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Group Outlines Specs For Linux-based Set-top boxes

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the power-your-multimedia-world dept.

Linux 92

Shadowhawk writes "According to Silicon Strategies, a group called "TV Linux Alliance" is creating a spec for digital set-top boxes using Linux. The specifications, dubbed version 0.8, defines the functions for RF tuners and other components in Linux-based set-top boxes. It also outlines the application programming interfaces (APIs) for those devices, according to officials from the alliance."

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The alphabet, in Spanish! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554136)

abcchdefghijklllmnñopqrrrstuvwxyz

Episode II: Tainted Breath (-1, Offtopic)

Projectile (606313) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554140)

Before the median of the wet pavement stood a lanky man holding a plastic bucket. His eyes focused on a distorted reflection produced by the puddle of water and oil beneath his feet. The storm, one from which he lacked a refuge, had ended not five minutes before. Small beads of water still dripped from his tattered clothing.

The motorists had returned to the road, of course, as they consistently did during this period of the day. He'd solicit each of them, whether five or one hundred people passed, at this intersection. Although the fact was unbeknownst to some, they were indebted, and the lanky man would be collecting today.

Steam ascended from the asphalt as a dark cloud parted overhead. The sun's radiant warmth graced the man's windburned skin as he looked to the traffic light, shivering with angst. It would become red at any time. During this moment, however, the cars passed apathetically, showering him with water and their unpleasant exhaust. The debt wasn't monetary, he thought. His dignity was to be returned. So many of them would scurry home to their families in their luxurious cars and even more astonishing houses, whereas he would return only to a desolate concrete bridge.

The lanky man winced and touched his face, dropping the bucket. It was here that the woman had robbed him a week before. Clad in a black leather jacket, she slashed him ruthlessly and demanded his every possession.

"I have nothing for you," he said to her. "Look at me."

"That's untrue," she responded, drawing the silver blade. "You always got something, boy. I see you still got a spirit."

The man's eyelids opened to reveal his pale, brown eyes. He looked to the street. What seemed like a hundred cars were stopped, each impatient driver waiting for the inevitable change. With the bucket in hand, he knocked on the window of the first car in line.

The driver turned to him, his face exhibiting a vehement hatred, then returned to the steering wheel. To the next car he walked, his ambition unwavering.

"Could you spare some change?" he asked the driver of the red minivan.

"When hell freezes over," the man responded, flicking cigarette ashes onto the ground.

The lanky man dropped the bucket, scoffed in frustration, and walked hastily to a convenience store located nearby. It was miniscule, poorly lit, and perhaps quite filthy, but the store served his purposes adequately. The door slammed behind him as he entered.

"Stranger, hey!" greeted the cashier. "So, uh, will it be the usual today?"

"Yeah-" he glanced expeditiously at the man's nametag "-Roger, yes. I just need something to fill me up, that's all."
"I've got something real good for you!" exclaimed Roger as he produced a six-pack of beer. "You check this out. It's my best stuff, honest."
"I'll take it," the man replied inattentively.
Roger smiled with astonishment. "Well, man, ain't you even gonna look at it?"
"Just ring me up."
The cashier chuckled. "See some ID, please?"
The man scowled.
"Just joking, man," said Roger in an attempt to quell the man's resentment, "It'll be eight dollars. You never say anything about yourself."

The man silently slid a five-dollar bill across the counter.

"That's it, huh? Well, I guess your charismatic personality compensates for it. You know they say that money can't buy happiness. Where'd you get this money, anyway?"

"Smith Street," the man sighed. "And I don't want happiness. Just need the closest thing to it, and that's what I'm buyin'."

I guess the question is... (3, Insightful)

packeteer (566398) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554148)

...Do these standards help linux spread out and mature or simply go against everything that linux has done right?

Personally i think if its done right its a good thing.

Re:I guess the question is... (3, Funny)

ninjadoug (609521) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554174)

See how Microsoft wants everything to run windows and be compatable with everything else, so yout fridge can talk to your bedside lamp. Well you guys seem to want everything to run Linux so everything takes hours to set up and no-one else can use it. But heh, TiVo is Linux based and I like it. So cool.

