c (552956) on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:27AM (#38636160)

      but Canonical was unable to confirm any manufacturers. It will be released later this year.

      Oh dear. Released by who then?

      Sony may be coding up a rootkit for ubuntu as we talk.

      • Sony may be coding up a rootkit for ubuntu as we talk.

        Motorola, maker of set top boxes, is working on Ubuntu Blur theme-ification and unremovable Blockbuster app as we speak.

    • Re:Oh dear (Score:5, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday January 09, 2012 @10:42AM (#38637140)

      When asked who would actually be manufacturing it, a Canonical spokesperson responded "Hey, look over there!" and ran out a nearby exit.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It is actually interesting, the components in the system are in GPL3 and LGPL3 licenses, this essentially forbids Tivoization of the components. Though, most manufacturers do Tivoize the kernel these days (this is essentially a requirement for building a CI+ device).

      So, the question is, will any manufacturers build TVs shipping with GPL3 code? Will it be possible to ship Ubuntu TV on a device with a CI+ card reader?

  • by msobkow (48369) on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:17AM (#38636122) Homepage Journal

    I can't imagine anyone going to an electronics store and saying "I want to buy an Ubuntu TV." No, they're going to ask for features or for a name-brand.

    Who is going to be shipping them? The author of the software behind a smart/internet-enabled TV is way down my priority list when considering the purchase of a TV.

    From what I've read, none of the so-called "Smart TV" products works with ALL content. They're all broken for one media site or another, a far from perfect solution for anyone.

    How about listing the streaming protocols and formats Ubuntu supports? Are there any it doesn't support? Why?

    I guess we'll just have to hope for more info when CES rolls around. But for now, I'd appreciate it if the Slashbot editors would stop posting pre-announcements for products as if they're telling us anything useful in them. All you're doing is providing free advertising for products that haven't been shown yet and about which we know nothing.

    I'd much rather see some articles during and after CES that actually have some information about the products, not just the names of the vendors involved.

    • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:39AM (#38636206) Homepage

      I think you're kind of missing the point. It's up to manufacturers to pick what OS their TV runs (and yes, it feels seriously odd saying that). All digital TVs and PVRs run Linux, almost without exception - there are some weird outliers like cable boxes that run VxWorks, but they're going away.

      If I can get my hands on a feature-complete environment with a pretty solid company behind it to install onto my TV, I'd be mad not to use it in favour of some half-assed homegrown thing.

      • It's up to manufacturers to pick what OS their TV runs ...

        Holly s*** it does sound weird.

        On another note you are absolutely correct, this is just a 'sort of' prelude to the OS war that is coming to the world of the living room and will end up with the big battle over the kitchen appliances. Since, apparently, bread slicers are better when they have a GPU.

      • Also lets hope the Mythbuntu fork works otherwise we are doomed to a life of manically moving around our hands in order to adjust the volume on our kinect enabled windows8910 TV.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, WHO will not manufacture them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My Toshiba TV already runs Linux somewhere along the line - presumably for the smart TV features. Now, either Toshiba are maintaining this themselves or they have bought it in from somewhere. Does that answer your question as to what market Canonical may be looking at?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:17AM (#38636124)

    sudo apt-get remove realitytv
    sudo apt-get install somethinginteresting

  • More useful links (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ramsed (89819) <Sander.van.Noort@gmail . c om> on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:20AM (#38636132)
    More info at Canocial blog [canonical.com] and Ubuntu website [ubuntu.com] (including a video).
  • by blackest_k (761565) on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:24AM (#38636142) Homepage Journal

    Hopefully there may be some new packages coming out because of this
    daap seems broken on ubuntu
    least ways I can't connect via daap to my media on my nas , that may be due to a bad file name for a media file. Tried several media players and failed each time.

    DLNA does work with Totem and XBMC but Totem doesn't filter and XBMC takes over the whole session meaning you can't just set music playing and get on and do something else.
    rhythmbox is supposed to support DLNA but the media servers don't show up.

