Feeds

Ubuntu penguins build Linux TV challenge

Turned to Microsoft and Google?

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Open-sourcers are taking Ubuntu Linux in the direction of Google TV and Microsoft's Xbox 360.

A list of priorities for something called Ubuntu TV have been thrashed out by Ubuntu developers with the blessing of Mark Shuttleworth. The Ubuntu daddy has corralled the points here.

"Good to see the level of interest in a TV experience for Unity," Shuttleworth said. You can see what Ubuntu TV might look like here.

Linux already powers a TV from Sony, the Bravia, while other consumer goods manufacturers have made it possible for Linux fans to hack TVs, such as SamyGo from Samsung.

How Ubuntu TV might look

How Ubuntu TV might look: an early concept design

Ubuntu TV seems to have its sights slightly set higher, with multi-player gaming and tighter integration between TV and the web. The window is the Unity interface, introduced rather controversially earlier this year, which cleaned up the desktop and opened up Ubuntu to touch-based input, instead of relying on the traditional mouse and keyboard.

The TV changes would mean a Linux TV running Ubuntu could become more of a window to cloud services and online films and TV, such as Google's so-far profoundly disappointing Google TV. It could also move in the direction of Microsoft's Xbox Kinect, which isn't just blending games play with TV but is adding the ability to control what you watch using your voice.

Google TV and Kinect are here, or at least mostly here. Ubuntu TV is still working the basics – for example, agreeing there must be the ability to operate the display at a distance of 10 feet away making it suitable for remote operation and viewing from a sofa.

Looking ahead, the web priorities include ability to access your Ubuntu One account through the Unity interface of the Ubuntu-powered TV. Ubuntu One is Canonical's cloud storage and data-synching service that lets you stream music.

Also making the cut is the ability to sync media with other Ubuntu-powered devices and to push and pull TV content. The ability to purchase films and TV shows through services like Amazon, Netflix and Ubuntu One are more of a medium-term priority, according to Shuttleworth.

As for gaming, the priorities list includes the ability to "collaborate with other Ubuntu devices".

The vision, here, is for smartphones and tablets running Ubuntu to control the TV.

According to one Ubuntu dev highlighted by Shuttleworth: "Either everyone could be working/playing together on the big screen, or individuals could work with a network-enabled application on their own tablet and then share their progress directly on the TV with the others as they each made their own adjustments." ®

This article has been updated to clarify the proposed operating distance of the Unity screen is 10 feet.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.