Revision 11 as of 2006-04-21 14:30:19

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Ubuntu should integrate a powerful and fully integrated Media Center.


One of the crucial stakes of future desktop PC is its ability to bring the convergence for all media available at home : TV, movies, music and pictures, but also Radio, News (RSS...), Video On Demand, Music on Demand... And all of this available with a "Powered by Ubuntu" remote control.

This is an essential issue if Ubuntu wants to be a popular OS.

Use cases

- A user installs a "Ubuntu Media Center" distribution. Media Center packages are installed automatically, configuration is done during the system installation process : media files places (movies, music...), hardware configuration (TV tuner, remote control...). When the system boots, the Media Center is automatically launched (To be defined : maybe two different entries in Grub can be used to launch directly the media center or not).

- A user has a standard Ubuntu installed. He wants to move to "Ubuntu Media Center" : additional packages are installed and configuration is done after package installation.



The use of a "Powered by Ubuntu" remote control is prerequired for a good media center.


The implementation can use existing projects (Freevo, MythTV...) but the goal should be to give an desktop integrated software, easy to install and use. Moreover, if existing software is used, an "Ubuntu Media Center" theme must be developped.

What we need :

  • A good remote control:
    • We could design a new remote control and study the possibility to manufacture it. This option ensure that the remote controle will be the best one for ubuntu-media-center. (To be discussed)
    • Additionnaly, we have to support a lot of existing remote controls (those who are supported by lirc at least) and provide a mean to easily configure it to work the best with ubuntu-media-center.

      [* I'm not sure what this means exactly. Are you suggesting getting into the hardware business? if not, does "powered by ubuntu" mean "here is a list of remote interfaces that Really Just Work with Ubuntu-media-center"? I think the latter is the smarter move. And in addition to this, a smart installer task that detects your capture cards & installs all the required out-of-tree kernel modules required to run it.][Does the change answers to your question ?]

  • media-center-control-panel: a control panel in the gnome System menu used to configure the media center : media file places, remote control...
  • media-center-kernel: the kernel for our system manages the display, themes, colors, bitmaps, user interaction (remote control, keyboard, mouse, maybe touchscreen), initialization, de-initializations...
  • media-center modules: each feature is part of one module independant from the kernel. Mandatory modules are TV, Radio, Movies and Music. Additional modules can be developped: RSS reader, integrated web browser, Video-on-Demand...

Once the API of the kernel is perfectly defined, it is easy to develop modules in parallel.


Data preservation and migration

Outstanding issues

  • Video player. Syndicated content, movies and entertainment comes in all ranges of video formats. There is no player that handles all of them, and in some cases (wmv, mpeg4 etc) you have to try several players to find one that plays it well -- the default handler is not always good enough. [When a media player is not good enough, it's not usable at all. No one watches a whole movie if the image is flickering or the sound is 1 sec async.] -- Engla


BoF agenda and discussion