Feeds

Ubuntu penguins build Linux TV challenge

Turned to Microsoft and Google?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.