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New Chip Offers Virtual Windows Desktops, On TVs

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the and-nothin'-on dept.

Networking 99

angry tapir writes "Ncomputing on Friday announced a chip that could turn devices like TVs or set-top boxes into virtual desktops through which users can run Windows applications or access the Internet. The Numo chip contains a dual-core processor based on an ARM design that will allow devices to run Windows multimedia applications when connected to a host machine like a desktop or server. The setup uses the company's Vspace software on host machines to set up remote devices as virtual desktops."

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Interesting Idea (3, Interesting)

errgh (744846) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564256)

Virtual first post. Most newer TVs can already play networked media files, show sport scores, weather and some can even do light browsing - all from either a ethernet or wireless network connection. This seems a bit ad-centric, maybe for light kiosks or informational displays.

Re:Interesting Idea (3, Interesting)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564302)

Um, you really need a dual-core ARM chip to be able to Windows Remote Desktop?

Cuz that seems to be what the summary says, that the Windows app runs on a real desktop, and this CPU only does the remote job.

Re:Interesting Idea (2, Informative)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564348)

I could do "Terminal Services Client" on pocket pc ages ago with a 300MHz ARM cpu. I doubt a dual core is needed for remote desktop.

GNAA unveils new wiki-based corporate website (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31564380)

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Re:Interesting Idea (1)

alexkwright (1772806) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564350)

Exactly what I thought. I've been Remote Desktoping from WM Phones and PDAs since about '06, and some even have TV-Out connectors. So the chip is hardly a breakthrough. There could defiantly be better software for this use case, designed for the 10' interface.

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564368)

This is just the usual "breakthrough" that is nothing but old technology applied to X. Like the usual useless patent "doing whatever ON THE INTERNET"

You can buy cheap devices that have a VGA out plus 4 USB ports that can be used to create thin terminals. This is the same thing except it has a HDMI out instead of VGA.

And the extra processing power is probably to support bigger resolutions and have short enough latencies to be able to support video.

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#31570888)

This is less because it apparently requires "special" software on the PC rather than just using the regular RDP. That in spite of RDP being well understood with a Free client implementation already out there.

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564586)

i can do very effective RDC on my Nokia N900 and it has a 600MHZ ARM processor [nokia.com]

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

Kazymyr (190114) | more than 3 years ago | (#31571176)

This just in. Webpal (http://dfcd.net/projects/webpal/webpal.html among other sites) was a 1998-vintage ARM-based set-top box that could run Linux, output on the local TV, get input from a wireless keyboard and/or remote, and connect through a network to a remote computer. Throw in VNC, and you could have "remote desktop" on the TV.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 3 years ago | (#31573660)

I think the main news here is that someone wrote software to allow ARM to emulate a turd.

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564460)

Yay. We've gone full circle. Back in the day, if your POS monitor gave out, you could diddle around with some cords and some adapters, and put your display on your old CRT television. Which, in many cases was an improvement, because you could do higher resolutions.

Today, we have computers which can remote to your television, so that you can have a 5 foot display at super resolution.

Technology is so exciting! Once again, we can enjoy Microsoft's BSOD at maximum resolution, in all of it's glory!

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565586)

Today, we have computers which can remote to your television, so that you can have a 5 foot display at super resolution.

I'm not sure I consider 1920x1080 on a 5 foot display to be "super resolution"... It's lower res than what I've been using on my 24" monitor for years...

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564902)

Yes! TV's and Windows have finally evolved to the er, terminal. With the capabilities of X forwarding. Except for the TV as the terminal, this is, like sooo early 1990s...

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#31566138)

This seems a bit ad-centric, maybe for light kiosks or informational displays

And what they seem to be advertising is Windows. From TFS:

allow devices to run Windows multimedia applications when connected to a host machine like a desktop or server. The setup uses the company's Vspace software on host machines to set up remote devices as virtual desktops

Anything that will run Windows will run Linux. Hell, Linux will run on anything from a wristwatch to a supercompuer; one of the ten fastest computers in the worls uses Linux as its OS.

When did slashdot get overrun by Redmond? Has slashdot been assimilated too?

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#31569484)

Anything that will run Windows will run Linux.

This is correct for the majority of PCs. But a lot of time, a Windows to Linux switcher runs into problems with drivers for graphics, WLAN, printer, scanner, etc. Linux will run without these; it just won't be too useful for the end user. And not all machines running Windows are desktop or laptop PCs; some devices that run an embedded Windows operating system use code signing to lock out Linux.

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

dwinks616 (1536791) | more than 3 years ago | (#31572504)

one of the ten fastest computers in the worls uses Linux as its OS.

One of ten? How about ALL ten.

