Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Blockbuster's Movie Download Box Runs Linux

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-does-it-run-emacs dept.

Media 194

DeviceGuru writes "In a better-late-than-never move, Blockbuster has introduced a video-on-demand (VOD) service accompanied by a 'free' set-top box (STB). Like TiVo, Roku's Netflix box, and many other modern Internet-enabled A/V gadgets, Blockbuster's new VOD STB runs Linux. But darn it; when will someone finally offer a reasonably-priced, open-platform STB that serves as an A/V gateway to multiple Internet-based services — one consumer-friendly, environmentally-designed, low-power gadget 'to rule them all,' if you will."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered


Did you know... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904463)

Linux is written by fags for fags. It's true.

Re:Did you know... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904515)

Which is exactly why *you're* here!

Re:Did you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904575)

So rather than refute my argument, you bolster it. Well played.

Re:Did you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904613)

Get a room, you students.

Re:Did you know... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904647)

And you haven't refuted the fact that you're a fag. Fag.

Re:Did you know... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904777)

Man, everybody is gay once in awhile!

Re:Did you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25905283)

When I pee I hold my penis. Am I gay?

Re:Did you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25905853)

You fuck a mean nigger tho.

Boxee (2, Informative)

jmelloy (460671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904469)

Using Boxee on my AppleTV is like living in the future. Seamlessly plays my torrented files and streams hulu (with netflix Coming Real Soon).

It's fantastic.

Re:Boxee (1)

lupis42 (1048492) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904581)

Is this Apple TV haxored in some way? I still really want an Apple TV that I can attach external drives to, using the USB port that it has, so that I can boot it off of said external drive, and make it run linux, than leave a dvd drive hooked up to it.
Why can't anyone make and sell this kind of nice hardware and let me run whatever the hell I want on it?

Re:Boxee (4, Informative)

jmelloy (460671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904881)

It's haxored. http://code.google.com/p/atvusb-creator/ unlocks the rigorous protections (user: frontrow password: frontrow) and enables SSH. It also installs Boxee.

With SSH it's fairly straightforward to enable USB mass storage, and I currently have an external drive hooked up to the USB port. Making it run Linux is probably easiest by taking it apart and installing off your computer onto the hard drive.

Re:Boxee (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905461)

Does the hack allow the Apple TV to play HD content?

I know the stock system cannot, but I haven't seen if that is a software or hardware limitation.

Re:Boxee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25905901)

atvusb-creator makes the process dead simple. Your mom could do it, it's that easy. Haven't had the time to mess with the ATV innards via SSH, but it appears that ATV is running a variant of MacOS/BSD, so I assume a haxor could make it jump though hoops with the proper motivation.

XBMC and Boxee, both installed with the USB stick, are great programs. Boxee is still in Alpha, so it's a tad unstable (at least on my ATV). It still shows lots of promise and lets the ATV reach its full potential.

Beware that Apple's ATV updates break Boxee, so update with the Apple releases with caution until the devs give the all clear.

Dying Concept (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904505)

Now that this stuff is practical, our friendly ISPs are throttling/capping our bandwidth.

Re:Dying Concept (4, Interesting)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904551)

That could be good. before the only people who used their bandwidth were "teh evil pirates", now if joe schmoe and his mother are going over their cap maybe they will see that they need to keep pace.

/yes I know wishful thinking.

Re:Dying Concept (-1, Flamebait)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904693)

Now that this stuff is practical, our friendly ISPs are throttling/capping our bandwidth.

Surprise! Businesses wishing to have a say over the kind of services they offer — and charge higher fees for heavier use... Can't let it happen, can we?

I know, let's enact "Net Neutrality" legislation — that will change everything, and make the ISPs happy to offer their services to us.

Re:Dying Concept (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904743)

Where the hell have you been during the whole Net Neutrality debate? This has nothing to do with Net Neutrality, which is about keeping your ISP from charging the websites you visit, when both you and said websites have already paid for service.

Re:Dying Concept (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905775)

Where the hell have you been during the whole Net Neutrality debate? This has nothing to do with Net Neutrality, which is about keeping your ISP from charging the websites you visit, when both you and said websites have already paid for service.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but caps are the back-door around network neutrality. You are capped for all of the internet, except the handful of 'partner' websites which don't count against your cap. We aren't there yet, but it is the next logical step. The ISP won't charge youtube anything for its customer's to download content - they will just threaten to cut them off until the next cycle starts which will cause the users to "self-censor" the places they go on the net. It's totally the users' decision, don't you see?

