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Monday September 1st 2014

Work Is Underway on Ubuntu TV, with Mark Shuttleworth Watching





If Google and Apple can boost the concept of revolutionizing television, then why can’t the Ubuntu community do so as well? That’s exactly what a gaggle of Ubuntu developers are doing, and they have the blessing of Mark Shuttleworth in the effort. In fact, you can find Shuttleworth’s collected TV developer ponderings right here on his blog. Shuttleworth cites "reports from a team that may have a crack at implementing the TV interface," and there are allusions to a Unity-based interface for Ubuntu TV concepts.

The developers whose quotes are collected on Shuttleworth’s blog have gone so far as to set priorities for development of a 10-inch TV interface with DVR and live television watching features, where it is implied that Ubuntu One accounts might be gatekeepers for much of the content that users access.

You can find some proposed designs for the new concepts, from Alan Bell, here.  Bell writes:

"This is the base frame on which to design the Unity TV interface. The image size is exactly 480×270 which is a quarter of the target resolution of full HD 1920×1080. To create other pages, you can copy and paste the contents of this page onto a new page, you can lock the screen to the page if you don’t want to accidentally move it. The top left coordinates of the TV frame are at 50,50 if these line up on all pages of your deck it will look better as you flip pages. The coordinates of the on screen image are 60,60 to 540,330."

Shuttleworth uses the term "connected TV" in his blog post on these efforts from developers, which appear to have his strong blessing. I’ve previously covered Shuttleworth’s comments on how it is essential to bring Ubuntu to platforms beyond computers, including smartphones, tablets and more. He has said that "smart TVs" with Unity interfaces have a lot of promise.

It’s a good bet that we’ll see an Ubuntu-based TV platform arrive next year. Stay tuned.

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