Stumbing on an article by Jeremy Allison about why Free software and open formats are increasingly important as our lives are turning digital, I was suprised to read the following :
If I haven’t convinced you yet that Linux is going to take over the appliance world, I strongly suggest you look at Sony’s web site. There you can find a page full of television models going back to 2003, all of which run on Linux (for those essential moments when you must have the source code to your television, naturally).
Sony is such a big group that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing – so I am not surprised that Free software is being used, although Sony‘s attitude toward it has had both highs and lows in the past.
Free software on a television is quite intriguing. Some of those televisions not only run the kernel, but also well known user environments such Bash, Busybox and Freetype. Would they be powerful enough to run a thin client with RDP or X11 ? Could they even run a media player ? I would not be suprised : as far back as 2003, Sony President and Chief Operating Officer Kunitake Ando said that “the TV will replace the PC as the center of online entertainment, running on a Linux-based platform for connected home electronics devices“. If Sony implements that vision with adequate hardware running Free software, Sony televisions may one day be a tinkerer’s device of choice for the home entertainment projects that currently most often use a dedicated computer to display on the television screen.