Re:Dying Concept (2, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25906021)

You know, once you get past 'Libertarianism as taught by Ayn Rand 101', you can stop shrinking complex issues into sound bites. The question here isn't just whether businesses should have a right to charge higher fees based on heavier use. It's also, "Should businesses have the right to charge more for some types of use that create the same load, than for others?", and "Should businesses take money from the government and then still demand a regulation free market?", and particularly, "Should businesses have a right to promise one thing and deliver another?".

Re:Dying Concept (1)

Gutboy (587531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904837)

And that is exactly why they are doing it. This competes with part of their business model (pay-per-view), and they don't like competition.

Re:Dying Concept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904861)

Or maybe offering bandwidth costs money.

Re:Dying Concept (1)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904967)

Or maybe offering bandwidth costs money.

Yup, but not nearly as much as the cable operators want you to think. Unfortunately they have local monopolies and with no need to compete. Well FIOS but I'm a good five years from getting that in my area.

Re:Dying Concept (4, Informative)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905493)

wow, brilliant deduction! because, up until now we were all expecting to receive internet access for free.

anyone who's looked at broadband costs/availability in different parts of the world knows that ISPs in certain countries have a charge-more-for-less attitude. part of this is due to their being unregulated natural monopolies, thus being able to do whatever they want. part of it is due to pro-business/anti-consumer attitudes that dominate our culture. but at least part of the blame rests on ignorant members of the public who buy the "pirates are stealing your internet speeds!!!!11" BS put out by greedy ISPs, who all the while continue to oversell far beyond their network capacity.

bandwidth isn't a limited natural resource. if public demand for internet bandwidth increases, you just increase the network capacity and make more money. if you want to increase your subscription base, you need to upgrade your network to match the increase traffic load. that's just common sense. but some ISPs seem to want to increase their number of subscribers without matching increases in network capacity. and now they're trying to shift blame for the poor service quality on "power users" for actually using the internet connections they paid for.

so rather than upgrading their networks to conform to changes in internet usage like Japanese, Korean and European ISPs are doing, U.S. ISPs are instead wasting money on traffic monitoring & packet analysis/shaping technology. in other words, rather than increasing network capacity to meet public internet usage, they're trying to manipulate public internet usage to conform to their insufficient network capacity & business model.

it's no wonder many communities are establishing their own municipal WiFi/WiMax networks rather than getting reamed by commercial ISPs for subpar service.

Re:Dying Concept (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25906023)

The overselling is very understandable when to most users it matters not if their HTML email spam is downloaded from a 1Mb or 20Mb connection. And a 250GB per month cap is meaningless to the users that use only 1GB a month.

Now when you have 1% of the users actually using 20Mb and angry about the 250GB cap, can you understand why the cable company isn't very receptive? Of course, should this reach 5% their system will be unusable. But it has been impossible to justify massive expansion throughout the network when the user community is split like this.

Finally, the biggest problem for most ISPs in the US is still marketshare and penetration. In some affluent areas it is approaching 100%, but throughout most of the country it is far, far less than that. Maybe 10%. Should this change, they might actually be motivated to invest in the kind of massive rebuilding you would like to see. Until then, expect little to happen to benefit 1% of the customer base.

Re:Dying Concept (4, Interesting)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905147)

No, because their infrastructure is designed for web pages and email, not video.

Now that video is becoming mainstream they are 'managing' their networks to prevent overload.

What they arent doing is increasing capacity.

Re:Dying Concept (4, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905595)

their infrastructure is designed for binary data--1's and 0's. it doesn't matter whether those 1's and 0's are used to make text or multimedia.

it's not like we're all still using dial-up connections and are expecting to stream HD-video over them. the reason streaming video and other bandwidth-intensive applications have become so popular is because the technology and infrastructure has progressed to the point where these are now practical uses of internet access. aside from rare companies like the BBC, who are early adopters in order to be technological leaders in their industry, most commercial companies aren't going to develop an application that depends on technological infrastructure that isn't widely available yet.

there's a symbiotic relationship between technology/infrastructure and application/usage. it's cutting-edge applications that gain popular usage which drive technological progress and infrastructure upgrades. but at the same time, it's the widespread adoption of new technologies and infrastructure upgrades that stimulate the development of new applications, and change the way people use technology. the public can't make use of technology that isn't available to them.

the reason ISPs in the U.S. are struggling, and their service quality is so poor is because of two things: shortsightedness and greed. greed drove them to oversell their networks by way too much. their shortsightedness caused them to think this business model was sustainable. the Japanese have already begun efforts to make 100 Mbit residential connections a nationwide standard. they saw where technology was headed, and they've been gradually making headway over the years to upgrade their infrastructure to keep up with demand. there's no reason why U.S. ISPs couldn't have done the same. it's because they've gotten used to abusing their monopolies that their networks have become overloaded. and they still think that they should dictate how consumers use their internet access.

