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

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.
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

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.

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