Re:I guess the question is... (0, Offtopic)

jaavaaguru (261551) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554259)

It took 1 hour to install RedHat 8 on my 475MHz laptop. It took around the same time to install Windows 2000. RH8 had no "setting up" to do after installing. I just plugged in an ethernet cable, logged in, loaded Mozilla, and started surfing the 'net. With Win2K, I had to provide Video, Sound and Network drivers, which was difficult as I needed to get online to get them! Now see what takes "hours to set up".

Re:I guess the question is... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4555141)

Well the forward thinking individual would have gotten the appropriate drivers beforehand.

If you struggle with Windows, maybe your the one at fault.

Re:Linux comes with more... (1)

Da'Rante (604292) | more than 11 years ago | (#4556491)

The point would be he didn't have to with RedHat. They were there.

wow, real informative (5, Insightful)

cdf12345 (412812) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554160)

I'm I the only one who found no real information here?

It'd be nice to actually see what standards were set, or at least have a link to them.

It's like CNN having a news update about a presidental speech and saying "well the president outlined his goals for the economy and foreign policy, he is supported by these congressmen"

Then failing to say what the policy is.

Talk about a fluff piece.

Re:wow, real informative (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554166)

www.tvlinuxalliance.com [tvlinuxalliance.com] .

The standard can be yours for only $2000 (each version).

So much for free software and (mis)using linux name.

Re:wow, real informative (2, Informative)

xean (443223) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554168)

There should have at least been a link to the Alliance's web site in the News Article which can be found here [tvlinuxalliance.org]

But again - there isn't much info there either unless you're a 'member'...

Re:wow, real informative (5, Informative)

Robot Monkey (65753) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554178)

From The TV Linux Alliance website [tvlinuxalliance.org] :

"TV Linux Alliance specifications are available for licensing. Organizations who wish to adopt the specification as a full-blown licensor may do so by executing the Adopter's Agreement. Adopters may incorporate the TV Linux Alliance Specification in their commercial products."

In other words, to get the specs, you gotta join their club. And to join their club, you gotta pay $2000 buckaroos.

$2000....Shove it up their.... (3, Insightful)

cdf12345 (412812) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554186)

Like I said, real informative.

$2000 for a set of standards that no one knows what they are at the moment?

Re:wow, real informative (1)

orim (583920) | more than 11 years ago | (#4555748)

Of course, if you had the specs, you would immediately run into your basement and build yourself a box... right?

Re:wow, real informative (2)

HiThere (15173) | more than 11 years ago | (#4558692)

I think it can be pretty safely guaranteed that most OSS projects won't follow these guidelines. $2000 is a lot to spend before your design specs are even solid. And afterwards, you probably won't want to change them. And it would still be $2000 for a pig in a poke.

Members of alliance (4, Interesting)

wcbarksdale (621327) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554163)

From article: "The TV Linux Alliance consists of ACTV, ATI, Broadcom, Concurrent Computer, Conexant, Convergence Integrated Media, iSurfTV, Liberate, Lineo, MontaVista, Motorola, Pace Micro, ReplayTV, STMicroelectronics, Sun Microsystems, TiVo, Trintech, and Worldgate." Odd. Somehow they left out WebTV [msn.com]

Re:Members of alliance (1)

Megabods (621370) | more than 11 years ago | (#4555419)

What were the chances of that happening!

Re:Members of alliance (1)

bitdamaged (177421) | more than 11 years ago | (#4557220)

MS WebTV is not a competitor. WebTV is just internet access in a box for your TV, that's not what these guys are developing. Microsoft has developed MSTV for use on set-top boxes but the whole thing was actually a huge fiasco for Microsoft and about 8 months ago they completely reorganized their MSTV outfit to either try again or get out of the biz.

Re:Members of alliance (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 11 years ago | (#4560753)

Microsoft did not design WebTV/MSNTV, they just bought WebTV a few years ago. Twas ex Apple folks under the name of Artemis that actually designed the boxes and started the company. Lasted a couple of years until MS bought them.

Set tr0ll boxen mt (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554165)

Linuks sux0z,

    • WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW WWWWWWWW

      The worlds most infamous troll! [stallman.org]
      Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
      Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING


I wouldnt destory my commodre to install linux on it like this idiot! [opsys.net]

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moderators on crack
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its better than sex with a mare
due to excessive bad posting from this ip or subnet.....
vi rules, emacs sux0rs

-- end meta-troll

Re:Set tr0ll boxen mt (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4555862)

A call to arms for all trolls! Please carry on the concept of the meta troll. Take this meta troll and add to it (or remove/alter) as you wish. Make sure your additions or changes are calculated to annoy and specifically refer to older well known trolls. You are, of course free to add your own new trolls if you wish.