Re:Dying Concept (4, Interesting)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904939)

They always did that. They always had to. Bandwidth is not infinite.

Now, however, they are just telling you what kind of caps they have instead of leaving you to guess. And the caps really aren't that bad; they're more geared to the hoarders and mega-uploaders which cause most of the problems. ...And yes, businesses should not be offering "unlimited" if it is not unlimited.

Re:Dying Concept (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905131)

I don't think one should make any excuses for them. Unless otherwise _advertised_, customers should have access to x bps at all time.

Re:Dying Concept (2, Insightful)

Lyrael (1196443) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905577)

Bandwidth is not infinite, I agree. The problem here is that they aren't limiting *bandwidth*, they are limiting the amount of data you can transfer in a month. Now, whilst this is also not infinite in a technical sense, in practice it is, as there is no way you will be constantly downloading at your bandwidth cap all month long.

Basically, I have no problem with them limiting and throttling bandwidth at peak times when their hardware is actually limited and can't handle everyone's downloading at once. I *do* have a problem with arbitrary caps on data transfers. It costs them no more money whatsoever for you to continue downloading for that month after you hit the cap, so long as you do it off-peak.

Where's the Source? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904511)

Since we know that question is coming...

The box is made by 2Wire and they provide source here:
http://www.2wire.com/index.php?p=437 [2wire.com]

Did somebody say xbox? (3, Informative)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904521)

Wow, I could have sworn somebody just mentioned the Xbox. Runs linux, connects to the internet, can run multiple services.

My little beast will have a place next to my TV set for many years.

Re:Did somebody say xbox? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904797)

Yeah, but i want HD so i'm waiting for someone to crack the video limitations on ps3 linux, or to make the xbox 360 run linux...
My old original xbox works well enough, but it won't play high resolution h.264 videos...

Re:Did somebody say xbox? (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905201)

Or just use the vanilla Xbox360 to stream video from your linux server by using ushare, mediatomb or gmediastreamer.

Works a charm, even though my linux server is a 266MHz ARM box (NSLU2) with a 320GB disk attached. It can torrent at the same time.

Re:Did somebody say xbox? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905933)

While OtherOS on the PS3 has video limitations, GameOS doesn't. So what one could do is use Linux on the PS3 to get the files and store them on an external FAT32 drive (readable in both Linux and GameOS) one ps3-boot-game-os later and you're good to watch them. GameOS is also DLNA compliant and there's always the video for rental and sale on the Playstation Network store.

Re:Did somebody say xbox? (1)

gwait (179005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25906141)

So you can't use a PS3 to watch high def content from a linux (or other open) network disk?
Someone had told me the GameOS supports the "plug and play" network media stuff that Microsoft and other vendors (including Myth TV?) offer.
Does it? If so, what's the best the PS3 can do "off the shelf" ?

I was thinking of picking one up for this feature (to be able to watch up to 1080i analog component served from a linux server, or even downloaded to the PS3 drive)..

Re:Did somebody say xbox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25906013)

You're original xbox won't do HD either (or most xbox360's last I looked)

Re:Did somebody say xbox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904931)

Cracking the DRM and installing Linux yourself is not exactly "consumer-friendly".

Re:Did somebody say xbox? (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905093)

It's easier than a lot of stuff out there. For example, when I tried, I couldn't buy "The Daily Show" off of iTunes. By contrast, running a savegame in Splinter Cell was very easy.

Standardization needed (3, Insightful)

Perspiring Blood (1413451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904559)

If the format that the content is delivered in was standardized it would make hardware production costs dirt cheap since the circuitry could be tailored to the standard. There are plenty of OSS streaming Internet video standards and the extra circuitry could cheaply added to the "standard" DVD player. Then content providers could focus on their business model, pricing, product line and the like, and basically leave the tech to someone else.

