Telly - Open Source, hackable "Tivo" and much more.....

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Steve, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. Steve

    Steve Guest,1282,59690,00.html

    Tired of the Telly? Reprogram It

    By Leander Kahney | Also by this reporter Page 1 of 1

    02:00 AM Jul. 22, 2003 PT

    A Colorado startup, Interact-TV, has released a hacker-friendly digital
    entertainment center that plays, records and archives TV shows, DVDs, music
    and even digital photo albums.

    The Telly MC1000 Digital Entertainment Center, available now from the
    company's website for $900, can also surf the Web and act as a home media

    And -- if the company successfully courts the open-source programming
    community -- it may soon play computer games, turn the lights on and off,
    or automatically fetch music lyrics from the Net.

    Based on Linux, the Telly is a radical departure from other digital
    entertainment systems on the market.

    Unlike TiVo or ReplayTV, the Telly is designed to be easily upgraded and
    expanded by the consumer and third-party software developers. Most other
    set-top boxes are expressly designed not to be hacked, and their warranties
    are voided if the owner opens them up to tinker.

    By contrast, the Telly is expandable like a PC. Consumers can add bigger
    hard drives, more memory or even swap out the motherboard. In most cases,
    the machine automatically detects and configures itself to run the new

    "We wanted a box that could grow, that would not be locked down with storage
    or any particular technology," said Interact-TV CEO Ken Fuhrman.

    The Telly automatically records TV shows, and can pause and rewind live TV.
    Programming information is provided over the Net through a free
    subscription service.

    The Telly also plays music and displays photos. Thanks to a built-in
    CD-RW/DVD drive, it can rip and burn CDs, and play DVDs. The company said
    DVD burning will be added in the near future. Consumers will be able to buy
    and install their own DVD-burning equipment, and the necessary software
    will automatically be pushed to the device using the Net.

    The Telly is designed to connect to a home network, and it will share media
    between connected devices. It works with Mac OS, Windows and Linux, and it
    can be controlled from any Web browser, even one running on a wireless PDA.

    The Telly comes with a wireless keyboard. However, Fuhrman emphasized that
    the primary interface is the remote control.

    Fuhrman said the company is courting the Linux community, hoping developers
    will create applications and features for the device. For example, he said
    he'd like to see game emulation, support for high-definition playback and
    recording, home automation and automatic information retrieval for media
    such as music lyrics or movie reviews.

    "And then, of course, there's all the other stuff we've not thought of,"
    Fuhrman said.

    Kurt Scherf, vice president of research at Parks Associates, said the Telly
    looked impressive, although pricey, and its upgradability makes it a safer
    buy than closed machines like the TiVo.

    "It looks like it combines the best of both worlds: PC expandability with
    set-top ease of use," he said. "I think expandability is going to be key to
    selling convergence devices into the home. It's frustrating to buy a
    product and know it's obsolete before you walk out the door."

    Scherf said Interact-TV is entering the market at just the right time. The
    market for digital entertainment centers is finally about to see a growth
    spurt, Scherf said.

    Scherf predicted sales of 12 million units in the next five years, though
    many of the devices won't be high-end units like the Telly. Many will be
    lower-priced devices that connect TVs to PCs acting as digital video

    Forrester Research is more aggressive. Forrester predicts 39 million units
    in 2007, up from 1.7 million in 2002.

    "Consumers are no longer asking what these things are," Scherf said.
    "They're finally showing an interest in getting one. The question is, with
    something like the Telly, do consumers want all this stuff?"

    "Naturally, the common people don't want war;
    neither in Russia nor in England nor in America,
    nor for that matter in Germany.
    That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders
    of the country who determine the policy and
    it is always a simple matter to drag the people
    along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist
    dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist
    dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can
    always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
    That is easy. All you have to do is tell them
    they are being attacked and denounce the
    pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing
    the country to danger. It works the same way
    in any country."
    - Hermann Goering, Nazi Reichsmarshall
    Steve, Jul 23, 2003
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  2. Steve

    Mutley Guest


    I suspect that hollywood will try to close them down faster than you
    can say Telly if it dosen't incorporate draconian copy protection
    Mutley, Jul 23, 2003
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