    The other issue which exists is DRM somehow there has to be some decoding of drm in order to use a lot of feeds and what content provider is going to give keys to decode content without some certainty that their content isn't going to become part of somebodies library for the price of a rental

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      The other issue which exists is DRM somehow there has to be some decoding of drm in order to use a lot of feeds and what content provider is going to give keys to decode content without some certainty that their content isn't going to become part of somebodies library for the price of a rental

      Most slashdot readers want something nice to play DVDs they ripped themselves and torrented movies. The media companies have been abusing customers for far too long for anyone to give a toss about their survival now. Any new fancy DRM scheme will just get hacked like all the others did, the media companies may as well not bother.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Gordonjcp (186804)

      There is a serious lack of UPNP renderers on Linux. I'm kind of surprised at this, since it shouldn't be hard to do. I'll throw it on the pile with my other 327 projects.

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        Possibly because UPNP and Home DLNA are STUPID CONCEPTS. They offer virtually nothing in terms of actual functionality besides saving a few moments of setup you do once in exchange for a security hole that lasts a life time; so that's UPNP.

        As far as DLNA goes similarly worthless. Just one more protocol that offers essentially nothing. Okay mDNS so stuff can find it. Again a few moments of setup you do once, on new devices. I'd rather see consumer home routers provide consumers with working plain old DN

        • by pr0nbot (313417)

          One of the primary uses for my Android phone turns out to be as a streaming music player when I'm lounging in bed. I use the 2player app, which sees the music on my LAN, served via DLNA from a NAS (an iomega box). All of this "just worked" with just about zero setup cost (I had to turn on the "media server" on the NAS and tell it where the music was). At a stroke it rendered the CD player and stack of CDs I used to keep on hand obsolete, doesn't require me to do any syncing to my phone, and gives me access

          • by draco ni (42765)

            replying to remove a bad mod. it sure would be nice if there were a better way to do that.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            You can get the same thing from an open CIFS share created with the standard menus that have been available to Windows users since Windows was still a 16-bit OS.

            A separate DLNA server simply doesn't offer much value.

            The only reason it is preferable for a particular consumer appliance is the lack of support for a 17+ year old network protocol in those devices.

            The main problem with DLNA is the disconnect between what is on the server and what any particular device will support for playback. Also, most DLNA se

            • by Gordonjcp (186804)

              Why would a phone have CIFS though? I don't want to dick around trying to work my way through whatever weirdass Windows magic it takes to a CIFS server working just so I can share music between various things. I want to turn on my PS3, hit "Find Media Servers..." and have it magically appear. I want to do the same on my laptop, my phone and my Ubuntu TV.

              Why on earth should I have to go through all this Windows admin course stuff just to play some music?

              • by jedidiah (1196)

                Why not?

                It's a Unix machine if you bother to look under the covers.

                It's also not "server" stuff. It's basic end user Windows stuff that's been there since 1994. No "admin" required. Just use the shiny happy menus.

                Any whiny complaint you can direct at basic file sharing, probably goes triple for any more specialized "server".

                It's really not rocket surgery despite everyone's attempts to pretend otherwise.

                • by Gordonjcp (186804)

                  I don't understand the "shiny happy menus". I don't use Windows, and I don't want to have to learn. I've got better things to do with my time than geek about with that stuff. I just want my music player to work without any dicking about.

                  And I *really* don't want to have to explain to my mother how to admin a Windows server over the phone, so she can get *her* tunes to work.

            • DLNA is a lot more than just file names you get the tag data straight away, depending on how the server is configured you might just have track artist album and genre which is very crap if your rendering device can't filter my old buffalo linktheatre is like that however a more advanced config will have options such as search by folder or index artist which splits into abc def ghi .. so if you don't need to scroll from acdc to get to zztop.

              note for more advanced config i had to make a new ini file for twon

          • I find DLNA wonderfully useful. Anyone who comes into my living room can show the photos and videos from their phone on my TV. Same for laptops. Everyone can instantly access each other too, as well as my media server. It's great for parties.

  • RedundantTV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:38AM (#38636202) Homepage

    Okay so, we have MythTV, XBMC/Boxee/Plex, Freevo, Enna, and only Github knows how many others... and now Ubuntu TV.

    How many of these me-too media center suites do we need ? I've been an XBMC fan since it was an actual Xbox app, but it is only a player. The few of my friends who want PVR functionality use MythTV. Would it not make a million times more sense to concentrate people's efforts on those two projects ? I'd rather have two awesome media center apps than ten shitty ones. Both are extensively configurable so it doesn't seem like anyone would be losing prized functionality by switching to one of the big two - or even merging them into one.