In addition, this troll works particularly well if you take the time to craft a post that is long enough to make the "Read the rest of this comment" link appear and then post the meta troll lower down. Make sure your long post seems to be informative and contains links to "good resources" that relate to your bogus post. I took about two hours to work on this [slashdot.org] one. Look at the beautiful amount of moderation that it got and how many "Interesting" ratings I got. Whoohoo!!! Good luck, and happy trolling

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Much ado about nothing. (3, Insightful)

Troy H Parker (600654) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554167)

The article doesn't contain any meat. What standards? I want to know how I can make use of these standards, are they being made available or are they sort of passed around to others in the industry only?

Re:Much ado about nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554180)

Tell me about it! It's only referred to as "version 0.8" in the article. Hello? What is the -name- of the spec? is it bigger than a breadbox?

Re:Much ado about nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554189)

> What standards?

Can't you read? it clearly states 0.8 :>

Re:Much ado about nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554195)

Oh, the 0.8 standards gotcha. moron.

Here's the article (4, Informative)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554171)

HOUSTON, Tex.--The TV Linux Alliance here today announced the availability of its initial specifications for use in developing digital set-top boxes, based on the Linux operating system.

The specifications, dubbed version 0.6, defines the functions for RF tuners and other components in Linux-based set-top boxes. It also outlines the application programming interfaces (APIs) for those devices, according to officials from the alliance. The TV Linux Alliance is a consortium that hopes to define a proprietary Linux environment for digital set-top boxes.

The specification also simplifies the implementation of middleware and device drivers for the Linux operating environment. It also paves the way for support of industry-standard content specifications, such as DVB-MHP, Palladium, and CableLabs OCAP, said Dennis Thompson, chairman for the Austin-based alliance.

"This specification is a long awaited solution that will accelerate the availability of new content and services, though it may include some porting and integration challenges," he said in a statement.

The TV Linux Alliance consists of ACTV, Apple, ATI, Broadcom, Concurrent Computer, Conexant, Convergence Integrated Media, iSurfTV, Liberate, Lineo, MontaVista, Motorola, Pace Micro, ReplayTV, STMicroelectronics, Sun Microsystems, TiVo, Trintech, WebTV, and Worldgate.

Bizarre (4, Interesting)

Alan Cox (27532) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554202)

Linux already has a standard for TV tuners, video cards and both analog and digital TV systems. The palladium thing does demonstrate the need for more GPL software authors to include language like this
(from bits of the kernel...)

* For the avoidance of doubt the "preferred form" of this code is one which
* is in an open non patent encumbered format. Where cryptographic key signing
* forms part of the process of creating an executable the information
* including keys needed to generate an equivalently functional executable
* are deemed to be part of the source code.
*

and I'd urge the FSF to adopt such language in the GPL next generation too

Re:Bizarre vs. GPL (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554365)

I see little point in adding additional terms to the GPL when current terms are being ignored.

Dell/Red hat was notified in JULY 2002 that the Dell PowerEdge Web Server version 3.0 Powered by Red hat Linux was violating the GPL by not provide the source code or a written notice of the source code. Red hat's Mark Webbink responded that under contract between Dell and Red hat, the Red hat v7.2 packages (on CD 2 of 3 and CD 3 of 3 of the PowerEdge Web Server) where distributed by Dell, not Red hat and Red hat would make sure the GPL was honored. Dell responded that the next release of the PowerEdge Web Server would honor the GPL including the non-RH packages covered by the GPL on CD 1 of 3.

Well, the next release is out under the name of Dell PowerEdge Server version 3.1 Powered By Red Hat Linux [dell.com] and guess what:

It does not include the source code for the non-RH portions on CD 1 of 3
It does not include a written offer for the source code for the non-RH portions on CD 1 of 3
It does not include the source code for the RH 7.2 packages on CD 2 and CD 3
It does not include a written offer for the source code for the RH 7.2 packages on CD 2 and CD 3

Mark Webbink refuses to respond to e-mails requesting details on what Red hat considers to be a written offer for the source code that was included with Dell PowerEdge Web Server version 3.1 Powered By Red Hat Linux.

