Canonical has recently revealed a concept for a fully featured TV application, based on Ubuntu. It is known as the Ubuntu TV, and has been revealed at CES 2012. Ubuntu TV competes directly with Google TV in its attempt to redefine the entertainment experience on television. It has some amazing features and the first commercial appearance of the TV is expected by the end of this year.
From the CEO’s Desk
In an interview with PC Pro, Canonical CEO Jane Silber says,
It is a simple viewing experience for online video, both your own and routed over the internet. OEMs and ODMs are increasingly wary of the walled garden [approach] that certainly Apple takes – and increasingly Google, although it is much more open than Apple. We see a lot of demand for a neutral player.
Jane Silber knows Canonical is up against Google and Apple with this technology, and therefore, it are offering the software free of charge to gain a competitive edge. The source code for Ubuntu TV will be released later today, allowing developers to customize and modify it, as they want. Jane Silber takes pride in saying “Ubuntu TV will provide viewers with a neutral player”.
Ubuntu TV will let you stream media content like music, videos an photos from your PC to your TV. You can search, watch, record and play streaming videos. It will also allow media sharing with portable devices using Ubuntu One. You can also share your screen with tablets and smartphones. Like the Software Center in Ubuntu, Ubuntu TV will have an online store where developers can submit their apps for Ubuntu TV. Besides, the application will be controlled with a smartphone or with a TV remote.
Ubuntu TV for Content Providers and Hardware manufacturer
Canonical is calling the technology a Smart TV. Canonical will need to partner with OEMs to enter into production with this new product. This can be an excellent deal for TV manufacturers, now that global content distribution rules, OS development and software engineering will be handled by Canonical completely.
This is Canonical’s first attempt to move beyond the PC. However, this technology of smart TV has only seen sluggish growth so far, and there is definitely something wrong with the feeble attempts that everyone is making at enriching our TV viewing experience. In spite of a strong marketing force, Google TV has not reached many houses yet.
Initial markets of interest for this product will be the US and China. Canonical plans to extend it to the UK later. However, these markets will prove to be profitable only when Canonical makes local-content deals.