    And no, I'm not new here. I'm just fed up with the unnecessary fracturing of limited free software resources. Even the venerable GeeXboX has seen the light and transformed itself into a polished XBMC-based distro. The more developers and eyeballs we have on the core projects, the better.

    • Re:RedundantTV (Score:5, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:25AM (#38636316) Homepage Journal

      We don't need any that don't support Netflix. Will they have netflix support?

      • by domatic (1128127)

        If they manage to get any OEMs then I don't see why not. There are Netflix clients in all sorts of closed Linux based hardware. These are going to mostly be ARM binaries and no doubt have some extra DRM in them so they'll only run on that hardware. What Netflix pointedly doesn't do is make that available for x86 desktops.

        I think Ubuntu is being a bit wishful here but this doesn't seem to be targeted at the home user who throws MythTV or XBMC on a desktop machine and hooks it to the TV.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Who needs Netflix when you have Icefilms?

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          They have, for the moment, content I want to watch. I'm using a Wii for the purpose now, so I don't actually need anything, but I'd like to have more functionality in my STB. However, I won't flip back and forth between devices as I find it a hassle. Right now I view other content on a netbook while I watch TV.

          • by Hatta (162192)

            I'm kind of curious as to what you find on Netflix that you can't find on Icefilms.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Create a separate app that looks like it belongs with either one of them and your average user won't be able to tell the difference.

        Now THIS is an area where Canonical could actually make themselves useful. Develop a nice proprietary BLOB that integrates with what is already available to provide something that would not otherwise be available.

        The old Suse kind of provided that back in the day.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      MythTV is not a MEdia center. it is a PVR. please get your story straight.

      MythTV rocks at recording TV. it is utter garbage as a Media Center.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        ...which is probably why he included XBMC.

        You can even launch XBMC (or Hulu) from MythTV if you want to.

        MythTV is really flexible that way.

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      I think the PVR as a device is going to disappear entirely by 2015. If the "RokuStick" they're announcing (HDMI dongle for your TV) is any indication, especially at the sub-$100 launch price, there won't be any profit margin left in HDMI dongles in a few years. You will get a Netflix dongle free with your subscription, along with one for your Hulu Plus subscription; cable TV and satellite boxes will disappear completely and you'll get an HDMI dongle in a bubble pack mailer instead of a VCR-looking device.

      • I think the PVR as a device is going to disappear entirely by 2015. If the "RokuStick" they're announcing (HDMI dongle for your TV) is any indication

        How will a dongle be big enough to hold a hard drive that can store recorded shows that haven't yet made it to the streaming services?

        You will get a Netflix dongle free with your subscription, along with one for your Hulu Plus subscription

        Which means I'd have to reach around behind to TV to plug in a different dongle when I want to watch each different streaming provider's programming.

        cable TV and satellite boxes will disappear completely and you'll get an HDMI dongle in a bubble pack mailer instead of a VCR-looking device.

        How will a dongle be big enough to hold a CableCARD so that it can descramble the channels to which one subscribes?

        • by Hadlock (143607)

          1. thumb drives are really cheap, you can fit a lot of PVR-quality video on 32, 64 or 128gb of memory
          2. Most TVs have at least 3 HDMI ports, see also: Input button on remote
          3. Why wouldn't CableCARDs come in smaller formats?
           
          2015 is a long ways out yet, and miniaturization happens rapidly. Some TVs already have built-in CableCard ports anyways. MHL is the future though.

          • by tepples (727027)

            thumb drives are really cheap, you can fit a lot of PVR-quality video on 32, 64 or 128gb of memory

            I just searched, and you're right that they've finally fallen below $1/GB.

            Most TVs have at least 3 HDMI ports

            Mine has only two, neither of them MHL.

            Why wouldn't CableCARDs come in smaller formats?

            CableCARD is a 68-pin "PC Card" (54x86 mm). The cable TV system operators, TV networks, and FCC would have to agree on any smaller format.

            MHL is the future

            So what's the present?

            • by Hadlock (143607)

              MHL is the future, So what is the present?

              People complaining that existing, outdated components are is too big to fit on the back of their TV, and not having enough HDMI ports, apparently.