Dell technical support when asked for the after-market part # for the source code explains that Dell does not intend the PowerEdge Web Server software to be "open source" and does not intend to provide *ANY* source code related to the product. In addition, he explained that any customer modifications that Dell intends to be provided is already in the web configuration screens and modifying the source code would only "break it."

Despite this excuse for continuing the violate the GPL, Red hat/Dell is now (October 29) giving a talk at Georgetown U. to explain why software distributed under the license they are both violating will result in better security.

So which is it that Red hat/Dell believes? That modifying the source code only breaks it or improves security?

And Red hat's Alan Cox would like additional terms added to the next GPL so that the Red hat/Dell alliance can ignore those terms as well! That is really cute. Why don't you talk to Mark Webbink about honoring the FSF request to snail mail every reciever of the PowerEdge Web Server version 3.x a written offer for the source code before declairing what more the FSF should do. Maybe if the FSF wasn't busy policing GPL violators like the Red hat/Dell alliance then they would have time to work on GPL-NG instead.

In short, adding your above language to the GPL is NOT going to ever make RH's Mark Webbink responsive to the requirements of the GPL.

Re:Bizarre vs. GPL (2)

Alan Cox (27532) | more than 11 years ago | (#4559758)

If you've got the guts to continue this other than as an "anonymous coward" then I would be interested in evidence that something like that is going on so I can go kick people and find out what is happening.

It may also depend on the code involved. If its about 'web server software' and that software is dell written and created it may be Dell proprietary. If it is Apache mods then it is under a very weak BSD license and they can take their version proprietary.

You might also want to ask Matt Domsch at Dell

Re:Bizarre vs. GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4562249)

I'm sorry. I'll email you the details. Part of the frustration is that Matt Domsch is the one that claimed that this would be taken care of in the next version. The notification was regarding version 3.0. When I got version 3.1, the next version, it still did not provide any written offer for the source code. I feel ALOT of effort was put in by Red Hat and Dell with this security summit to convince customers that Open Source/Free Software has advantages over close source. It should be clear that they are putting the cart in front of the horse to try to convince customers of this when they themselves are doing a half hearted attempt to correct a GPL/LGPL violation over the last 3 months.

Correcting the language of the GPL v2 for a GPL-NG should be a high priority and your suggested language would improve it. My frustrations are actually with other members of Red hat and Dell, not you.

Re:Bizarre (2)

molo (94384) | more than 11 years ago | (#4556545)

Alan,

While I do understand your concern over DRM issues, I just wanted to point out that this will also render systems of 'blessed binaries' useless, as the keys would have to be published. This is important for open source online games, such as Netrek, to avoid people cheating by modifying their clients.

-molo

Re:Bizarre (2)

Alan Cox (27532) | more than 11 years ago | (#4559727)

Blessed binaries is a complicated issue. It comes down to what is source and what is equivalent functionality. There is a real difference between "you can't use my service but you can run your own" and "pay $100,000 and we will let you run your code on your computer"

Re:Bizarre (2)

mikeee (137160) | more than 11 years ago | (#4559292)

That would be nice, but really is just a clarificational (IANAL). I would think it's clear that you don't have the source code if you don't have sufficient information to produce a working executable.

Re:Bizarre (2)

AntiFreeze (31247) | more than 11 years ago | (#4577069)

Just a heads up. Wasn't sure if you were aware of this, but you responded to a fabricated (well, edited) article, not actual news. Here's [slashdot.org] the confession. Unless of course, I've fallen for yet another one of his trollings [which I hope I haven't].

Re:Here's the article (2)

Ford Fulkerson (223443) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554733)

The TV Linux Alliance consists of ACTV, Apple, ATI, Broadcom, Concurrent Computer, Conexant, Convergence Integrated Media, iSurfTV, Liberate, Lineo, MontaVista, Motorola, Pace Micro, ReplayTV, STMicroelectronics, Sun Microsystems, TiVo, Trintech, WebTV, and Worldgate.

It's interesting to note that Apple is a member of this group. Apple has been rumored for some time to be developing new "digital lifestyle" deveices to follow up on the iPod. Perhaps a iPVR is comming next.

