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TV for Human Beings: Ubuntu TV shown at CES 2012

Although the Consumer Electronics Show this year officially debut tomorrow, specialized media always manage to have access to some news the day before it opened, and today we find no fewer than Ubuntu, or rather, his attempt to brought into our living rooms. TV Ubuntu proposes a sort of “back to TV”, apart from special cases and configurations, with plenty of Unity, and the intention to compete with monsters like Apple and Google.

Connect a computer to a TV and use the Net to access all of our content is very important advantages, but in general are not so many people bother to do so. Those who decide to use streaming services some consoles have a slightly more direct way, but may face restrictions on content not entirely pleasant. The truth is that we want everything, and these days, choosing one format over the other involves some compromise. Not many want to see a cabinet next to the LCD, others see the console as a gaming system and nothing else, few are willing to pay 150 € for a dedicated system, and are counted on the fingers those who decide to do something from XBMC. Even Google and Apple are having some problems. The Apple TV is an interesting device (120 € or 100 € refurbished) but not sold as much as their other products, and honestly, I have not seen anything from Google TV anywhere.

And so we find Ubuntu TV. Still fresh in our minds that statement by Mark Shuttleworth on the “200 million users.” Ubuntu To achieve that number should go far beyond computers, so it is not surprising as this new way of reaching Canonical televisions, offering the “Ubuntu experience” directly on our screens. The CES 2012 (which technically starts tomorrow) is the ideal opportunity for this presentation. From a personal account in the cloud, TV Ubuntu system coordinate all payments and royalties on the advantages (and disadvantages) of the Unity interface. Of course, this does not prevent Canonical must fight in every corner of the globe to secure the distribution rights of each series and film. If we consider the time it took to reach the United States Spotify (and it comes to music), Ubuntu has a way complicated TV ahead.

The operating system is free, but any company seeking to launch a TV Ubuntu-based device (either tablet or smart TV, for example) must pay a “fee per unit“, and Canonical is also left with a small portion of the post-sales operations. So far we have not seen any restrictions on so-called “local content”, and personally I do not think there is, but we have already met with some changes of opinion (such as Boxee Box in theory violates the GPLv3). However, Ubuntu TV has other challenges ahead. Google and Apple are not small players, and smart TV market is still quite green, so that Canonical has to reach several agreements with different manufacturers if they want to gain momentum. We will be watching.