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#31573284)

Interesting; my data must be dated. The last I saw was an article on slashdot last year about one of the top ten computers running Linux. Of course they're all capable of it, but I only knew one that had Linux as its primary operating system rather than one of the many Mainframe OSes.

Re:Interesting Idea (1)

arbitraryaardvark (845916) | more than 3 years ago | (#31571794)

As the singularity approaches, home appliances like toasters and tvs get smarter and more networked. The last time I had a computer that ran on my tv was 1990, a very used c-64.

Welcome back, WebTV! (2, Interesting)

JustNilt (984644) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564262)

Actually, it looks to be potentially more useful than WebTV ever was but only time will tell. There are quite a few of my home user clients that would probably prefer something like this to a full blown system.

Wonder how long it'l take to actually see in a live product and how much it'll really cost. The numbers in the article appear to be a manufacturer's cost.

Re:Welcome back, WebTV! (1)

maugle (1369813) | more than 3 years ago | (#31566474)

There are quite a few of my home user clients that would probably prefer something like this to a full blown system.

It still needs a full-blown system around to connect with.

Re:Welcome back, WebTV! (1)

specific (963862) | more than 3 years ago | (#31566902)

You have clients who would prefer a crippled solution with no upgrade path to a full blown, cheap, low-powered, atom system? This thing requires a server to be useful. A custom system built on a low powered processor can be the media center and server at the same time.

Re:Welcome back, WebTV! (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 3 years ago | (#31569726)

A custom system built on a low powered processor can be the media center and server at the same time.

Thinking about what you said there, I think it would be pretty cool if, instead of hooking an HTPC up to my television, I could, using the latest RDP tech where 3D acceleration and HD video can be played back on the client, remote into a virtual machine instead or into a second login session on my desktop or laptop, eliminating the need for the HTPC altogether.

Something to think about I suppose.

Re:Welcome back, WebTV! (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 3 years ago | (#31567112)

Wonder how long it'l take to actually see in a live product and how much it'll really cost.

A company called Teradici [teradici.com] has been doing this for a while with the PCoIP tech. They partnered with VMWare a while back as part of VMWare's VDI initiative.

Difference is, I suppose, that the Teradici solution is completely hardware based, but on the flip side I think you can do a single remote system for a few hundred bucks.

There's a neat video on youtube of someone playing Crysis over 802.11n on an HDTV with their hardware.

Windows apps? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31564272)

Ncomputing on Friday announced a chip that could turn devices like TVs or set-top boxes into virtual desktops through which users can run Windows applications

I guess TVs have been reliable for so long someone got bored and asked "how can we totally through a wrench in this?", and the answer was "I know -- let's bring the misery of windows to the TV!". Losers.

Re:Windows apps? (2, Interesting)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564372)

It probably supports VNC, so you can probably connect to any kind of host OS. Again, it's better to just build a cheap Atom based microitx pc next to the TV.

Re:Windows apps? (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564512)

You can build a micro-itx pc for $30 now?

Re:Windows apps? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565626)

No; but the micro-ITX doesn't need to connect to a computer to do its computing...

Unless Microsoft changes the licensing on home versions of Windows to allow multiple concurrent terminal sessions(currently, even Pro versions are only 1 session at a time, if somebody logs in via RDP, the local desktop locks, and if somebody logs in locally, the RDP session dies. You have to step up to Server to get concurrent access, and deal with CALs), and allows joe and jane sixpack to use devices like this on the computers they are actually going to buy(which they do in a limited sense already. Media center extenders don't count as terminal sessions, though I don't know how many are supported), the economics of thin-clients in the home are going to be pretty dubious(anybody who is currently rocking a vintage tektronix xterm just fine thanks very much needn't flame me, I know it works for you).

Most home broadband connections are a bit on the slow side for anything more than light work(word processing via ICA or NX? no problem. Video/gaming? Bigger issue), and paying some vendor a monthly fee for your "cloud desktop" isn't all that thrilling a prospect, compared to just buying a cheap PC and running Google Docs if you want them, and desktop apps if you don't. If you already need a full computer to support your thin client, the temptation to just skip the thin client and move the computer is fairly strong(especially when the full computer is increasingly likely to be a laptop).

Only in the most fanatically noise sensitive environments is it worthwhile to have a thin client setup just for silence purposes. Decent PCs these days are actually pretty quiet, home theatre needs can generally be satisfied by fully solid state networked media streamer boxes, and thin clients good enough for things like pro audio work are Pricey(the software based ones are the cheap seats, $100-$200 for the thin client box, runs over normal ethernet, speaks RDP, or X11, or NX, or ICA. If you want fully software transparent ones, that won't make a hash of 3d graphics or multiple high speed peripherals on the terminal end, or support multiple high resolution monitors, you can end up spending real money for something whose thin client costs more than a normal PC, and that demands a fiber run between the thin client end and the rackmount or blade end).

The viability of something resembling thin-client computing in the home isn't impossible; but, for wide acceptance, it would pretty much require Microsoft(whose incentive involves selling Windows licences) to suddenly dedicate itself to making thin client access work, without charging CAL fees that strangle the whole enterprise. It would be pretty handy to, for instance, have a single program on your computer, or one of your computers, show up as an icon on your TV, activate it, and away you go. Issue is, given the complexity of the software/licensing situation, if that single program is something generic like a web browser or messaging client, it will probably be cheaper, and certainly be simpler, to just embed a $25-$50 ARM SBC running linux or WinCE to do the job. If it is something particular, for which an embedded board won't do, there remains the fact that you can get a full, albeit atom powered, PC for $200 that is close to silent, and easy to connect to your TV(plus, since none of the thin client access protocols are involved, things like 3d graphics and video work seamlessly). That establishes a very challenging price point under which a hypothetical thin client arrangement must slip.

Then, of course, there is intel's new "Wireless display" [intel.com] stuff, coming soon to virtually all but the cheapest and most awful intel based notebooks. Unless they've been hiding some showstopper of a bug during the tech demos and early reviews, that setup will mean "game over" for any small time attempts at bringing thin clients home.

Re:Windows apps? (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 3 years ago | (#31566738)

If you ran a one-to-one configuration it'd make little sense to use virtualization. Most people have a lot more than one computer these days though. And you don't need any Microsoft server products at all. You'd have to pay for your normal license for your OS at the most. Nobody in their right mind would run off a cloud service over home broadband. Gaming would be just fine I think as all the data that need be transferred is pure inputs and video/audio back - very easy to do over a LAN. Something like wireless display is certainly proof that gaming is viable. For one-to-one a laptop works better but for more than one user a single server quickly becomes cheaper and easier. A full PC, albeit cheap, still suffer the problems of a full PC.

It sounds as if your biggest issue is that Microsoft sucks and will do whatever they can do make it expensive to go to a good thin client setup. I still think it's no more expensive than any other way to buy a copy of Windows though.

The home is quickly reaching the point when people can't take care of their own computing needs. A computer for mom, a computer for dad, and one for each of the three kids, probably a couple smart phones mixed in, a game console or two, and soon smart televisions and other appliances will be common. (I just counted what I have online on my home network - 8 devices just this moment.) Managing that is a mess most people can't handle. Devices running light OSs that are managed and empowered from a local server will help just as it does in the workplace.

Re:Windows apps? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#31568644)

Gaming would be just fine I think as all the data that need be transferred is pure inputs and video/audio back - very easy to do over a LAN.

It can be done, but there are issues. Many if not most full screen games have problems or outright fail on RDC or whatever it is called these days. The situation on Linux is distressingly similar. OpenGL is supposed to work over XDMCP and often it does. Sometimes, it fails spectacularly. One of the first things I do with any new system is set DontZap to false :/

different and more than VNC (1)

spage (73271) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564644)

vSpace is not VNC; NComputing claim their communication protocol UXB can handle USB as well (presumably devices you connect to the thin client) and they mention multimedia also. And the other piece of it is their Windows tinkering so that the TV desktop can be running a different account than the PC desktop, which is useful if the kids want to play Sims from the TV while you're doing taxes.

This is software NComputing claims to have developed for 12 years. It's a nice adjunct to their $20 ARM set-top chip. That chip runs Linux or Android, but vSpace lets you access your existing Windows apps and games remotely.

What is the computer you hook up to your TV? is a billion dollar question, with multiple answers. Its chip is a minor issue; how much storage, whether it has its own display, whether it has a remote, and whether you take it with you are far bigger issues. A smartphone with 64GB that you plug in over HDMI and a fixed PS3 with a wireless remote feel like the two big winners.

Re:Windows apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31565208)

"how can we totally through a wrench in this?"

My god man, please use proper windscreen when constructing a decent severance!

Re:Windows apps? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565372)

That's the thing, I wish for these devices to become simpler, not more capable. If I wanted capabilities, I would rather have a central hub that has the smarts, and keep the TV as a dumb terminal.

WTF is with every device getting smarter and at the same time adding complexity in operating it? Just a few years back, I wondered why the damn TV couldn't be made so it automatically picks up the live input and runs with it, instead I still have to select the input source everytime I play a game or DVD, inevitably flipping through 8 things, 5 of them with no actual inputs in them just because the TV can't even detect connections automagically. And god forbid my parents change the channel on their actual TV instead of on the Set-Top Box one day, they'll be out of TV for however long until I come to visit. It's 2010, where the hell are the standards for this most basic of crap already, making these things simpler and foolproof for the majority of the population?

I was looking at those thin LED TVs at costco, and one was really cool, with no physical buttons but if your hand went near the bottom left, it would pop up onto the screen automatically. But then I clicked something accidentally, and this whole menu came up and all the things it could do (like displaying pictures from a memory card)...

Which is really cool until you realize that a techie can and already does have a computer than can do that and most likely will never use the TV that way, the average person won't figure it out or care, and in the end, for 99 out of 100 people, you're adding complexity to way the machine handles to get features that get used once in a blue moon.

I miss the days where an appliance was an appliance, and making it easier to use was an aspiration rather than add to the feature list that really doesn't get used. I don't need yet another desktop. Please.

Re:Windows apps? (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565766)

Just a few years back, I wondered why the damn TV couldn't be made so it automatically picks up the live input and runs with it, instead I still have to select the input source everytime I play a game or DVD, inevitably flipping through 8 things, 5 of them with no actual inputs in them just because the TV can't even detect connections automagically.

Most European TVs have been able to do this since the early 80s. Devices connected by SCART can assert pin 16 to tell the TV to automatically switch to that input. So you'd stick a DVD in the DVD player and the TV will automatically switch to showing the DVD player's signal. Devices can also be daisy-chained together so you don't need many inputs on the TV.

And god forbid my parents change the channel on their actual TV instead of on the Set-Top Box one day, they'll be out of TV for however long until I come to visit.

That's really an artefact of the trend in TVs to become dumb monitors instead of actually using the built in tuner. My TV isn't plugged into an antenna at all - it is simply used as a monitor for my MythTV frontend. I think there's a lot of scope for selling completely tunerless TVs these days, but the modern trend seems to be putting DVB-T tuners in them, which is a bit of a waste of money for anyone who doesn't have an antenna plugged directly into their TV (i.e. anyone with a PVR, DTH satellite, etc).

Anyway, I don't understand the market for this new gadget, it's basically just VNC in a box. I can see a market for a "set top computer" for people who don't want a proper desktop (maybe they just do the occasional email, a bit of web surfing, etc - all of which is fairly doable from a HDTV with a suitable set top box and a bluetooth keyboard. But this gadget requires you to have an actual dedicated computer to run the desktop - if you've got one of them, WTF would you want to surf the web from your TV instead of using the actual computer itself?

Re:Windows apps? (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 3 years ago | (#31567532)

dedicated computer to run the desktop - if you've got one of them, WTF would you want to surf the web from your TV instead of using the actual computer itself?

My couch in the living room with my 42" TV, or my home entertainment theatre in the basement with a 7'8" diagonal screen and many recliners is a lot more comfortable for watching Hulu or playing games. I'm slowly transferring my entire DVD collection onto my 1TB external drive which is connected to the same computer, so my wife can watch anime on the TV or surf youtube in the living room with friends - kinda difficult to do that in a small office with a 21" monitor and only 2 chairs. Honestly, the computer in the office only has a monitor for doing business related activities like spreadsheets and web development.

Re:Windows apps? (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 3 years ago | (#31567738)

My couch in the living room with my 42" TV, or my home entertainment theatre in the basement with a 7'8" diagonal screen and many recliners is a lot more comfortable for watching Hulu or playing games. I'm slowly transferring my entire DVD collection onto my 1TB external drive which is connected to the same computer, so my wife can watch anime on the TV or surf youtube in the living room with friends - kinda difficult to do that in a small office with a 21" monitor and only 2 chairs. Honestly, the computer in the office only has a monitor for doing business related activities like spreadsheets and web development.

And you think you're going to be able to watch HDTV and play games over an RDP session?

I have an Atom/Ion connected directly to my TV and that works well, but I can't think that having a low power ARM streaming raw graphics over the network is going to be sensible at all. It'll be fine for web surfing, but trying to do HDTV and games just isn't going to work.

Re:Windows apps? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#31568846)

You can buy that kind of stuff but unfortunately it costs more and not less. You can get the monitor version of the television, and you can buy the expensive autoswitcher, and you plug it in and it all just works. But only professional gear comes this way. If you can get a PC monitor large enough to be your television display then... usually it's heinously expensive. The HDMI/component/etc autoswitcher/converters are amazingly, astoundingly expensive. HDMI at least promises an eventual end to this nightmare. It's small enough and cheap enough to be implemented in many places. It's the support for multiple input types that really leads to expensive hardware.

Re:Windows apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31565896)

Can you say, "Symantec AnitVirus for TV?"

Just the boost the security companies needed! Invest now!

Syntax error -- does not compute (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#31566680)

"how can we totally through a wrench in this?"

I think AC is a Microsoft programmer, which explains all the bugs in Windows.

Re:Windows apps? (1)

KraZy-KaT (248613) | more than 4 years ago | (#31586148)

Ncomputing on Friday announced a chip that could turn devices like TVs or set-top boxes into virtual desktops through which users can run Windows applications

someone got bored and asked "how can we totally through a wrench in this?", and the answer was "I know -- let's bring the misery of windows to the TV!"

And forgot to install the spellchecker.

Forget TVs (3, Insightful)

Zouden (232738) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564308)

The real killer application for a chip like this would be in a tablet. If you can drive the cost of a tablet down by making it little more than display+battery+wifi, a whole new market could be opened up.

Think about that scene in Avatar when the technician was monitoring Sully's brain scan. He dragged the live scan image from his desktop machine onto a tablet, so he could watch it while he walked around the lab. I think there's a market for a tablet that acts as a portable display (+touchscreen) for a bigger machine nearby, as long as the price was low enough.

Re:Forget TVs (1, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564378)

That chip has probably the same processing power the iPad has.

Re:Forget TVs (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564400)

Ah you mean the cool ones in Avatar? The ones that look and act exactly like the ones in Minority Report?

Re:Forget TVs (2, Funny)

rockNme2349 (1414329) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564466)

Excuse me sir, are you insinuating that Avatar was anything but pure original storytelling [failblog.org] ?

Re:Forget TVs (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564994)

It was also a complete rip-off of Fern Gully. It had even less changes then Pocahontas requires.

Re:Forget TVs (1)

crazybit (918023) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564698)

I think there's a market for a tablet that acts as a portable display (+touchscreen) for a bigger machine nearby.

Bookmark you post in case we need prior-art later.

Re:Forget TVs (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565302)

I think there's a market for a tablet that acts as a portable display (+touchscreen) for a bigger machine nearby.

Bookmark you post in case we need prior-art later.

Sorry, already been done [slashdot.org] .

Re:Forget TVs (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565684)

This one goes waaay back [wikipedia.org] ....

Re:Forget TVs (1)

allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564764)

Like the ipad? :p Seriously, thats the only useful thing I can think of for the giant phone.

Re:Forget TVs (2, Informative)

wgoodman (1109297) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564876)

I remember a product of this sort (I think by Viewsonic) several years back.

Re:Forget TVs (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#31568852)

The Viewsonic product [viewsonic.com] mercifully perished some time ago, so silently I can't find any useful references to its failure. No references to success either.

It was intended to be a remote desktop to a Windows desktop, wandering around on WiFi, delivering you a 10" screen and touted as giving you a 'multimedia experience' as well. All this on that 10" screen at 800x600 resolution, with a stupid pointer and useless speaker.

I further predict here that the tablet revolution will fail and die away. Tablets don't meet our expectations. I'm not saying just the current crop of tablets. I'm saying tablets as tablets.

And I have one. It's just not all that. It's not even any of that.

Re:Forget TVs (3, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565006)

The real killer app for this is Google's settop box. Android linux providing: TV recording, TV guides, internet-streamed video, internet-streamed games/apps, video jukebox (hopefully from local or LAN storage), plus connectivity to remote services too.

Add a keyboard and a trackpad and most people would not need a PC at all - and that means they wouldn't need Windows at all. Hmmmm.

Re:Forget TVs (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 3 years ago | (#31568620)

I agree, except for the odd choice of an Intel Atom processor. I suppose a settop box doesn't need to be super power-efficient, but isn't ARM where this market's going? My current Motorola DVR/cable box runs so hot, I can't close the door on the cabinet it sits in. Why (other than Intel's marketing clout) is Google opting for X86 here - especially when Android is on ARM everywhere else? Are they leaving the door open to virtualizing Windows on the thing?

Re:Forget TVs (1)

H0D_G (894033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31578748)

Wow, the Privacy concerns there are HUGE. Google, who already read some of my emails, and look at where I browse, now could look at what I watch. That's the best Viewer Survey ever.

Why? (1, Interesting)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564320)

Most computers have tv-out, newer tvs have vga or dvi or hdmi inputs, why do i need another gadget to go between the two? And what about the starving hollywood executives? This looks like a way of intercepting the precious bluray pixels and selling them to support terrorism!! OMG!!!

Re:Why? (-1, Redundant)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564516)

Most computers have tv-out, newer tvs have vga or dvi or hdmi inputs, why do i need another gadget to go between the two? And what about the starving hollywood executives? This looks like a way of intercepting the precious bluray pixels and selling them to support terrorism!! OMG!!

Re:Why? (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 3 years ago | (#31567604)

I like having one computer do everything, it saves me money. Problem is, I have need of the output from that computer in 4 rooms (bedroom, living room, basement, and the actual office where the computer resides), and rarely need access to that computer from more than one or two of those locations at any given time. This looks like it might solve that problem nicely for me.

