Canonical Thinks Human Beings Need Ubuntu TV

Pulkit Chandna

Back in October, Canonical shared its vision for the future of Ubuntu at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando. It’s a strategy that will see Ubuntu venture beyond PCs with a fair amount of abandon. According to Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth, the company plans to put Ubuntu on tablets, phones, TVs and other “smart screens” by 14.04 LTS. The Linux distro vendor seems to be on track with those plans, having managed to get an Ubuntu TV prototype ready in time for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

An open-source project with the commercial backing of Canonical, Ubuntu TV is on display at the UK-based company’s booth at CES. The goal is to “uncomplicate” TV and to deliver everything one could possibly ask for from a smart TV platform, including run-of-the-mill broadcast TV, local media playback, online content streaming, DVR functionality, video conferencing, apps and games. It will also tap into the Ubuntu One cloud service to further enhance the overall user experience.

In its current form, the platform is based on Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot), the latest version of the distro. As for the interface, it is based on Unity 2D. On the hardware front, the platform includes support for both ARM and x86 boards. Should you feel like putting the Ubuntu TV demo through its paces, the complete source code ( download and instructions ) is available for anyone to download, compile and run.

According to Canonical, Ubuntu TV has been of “particular interest to a constant flow of visitors [to its booth] from media to manufacturers, exhibitors and developers.” The first products based on the Ubuntu TV platform are expected to hit the market by the end of the year.

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