          • by edmicman (830206)

            Just want to take issue with #1 - I have an aging Windows Media Center box I put together years ago with 300GB dedicated to PVR storage. At SD quality I'm bumping against the limit all the time. Sure, I have a bunch of stuff recorded that I haven't got around to watching yet but isn't that the point? I would want at least 500GB available if I was recording in HD.

            I don't see the want for PVRs to go away anytime soon as long as you still can't get everything on streaming when you want it. Streaming doesn'

            • by Hadlock (143607)

              I don't doubt there will continue to be some sort of dual-market for light users and heavy users, with light users getting the dongle, and heavy users paying extra for enhanced PVR box/service of some sort.
               
              It would be interesting if the "enhanced PVR box" was simply a NAS with wifi that was paired with the MHL dongle. You can essentially do this already with the Apple TV and iTunes.

            • I have a whole TB (for SD) ; I think the phenomenon is more that if you have the storage, you'll fill it. My wife in particular is a real squirrel with cheesy old movies.

              Fortunately I can blame the auto-expiry when they "drop off the bottom" of the storage. Ahem.

              To be honest ; when and if I upgrade my setup to HD, I'll stick to 2TB and no more - there's such a thing as too much choice and too much TV.

              • by billcopc (196330)

                there's such a thing as too much choice and too much TV.

                Yes indeed, as my 42 TB file server would suggest. First it was a 1 TB drive shared off my old PC, then it was 4 of them in a RAID, then 8, 16, and now 42 TB in a SAS expander. Of that, about 8 TB is just movies and TV shows. Flipping through the list is a depressing affair, as there is so much choice yet I never know what I feel like watching.

                My next pet project will be a "what's hot" script for XBMC, that filters things down to the latest additions, along with some semi-random suggestions for each genr

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            > 1. thumb drives are really cheap, you can fit a lot of PVR-quality video on 32, 64 or 128gb of memory

            ???

            PVR-quality video has the same footprint as BluRay.

          • by billcopc (196330)

            Well... you're a bit optimistic there. Good TVs have 3+ HDMI ports, but a lot of the cheaper - thus popular - models only have 1 or 2. And CableCARD is a weird little thing, in that I've heard it mentioned over the years, but never seen it, neither as a device, nor as a port on the back of any TV.

            Perhaps the saving grace is that these MHL dongles can be made backward-compatible, using just a plain old HDMI output and some external power source. They would still require a remote, but that's a small price

            • by Hadlock (143607)

              I wasn't aware they still made them with less than 3 HDMI ports. What do people with more than one video game console do then? A quick look at newegg shows that only about 25% of available models (like you mentioned, probably the cheaper and higher sales volume models) have 2 or less HDMI ports. The vast majority of models do have 3+ HDMI ports. There may be a silver lining to this - people with low end models probably won't be interested in more than two devices attached to their TV. Alternately, people mi

    • How many of these me-too media center suites do we need ?

      The answer might be simple. Coming up with unique programming ideas is hard, so this subject gives coders a nice and sexy project to work on. Everyone likes to watch movies and listen to music. That's why there's so many of them.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      If they were all hobbyists, then maybe. But Canonical is a commercial company and it's not interested in extinguishing itself any more than Red Hat, Suse etc. are interested in all merging to the "Linux Server" project. Sure, when Red Hat contributes something to the kernel it might benefit all Linux servers but primarily they're interested in selling Red Hat. It's part for themselves and part for the community, if you take away that win-win and say they must fully sacrifice themselves to the community they

    • Any "DVR" that doesn't support cablecards is worthless to me. IR blasters are a kludgy "solution" that won't even let me watch something and record something else at the same time (much less record two different shows at once). Digital cable and satellite are my only options for watching anything other than crappy network shows. And so my only options at present are the DVR from my cableco and Tivo.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > IR blasters are a kludgy "solution" that won't even let me watch something and record something else at the same time

        Not true. This isn't the 1999 Tivo we're talking about.

        You can have as many recording devices as you like.

        You can have as many playback devices as you like.

        They can be the same devices, or not.

        An IR blaster is only kludgey when you first set it up. It's pretty transparent after that. This is why Tivo was ever able to survive the age before cable cards.

        • by elrous0 (869638) *

          So you're saying that a *modern* IR blaster will let me record one thing and watch another (or record two shows at once) without buying multiple cable boxes, setting up multiple IR blasters, etc.? That's a neat trick.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            > without buying multiple cable boxes

            That is an entirely artificial requirement.

