In passing in these days of international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas company Canonical has presented the first working prototype platform Ubuntu TV, oriented for use on a TV and set-top boxes. The first devices based on Ubuntu TV scheduled to be released on sale in late 2012. Already negotiating with several manufacturers of Smart TV, however, information on the concluded transactions are not available. Graphical environment of the new platform is built using the shell Unity, which is positioned as a universal environment for the full range of supported devices.
All developed in the framework of Ubuntu TV components are distributed under the GPLv3 license and LGPLv3. The code can be downloaded from the specially prepared bzr-repository, instructions for assembly and installation can be found here. Supported by the ARM and x86.
The appearance is based on standard elements Unity 2D, library Qt, libdeclarative-multimedia from the Qt Mobility, libqt4-declarative-shaders and GStreamer. The main differences from the version of Unity for desktop systems are observed in the simplified user interface and revision control system on-screen elements, which has been redesigned to use a limited number of buttons on the remote control (for control only four navigation buttons and a button selection).
Of opportunities prepared by full implementation of the functionality of media center (own development) and a set of tools for working with cable and satellite TV (navigation on TV, downloading TV programs, search programs, record programs for delayed viewing, etc.). Ubuntu TV can work with local storage and network services with different content to search, watch movies, watch online-show, the work to YouTube, listening to music, receiving, and the formation of streaming. There is a system of a non-view, where you can stop being viewed on a TV movie and seamlessly continue watching it on another device such as a phone or a tablet.
General plans for Canonical Ubuntu TV standard functions are not limited to the media center. Much attention is paid to service Ubuntu One, which will be organized through the synchronization and data exchange with other user devices, such as access to all devices to a single collection of photos, movies, music, address books and other content. Separate mention of the parallel work on adapting Ubuntu to other classes of mobile devices, which refers to plans for a more distant future. Also argues that the development of Ubuntu for mobile devices will not affect the development of the PC version, which still remains a priority.
Of the realization to be mentioned in integrating Ubuntu TV function on collaboration, the use of TV as an additional screen and organization of the TV control from external devices. Ubuntu TV will allow the user to display information on screen with a third-party devices, or used to control other TV system based on Ubuntu, Apple iOS and Android. A user with a tablet, laptop, PC or your phone will be able to withdraw without further complications with any information on the TV screen, for example, photographs, video or image-editing window. Several people can share the TV screen space for collaboration and games.
As the motivating factors, the company is considering the establishment of Canonical additional business initiatives such as the development of systems for processing in accordance with the wishes of the customer, the rejection of licensing fees for the preset Ubuntu TV, providing the necessary infrastructure for the preparation and distribution of updates, assist in adapting the system to equipment allocation percentage of the profits earned from the provision of online-services (for example, sales of music through Ubuntu One), provide tools to integrate and distribute their applications, providing a framework for writing applications, including those involved with cloud storage and distributed through a centralized directory programs.