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Topfield Linux Media Centre


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#1 ozdoc

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:35 AM

Looks interesting.

Set top box maker Topfield is set to release a brand new Linux media centre that will deliver content management via a new interactive software offering. However the box has been stalled due to issues over Freeview.

Set top box maker Topfield is set to release a brand new Linux media centre that will deliver content management via a new interactive software offering. However the box has been stalled due to issues over Freeview.

The new device will come with a Broadcom chipset and allow consumers to not only store their favourite TV programmes but access and store content from the Internet. It will have a minimum of 500GB of storage and include a new version of Ice TV an EPG program that will allow users to manage TV content as well as downloaded Internet content.


There are also rumours that the new device will also including ripping software that will allow users to copy their DVD collections to extended storage that can be linked to the new media centre or direct to the hard drive in the device


Smarthouse - Freeview Issues Holds Up New Topfield Linux Media Centre

Edited by ozdoc, 19 February 2009 - 09:35 AM.


#2 diesel

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:02 AM

IceTV and Freeview compatible...?? :blink:

Ripping software....can't see that happening, now that we are covered under the US Free Trade Agreement which had some pretty strict copyright legislation attached. Iinet and Pirate Bay cases will be replaced with a Topfield court case :ninja:

#3 ozdoc

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:05 AM

IceTV and Freeview compatible...?? :blink:

Ripping software....can't see that happening, now that we are covered under the US Free Trade Agreement which had some pretty strict copyright legislation attached. Iinet and Pirate Bay cases will be replaced with a Topfield court case :ninja:


Sounds like topfield will be releasing a different unit that is Freeview compatible, whearas this one won't be.

Ripping software does pose a problem. Although under digital 'Fair Use' policy, I thought it was now OK to do things like convert / transfer digital recordings to other home media devices if the use is for personal use only.

#4 diesel

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:23 AM

You might be right.

Transfer to another location/format is OK, but I thought breaking CSS encryption was a no-no. :unsure:

#5 jakes

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:37 AM

Although under digital 'Fair Use' policy, I thought it was now OK to do things like convert / transfer digital recordings to other home media devices if the use is for personal use only.

No, not for video - there is no general fair use exception under Australian law. It's okay to format shift music, but for video the only fair dealing allowed is the transfer of analogue video to an electronic copy (ie for backing up/preserving old VHS tapes) (Copyright Act, s 110AA). You're not allowed to make an electronic copy of a dvd and keep it on a hard drive or copy it to your iPod. Furthermore, as diesel points out, the need to break CSS to copy the dvd causes further problems for a device like this as the software to do this would be considered a circumvention device which would come against the anti-circumvention provisions in s 116AN.

#6 ozdoc

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:53 AM

No, not for video - there is no general fair use exception under Australian law. It's okay to format shift music, but for video the only fair dealing allowed is the transfer of analogue video to an electronic copy (ie for backing up/preserving old VHS tapes) (Copyright Act, s 110AA). You're not allowed to make an electronic copy of a dvd and keep it on a hard drive or copy it to your iPod. Furthermore, as diesel points out, the need to break CSS to copy the dvd causes further problems for a device like this as the software to do this would be considered a circumvention device which would come against the anti-circumvention provisions in s 116AN.



What about for non-DVD video?
The premise of the upcoming TiVo-to-Go is AFAIK basically format shifting of video files for personal one off use. This is coming from a commercial network 'sponsered' PVR.

#7 diesel

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:18 PM

I prsume TiVo to go is designed for FTA transfers

#8 pgdownload

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:35 PM

Probably some kernel of truth in there but otherwise reads like a lot of spin to me. Topfield has a record of announcing products that then take ages to appear - at least this time they're doing it all up front, announce then immeadiately delay :)

They already state that the device will be 'fuelled' by ICETV. Freeview presents no issues for them (other than the fact that the freeview EPG will be free while the ICETV EPG will cost $100 a year).

I suspect by 'issues' Topfield Korea mean we don't know if this Freeview EPG is going to be a huge dud or not but we're not taking the chance at this stage. As they mention in the article 'economic issues' are also in play which sounds much more likely - if you're going to shelve a project you might as well get in a few pot shots at an unhelpful third party.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

#9 jakes

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:48 PM

What about for non-DVD video?
The premise of the upcoming TiVo-to-Go is AFAIK basically format shifting of video files for personal one off use. This is coming from a commercial network 'sponsered' PVR.

For video that is broadcast there is a fair dealing exemption to allow time-shifting (this exception actually applied to both video (cinematograph film) and sound recordings - ie radio). This includes the recording of a tv show for viewing at a more convenient time. See s 111 of the Copyright Act here. The section is a bit ambiguous as to whether you can keep the recording for watching more than once, but I've seen it suggested that the section only allows one viewing before you're supposed to delete it. In any case, this section means that anyone with a PVR or VCR is free to record tv shows for later viewing, and they are not infringing copyright by making such a copy of the broadcast (but it has to be for domestic use).

Edited by jakes, 19 February 2009 - 12:49 PM.


#10 diesel

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:08 PM

s 111 of the Copyright Act here. The section is a bit ambiguous as to whether you can keep the recording for watching more than once, but I've seen it suggested that the section only allows one viewing before you're supposed to delete it.

That was my understanding of the Act - "watch and delete"

The policing of which would be alot harder, but for the majority this is no issue

#11 jakes

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:28 PM

That was my understanding of the Act - "watch and delete"

The policing of which would be alot harder, but for the majority this is no issue

The Explanatory Memorandum for the section says this:

Whilst the exception does not require immediate deletion of the television or radio program after watching or listening to it,
the exception does not permit a person to record a broadcast and keep it indefinitely in a collection of films or sound recordings for repeated use.


While this is by no means a definitive interpretation of the section, it does seem like a reasonable way to approach it. But you're right, diesel, about the difficulty in policing it - whichever way you approach it.

And sorry - I realise that this is probably getting a bit off topic. I will end my digression into copyright law here and the discussion can return to this new media centre.
So, the article says its using linux. Do you reckon it will just be based on linux but locked down (like the Tivo), or a more open system - more like an HTPC, that's hackable? I only wonder because they seem to be making a point of it being a 'Linux Media Centre' which to me implies HTPC-style device, rather than a PVR built on a linux kernel (then again it is a Smarthouse article...)

#12 Robert E

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:52 PM

(then again it is a Smarthouse article...)

As evidenced by them speaking about "14 new digital TV HD channels". :rolleyes: