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Ubuntu TV Finally Gets a Close-Up

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-only-a-model dept.

Operating Systems 146

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

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146 comments

I'm Batman! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636066)

So suck my batarang!

One more.... (-1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636068)

....try for TV over the internet. One more of many that preceded. And as doomed to fail as the others ?

Re:One more.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636430)

I'm using TV over the internet http://tvkaista.fi/ here in finland. Works just fine through xbmc plugin. They are being sued by broadcasting companies though, but knowing Finnish legal system it's going to be available for few more years at least.

Re:One more.... (3, Insightful)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636942)

Considering that netflix is the application that consumes the most bandwidth on the internet, I have to ask you what the hell your talking about.

Re:One more.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636956)

Considering that Netflix actually has broad manufacturer and industry support whereas this apparently has none, otherwise they would have confirmed their partner companies, it's pretty easy to see that they aren't comparable. Seriously, Canonical is going to fail hard and it's going to be funny.

Mythbuntu (4, Interesting)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636084)

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

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

Re:Mythbuntu (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636188)

This is well within the rules of free software though, so it doesn't really matter what they think.

Does Mythbuntu have a mechanism for renting/buying movies though?

Re:Mythbuntu (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636222)

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

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

Re:Mythbuntu (3, Informative)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636322)

By "this", in

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

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

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

Re:Mythbuntu (5, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636918)

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

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

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

Re:Mythbuntu (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38637808)

It was presented *by* Canonical, you dumb, filthy geek.

+5 Interesting on a post that fails the basic facts of the summary. Yup. Slashdot. The realm of skulls full of pig shit.

Canonical enters into a whole new world of meh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636094)

meh

Is it chock full of proprietary software? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636104)

Like so many other things Ubuntu?

Re:Is it chock full of proprietary software? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636732)

Like so many other things Ubuntu?

I have to post anon, I've moderated.

What proprietary software does Ubuntu distribute?

Re:Is it chock full of proprietary software? (2)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636964)

Flash, nVidia drivers

None of this is on the livecd, nor is it installed without asking the user, so I'm not sure why AC is complaining about this.

Re:Is it chock full of proprietary software? (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637070)

Not that I have any problem with it but Canonical do distribute some proprietary software, albeit not installed by default. Off the top of my head:-

Oracle Java, Adobe Flash, nVidia and AMD graphics drivers. Probably lots more too in the restricted and multiverse repositories.

Re:Is it chock full of proprietary software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38638490)

No, Canonical does not "distribute" any of those proprietary software packages. The stock Ubuntu distribution includes only free packages. It's up to the end user to download and install those non-free drivers and packages on their own. The Ubuntu Software Center offers a gateway to the sources of these packages, but Canonical itself is not the source of them.

Oh dear (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636108)

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

Oh dear. Released by who then?

Re:Oh dear (4, Funny)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636160)

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

Oh dear. Released by who then?

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

Re:Oh dear (2)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636472)

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

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

Re:Oh dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636586)

You'd be surprised how close to the truth you are...

Re:Oh dear (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637140)

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

Re:Oh dear (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38637402)

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

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

I don't understand Canonical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636116)

If they have never managed to get what was, at one point, a pretty decent version of GNU/Linux onto something as easy to tinker with as PCs/Laptops/Netbooks why do they think that they will get their compromised system onto something as un-tinkerable (that is, the vast, vast majority of the customer base just want's something that comes with it and work even MORE so than a PC) as smartphones, tablets and TVs?

But WHO will manufacture them? (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636122)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re:But WHO will manufacture them? (5, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636206)

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

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

Re:But WHO will manufacture them? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636216)

No, WHO will not manufacture them.

Re:But WHO will manufacture them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636242)

Just about every TV maker on the planet...

What is the USP of Ubuntu TV over what is already available?
If that becomes clearer then the viability of the whole project might be easier to judge.

Re:But WHO will manufacture them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636626)

Woosh!

Re:But WHO will manufacture them? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636318)

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

Can't wait to try: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636124)

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

Re:Can't wait to try: (4, Funny)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636266)

E: somethinginteresting depends on bigmedia (>= 2.0.1-1) but will not get installed.

I wonder what they use for dlna and daap (3, Interesting)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636142)

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

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

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

Re:I wonder what they use for dlna and daap (2)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636176)

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

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

Re:I wonder what they use for dlna and daap (2, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636212)

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

Re:I wonder what they use for dlna and daap (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636450)

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

As far as DLNA goes similarly worthless. Just one more protocol that offers essentially nothing. Okay mDNS so stuff can find it. Again a few moments of setup you do once, on new devices. I'd rather see consumer home routers provide consumers with working plain old DNS! On the server side all the little home NAS solutions are not able to actually trans-code on the fly, so the protocol ends up just being a glorified fileserver protocol with little offer that nfs,smb,webdav, or even simple http or ftp, could not do just as well with more device support. Oh and as far as sorting by media tags, and stuff any of that could be done on the back side of those protocols with a tiny amount of cleverness, no more so than went in to the DLNA server implementation.

As to the transcoding aspect well that was a nice a idea. The DLNA server could provide media in whatever format the client device needed. Okay would have been cool 5 years ago when clients were underpowered and media freaks all had to have home servers built out of x86 systems. Now days there is no need to keep that much horse power sucking electricity all day long. If you have a home server its a little arm or atom based machine that is power frugal. No it does not needed to transcode because all the clients also have enough CPU power and storage ( for codec support ) to decode plenty of formats. Heck my blue-ray player will take matrsoka files containing divx,h.263,h.264,mpeg,mpeg2,mpeg4 and probably others I have not even tried. My mobile phone will play anything libavcodec supports. There is whole rack of sub $200 set top devices at the local BuyMore that are similarly flexible. There is no need to process media on the back end anymore.

Re:I wonder what they use for dlna and daap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636550)

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

I don't use it either, but that few moments of setup is what keeps it from being adopted by the masses. There actually is some elegance in a fileserver that auto-indexes your media files and having all your media consumption devices find that server automatically. And I understand the appeal of using your smartphone to control the player instead of a remote.

From an engineering point of view, yes the protocol is retarded (iirc dlna does not use mdns to locate devices, it uses upnp broadcasts), and as usual from Redmond, security has not been a focal point (or even an afterthought) during development.

Re:I wonder what they use for dlna and daap (1)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636724)

One of the primary uses for my Android phone turns out to be as a streaming music player when I'm lounging in bed. I use the 2player app, which sees the music on my LAN, served via DLNA from a NAS (an iomega box). All of this "just worked" with just about zero setup cost (I had to turn on the "media server" on the NAS and tell it where the music was). At a stroke it rendered the CD player and stack of CDs I used to keep on hand obsolete, doesn't require me to do any syncing to my phone, and gives me access to a library of 2000+ albums.

I'd long ago sold my stereo as I found I listened to music mainly in bed or at my PC, and couldn't really justify a pile of gear in the front room. I do have an AV receiver and "home cinema" speakers (a simple 2.1 setup). Somewhere down the line it turned out that my PVR was also a DLNA client, and I can now listen to all my music in glorious high fidelity in my living room while reading, washing up etc.

Almost by accident, using equipment from three different vendors, it's given me access from various locations round the house to a central library of my stuff. So for me at least, DLNA is not at all a stupid concept. It is exactly what we should all want - someone defining a standard that everyone can implement, instead of requiring us to buy all our hardware and software from one vendor. It may be that the DLNA standard is crappy, but the principle is IMHO completely sound.

Re:I wonder what they use for dlna and daap (1)

draco ni (42765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637092)

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

Re:I wonder what they use for dlna and daap (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637658)

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

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

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

The main problem with DLNA is the disconnect between what is on the server and what any particular device will support for playback. Also, most DLNA servers don't provide much of anything in terms of metadata.

You might as well just have a vanilla file browsing protocol.

DLNA doesn't "just work" most of the time. There's usually something left out.

RedundantTV (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636202)

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

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

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

Re:RedundantTV (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636316)

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

Re:RedundantTV (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636796)

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

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

Re:RedundantTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636868)

Why netflix? Netflix doesn't even work right on windows anymore (Win7 / 64bit / IE or Firefox).

Re:RedundantTV (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636874)

Who needs Netflix when you have Icefilms?

Re:RedundantTV (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637504)

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

Re:RedundantTV (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637638)

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

Re:RedundantTV (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637680)

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

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

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

Re:RedundantTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38638660)

Until Netflix, Hulu, and others open up we don't need them...

http://www.quicksilverscreen.ch/
http://www.solarmovie.eu/

movie name site:sitename

You can find just about any movie that exists on these two sites alone. Now a better interface would be nice. Currently I just use firefox. I have yet to see any value in mythbox, xbmc, etc.

xbmc does have one new feature I like. It's the ability to connect to slingbox. However I have come to realize it isn't of that much importance. After moving into my apartment I have been without a real TV connection for 4 or 5 months and no strong desire to make a phone call so I can hook up the slingbox so that I can connect the xbmc media center. I do though watch a lot of TV/Movies through firefox on an entertainment PC hooked up to my TV with a remote/bluetooth keyboard.

Re:RedundantTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636354)

I 100% Agree with you, I run XBMC for my Video and music collections, and MythTV for my PVR needs, XBMC has MythTV plugin , but it needs more work, which is what the community should be focusing on rather than making also runs.

Both MythTV and XMBC rock, why change?

Re:RedundantTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636512)

we have MythTV, XBMC/Boxee/Plex, Freevo, Enna[..]How many of these me-too media center suites do we need ?

You forgot the GTK based TV Project me-tv [launchpad.net] or is it me-too-tv :)

Re:RedundantTV (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636546)

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

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

Re:RedundantTV (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637718)

...which is probably why he included XBMC.

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

MythTV is really flexible that way.

Re:RedundantTV (0)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637000)

I think the PVR as a device is going to disappear entirely by 2015. If the "RokuStick" they're announcing (HDMI dongle for your TV) is any indication, especially at the sub-$100 launch price, there won't be any profit margin left in HDMI dongles in a few years. You will get a Netflix dongle free with your subscription, along with one for your Hulu Plus subscription; cable TV and satellite boxes will disappear completely and you'll get an HDMI dongle in a bubble pack mailer instead of a VCR-looking device.
 
Much like how calculators were $500 items that took up a permanent spot on your desk and are now given away as promotional items, HTPC/Media Centers are going the same way. I would be shocked if the next AppleTV is bigger than a book of matches.
 
More info, or more importantly, a visual of exactly what an HDMI dongle may look like: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5305/roku-streaming-stick-brings-smarts-to-mhl-equipped-tvs [anandtech.com]

Hard drives, limited ports, CableCARD (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638010)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re:Hard drives, limited ports, CableCARD (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638604)

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

Re:Hard drives, limited ports, CableCARD (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638788)

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

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

Most TVs have at least 3 HDMI ports

Mine has only two, neither of them MHL.

Why wouldn't CableCARDs come in smaller formats?

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

MHL is the future

So what's the present?

Re:Hard drives, limited ports, CableCARD (2)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638940)

MHL is the future, So what is the present?

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

Re:Hard drives, limited ports, CableCARD (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638854)

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

I don't see the want for PVRs to go away anytime soon as long as you still can't get everything on streaming when you want it. Streaming doesn't let me pause live TV, nor does it let me jump into a show half-way through it's live broadcast. If I'm lucky and if the network gods bless me then maybe I might be able to watch sometime streaming shortly after it initially airs. Maybe by the time the next season comes out I can catch it on Netflix.

I really wish we'd see a GoogleTV/Boxee/something-or-other standalone box that had CableCard support, external/network storage support, with both media center and PVR capabilities.

Re:RedundantTV (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637016)

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

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

Re:RedundantTV (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637202)

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

The other part is that the bigger the organization, the slower it moves. Rather than try to get everybody on board that this is the right way of doing it, it's sometimes easier to just do it and let the evidence speak for itself. They say in business that 90%+ of all companies fail within the first few years, well that's the way with OSS forks and distros as well. A few people try and either it fails to gather any mainstream momentum or their upstream adopted the same changes. If you're a hobbyist that may mean mission accomplished, it was done to provoke a change and it happened.

No cablecard support, no use to me (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637214)

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

Re:No cablecard support, no use to me (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637746)

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

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

You can have as many recording devices as you like.

You can have as many playback devices as you like.

They can be the same devices, or not.

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

Re:No cablecard support, no use to me (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638878)

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

Re:RedundantTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38637556)

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

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

Who cares? What downside is there to more choices?

The more developers and eyeballs we have on the core projects, the better.

What makes you think if they didn't have this project, they'd be working on your favorite project? Most open source developers don't work that way -- why work for free on a project you don't like?

Android TV is already here (wll almost) (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636260)

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

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

How About the TV is dead perpective? (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636272)

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

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

Re:How About the TV is dead perpective? (2)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636584)

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

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

Re:How About the TV is dead perpective? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38637380)

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

and scary part is that 99% of the population would be just fine with that.
Just like 99% of people today are happy to *PAY* for movies and TV instead of torrenting them?

CommerceWeB will be the alternative to the "old" Internet.

Anything with Ubuntu is terrible. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636278)

It's a fat bloated POS. Really slow, looks crap and is a pain in the ass to do anything useful with it.

They need to take a page or two from MythTV (4, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636294)

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

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

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

unity (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636296)

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

Re:unity (2)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636604)

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

time for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636324)

me to find a new distro

HA HA HA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636362)

1) Force 3D into desktop
2) Turn 3D desktop into YouTube
3) ...
4) Less productivity than with Windows98

Networking (1)

PhilJC (928205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636470)

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

Yes I appreciate Samba (or similar) will add this feature back in but I would hope that they have had the foresight to include this as default in Ubuntu TV.

Re:Networking (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637068)

It doesn't? I'm pretty much using a default Ubuntu 10.04 at home and a 11.10 at work. In Nautilus it's just File - Connect to Server - Windows Share... Fill in the stuff it needs to know, and you're good.

Re:Networking (1)

PhilJC (928205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637488)

I stand corrected (though not able to try it out until I get home). Every Google search on the subject seemed to bring up Samba as the only solution whereas as soon as I threw Nautilus into the search string I get a ton of info on how to do it without.

Appreciate the info jawstheshark.

Re:Networking (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638438)

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

Samba used to be the de-facto way to connect to Windows servers (an probably still is if you don't use Gnome. I don't use KDE, so I don't know for KDE), but these days it's mainly to be found on the server that actually serves files. You'll still need samba if you want to serve files from your desktop.

Oddly enough, I don't have Windows machines and I use Samba on my file server (which runs OpenBSD, to make it even weirder). This is mainly historical because I used to have Windows machines and back then it was the only reasonable way to serve files. Personally, I haven't found anything better. From what I've seen NFS (which would be the Unix way to do it) is way less "friendly" and less fine-grained. From what I've seen NFS is only an option if you have a LDAP infrastructure and who does that at home? (Yes, yes, I've been toying with the thought)

If you want permanently mounted shares on your client machine, independent from the logged in user, samba is still the way to go. You'll have to add an entry in fstab though [linuxquestions.org] .