            CableCard is it's own can of worms. It's no bed of roses either. It's a manifestation of the fact that cable companies don't want to relinquish control.

            Doesn't work with sat cable either.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://www.reghardware.com/2012/01/09/lenovo_touts_worlds_first_ics_television_set/

    If this is any good then it could well be that the Canonical offering will be too little, too late.

  • How about the TV is dead a perspective to begin with? Most younger people in the West watch TV. Or, do they? Well, were there is still some money around. But very little. Still, the jury may be hung, without the pornographic connection, however relevant that is.

    In the five to ten year perspective, most likely, traditional TV is dead. As in a "Steve Jobs is dead," forever.

    • I fear the `computer' as we know it will be dead in a five to ten year perspective.

      All we'll have are locked down media consumption devices (e.g. ipads and these kinds of TVs, perhaps linux based, who knows, but that doesn't matter). Sure you'll be able to browse web, check email, and BUY apps, movies, music etc., but that would be it for its capabilities---and scary part is that 99% of the population would be just fine with that.

  • by pecosdave (536896) * on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:15AM (#38636294) Homepage Journal

    I've used MythTV extensively in the past, not as much anymore since cable providers fight tooth and nail against clear QAM and NTSC, but never mind that.

    One thing I really liked about MythTV was the ability to launch any program I wanted through use of the "Game Player" section - most notably, I actually liked being able to launch actual video games. If this thing actually hits TV's or a set top box the box itself needs to support Bluetooth - for pairing PS3 controls. USB would be an alright work around and there's lots you could do with it, but really Bluetooth is the way to go. They need the MythTV like game launch for ZSNES, Mednafen, MAME, and whatever else. The console in the TV would be the rockinest thing ever!

    (Building in support for a Myth backend would be nice also, but who am I fooling? Cable providers have put a bullet in that. It's easier to just torrent and watch shows than it is to time shift - the irony of the situation - fighting against the peoples ability to legally do as they should be able to causes more piracy - who would have guessed?)

    • by drewstah (110889)

      Long-time MythTV user here. MythTV does the PVR stuff for me that I like. Otherwise, I do not have collections of videos or MP3s, and have stayed away from torrenting media. I've also thrown a Roku into the mix, since I like watching Netflix. If only modern players would support playing from MythTV, and I think Ubuntu TV may be a step in that direction. As it is, I'm experimenting with using the Roku as a MythTV player, but it is annoying to transcode all the video to h.264 or whatever it is. Still, I'm gla

      • by pecosdave (536896) *

        My Bluray player served the same purpose as your Roku. My LG player does Amazon video and Hulu+. I use Amazon since it's about the only way I can find certain bike tools and parts and Prime gives me free shipping etc, yes I know how evil Amazon is and I used to not deal with them but I gave up. Hulu+ sucks because they still play commercials at you even if you pay, it's buggy as hell, and about half the content or more is "web only" meaning I can't use my stupid Bluray player with it anyways.

        Hopefully, U

  • I don't want Unity on my computer and I don't watch TV, just youtube videos. They are going the way of a TV on a general computer with Unity and sacrificing normal desktop for it.

    • They built it for the tablets and TVs... and then some idiot thought it would be funny if they put it on a desktop... (right click? what right click? there's no right click! it's unity...)

  • Considering Ubuntu doesn't come with the (built in) ability to connect to Windows networks I'm a little concerned that Ubuntu TV will prove just as handicapped.

    Yes I appreciate Samba (or similar) will add this feature back in but I would hope that they have had the foresight to include this as default in Ubuntu TV.
    • It doesn't? I'm pretty much using a default Ubuntu 10.04 at home and a 11.10 at work. In Nautilus it's just File - Connect to Server - Windows Share... Fill in the stuff it needs to know, and you're good.
      • by PhilJC (928205)
        I stand corrected (though not able to try it out until I get home). Every Google search on the subject seemed to bring up Samba as the only solution whereas as soon as I threw Nautilus into the search string I get a ton of info on how to do it without.