Re:Here's the article (1)

rjkm (145398) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554799)

An they still list Convergence Integrated Media which, AFAIK, no longer exists.

Re:Here's the article (2, Informative)

BigSven (57510) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554990)

Convergence Integrated Media is dead, long live Convergence ;-) The company changed its name but we are still there and we are still into Open Source as you can see at www.linuxtv.org and www.directfb.org.

Re:Here's the article BLATANT KARMA WHORING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554851)

MOD -1 overrated/redundant

nice try (1)

Polarweasel (33867) | more than 11 years ago | (#4559457)

Gee, that's an interesting version of the article. The one I read was from Austin, not Houston, failed to mention Palladium, mentioned reducing porting challenges, and didn't mention Apple and WebTV, among other things...

Please mod the parent down. Either it's a failed attempt at humor, or it's a deliberate attempt to deceive and confuse.

The Truth Can No Longer Be Hidden (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554173)

Fact is, linux sucks. This truth can no longer be hidden. The fraud is about to be exposed. Stay tuned. Get ready. Linux sucks.

Inventive naming (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554175)

> The specifications, dubbed version 0.8

How long did it take them to come up with that? I think I'll name my next kid that...

At least it wasnt .007 [nt] (0, Offtopic)

cdf12345 (412812) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554198)

poopie trim

Lame. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554176)

tvlinuxalliance.org

To even see the specs you have to print out a license agreement, sign it, fax it to them, and more... So much for an open standard.

what an I say but... (-1, Offtopic)

Infernus (619328) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554191)

...imagine a Beowulf Cluster of those...

Not to mention the $2000 fee (2)

cdf12345 (412812) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554205)

What bs, open source for the wealthy, wait a sec, I guess that means its not open source at all....hmmmm

But will it be better? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554185)

The Pace/Liberate boxes that the uk cable cos use are complete shit! It takes about 5 seconds to change the channel sometimes, and sickening color schemes to boot! Not to mention that it crashes on you when you least expect it. If the linux boxes are better, than Im all for it. Linux could be in nearly every home...

Trademark issues? (5, Interesting)

cei (107343) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554201)

I remember Linus getting the Linux trademark back a couple of years ago. Don't know if the mark is specifically for "software" or "product" or might include "services", but it seems to me that anyone calling themselves "TV Linux Alliance" and being less than forthcoming with their standard, much less their code, may be up for a challenge.

The Specifications are available here (4, Informative)

Troy H Parker (600654) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554203)

the Specifications are available here: http://tvlinuxalliance.org/specifications/index.ph p

Re:The Specifications are available here (4, Informative)

Paul Bristow (118584) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554266)

No they're not! The license agreement to sign and send back so you can get access to the specifications is there. Open Source it is not.

No kidding, unfortunately dems da berries :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554283)

the article says there not free

Bad (2)

e8johan (605347) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554204)

"...industry-standard content specifications, such as ...Palladium..."

This cannot be good. Should Linux-based set-top boxes be used to limit the freedom of the users. I can see the irony, but I do *not* find it funny!

No OS costs = Greater profits! (3, Insightful)

krazyninja (447747) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554208)

The link here at isurftv [isurftv.com] , (one of the prominent members of the tvlinux alliance) shows that they offer a windows based solution already. But Linux is not mentioned anywhere except for the news release. It is clear that they started off with a Windows solution, but the profit margins are so thin in this industry, that they found it is viable only if the OS cost is not a part of the selling cost.
I wonder how many other industries could follow this trend? Note that MS has its hand into other pies like HAVI (Home Audio Video Interoperability), Media center, recent announcements with Panasonic for CDs etc...

Re:No OS costs = Greater profits! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4560926)

And how do you sell something on a platform where everything is expected to be free (yes AS IN BEER)? Virtually every company that has tried this has failed completely. They are just next in line...

If it's big business, it's bad news (5, Insightful)

bLanark (123342) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554217)

This sounds like a big business thing. What will undoubtedly happen if this alliance makes significant market pentration is that some dude in Washington will lean on them in some way:

Force Palladium-like stuff on them (or)
Force viewing stats (or)
Force no ad-skipping (or)
or whatever.

