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Re: Welcome


On Wed, Nov 23, 2011 at 4:31 AM, Will Cooke <will.cooke@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:

> **
>   --
> Ubuntu - Linux for human beings | www.ubuntu.com | www.canonical.com
>   On Mon, 2011-11-21 at 16:34 -0800, Thomas Mashos wrote:
>  * Content. I'm seeing a large push toward Internet content (both
> streaming and downloaded). That said, recorded content is still king (for
> quality). MythTV is going to fall a bit here, as it is first and foremost a
> DVR and expects to have recorded content. XBMC has many plugins available
> to stream Internet content (plugins are python based
> http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=HOW-TO:Write_plugins_for_XBMC). What
> isn't discussed much is gaming. MythTV and XBMC have the option to launch
> games and combined with a gamepad make a really interesting offer.
>  Games isn't something I'd really thought about.  That's an interesting
> angle.
> In my experience add-ons for Internet based video fall in to two camps:
>     *    Those which take the FLV video (for example) and display on that
> video full screen with out all the extra stuff on the web page
>     *    Those which open a browser to the full page where the video lives
> The first option will most likely annoy the content owners/publishers and
> lead to blocks being put in place (a la Boxee & Hulu), and the second
> option looks ugly and clunky

The second option isn't really doable, it looks like crap and breaks the
remote control experience as you usually need a mouse for that. The first
option won't work for all sites, but some sites will allow this. This would
depend on the terms of service. For instance, HGTV.com allows this. There
are other shows that would be considered "new media" that allow this such
as twit.tv (I am unsure about revision3.com allowing this, but since their
ads are in the stream they probably do). Further, these shows allow
downloads and offer RSS feeds for their episodes. I think dealing with
API's and feeds (eg. RSS feeds) is a must, because screen scrapers tend to
break. Lastly, what/how do we deal with users selecting a piece of content
on their tablet (like an online video) for displaying on their TV?

> Then of course there's the problem of the user actually discovering the
> content.  How do I find a specific episode of a specific programme which is
> available /somewhere/ on the Internet?

I think this is where plugins come in. If each plugin is required to accept
a search string and search it's specific content and reply with a valid
list of results, then we could build search into the 10' UI that would
query each of these and build a single list of available content search
results. This search may take a bit of time, so alternatively U1 could keep
a database of what shows are on known plugins (via a periodic check) and
offer that to the client, the client could then check the plugins that it
didn't get from U1 and also the local DVR. The user would then see a list
of search results that included the source (be it netflix, amazon, ubuntu
one store, youtube, DVR, etc) and video title and select which one they
wanted to watch.

We should also use sites to get information (info, backgrounds, fanart,
etc) on the content (eg. http://thetvdb.com/ and http://www.themoviedb.org/).
These sites were built for this purpose.

> Tricky problems, to which I have no answers.
>  * TV or set top box, Atom or ARM. I think if there is going to be a
> hardware offering, it needs to be in the form of both a TV and also a set
> top box (as well as something that could be installed on existing
> hardware). The ARM systems that Linaro showed off were pretty nice and
> would do great I think (especially since they are so small), but being that
> these would always be plugged in wouldn't need especially low power usage
> so an Atom processor with an ION GPU would do fine.
> I saw some pretty amazing things running on ARM at UDS.  ION is also a
> good platform for playing with, I've got two at home as Myth Frontends and
> they work brilliantly.  We should consider the generic VA API which I think
> is rendering-backend agnostic and so would allow a solution to move
> seamlessly between hardware (in theory anyway!).
I talked with one of the Linaro guys at UDS and he said as long as it is a
gstreamer backend it was fine (which is why XBMC won't work), but I also
talked with Daviey Walker who said he has used XBMC on an ARM and it works
fine. Either way, I agree we need to use something that is capable on all
hardware so we can release an image rather than needing to purchase certain

>  * Scheduling recordings does require schedule data. In the US and Canada
> this is done via http://www.schedulesdirect.org/ for $25/year. In other
> areas of the world this is done via EIT. Microsoft provides this service
> for free for Windows MCE users. These services usually provide about 14
> days of listings. Ideally I would like to see this rolled into Ubuntu One
> for a small fee but $25/year isn't too extreme.
> Does ATSC provide any scheduling info at all?  (This is based on my
> understanding that ATSC is the US equivalent of DVB-T)
Unfortunately in the US the EIT data is extremely lacking. We get somewhere
between 12-24 hours of data and it isn't 100% accurate (because it's up to
the channel to provide it can be a couple of minutes off causing scheduling
conflicts). It is an option, but I'd like to (rather) see support for
something like schedules direct or an offering from U1. If it is an
offering from U1, it is likely going to be data purchased from TMS which is
what schedules direct gets it's data from which is really good data.

>  As it seems with most new Canonical products, there needs to be a tie in
> with Ubuntu One. Let me lay out the following scenario of what I would like
> to see in an ideal world.
>  I purchase a Ubuntu TV (or possibly a small set top box). At boot up, it
> asks for your Ubuntu One credentials. I now have access to my music,
> pictures, and videos that I have stored in Ubuntu One. I also have the
> option to buy new music and/or TV shows (new service) through the Ubuntu
> One media store. I want to have recorded content as well, so I install a
> MythTV (Mythbuntu) backend (DVR) in my environment and sign into it with my
> Ubuntu One credentials. It now pulls down my MythTV configuration from
> Ubuntu One and provides me with listing data. I now don't need to configure
> the backend separately (in case I want to have multiple backends). I want
> to be able to play some new games, so I purchase them through the media
> store as well (these would need to be tested to work with joystick only). I
> just finished watching a show and want to share it with a friend, I click
> on share and it shares the show info with them (possibly need some
> facebook/google+/diaspora tie in). On my friends machine, it now attempts
> to schedule a recording for them (providing they have a backend and don't
> have other recordings they have scheduled) or find it either online or in
> Ubuntu One media store.
> Love it!  This would be awesome.  Although, I would suggest that our own
> DVR functionality built in would also be required, we shouldn't expect
> everyone to have a Myth backend.
I agree that we shouldn't require everyone to have a Myth backend, but not
sure we should build our own (which is more than just basic recording
functionality). We could do something similar to what XBMC is doing with
their PVR which is build plugins to connect to each type of backend
, MythTV <http://www.mythtv.org/>,
and MediaPortal TVserver <http://www.team-mediaportal.com/>.)

>  I think that about sums it up. I'm probably leaving something out that I
> have forgotten, but I think that would be a pretty great setup.
> Full Disclosure: I am a Mythbuntu developer. I do not contribute to the
> MythTV project nor the XBMC project. I would like to ship XBMC as an
> alternative frontend to MythTV.
> Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts down and sharing with us,
> much appreciated.
> Cheers, Will

Thomas Mashos