As the titles says, what is Ubuntu TV and what are the main differences / advantages compared with any media center out there?

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    Can't believe nobody asked this until now! I predict a bunch of views coming up... – Tom Brossman Jan 9 '12 at 20:34
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    Can't believe someone asked this instead of Googling it when it'd have brought the ubuntu.com/tv in the first few results. – Oxwivi Jan 10 '12 at 8:00
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    Don't forget that what you're seeing at CES (and as a result in the media) is very much a concept, showing what we can do in a short timescale. – popey Jan 10 '12 at 9:46

Ubuntu TV is a flavor of the Ubuntu operating system intended for use on smart television sets. While with traditional televisions you flip between channels of programmed content, Ubuntu TV will provide an interface to choose shows and movies à la carte. It will also be internet enabled, letting you browse the web, use rich media applications, record shows, and control remotely from a mobile device.

Above all, Ubuntu TV is its tagline: TV for human beings. The televisions of 2011 are incredibly complex: they come with input cables, set-top boxes, and controllers with eighty buttons and as many modes (AV1, AV2, HDMI... do these look familiar?). Ubuntu TV aims to be a revolution in ease of use.

Ubuntu TV screeshot


  • Watch millions of movies and TV shows streamed over the web on demand.
  • Search and record programs from your cable provider.
  • Get music and media to all your other devices.
  • Access high quality online media from YouTube, Pandora and other sources online.
  • Share the screen with your smartphone, or use it as a remote!

The great differentiating feature of Ubuntu TV is its commitment to putting all these features in one easy-to-use interface. Other smart television products fragment the user experience with apps. Want to watch a video? You must check Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Youtube, and your cable listing to see which service has it. Ubuntu TV has one searchable, browsable interface that consolidates content from dozens of different sources, and makes it easily accessible to you.


Ubuntu TV is an open platform based on the Unity interface, the Ubuntu One online storage service, and software written by such giants of the software industry as Intel and Nokia, as well as a community of thousands of passionate developers working for software freedom, a movement to free society from the dangers that closed platforms pose to privacy and technology working for users, not against them.


Ubuntu TV is not yet widely available, but is expected to ship on television sets by the end of 2012. You can watch an early version of Ubuntu TV in action here, and read more about its particular features and experience here.

If you are a developer or interested technical user, the source code of Ubuntu TV is already available. If you are an OEM or content provider, the company developing Ubuntu TV would love to discuss the future with you.

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    Fascinating, I hope this does well – Sabacon Jan 10 '12 at 5:13
  • Great answer keep on going Jacob (or anyone else that might want to add something to it), more information would be nice on how does it compare to the media centers available for Linux, no need to make point by point comparisons, just the extra key points that make Ubuntu TV strong(er) than the rest. Thats the second part of the question. – Bruno Pereira Jan 10 '12 at 9:22
  • One of the main points of Ubuntu TV is that it is (intended to be) baked into the TV. Other offerings such as VDR, MythTV and XBMC are awesome projects, but are infrequently offered as a pre-installed option on the TV. – popey Jan 10 '12 at 9:42
  • @JacobJohanEdwards agree on that, was actually looking for more details on the software and less "copy" from Ubuntu's website, so keep us all posted and updated ;) – Bruno Pereira Jan 10 '12 at 16:44
  • @JacobJohanEdwards thx man, this is sounding more and more good ;) – Bruno Pereira Jan 14 '12 at 22:32

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