Re:Why? (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 3 years ago | (#31576564)

Heh, I think I save money by dividing tasks across many old ( other people's cast-off ) computers hanging off a lan ( cast-off 100/10 switch, second-hand cat5 cable ). I can do mail and web stuff from all, only needing to go to a particular machine for high performance cutting edge stuff like doom 3. I find that any old heap >600MHz plugged into my tv suffices for video playback of divx or mpeg2 at the 800x600 the crt supports. Maybe this new thing is not for old dinosaurs :-)
 

Windows on TV? (1, Insightful)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564356)

I don't need Windows on TV. I've already got gnu/linux there doing everything I want. What I need is a wireless keyboard with a built in touchpad and good range <$100.

Looking at ncomputing's site, I have hard time believing they can run 30 computers with XP, playing video, etc. from one HP slimline.

Re:Windows on TV? (1)

BillyGee (981263) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564502)

http://www.amazon.com/Adesso-WIRELESS-SLIMTOUCH-TOUCHPAD-WKB-4000US/dp/B00083Y0YG [amazon.com]

Done! What's next?

FWIW, I have 2 of these, the one used further out is about 25 feet. Works great. Looks like it's the same thing, but mine are: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Keysonic-ACK-540RF-Wireless-Keyboard-Touchpad/dp/B002WB1JYQ [amazon.co.uk]

Re:Windows on TV? (1)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564856)

Half this on eBay ;)

Re:Windows on TV? (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 3 years ago | (#31567688)

I've been using one of these [google.com] for quite a while now and I've been happy with it. I got it off of ebay a couple years back for about $35.

Re:Windows on TV? (1)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 3 years ago | (#31577152)

Thanks. Guess the slashdot lazyweb is alive and well.

whoa...... (-1, Flamebait)

kujokane (1717788) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564364)

somethings wrong with this picture here... You mean there is something that you can use with Microsoft that just works??? I wonder how many incompatible errors, or you have to install updates for this operation work error messages people will get.

Misleading title. (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564384)

This is more of a thinclient for running as a VM client. Much more interesting than simply running Windows I think. The real question is if the CPU costs $20 and $10 more in parts are needed then how much extra would it cost to make this into a stand-alone thinclient that can run as a VM client? $100 per seat would be a pretty good price for businesses.

Better yet, I'd love to see it built into monitors so you could plug network, keyboard, and mouse into the monitor with the actual computer being optional.

Re:Misleading title. (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565446)

"$100 per seat"

yeah plus all the CALs $$$.

Re:Misleading title. (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 3 years ago | (#31566334)

Less than you'd pay for a physical box running the same software. At least you're not paying for licenses for machines that sit idle most of the time.

Herr Kontroller in Redmond... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31564412)

Why on Earth would I want Redmond to run my TV? So it can BSOD or be botnetted more effectively? Leave 'dumb' appliances dumb. Most TVs have inputs for use as screens. Oh hang on, they want VIRTUAL botnets and BSOD's, just like all that expensive virtual memory people used to pay for...

Re:Herr Kontroller in Redmond... (3, Funny)

bami (1376931) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564474)

But imagine a BSOD at 1080p! Hi-def kernel panics!

We're entering into a new era of error processing!

Micro == mini!? (3, Funny)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564458)

So now my personal microcomputer is becoming a time-shared minicomputer again...? Should I dig out my corduroy bell-bottom pants, too?

Re:Micro == mini!? (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564546)

PCs are expensive and not reliable. It's much easier for there to be a server that runs all your (business or even home) desktops and centralize management and make the clients a lot cheaper. With a simple OS like Android, ChromeOS, or iPhone OS offering basic features directly and access to a hosted desktop when you need more you can make things cheaper, more flexible, and more reliable.

We use virtualization for our servers already and a few desktops and have been considering all desktops if we can find a cheap enough thinclient box. For a business it's really a big win because user desktops are easy to upgrade, revert in case of problems, backup, etc. 90% of the resources aren't constantly wasted, there aren't hundreds of dusty boxes waiting to break, if one terminal breaks the user can move to another without so much as a reboot, etc.

If the thinclients were affordable enough I can see home users making the switch too. A single server in the closet, for about the price of each PC they buy now, and for the price of each device they can have access anywhere and to whomever needs it. The kids can each have a cheap device that still lets them do everything they need. Files are easier to share and get backed up automatically. No noisy boxes in the bedrooms gathering dust. My Roku was $80. If it could share a desktop and games as well as on demand tv I think parents would be getting a great deal. If Ncomputing's package can be had for $30 and replace the existing CPU it might not even make the device cost more. VMWare is a bit pricey for home use but there are several opensource alternatives that could easily deliver for the home market.

Re:Micro == mini!? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564696)

I'm not a stranger to virtualization and the like. I was just observing yet another "old" thing that has one again become new in a different set of clothes.