Hackers, on the other hand, start a sourceforge project, another sees what's available, enhances it for their needs, puts it back in the pot, and so on. That will never be controlled in the way this alliance can be.

I expect that some of the alliance "components" will end up having some restrictions in them, so even they will not be available for open-source hackers.

The only way will be to write your own, from the ground up (at best keep a "standard" interface). Sorry.

Re:If it's big business, it's bad news (4, Insightful)

squaretorus (459130) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554380)

Agree. Whats needed is a single simple download that can be dumped onto a fresh / old PC with an easily understood minimum spec by anyone that can instal a piece of windows software without wetting themselves.

Make it kazaa easy! Have different flavours, and plug ins, and skins, and all the other crap we love, but first make it EASY to install.

If it needs a big MF of a chip now instead of a dedicated hardware encode/ decoder who cares - we'll have 200GHx PVII systems in Walmart for $300 soon enough! THEN who needs a hardware encoder.

This stuff doesn't have to be complicated - just enable people to do simple things VERY easily. After that all works start adding the nice to haves.

Re:If it's big business, it's bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4556281)

640 (pixels horz) x 400 (pixels vert) x 2 (Bpp) x 30 (fps) > PCI bandwidth ps.

so we all need fancy schmancy encoding chips.

s/or/and/g (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554605)

eh?

Re:If it's big business, it's bad news (2)

Khalid (31037) | more than 11 years ago | (#4555273)

Exactly ! this is why http://www.linuxtv.org/ is for, these are the guys who also did http://www.directfb.org, I don't understand why they have ignored them !!

Re:If it's big business, it's bad news (2)

bLanark (123342) | more than 11 years ago | (#4555441)

don't understand why they have ignored them !!

It's a question of ownership. The (the big corps) do not grok open source ("Whadaya mean, it's free? No way!").

So they want to roll their own. Then it's theirs. Plus, no GPL issues, no patent issues (OK, that was a joke), etc. And they could even licence it!

The Dreambox (5, Informative)

Zloopy (595401) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554224)

This is better:

The Dreambox 7000S, Dream Multimedia [dreammultimedia.tv] :

- 250 MHz IBM PowerPC Processor (350 Mips)

- Linux open source (most parts under the terms of GPL, accordingly
expandable)- Supports Linux Standard API (Direct-FB, Linux-FB, LIRC)

- 1 x DVB Common-Interface Slot

- 2 x Smartcard-Reader

- Integrated Compact Flash Interface Slot

- MPEG2 Hardware decoding (fully DVB compliant)

- Support for MPEG4 decoding

- Common available NIMs (DVB-S, DVB-T, DVB-C)

- 100 MBit full duplex Ethernet Interface

- USB Port Keyboard, Pointing Devices, WebCams and other devices

- V.24/RS232 Interface

- Big-size LCD-Display

- Up to 64 MByte of RAM

- integrated IDE UDMA66 Master/Slave Interface

- Support for internal HDD in any capacity

Re:The Dreambox (2)

zensonic (82242) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554436)

Well, nice specs, but by browsing the messageboards I got the impression, that the product have been delayed again and again, not to mention that I see no pricing info on these beasts.

Re:The Dreambox (2)

Paul Bristow (118584) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554515)

Look at the distributers: 499 euros with delivery scheduled for 10th November

Re:The Dreambox (2, Informative)

RVley (210521) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554602)

It's not delayed, it will be out next week (according to www.electricblue.nl) for 499 Euros.

Soon there will also be cable (DVB-C) and DVB-T versions. This 7000 can also hold a harddisk. The cheapo-model will not be able to hold a HDD.

Think it'll be a very nice box, but we have to see how stable everything will be ofcourse.

Re:The Dreambox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554967)

But the software runs on an older settop-box since 1 or 2 years. see www.dbox2.info [dbox2.info]

Re:The Dreambox (1)

llamaluvr (575102) | more than 11 years ago | (#4555490)

Okay...so I'm reading the specs on this website, and it sounds pretty powerful (well, at least compared to my vintage 198x cable box)...it tells me that it runs linux, it's got a powerPC processor, it can hold a hard drive, etc, etc. So it's basically a little computer on top of my TV...but, what I'd like to know, which the website tells me nothing about, is...what the heck do I do with it?!?! It must be something pretty powerful that you can't do with a regular TV...I don't know! Does it...

project an image of you into your favorite sit-com or game show?

replace all those loud, obnoxious anchors on Sportscenter with normal people?

