A 360-Degree View of Ubuntu TV

Ubuntu has unveiled its next technology, which aims at enriching our TV viewing experience. This product competes with the likes of Google TV and Samsung Smart TV, and it is called the Ubuntu TV. If Canonical manages a partnership with the right OEMs, A TV with this application can hit the shelves by the end of this year. You can read about the Ubuntu TV release at this page.

Interesting Features

Ubuntu TV has some interesting features that impressed me.

Cable and Satellite support, online entertainment and program guides

Ubuntu TV will let you integrate your cable or satellite service. There will be an electronic program guide with support for both HD and SD content. Not only this, Ubuntu TV will let online content providers to provide a list of movies, music and TV shows from the Internet.

Enhanced screen support

Enhanced screens allow for an enriched viewing experience. Imagine how amazing it will be to watch the latest episode of your favorite series or event with a live feed from twitter, giving various reactions on the matter.

Suggestions and indexing

Perhaps, the single most important reason for going with Ubuntu TV is the amount of digital data it will have. This will allow for better recommendations and searching.

To simplify and streamline the experience we can prioritise what channels and shows have previously enjoyed, and even make suggestions on what else they might like. Ubuntu TV puts the world’s content at your fingertips in a simple interface.

Moreover, Ubuntu TV will also allow different users. So, your dad is not suggested channels based on your TV viewing habits, because your user account is different from his.

Ubuntu TV- TV for Human Beings, Revealed at CES 2012

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”.

Overview

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.

Verdict

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.