Re:Micro == mini!? (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564846)

If PCs are expensive and unreliable, how can a server be about the same price? Wouldn't it be easier to solve the problem by ordering a server but using it as a desktop?

Re:Micro == mini!? (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 3 years ago | (#31566790)

If you only needed one desktop. Even the non-geek people I know tend to have four or five PCs in their house these days not even counting all the other computing devices floating around.

Re:Micro == mini!? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#31568520)

PCs are expensive and not reliable.

PCs are practically fucking free. You can get refurbs capable of doing fullscreen flash for under $100 with a monitor. You can build a machine with perhaps half the processing power of the fastest uniprocessor (but not unicore) shit on the streets for $400, that's a lump of change but compare it to what PCs cost "back in the day"... a Tandy 386SX16 for what, four grand? They were competing for walletshare with cars, now they compare with a bicycle at K-Mart. And an Acer Aspire Revo with 1GB RAM, 160GB disk (probably more than my first ten computers put together, but since several of them lacked hard disks, that's pretty easy) and with VDPAU-supporting nVidia graphics is $199-ish. That's enough computer to get most people through at least the next ten years, if it doesn't fail horribly.

If the thinclients were affordable enough I can see home users making the switch too. A single server in the closet, for about the price of each PC they buy now, and for the price of each device they can have access anywhere and to whomever needs it.

That's really not necessary. You can do it right now, and very easily, by installing one of the Ubuntu server flavors with LTSP on your primary desktop system and never turning it off. Build it for low power, or live someplace cold :) and this won't even cost you anything to speak of. Just put in as many cores as you can get cheaply. Even two will be enough for three users in most cases, the obvious exception being flash. Ugh. The latest LTSP lets you specify some applications to run on the local client though, so you can install firefox and flash there and kill the majority of the load.

And ... (3, Insightful)

sgunhouse (1050564) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564476)

I see no mention of why anyone would want to run Windows remotely on their HDTV ... then again I'm not sure why they'd want to run it on a PC either.

Re:And ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31565616)

I see no reason why a Linuxtard like you would want to run the summary correctly either. Dumbass.

Re:And ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31565804)

And yes, for the mentally challenged out there, I meant "read".

Re:And ... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#31566098)

There are those of us that actually use the sort of technology today. We run Linux, Windows and on some rare occassions MacOS. On the other hand, there are just cluless lame posers that use unimaginative aphorisms to troll in bbs/usenet/web forums. You are the latter.

PCs are aready cheap and powerful and TV's already have computing devices embedded in them.

The idea of needing a server for anything but content is a bit silly.

Re:And ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31568866)

There are those of us that actually use the sort of technology today. We run Linux, Windows and on some rare occassions MacOS.

That should read "Most of us run Windows, the fags run MacOS X and the neckbeard runs Linux"

Re:And ... (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565964)

When almost every device one owns communicates with your computer than this would be a great time and money safer. I can see one's clothes dryer flashing a message when the clothes are dry. The microwave, oven, and range could send messages when it thinks some food is cooked. Microphones could be placed in every room and they could send audio to the television when there is unexpected noise in that room. Smoke detectors with built in camera could send an alarm with a picture when it detects smoke. This could have saved about $100,000 for my boss who had a detached garage burn down just recently. There are plenty of messages from the internet such as instant messaging, rss feeds, blogs that could be flashed on the screen so that one could freeze the show to reply or view. The one thing I want is commercials designed for the individual. No longer would one have to sit through a commercial for asthma or quit smoking if one did not have asthma or smoked. There would also be the ability to instantly order a product but not before one would search for independent reviews about the product.

Re:And ... (1)

Seb C. (5555) | more than 3 years ago | (#31566944)

Actually, i possess a dlna-enabled tv, and half my video library won't play for codec reasons. Now, if i could get a full screen vlc in this...
 

Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31564646)

...does it run Linux?

(seriously)

Re:Yes, but... (2, Informative)

i ate my neighbour (1756816) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564682)

It probably runs remote desktop client on top of a lightweight Linux setup, or some other small OS. In theory, it can run Linux because it's simply an arm-based device.

typical (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564686)

Open source software (VNC) pioneers this and then it gets progressively turned into ever more proprietary protocols.

Re:typical (1)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | more than 3 years ago | (#31564796)

Having used remoting software from back in the days of Carbon Copy, PC Anywhere then on to VNC and RDP I'll take that propriety RDP protocol any day. It's the only one that's remotely (haha!) fast enough to make it bearable to do anything more than log in, admin for a bit, then log out.

I use VNC to remote to my Mac Powerbook G4 these days, which is spending it's retirement as a DVR. The interface is so sluggish it's infuriating. By contrast, I know if I remoted to another Windows machine using RDP that it would be barely noticeable.