        Appreciate the info jawstheshark.
        • You're welcome. Nautilus is the Gnome file manager. What is waaaay more nifty than .gvfs samba mounts by Gnome is that you can mount ssh "shares". Basically, if you have ssh access to a Unix machine, you can mount its filesystem graphically using ssh. (Look into the "SSH" option instead of "Windows Share"). If you have ssh keys setup, then it won't even ask your password. Pure bliss, especially if you quickly need files from home while at work and obviously you'd never expose a samba server to the Int

  • They can compete with XBMC?

    Honestly, XBMC is a far better and polished setup. and it's brain dead easy to put a basic linux under it to make it a "distro"

    Why is ubuntu trying to reinvent the wheel?

    • Does XBMC run on Raspberry Pi?

      • by Junta (36770)

        Not at this moment, but Ubuntu doesn't either. The difference between the two is XBMC is likely to start working, whereas Ubuntu has decided to ignore ARMv6 architectures going forward.

      • by brianerst (549609)

        Yes, it does [dropbox.com].

    • by Junta (36770)

      That's Ubuntu's thing. They have Gnome, KDE and they roll Unity. They have XBMC and *knowing* it is the base of endeavors like Boxee and Plex decide to roll it again.

      I will say XBMC is certainly not perfect. For one, no sane mechanism to view iTunes, Amazon video, Netflix, or Hulu/Hulu plus in Linux. However, one would think if they could work the logistics for whatever they are up to, they could do it in an XBMC compatible way. FYI, I don't buy iTunes or Amazon, but I *would* if it were DRM free and t

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:23AM (#38636570) Homepage Journal

    but Canonical was unable to confirm any manufacturers. It will be released later this year.

    UbuntuTV! Maybe I'll be able to root my old black and white Philco.

    It's got a little problem with the vertical hold, but that goes away if I reach in the back and wiggle one of the tubes.

  • by JustNiz (692889) on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:42AM (#38636676)

    One of the main reasons I don't like Unity is that it wastes so much screenspace and makes the icons so big that you only get to see a few on the screen at a time.

    I noticed the paradigm continues with unbuntuTV.

    I have over 1000 videos. Using the whole screen to show 6 movie icons at a time won't even slightly work for me.

    • by jamstar7 (694492)
      You know, there ARE other desktops you can use.

      Personally, I use Fluxbox. Nice and light on my Atom-powered current desktop, runs mplayer and vlc quite nicely.


      sudo apt-get install fluxbox fbpager
      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Defaults should be sane and useful.

        Apple fanboys aren't the only people that can whine about design principles.

      • by JustNiz (692889)

        Apparently UbuntuTV isn't intended to be a PC platform. They're targetting embedded devices (think TV and roku-type boxes) so app choice won't be an option.

  • Does it run on Raspberry Pi?

  • This is an excellent way to get people open to the idea of using Ubuntu. Considering that the only decent DVR software is Windows Media Center, and that adds a premium to building HTPCs, system builders will be anxious to give this a shot. One the pay-offs if this is a hit is that people will be forced to try out Ubuntu and may boost familiarity amongst a greater number of users.
    • by Desler (1608317)

      Don't they actually have to get manufacturers to want to ship this in their products first? Since they are planning to ship this at the end of the year and can't confirm any actual partners most likely means this will be at best available in cheap brands that no one will want to buy and will have no entertainment industry support either. If Google is struggling in this space Canonical thinking they are going to succeed with no industry leverage at all is hilarious.

  • This actually makes sense. Prior to the iPhone, there were no widely accepted smart phones for consumers. It seems like Ubuntu is trying to do for TV what Apple did for cell phones. If you wanted to penetrate the consumer market, which Ubuntu does, then the TV seems a better avenue than the already crowded cellphone and tablet market.

    If successful with a smart TV, then people will be more willing to look at an Ubuntu powered tablet or phone.

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Monday January 09, 2012 @12:10PM (#38638064)

    A tv with a shitty interface where all the buttons get moved around every update ... how could it fail?

  • What is this new trend where GUI's are now using all the screenspace for whitespace or non-informative visual fluff, while making the amount of space for the actual useful info tiny and/or crammed into a corner?

    I mean look at the screenshots in the article. Thjey have a whole HD widescreen and the movie list page has space for 6 icons? I have more than 1000 movie files, with that GUI finding a movie by browsing will get old REAL FAST.

    And look at the page for the Cars2 movie. They cant even get a short des

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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