Will it go back in time and record the show I forgot to tape?

Is smell-o-vision finally here?

Is it an add-on that will give me picture in picture in picture?

Or is it just a really big SAP button that will let me enjoy my shows in English, Spanish, and Canadian?

I have a computer. I have a TV. Will somebody please tell me what amazing things I can do by putting a computer on top of my TV?!?

Stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4556452)

You had me at Canadian.
EH?

Re:The Dreambox (2)

akb (39826) | more than 11 years ago | (#4557524)

where's the firewire?

To counter WinXP Media Center (3, Insightful)

Troy H Parker (600654) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554225)

To counter WinXP Media Center edition of Windows XP, we need something similar running Linux, but this "Linux Standard" costs $2000 just to READ, and you don't even know what it contains beforehand.

Is there a competing standard available or being worked on, that's FREE to read?

Jesus, Standards were meant to be free.

Re:To counter WinXP Media Center (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4560916)

And how will it compete with the Windows Media Center Edition of XP when that is on the verge of being released as a complete working system, and This Linux spec will be months off, then months to years before anyone uses it to produce a Linux version?

Why did "Linux" wait until MS did it first before acting? Everyone saw this coming and everyone sat around and did nothing.

If Linux truly innovated anything, there would have been a Linux Media Center Edition distro months or years ago.

The fact is Linux does not innovate anything, it's based on ancient computer technology and is constantly playing catch-up with the entire rest of the world in both kernel level advancement and especially in user level, value added features.

$2000 to license the specs... (3, Informative)

gotih (167327) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554227)

can closed specs produce open software? the specs will cost [tvlinuxalliance.org] $2000 to license.

Redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554228)

but correct

Nokia's Media Terminal, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554243)

http://press.nokia.com/PR/200009/790116_5.html

Linux, set-top-box, what? Been out ages.

Is it a STANDARD? duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554249)

(sigh)

Would you fuck this woman? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554254)

Would you fuck this woman [orsm.net] ?

What about this woman [onzin.com] ? Would you fuck her?

Modders (2, Insightful)

failrate (583914) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554265)

Okay, this alleged Alliance is all well and good (or, more probably, unwell and double ungood), but a bunch of TiVo modders could probably grab some codecs and software off of Freshmeat and do a better job than these big, ungainly businesses. Besides, who really cares what their "standards" are when it will be hacked to pieces within weeks of the boxen actually being released to the public. Encryption keys, ha!! Just grab the old beltsander. Proprietary codecs... didn't the whole DVD industry try that one already??? Didn't hackers already get around that like a mofo? Aaaahhh, these guys are such jerks, I'm just going to go to bed and dream about monkeys smoking hookahs or something more reasonable.

Confidentiality in license vs. GPL (5, Insightful)

ukryule (186826) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554277)

Looking at the license [tvlinuxalliance.org] , it is treated as confidential material. To quote bits:

3.1 Permitted use. This Specification Version contains information that is highly confidential to the TV Linux Alliance and/or its Founders. Adopter agrees to protect this Specification Version ... This Specification Version may not be disclosed to a third party...

3.2 Time Period. Adopter's obligations regarding the confidentiality of this Specification Version will expire 5 years after the Effective Date (except for any source code not licensed under the GNU General Public License or other open source license, if any, which will be protected in perpetuity).

Now, I guess it's fine to put these restrictions on a specification of a GPL-d system, but once they start releasing products, they'll have to release source code - so i'm a bit confused as to what the license implies. They're protecting the standard, but are going to release the source of implementations? Why?

Re:Confidentiality in license vs. GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4556015)

Unless--there is no possible way for the users to modify the software on the devices. I was at a conference where RMS actually forwarded this as an opinion!?!

VDR *is* a GPL STB/PVR (5, Informative)

Paul Bristow (118584) | more than 11 years ago | (#4554296)

This site [cadsoft.de] has the terrific and very active VDR project. It has full DVB support, full PVR support, and plugins for DVD playback, DivX, MPEG-4, MP3, LCD displays and more... If you want GPL Digital TV this is the place to go. Sign up to the mailing lists and contribute to this fantastic example of open source working well.