Now, if there was some Open Source protocol with an implementation on Windows / Linux / Mac OS, that worked as fast as RDP and was as secure as SSH I'd be all over it.

Re:typical (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565080)

NX (nxmachine or FreeNX). Very fast, cross platform, uses SSH for encryption, has a Free version. I used to use it to connect to work from home over a laggy "light" DSL account.

Re:typical (2, Informative)

redhog (15207) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565102)

Ok, it only works for Linux/UNIX, but.. It's called X. I was doing this using a physical X station (X 11R5, from DEC) connecting to my Linux desktop, sometime around 1998, and it was _old_ tech by then - I had been given the X station by the local uni computer club, which had gotten it from some institution way earlier...

Re:typical (2, Funny)

RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565194)

Ok, it only works for Linux/UNIX, but.. It's called X.

I believe you may have missed several occurrences of the word "fast" in the comment you were replying to.

Re:typical (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#31566174)

X was plenty fast enough in the 80s.

What X never really had is wire protocol efficiency to handle being sent across the internet.

Compared to latter day attempts to replicate it, it is infact plenty fast and more robust too.

X also benefits from the fact that it doesn't force you to replicate an entire desktop. This helps makes up for it's relative inefficiency compared to competitors.

Re:typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31565278)

Try changing the VNC encoding that you are using. Some are much better than others.

Also, if you are using SSH to tunnel the connection, try turning on SSH compression.

(VNC isn't perfect, but NX is really badly designed, both on the server and client side. I second the call for an RDP service in Linux.)

run Windows applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31565070)

> The Numo chip contains a dual-core processor based on an ARM design that will allow devices to run Windows multimedia applications when connected to a host machine like a desktop or server ..

Is it also technically possible to run Linux or Apple applications in a similar setup?

And everything old will become new again (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565224)

I remember in the late 90's as the internet exploded into the mainstream, there was constant hype about "internet enabled" televisions - televisions that would allow you to "surf the net" via your remote control.

While this discussion centers more on the use of a specific OS on a TV, I think that market forces have already shown that people are willing to have their televisions and computers SEPARATE. Especially in the era of $500 laptops and, well, $1000+ televisions (if you want them). I don't think that "running Windows" is suddenly going to turn everything upside down. The consumer has already decided - asking again will just get you the same answer. It's sort of like the family car car that runs on railroad tracks - there was something the manufacturer just didn't get...

Re:And everything old will become new again (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#31568572)

While this discussion centers more on the use of a specific OS on a TV, I think that market forces have already shown that people are willing to have their televisions and computers SEPARATE.

Market forces? What market forces? When a thing's not for sale, there is no market. Where there's no market, there's no market force. The only "internet on TV" I know of was Microsoft's WebTV set top box, and I knew a couple who had it. It was garbage; mostly not because of Microsoft, but because standard definition TVs are crap.

Meh (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565244)

I'd be impressed if it did window overlay instead.

TV in background, browsing window (able to be resized / moved around screen) overlayed. Windows 7 does it with XP Mode (VM runs as a background to the app window, essentially having the whole VM invisible behind the one app window). That would be impressive.

In 1996-8 it was called ShareWave (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 3 years ago | (#31565564)

....in El Dorado Hills, CA. That technology got sold to Philips, and became "Ambi" before the rest got sold to Cirrus Logic. It was the beginning of the dot com bust, from my reality. The product got buried but the idea was to use the home PC as a wireless server to a standard TV which had its own windows desktop in low res, and which could be used for standard windows games and apps. It worked pretty good for 1998 too!

Oh no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31566014)

Site being slashdotted already...

I'd rather watch C-PAN (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 3 years ago | (#31566714)

read the subject line

This is not regular RDP (2, Informative)

IBABad1 (1705968) | more than 3 years ago | (#31568872)

I actually read the article. The key difference between this chip and traditional thin clients or terminals is that the chip will allow multimedia playback locally on the TV. RemotFX allows for a better multimedia experience through a Terminal server desktop or application by re-directing the video/audio to the TV or device that initiates the remote session without requiring the application locally. With a regular RDP connection the Video/Audio plays in the remote session on the remote host and the output is piped through the RDP client. Which is why it is choppy and low quality even on a LAN connection.

The whole reason Microsoft has RemotFX is because multimedia content is one of the things Terminal server doesn't do well. Citrix has it own method for redirecting audio and video to the local PC. But that still requires the application to be on the local device which isn't always the case with thin-clients. RemoteFX won't require the application that plays the content to be on the local PC or TV.

Numo (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 3 years ago | (#31570048)

Wasn't "numo" also the name air rifles were called on the original Battlestar Galactica? One could kill a lupus within ten metrons if you hit it just right.

Cylon Centurion: I cannot be destroyed by a numo. Many have tried.

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