The much rumored, and somewhat expected Ubuntu TV has finally been unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. It is joined in the spotlight with the company’s in-car entertainment solution, the Linux powered In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system.
Its unveiling follows an earlier announcement back in October by Ubuntu’s main founder, Mark Shuttleworth of Canonical that the Linux distribution was looking to diversify into a broader range of form factors – from phones and tablets to televisions.
Styled as a TV for “human beings,” it runs a tweaked version of the firm's Ubuntu Linux distribution, with its default desktop interface, Unity serving up the desktop experience for users.
"Ubuntu TV has a box office built-in, so viewers can browse the latest movies and TV shows online, buy and start watching in seconds. Canonical manages relationships with online services, streaming services, and content distributors globally,” their website says.
The software side of Canonical’s TV product will work with ARM and Intel/AMD x86 processors, feature 1GB of RAM, plus 512MB of memory dedicated for video, and 2GB of storage. It is still very much a concept and as such there has been no word on physical/cloud storage options, or further specifications.
Ubuntu TV’s offering does however join a market in which Google has so far struggled to make any real impact. Regardless of that, multiple manufacturers are starting to show TVs running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich at CES, and Apple is rumored to be joining the chase later this year.