back to article XBMC coders acquire TVonics brand

Key assets once owned by TVonics, the UK digital video recorder maker which collapsed into administration in June 2012, have been acquired by a UK developer with a view to create a set-top box based on the popular open source media player, XBMC. Peterborough-based Pulse-Eight today said it had bought the TVonics brand, the …


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  1. James 51

    Hope this pays off. Those kind of features might make boxes easier to use for everyone.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This could be interesting...

    ..I looked at the TVOnics stuff and it seemed pretty good, but from what I could gather, was let down by buggy software and poor support.

    So maybe we'll get some good software on good hardware.

  3. Mr Tumnus

    XBMC on Android? Why Android rather than OpenELEC? The android version of XBMC isn't even out of beta yet, what's the advantage of that platform?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Think of the hype and all the Fandroids who will flock to buy it.

    2. Lord Voldemortgage

      I guess the option to have other apps running might swing thing in Android's favour - why not bung an app store in and present your STB as a games console too?

    3. craigj

      I've found OpenElec to be quite buggy and unfriendly in my personal experience.

      It cannot autodetect Wifi, all of the settings must be input manually, and it has the hidden step of "restart your system" which is not mentioned on screen.

      Also, it connects to my wifi aprox. 50% of the time. If it doesn't automatically connect at the beginning, there's no way for it to connect later on, you just have to keep restarting the system until it eventually picks up a connection.

      I've found several XBMC plugins to not function correctly on openElec.

      This is just my personal experience, appreciate it's not everyones.

    4. Nigel Whitfield.


      One immediate advantage that springs to mind is that if they want to get the likes of Netflix on board, many of those already have an app, and hence experience, with delivering their content on the Android platform.

      If you're a big player, like a major TV manufacturer, you can probably persuade people like that that they should be creating a version of their system for your equipment. Much harder to do if it you're a small company in a small market. So, use a platform that they know, and which won't be exclusive to your kit - bar, say, a few UI tweaks - and I think you'll stand a much better chance of getting those services on board.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Streaming

        But the streaming from Netflix would happen as an XBMC plugin, not an android app. So this isn't actually an advantage.

    5. Pulse-Eight

      Because the hardware is cheaper!

  4. Alien Doctor 1.1

    And next week...

    Tivo will find someway of suing the hell out of them.

    1. DJGM

      Re: And next week...

      It's a Freeview HD PVR running on open source based software. Why would TiVO sue them?

      TiVO is currently only offered in the UK by Virgin Media, a subscription based TV provider.

      1. Deebster

        Re: And next week...

        TiVo are flexing their patent muscles:

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Alien Doctor 1.1

        Re: And next week...

        So sorry DJGM, did you damage your funny bone over the weekend?

    2. Pulse-Eight

      Re: And next week...

      Why do you figure that?

      1. Alien Doctor 1.1

        Re: And next week...

        Pulse-eight - sorry, I should have added the "joke alert" icon.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anything that's got XBox in it's title, I will avoid like the plague.

    So no thanks.

    If it's nothing to do with Xbox anymore, then perhaps it needs rebranding so it can be disassociated with than unreliable/costly and noisy shite.

    1. terd

      Re: Anything that's got XBox in it's title, I will avoid like the plague.

      it was rebranded years ago and the xbox was removed from the name. It is now a recursive acronym (google is your friend)

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. DJGM

      Re: Anything that's got XBox in it's title, I will avoid like the plague.

      @ Anonymous Coward above . . .

      Obvious troll is obvious. Ignorant blatherings of a Sony fanboi!

    4. Alan Edwards

      Re: Anything that's got XBox in it's title, I will avoid like the plague.

      Yep, nothing to do with the Xbox any more. It started out as a media player for the Mark 1 Xbox, but the later versions don't run on the old Xbox and it's never run on the 360.

      It's worth a look if you're after media centre software for a TV-connected PC. Better than Windows Media Center IMO, and it doesn't take the entire machine over like OpenELEC.

  6. Drat

    Good news!

    I still have an old TVonics SD PVR, I love the simple interface. I also have an old xbox running XBMC which I also love. If these two products could be combined I would be very happy. Simplicity wins, as would not having to switch between multiple devices.

  7. Tim Brown 1

    One reason TVonics collapsed?

    I'd never heard of them until just now, so their marketing must have been... meh.

  8. DaddyHoggy

    Ah, that explains a lot...

    Tesco started pushing these boxes out relatively cheaply in June... I bought the 500GB HD version with ethernet and iPlayer built in.

    It had some issues and explains why TVonics never answered telephone or replied to emails. Tesco must have known this when it started discounting the boxes - disappointing - caveat emptor even (especially?) from big store like Tesco - well, I guess Tesco will be "liable" for eight months yet.

  9. defiler

    XBMC on a set-top box?

    I fucking love this!

    That is all.

    1. Rob Beard
      Thumb Up

      Re: XBMC on a set-top box?

      Technically already possible for about 45 quid (Raspberry Pi, SD Card, PSU and case). Even works with CEC so you can control it with your TV remote :-)


  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, my crappy, unsupported Smartbox 8320HD would love a bit of XBMC, save me buying a android stick.

  11. Leona A

    All the things I love

    A developer taking accessibility seriously and using an Open Source Platform, I almost fell of my seat!

    Am I dreaming? quick someone pinch me.

    I hope this does make it to the real world as I'll be first in the queue for one.

    Sounds like a product I'll actually be able to use independently without a magnifier or assistance,

    Go to the top of the class Mr Ellis, you rock.

    I currently use a Topfield TF5800 which allows a very high degree of customisation through 'themes' so I can get large fonts and high contrast menus but it doesn't talk to me :(

    So a replacement PVR will have to be able to do the same but non of the 'high street' ones seem to have this ability.

  12. Pristine Audio

    Love my Pulse-Eight CEC adaptor

    It's the gizmo that pulls the entire XBMC experience together for me - with the PC under the control of the TV remote.

    Good luck to them with this!

    And a pint to the boss

  13. Black Road Dude
    Thumb Up

    Kick Starter Perhaps?

    if they are wanting money to get things going on this why dont they start a funding project on something like kick starter?

    Im sure there are many people who would be happy to stump up some dosh in the knowledge that when a device is produced they will get one, whilst also supporting a small business that is trying to do things correctly

    ( i.e open source and cheaply).

    I know I would.

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