Re:Standardization needed (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905433)

There are plenty of OSS streaming Internet video standards...

Standards are a wonderful thing; there are so many to chose from.

Well... (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904577)

There is Neuros [neurostechnology.com] , whose products fit the description pined for in TFS fairly well. The basic problem, though, is that the various internet video on demand pushers all want DRM which means that, at best, any box they produce will be "open box + big hostile blob" and will more likely be "closed box" or "closed box with API, if we feel generous". Because these guys seem to be shooting for the give them the razor, bleed them for the blades model, I wouldn't expect them to support multiple competing services, and the DRM wrapper will be enough to foil an legal multiservice boxes(and, in practice, make any illicit ones a pain in the ass to keep working).

For the immediately forseeable future, if you want an open, multiple service setup, you want a PC(in the broad sense, including mythTV, WMC, and aTV with Boxee).

Re:Well... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25905989)

I'm a big hostile blob, you insensitive clod.

Easy. When investors go for a non-razor model. (2, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904591)

But darn it; when will someone finally offer a reasonably-priced, open-platform STB that serves as an A/V gateway to multiple Internet-based services -- one consumer-friendly, environmentally-designed, low-power gadget 'to rule them all,' if you will."

When investors are willing to embrace a model other than "get you on the refills", because the development of these devices (and their after-sale support/warranty) is supported by the revenue generated from the rentals.

My brain is a little fried, but examples that pop to mind immediately: Gillette was the pioneer here for product concept that has jumped product category after product category. Cartridge video games. Printers (first ribbon-based, then inkjet, then laser). iTunes. Xbox Live (a great example: Rock Band.)

Re:Easy. When investors go for a non-razor model. (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904877)

You're right, they make money on the refills, but in the case the refills are subscriptions to the service and the razor they give away is the box itself.

If they aren't making any money on the STB sale, wouldn't it make sense for them to allow other hardware makers to do it for them?

Maybe not. I'm no MBA, but it makes sense it my head. I think the DRM is the real reason everyone needs to make their own.

open-platform? (2, Informative)

Puffy Director Pants (1242492) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904599)

I doubt it. How many of them would benefit by making it easier for their competition?

Re:open-platform? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904811)

The point isn't that it makes it easier for your competition, it's that it makes it easier for that industry as a whole.

Right now, with the market so fragmented, there's no way I'm buying a set-top box for one of these services -- if anything, I'll buy one I can hack to play my torrents.

If there was one to rule them all, I think a lot more people would consider it.

Re:open-platform? (5, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905111)

As long as it is the content distributors making the devices, this is a problem.

What's needed is for a company that focuses on making hardware and software to make such a box that incorporates a DRM that the content distributors can trust. Decrypting and decoding done in a hardware chip could accomplish that. Then they can get a device key that would enable decrypting the key that comes with the content package. There are other ways to do this, such as the content distributor encrypting the content package key with the single device unique public key (every unit has a different one, so the user has to send it to the content distributor as part of the purchase).

All this can be done without the OS itself ever handling any decrypted content. So it would be safe to not only run Linux, but even let users load their own custom OS (not necessarily Linux ... NetBSD might be fun, too). The DRM application would simply feed the keys into the hardware chip, and if the response to that is positive, feed the encrypted A/V stream into the hardware chip.

To be truly open, this device needs to also be able to handle non-DRM content. When in the non-DRM mode the hardware chip would not be doing any decryption. It would only be doing codec decoding. That way you can play your own movies and music, too. In the non-DRM mode, all outputs need to work (DRM protected content may not allow the analog output to work).

A user loadable OS would promote innovation. Geeks can experiment with new ideas. The manufacturer could then adopt them when it's done with GPL software such as Linux, if the creators publish it (since GPL means they have to provide source).

Really good hardware will include algorithms to decode all the major proprietary and non-proprietary formats, including DIRAC, OGG {Theora,Vorbis}, FLAC, MP3, MPEG2, MPEG4, H.264, DVB-{C,S,T}, ATSC, and anything else I didn't think of (there are too many minor ones). The box should also include Firewire {400,800}, USB, and eSATA-II jacks (all with support for flash sticks, hard drives, optical drives, cameras, camcorders, and phones), along with an RJ-45 ethernet 10/100/1000, an SMA wireless antenna jack (B/G/etc), dual antenna jack with built in DVB/ATSC/QAM tuner, cable-card slot, and an RJ-11 phone jack with a modem to dial up to buy authentication keys for those without broadband. The best box will have them all. Better boxes would at least allow all of them as options.

