Couple computers of mine are using Ubuntu as their main Linux operating system. (Ubuntu is one of the easiest Linux distributions to be installed and used.) It has always been an excitement for me to see a new version of Ubuntu to be released, but this time it’s not the release of a new version of Ubuntu which has excited me. It’s the announcement that Ubuntu is ready for TV. Yes, I have never had imagined Ubuntu would be released for TV, but now the cat is out of the bag and I’m loving it. Check out the video right after the break to see Ubuntu TV in action.
Ubuntu boasts that Ubuntu TV is just TV. No wires. No boxes. Ubuntu suggests Ubuntu TV integrates broadcast, time shift, online box office, personal cloud, apps and disk media experiences. Why no wires or boxes? I think as long the TV manufacturers install Ubuntu TV onto their TVs, out of the box experience Ubuntu TV will not require any additional wires or boxes besides the wires that come with the TVs. Searching for TV programs should be enjoyable on Ubuntu TV since Ubuntu suggests it integrates an intelligent search for Ubuntu TV. Here I quote Ubuntu’s own words on searching for TV programs with Ubuntu TV:
Cable and satellite TV provide hundreds of channels already. Add online content and the choices increase exponentially. Ubuntu TV helps viewers find entertainment quickly, prioritising their most frequently-watched programmes. Search is ever-present and makes quick work of finding great content. No time to watch now? Single episodes or whole seasons can be recorded and enjoyed at your leisure. And because the TV is a shared device, viewers can create personalised playlists, to keep the kids’ priorities separate from yours. (Source: http://www.ubuntu.com/tv/experience)
Furthermore, if I’m not mistaken, I think Ubuntu suggests that there will be apps for smartphones and tablets to be used in conjunction with Ubuntu TV so TV users will be able to enjoy side contents on particular shows/programs. This way, TV users don’t really have to interrupt their TV shows/programs just to peek at additional information on the TV shows/programs that they’re watching. Perhaps, there will be Ubuntu TV remote apps for smartphones and tablets so TV users can control Ubuntu TV with such devices.
It’s unclear how Ubuntu can be installed on TVs. I surmise TV manufacturers might have to install Ubuntu at the get go before their TVs reach the customers. According to VentureBeat article Ubuntu TV ‘for human beings’ unveiled at CES, Ubuntu TV is free. TV manufacturers might see that they can cut down the cost of not having to pay for TV operating system license, and you never know cost saving from TV manufacturers might make smart flatscreen TVs even cheaper for customers. There is a service fee for each unit which Ubuntu will charge the TV manufacturers.
On Ubuntu’s website, there is a contact form which invites TV manufacturers and content providers to contact Ubuntu in regard to Ubuntu TV. Perhaps, Ubuntu is inviting TV manufacturers and content providers to test out Ubuntu TV and Ubuntu will provide the support in such matter? I sure hope many TV manufacturers and content providers will support Ubuntu TV.
Of course, Ubuntu TV is best to be installed on smart TVs, but being true to open source Ubuntu is allowing geeks to download and install Ubuntu TV onto their computers. Ubuntu’s wiki has the instruction on how to download and install Ubuntu TV onto a computer. The instruction is here. Since Ubuntu TV is available for download freely, I think people are going to be using Ubuntu TV in innovative fashions. One example might be that someone is going to install Ubuntu TV onto USB flash drive so he or she can turn a dumb flatscreen TV into a smart flatscreen TV, but this only works if a dumb flatscreen TV has a USB port.