One year on, Ubuntu still to announce a single TV hardware partner

One year on, Ubuntu still to announce a single TV hardware partner

Summary: It has been more than a year since Canonical unveiled the second part of its four screen strategy, the Ubuntu TV - yet its hardware partners are still AWOL.


More than a year after it announced plans to develop an Ubuntu-powered TV, Canonical, the company behind the operating system, is still to announce a hardware partner for the project.

Ubuntu TV is one element of Canonical's 'four screen' strategy, under which the company wants to see its open source operating system also appearing on smartphones, tablets and PCs.

First announced at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, Canonical hoped that Ubuntu TVs would appear by the end of the year.

However, a Canonical spokeswoman confirmed to ZDNet that no hardware partners have been confirmed so far for the Ubuntu TV project.

"We have not announced any hardware partners for TV as yet. We are in conversations with players in the TV space," the spokeswoman confirmed to ZDNet.

Developing TVs running Ubuntu is "an inherently more complex and longer" process than for other devices such as smartphones and tablets, according to the spokeswoman. Added to the list of complexities is the "need for extensive content integration and certification in different geographies", she said.

When it was announced at last January, Canonical demonstrated Ubuntu TV running on a Samsung television. The TV used a special Ubuntu image designed to work on that particular model, which had been developed for the CES show.

However, the spokeswoman also suggested that Canonical saw another way its four screen vision could come to fruition: through the development of docks for Ubuntu smartphones or tablets that would automatically switch any TVs connected to them to the Ubuntu TV UI.

Topics: Ubuntu, Open Source, Operating Systems

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Netflix

    So far the only way to run Netflix on Ubuntu is to use WINE. There is no native support!

    I wouldn't buy a TV without the ability to run Netflix.
    • Re: Netflix

      How To Watch Netflix On Ubuntu with the Netflix Desktop App
      • Not native...

        ...that is a WINE implementation.
  • LG just bought WebOS for their TVs

    they would have been much better off with Ubuntu. they wouldn't have to develop it themselves, they would just load it on their units. smart TVs are just barely taking off now though. I wouldn't be surprised if another OEM bites for Ubuntu soon. Samsung already has success with android and they have Tizen, so I don't see it being them. maybe Sony or Panasonic.
  • My tv runs full blown windows 8

    all u need is a hdmi cable (mine 50') and a wireless mouse.
    • which

      you can do with any OS
    • I do that too

      Have to sue you now for breach of IP.
      Just kidding, not a big stupid corporation :)
      Works really well too with the IR remote. It's a plus point for the metro interface on the tele :)
    • Ahhh...close...but no cigar.

      You are not "running" Win8 on your are using the TV as a MONITOR.

      And nearly ALL flat panel TVs these days will do this.
  • One year on, Ubuntu still to announce a single TV hardware partner

    Because no one wants linux on their hardware. Imagine being right in the middle of Dawson's Creek then the tv kernel panics. Imagine the maintenance of having to compile your kernel on the screen. Not worth the trouble. The bloggers should write up a "5 reasons why Ubuntu failed" and "5 ways Ubuntu can save itself" articles.
    • More Loverock FUD

      So funny...... :)
      • "Compile your kernel on the screen"

        I gotta admit. Haterock's relentless trolling is actually starting to become entertaining.

        Everytime an article about Linux or open source comes up I look up LD's comment to see what new compilation-obsessed stupidity he may have come up with.
    • Actually many modern tv sets run linux

      Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Philips, LG, ... just to name a few that I know of.
  • May be the ubuntu phone will have the same fate...

    just saying...I use ubuntu as a secondary OS on my home PC...but on a smart phone without an ecosystem, the chances are slim
    • ubuntu, Tizen, and FireFox OS

      will all use HTML5 apps. Ubuntu, Tizen, and BB10 will all use QT apps. porting apps will be extremely easy for these OSs, so support by devs for an ecosystem might not be so bad.
      • HTML5 Apps, so does Android, iOS and WP8.

        Ram U
        • there's a big difference

          between running HTML5 (as android, iOS, and WP do), versus running HTML5 as native code (which Ubuntu, FFOS, and Tizen do)
  • But the Ubuntu phone and tablets are going to rock

    Honest. There will be a ton of hardware partners lined up to relase those.


    Just wait.

    A year.

    Maybe a bit longer.
  • Over the years you learn one thing and that is

    Never say never the end it will be about money and only money
    Over and Out
  • Their plan for a TV partner....

    ... Is like their plan to bring Linux to phones. All they got so far, are mostly no name brand(s). None of the major players will bother. Waste of R&D.