The first hardware manufacturer to do this and make sure it's fully open source, including the driver that passes the key package and content streams to the decoder hardware (the sealed part), would get a LOT of free publicity by the open source community raves. Although a lot of people do hate DRM, a market in transient products (e.g. movie rentals) would not function very well without it. By including such DRM capability, the manufacturer that makes such a device would have market potential for it well beyond just hackers. That would mean lower mass production pricing.

Re:open-platform? (2, Interesting)

droopycom (470921) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905579)

So basically, you want to have a black-box within the set top box that does the following:
- store some keys
- enforce DRM rules (eg: for online renting) (That would probably include to handle a secure communication channel to a server)
- decrypt the content
- decode content
- output the content through some protected video interface such as HDMI/HDCP (if the content was protected)

Guess whats inside the netflix box: a chip that can do all that, by running an OS, called Linux.

So, whats left to do outside the black box, in the open source part of the box ? Not much. Drivers to handle network connection, storage device and User Interface. When you already have a CPU running linux to do all the black box stuff, you dont want to add cost by adding another CPU when you have one that can do that and is already running linux....

What the hell?!?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904601)

WTF has happened to Slashdot?!

Why am I only seeing headlines? I thought it was a browser issue til I fired up Konqueror and got the same result.

Remember when Slashdot announced potential changes to the users before they implemented them? UGH. Fix Slashdot please!

I mean... at least Digg acts like they care...

Re:What the hell?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904635)

"Remember when Slashdot announced potential changes to the users before they implemented them? UGH. Fix Slashdot please!"

You'll get over it.


Re:What the hell?!?! (3, Interesting)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904731)

I remember when the Karma Kap was still fresh.

Now we don't even get to see what our Karma is. "Your karma is lightly hazy with a touch of rain in the southern reigons"

Re:What the hell?!?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904819)

Comrade Stalin would be proud of "9/11 changed everything" and our People's Liberation Army of Iraq.

actually, stalin would have started up concentration camps for nationalized muslims. yes, slashfags, concentration camps weren't limited to nazis and americans. and he would probably have buried most of the muslims alive. then he would be proud.

sj0 is nothing but a stupid bitch and a used tampon.

Re:What the hell?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904943)

It was with great pleasure I modded you to troll.

Now piss off and stop bothering the adults.

Re:What the hell?!?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25905053)

shut up faggot. go fill your mouth with another faggots dick. we know you like sucking on men's dicks. slurp it up you faggot.

Re:What the hell?!?! (5, Funny)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905797)

Dammit is 4chan down again? Could you 4channers go irritate the users at Digg and Ars or at the very least uphold the high standards of trolling we have here at Slashdot?

You see, we here at Slashdot have a long and distinguished history of being a place where truly great trolls learn how to become legendary. Such past alumni include the GNAA, The Penisbird, and of course that guy that makes ASCII Goatse art. Our trolls then go on to long and rewarding fields in a variety of endeavors, such as upper management at Comcast, making policy at several government organizations like the FCC, and hey, do you know how thought up the "Vista Capable" program that caused countless PC consumers nothing but grief? That's right! A former Slashdot troll!

So in conclusion, please think of the past greats in the history of trolling whose footsteps you are following in before you post. Do you think they would be proud of you screaming "fag" like a 14 year old that just lost a deathmatch in Halo? No, they would hang their heads under their mighty bridges in sadness. Please think before you troll and one day maybe you could join those great trolls and have YOUR picture on the wall at the great trolling hall of fame(which is in the men's john at the Hooters in Newark, NJ). Good luck, and may you have a long and successful career in trolling here at Slashdot.

AV Gateway (2, Informative)

BioNTechKid (973039) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904633)

There are alot of products out there that pretty good as an AV Gateway.

There is the Hauppauge MVP that is easy to use and setup, and yes you can put linux on it (if it isnt already).
http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_mediamvp.html [hauppauge.com]
It can stream almost anything but HD with an appropriate server.

A suggestion for the Ultimate at home Multimedia machine would be SageTV with its HD extenders that can play HD and almost everything I have found online. http://www.sagetv.com/hd_extender.html [sagetv.com]
(( Yes is it can play Netflix too !! ))


Re:AV Gateway (3, Insightful)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904799)

The problem here is adding another peripheral to an already saturated software market. Here is a partial list of what types of software Blockbuster could just partner with...