Will they be fixing the fonts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554493)

God imagine trying to read them on a TV screen....

Set Top boxes ? Better way - (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4554516)

http://quiz.ravenblack.net/blood.pl?3331888710

Set-top Blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4555514)

Mod me down to -1^10 (Flamebait) but someone has to say it...

Is anyone else just about ready to never see the phrase "set-top box" again? There are quite a few exciting technologies incubating right now, but the set-top box is not one of them.

Please tell me who, exactly, cares? Just how blindly optimistic do you have to be to think that there really is a waiting & eager market for set-top boxes, even though every attempt to get this turkey of an idea into the air has failed since the Pippin?

The set-top box is just the last remnant of the "convergence" hype which, like most vaguely-defined technology "trends" amounted to very little before being swiftly forgotten, except for a few straggling ideas (like the set-top box) occasionally being kicked around for lack of any useful ideas to discuss.

Re:Set-top Blah (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 11 years ago | (#4560875)

Actually we can't possibly know whether the Pippin would have been a failure or not since it was never released in the US. There are successful set top boxes except they aren't called that, they are called video game consoles. You could browse the web on the Sega Saturn and Dreamcast. In Japan the Dreamcast accessed the WebTV service, though it didn't in the US. The Playstation 2 can browse the web too, if you have one of the Linux kits. IMHO the set top boxes of the future will simply be descendants of the current video game consoles. Also, though WebTV might not be considered a total success, it has outlasted all challengers, even in it's pre Microsoft days. When it comes to "Internet on television" WebTV is the one to beat.

Why doesn't... (4, Interesting)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 11 years ago | (#4555580)

Why doesn't somebody put together a set top box with a 40 gig harddrive, plus a couple more IDE slots, a couple of PCI slots, capture card, TV out, a network card, USB, firewire and a remote, and sell the damn thing as a kit... then let the standards make themselves... Personally, even if the thing cost 500 bucks, I'd buy one just to make my own Tivo and I'd plug a CDRW into the thing so I could archive the content as well. And before you respond with some rehtorical whitty comment about how nobody would buy it, that's the problem! See, years ago, you actually had to build your television (now that's what I call dedication!!!) I think people have lost a bit of the lust to tinker!

Why are men such poor dressers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4555770)

Aphrodite the 32 IQ negress

Check out the hottest site around!
http://www.askheartbeat.com/cgibin/ultima tebb.cgi

Backwards (2)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4556031)

According to Silicon Strategies, a group called "TV Linux Alliance" is creating a spec for digital set-top boxes using Linux.

The way to develop a product is to work out what you want to do, then look for a technology that can do it. Choosing the technology first then designing the product to fit the technology is backwards. Is the objective here to sell an STB, or is it to further the Linux cause? Because a for-profit company should prioritize the former over the latter.

Re:Backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4572271)

The objective is to create a spec for digital set-top boxes using linux.


Sheesh you have to be one of the stupidest /.'ers I've seen lately. Reply to this if you need me to do some more re-reading for you.

so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4556177)

when does linux stop sucking?

Alliance?!? (0)

natron 2.0 (615149) | more than 11 years ago | (#4556220)

Why does everything involved with Linux have to be done by an Alliance?!?

Linux Set Top Box with Xwindows Alternative GUI? (0, Flamebait)

mrnick (108356) | more than 11 years ago | (#4557103)

I have been working on the core functionality of a Linux set top box for a while now and I am to the point I need to develop a GUI but I flat refuse to use XWindows.. spam on but XWindows BLOWS. Esp when used in a specific application such as this. Are there any alternatives??

Thanks for any info!

Nick Powers

Re:Linux Set Top Box with Xwindows Alternative GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4558046)

look at http://directfb.org/

standards for the sake of standards... (0)

ovit (246181) | more than 11 years ago | (#4560025)

I'm sorry... But shouldn't TiVo be setting a standard like this? Not some unknowns?

Tony

Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4560870)

And in 10 years someone will be up to version 0.8 of a platform that implements the spec. :P

Last Post! (1)

alpg (613466) | more than 11 years ago | (#4652407)

* james would be more impressed if netgod's magic powers could stop the splits in the first place...
* netgod notes debian developers are notoriously hard to impress
-- Seen on #Debian

- this post brought to you by the Automated Last Post Generator...
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