Just to be fully technically accurate. Gnome does use the samba libraries. It doesn't run a samba server (smbd and nmbd, which is the NetBIOS naming service) if you don't configure it that way. From my home installation on which, I promise, never installed samba manually:

jawtheshark@tiger:~$ aptitude search samba | grep ^i
i samba-common - common files used by both the Samba server
i samba-common-bin - common files used by both the Samba server
jawtheshark@tiger:~$ ps auxw | grep mbd
jawtheshark 16687 0.0 0.0 7624 920 pts/5 S+ 17:38 0:00 grep --color=auto mbd
jawtheshark@tiger:~$

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636510)

I like the idea of Ubuntu arriving at phones, tablets and TVs, but not for the reason you think.

Ubuntu has a sad history of packaging bleeding edge stuff (from Debian's unstable branch) like PulseAudio that tend to break upgrades for lots of people (even on supported hardware), and then pretend everything is OK.

However, offering Ubuntu pre-installed on tightly integrated stuff like phones, tablets and TVs is like offering warranties. So it will force Canonical to acknowledge the fact that Ubuntu's upgrades broke because of bundling bleeding edge stuff. This would be a major win from the user's side (i prefer being but raped by Apple's restrictions regarding the hardware OS X runs on than by Canonical's bundling of bleeding edge stuff, because the first works, hopefully the situation will change someday).

On the good side, I LOVE, absolutely LOVE the DVR functionality. I never understood why people buy devices that can't record. Google TV devices have a CPU powerfull enough to surf the net, so why can't they record from DTV sources? Even in a royalty free format?

Why do they think.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636532)

They can compete with XBMC?

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

Why is ubuntu trying to reinvent the wheel?

Re:Why do they think.... (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636704)

Does XBMC run on Raspberry Pi?

Re:Why do they think.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636780)

Yes it does.

Re:Why do they think.... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638456)

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

Re:Why do they think.... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638616)

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

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

I will say XBMC could use some enhancenments. Namely:
-Better Library scanning. First the default expressions seem significantly worse than say Plex. I always have to plop in a bunch of extra regex into advanced settings. For another thing, XBMC only scans the library at specific points in time. Should do filesystem monitoring and trigger a scan on update of contents. By extension, a headless XBMC just to do library management/refresh (a la Plex's PMS)
-Better multi-system setup. If I work at it to make a mysql setup and advanced settings for pathsubstition to get shared art/thumbs it's serviceable enough but I do have to copy over the advencedsettings.xml to each new front end. If an XBMC instance (headless or not) could publish some network-wide defaults for new instances to detect and default to, then XBMC becomes more bullet-proof.
-Better PVR integration. Allegedly in Eden, but when I tried it it failed and some discussion that the mythtv integration needed to basically be redone...

Even better would be. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636566)

If Ubuntu would support Raspberry Pi, this would be brilliant. Imagine a device the size of a deck of cards that provided a full streaming TV, add network storage and "Bob's your Uncle"

Re:Even better would be. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636728)

Sort of like the latest 'Apple TV' then?

{ducks to avoid incoming missiles (open source naturally)}

Re:Even better would be. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637772)

Or a Roku.

Except you don't have to "jailbreak" a Roku in order to get support for all of the interesting things you already have in your video collection.

Captain Video! (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636570)

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

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

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

Re:Captain Video! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636668)

+1 Nostalgia

I have over 1000 videos. (2)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636676)

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

I noticed the paradigm continues with unbuntuTV.

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

Does it run on Raspberry Pi? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636700)

Does it run on Raspberry Pi?

Re:Does it run on Raspberry Pi? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38636944)

Raspberry Blob! Just a useless closed down piece of shit.

Excellent Adoption Technique (1)

Jamel Toms (2541304) | more than 2 years ago | (#38636740)

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

Re:Excellent Adoption Technique (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637022)

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

Makes sense... (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38637188)

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

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

Ubuntu Desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38637866)

Whether this fails or not, hopefully Canonical will find the time to develop a "Ubuntu Desktop" variant for us poor sods who still use keyboards and mice to interact with our systems.

YAY Just what I want (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38638064)

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

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