Windows Media Center / Xbox Extender
MythTV / MythBuntu
Media-Portal TVersity
Beyond Media
J River Media Center
Cyberlink PowerCinema
Sesam TV
Nero Home Media
Intervideo WinDVD Media Center
Sceneo TV-Central
Got all media
My Media System
Elgato EyeTV
Center Stage Project
XBMC (formally Xbox Media Center)
Elisa Media Center (Free)

If blockbuster would just create a plugin for any or all of these systems and use technology that is already around and in peoples homes, I think they would have a better chance at catching Netflix.

(some of this list courtesy of eirikso.com [eirikso.com]

open-platform STB (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904659)

To get an open-platform STB to talk to services such as Netflix, you'd need to meet their DRM requirements. Currently this seems to require Windows/Silverlight, which really limits what can be done.

Is there a way around this? I hope so.

Re:open-platform STB (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904853)

The movie distribution services could arrange to develop their own DRM, or choose some other DRM besides the one from Redmond. But corporate executives tend to no like that idea. They just want to buy it from some other corporation. It's that "in the same bed" thing.

Neuros Link (4, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904669)

But darn it; when will someone finally offer a reasonably-priced, open-platform STB that serves as an A/V gateway to multiple Internet-based services â" one consumer-friendly, environmentally-designed, low-power gadget 'to rule them all,' if you will.

http://www.neurostechnology.com/neuros-link [neurostechnology.com]

Also runs Linux and a Web browser with Flash so it can access all the TV sites like Hulu.

Is this article a clever plant?

Boxee (2, Informative)

Doodhwala (13342) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904681)

For something that works on Ubuntu and Apple TV, you might want to look at Boxee [boxee.tv] . It is not open source though. Invites from the main site take a while but you can get one faster from Fred Wilson's blog [avc.com] .

Re:Boxee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904783)

It is open source. They provide the source on the download page. It's based on XBMC which is GPL'd.

Re:Boxee (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905151)

Hmm, but it looks like you need to login to view the download page...

The forumns are open for anonymous viewing though. Looks like an interesting project.

Doesn't this violate the (1)

frednofr (854428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904761)


Re:Doesn't this violate the GPL (1)

Lorens (597774) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904879)

Depends on whether they modify the source code and/or release the modifications!

A big French service provider just got sued for providing a box containing GPL'd programs. When the accustions were first made 2 years ago, the service provider in question maintains that the programs are not modified and/or are permitted under GPLv2 (but not GPLv3), and that the accusations were fed by competitors.

http://www.freenews.fr/nat/6369-societe-free-assigne-pour-violation-presumee-de-la-licence-gnu-gpl.html [freenews.fr]

off topic but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25904769)

My husband just told me to be more Natalie Portman-y....

Re:off topic but... (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905469)

If this weren't Slashdot, I'd assume he meant nude, petrified and covered with Hot Grits. In this case, I've no idea what he was looking for.

"to rule them all" (0)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904847)

one consumer-friendly, environmentally-designed, low-power gadget 'to rule them all,' if you will.

..."and" once they patch the firmware to add some sort of DRM, "in the darkness bind them."

PCH (2, Interesting)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904867)

Isn't Popcorn Hour supposed to be the bee's knees with this stuff? They haven't released a Netflix component yet, but are supposed to be working on it. In the meantime, it seems like it's the best shot at an all-in-one device for the consumer. Plus it beats the pants off of most media players. How many of them can handle x264?

It's gonna be my Christmas present to myself. I am tired of screwing about with Windows Media Center and nix variations of that. A FreeNAS box and this and I will be set. With the way Comcast and AT&T have been acting recently, I don't want to depend on any video on demand type of system anyway. My last Netflix Instant Queue through 360 readjusted itself 3 times in the last 15 minutes. By the time it was done, it was unwatchable, hell the friggin credits were blurry.

What for? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#25904903)

But darn it; when will someone finally offer a reasonably-priced, open-platform STB that serves as an A/V gateway to multiple Internet-based services ?

What for? Bittorrent already fills that need quite well...

Re:What for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25905129)

Azureus + RSS feeds with filters ... best combo ever

They already have one.......well..I do anyway..... (1)

budword (680846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905103)

But darn it; when will someone finally offer a reasonably-priced, open-platform STB that serves as an A/V gateway to multiple Internet-based services -- one consumer-friendly, environmentally-designed, low-power gadget 'to rule them all,' if you will." It's called a laptop logged into the www.piratebay.org ....of course the pirates are the only ones with media that doesn't suck and isn't crippled. Quite up to date too, with a large back catalogue. David

Get MythTV - Problem Solved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25905297)

see above..

"standardized" DRM is possible (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905321)

Windows Media Video DRM is standardized (or in theory it was until MS decided to go it alone with the Zune and Zune store).
OMA DRM created by the Open Mobile Aliance is standardized, any mobile phone maker or content provider can sign up to it.
Blu-Ray DRM is standardized, as is CSS on DVDs.
The trick is convincing the content providers (netflix, blockbuster etc) to start using a standardized DRM solution (why would they want to allow you to play the videos back on a device that could also potentially play back content from their competitors)

not too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25905385)

so, you're paying 100 bucks for the little linux box with hd and you get 25 movie downloads for free :)

i guess i could do that

The box isn't free. (1)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905477)

According to Reuters [reuters.com]
it's $99 and movies are $1.99 after the first 25. Also they have a miserable 2000 movies but they are the latest from Hollywood, they say.

Dammit! I wish we could get a 5 minute edit button (1)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905549)

I meant to add that there was no mention of what those first 25 movies would cost.

Re:Dammit! I wish we could get a 5 minute edit but (2, Interesting)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905657)

It is in the article, the box is $99 or:

Blockbuster currently is providing its VOD STB (made by 2Wire) free with an advance rental of 25 on-demand movies for $99. Thereafter, VOD titles are available for $1.99 each.

so for a limited time, it is $99 for 25 movies+free box or, equivalently, a $99 box with 25 free movies.

Since that works out to $4/each for the first 25 when they are normally $1.99, it is hardly a special. More like paying double for the first 25 to defray the cost of the box.

Yet more proof that *BSD is Dying. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25905603)

It is now official. Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

Good Luck With That (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905611)

But darn it; when will someone finally offer a reasonably-priced, open-platform...

News flash, it will never exist. Ever.

Maybe he hasn't heard the media conglomerates controlling distribution want to extract every possible dollar at every possible moment of entertainment.

Oh, and there are probably a dozen boxes already.

But ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25905781)

... does it run Linux?

get a ZvBox (1)

harshaw (3140) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905845)

Ok, so I know it isn't cool to on slashdot to pimp your own products, but you might try getting a ZvBox (http://zeevee.com) if you want to get any content to your TV. This works because it snarfs the your video output and transmits HD quality video to your HDTV. And yes, it requires a PC. And yes, it is expensive (we are working on lowering the price). But, since a PC can play any content it truly is a universal solution.

If you build it they will come (1)

chrisboredwithlogins (1324041) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905857)

design and build the device that can "open-platform STB that serves as an A/V gateway to multiple Internet-based services â" one consumer-friendly, environmentally-designed, low-power gadget"

and if reasonably priced your order books will be full...

How can anyone legalize his movie collection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25905871)

All commercial services are inferior to what people want and have on-line.

Is there a simple way to pay reasonable price for a movie collection in order to be legal?

I like freedom of Linux world, but would like to support my favorite authors too.

Combo Boxes (2, Interesting)

tji (74570) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905907)

There are several options for the combo box the post asks about.. Maybe not the ultimate box that will play everything, but there are several that will do multiple sources. What I use is a Mac Mini (Core Duo), to play several types of content:

- DVD's (the new full screen DVD and Front Row in Leopard are nice DVD viewing options).
- Movies, TV, and Music via iTunes.
- Broadcast HDTV via MythTV (running backend and frontend on my Mini running OSX)
- Netflix streaming movies via their Silverlight plugin
- Various video file formats via Front Row.
- There are various other video streaming services available, I don't use any of them at this point.
- Occasional special webcasts - like the NCAA basketball tournament early round games.

It's hard to beat the flexibility of an HTPC. I think the Mac Front Row interface + all the other options is hard to beat. Especially considering the small size of the device, quiet operation, built-in remote control functionality, etc..

Areas for improvement:
- Blue Ray DVD drive would be nice.
- Better Netflix streaming. Silverlight is okay, but could be better.
- Blockbuster, or other video streaming support.

If you're not satisfied with the offerings... (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25905925)

1.Download the source.
2.Modify it. (Remember to give back to the community.)
3.Market it.
Finally, a complete FOSS business plan.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account