User avatar
liz
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Posts: 5202
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:22 pm
Contact: Website

There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:23 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/ ... e-unveiled

Just saw this: Alan Sugar's £300 web TV streaming box. (Alan Sugar is now most famous for being the UK's Donald Trump in The Apprentice; he's also the guy behind Amstrad.) The comments are interesting - several people pointing out that they are already doing EXACTLY the same thing with a Raspi for £25, and a few saying that that's all very well, but that what *they* want is a consumer box to do the job with no scary bits.

Instant business for one of you entrepreneurial types right there: Raspberry Pi, box, bluetooth/irda remote, XMBC. Just saying.
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

babbage
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:23 pm

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:34 pm

I posted pretty much the same thing to Rory Cellan Jones on Twitter after he posted about being with Sir Alan for the launch. Pi+ Raspbmc + TV catchup and you have 90% of the functionality for 10% of the price.

Oh, and for another fiver i've already made my Pi wireless, which is something this box doesn't do, AFAIK.

That other device is about 5 years out of date.

User avatar
RaTTuS
Posts: 10506
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:12 am
Location: North West UK
Contact: Twitter YouTube

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:40 pm

seeing how freeview is mpeg2 .....
nuff said ;-p
How To ask Questions :- http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
WARNING - some parts of this post may be erroneous YMMV

1QC43qbL5FySu2Pi51vGqKqxy3UiJgukSX
Covfefe

User avatar
grumpyoldgit
Posts: 1452
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:20 pm

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:42 pm

The iSugar provides a service that is not much different from Freeview+ or FreeSat+ but the price of the box is about 50% more. Most of the players now include the BBC iPlayer and are rolling out to the other players. My FreeSat box even includes Youtube. Obviously, you also need an unlimited internet contract and be living somewhere where the speed is not knobbled. It doesn't look to me as though this product will get off the ground. As has been said elsewhere, if he had managed to get it out a couple of years ago he might have been able to build demand for it, but I think the world has now moved on.

blugerchug
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:46 pm

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:49 pm

RaTTuS wrote:seeing how freeview is mpeg2 .....
nuff said ;-p
I was resisting the urge, but as you've already said it... +1

User avatar
clickykbd
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:21 am
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact: Website

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:56 pm

you had me until "entrepreneurial type". ;-)

"Sling" type boxes have always fascinated me from a technology perspective. But i'm really not sure why. I don't own a TV, nor a cable/satellite package to go with it.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 24192
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:12 pm

blugerchug wrote:
RaTTuS wrote:seeing how freeview is mpeg2 .....
nuff said ;-p
I was resisting the urge, but as you've already said it... +1
Well, I'm certain that if someone came up with the right business proposition, then MPEG2 could be added to a similar device in about 20 seconds + build time. Just remember to pay your licence fees to MPEGLA for each device sold.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
“I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.” – Steven Wright

mikerr
Posts: 2791
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:46 pm
Location: UK
Contact: Website

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:26 pm

Well the £299 box is also a 500GB twin tuner freeview PVR, so add another £100 or so on to the price for that,
but it still makes £299 expensive.

http://www.whathifi.com/blog/youview-ha ... ouview-box

There's still a place for PVRs, a full 12 years on from TiVo... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/945275.stm

Somebody on here does have DTT freeview playback working on Pi,
which is of course MPEG2 so its via software decoding, so cpu heavy and < 25fps -but its there.
Android app - Raspi Card Imager - download and image SD cards - No PC required !

User avatar
extravagoose
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 2:51 pm
Location: UK
Contact: Website

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:05 pm

Colossal waste of money if you ask me... but then there are mugs who buy anything :P May have been a great idea say 4 or 5 years ago...

The one benefit I can see is that it brings content from many providers in one space... otherwise, I see no difference from existing things i.e. netflix, lovefilm, iPlayer etc etc... most consoles (PS3 etc) also have such facilities built in...

Now as many have pointed out (and done) - the RPi offers an incredibly cheap solution and storage shouldn't be an issue - 500Gb external HDDs can be obtained for next to nothing :P
RPi 1: Hostname: Gimli, 500Gb USB HDD, ArchLinux | ARM.
Main Use: Bit of everything - but mainly web server, Network Storage and C programming.

RPi 2: Hostname tba, awaiting delivery.

hippy
Posts: 6297
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:36 pm

babbage wrote:Pi+ Raspbmc + TV catchup and you have 90% of the functionality for 10% of the price.
£299 is too expensive for me ( but around the same price as Humax and other PVR's I've seen ), but I'm not convinced you'll get a comparable product using an R-Pi for £30.

Though the full spec hasn't been released, it would be interesting if someone really did cost out what a useful and viable PVR would be. I'd say that has to be boxed with self-contained PSU, twin HD tuners, 500GB, IR remote ( and/with IR keyboard ), CE compliant, warranty, cables.

Ignoring licensing costs I suspect that wouldn't be far short of £200. Costs could be trimmed if using an own built PCB with Broadcom SoC on-board as trying to wedge an actual R-Pi into any product adds otherwise unnecessary difficulties and costs.

If someone did try to make a commercial offering rather than a 'for hobbyists' solution ( where everything costs 'nothing' or pennies on ebay from some dodgy supplier ) there's the extra costs of running a company, tech support and actually having/contracting staff to maintain and resolve things when problems emerge. The OSH/OSS notion of relying on goodwill alone to get things fixed can undermine any commercial venture.

There's a lot of 'the R-Pi could do that' talk out there which often seems bordering on fanboyism to me so it would be interesting to see how it does measure up.

gritz
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:10 pm

Egad!

Journalists in bed with politicians and the police, banks robbing us blind (and being bailed out with public money because they're too big to fail) and now barrow boys being given some kind of Superhero status.

"Trust me, I'm not like those other guys..."

Should lessons in programming really be the priority for for our next generation? Shouldn't we just be teaching them to be less damn gullible than their parents?

cashaw
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:32 pm

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:12 pm

I am interested in what the foundations road map is. It has been a little quiet recently. It's great to encourage commercial enterprises based on the Pi, but I would really like to know how our charitable aims of re- introducing computer science into the UK curriculum is going.

It's great to push the Pi as a media server (at which it is does very well!) But it would be good to know that the foundations original goals are still being fulfilled :-)

robwriter
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:26 pm

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:26 pm

The price for this is way too high. I built a PC about 5 years ago to do just this, and after a few upgrades its still working fine. Total cost can't be more than 500 over 5 years and its got some pretty good quality components.

If the Pi could get the codecs it might not be too far away from managing to do this, but there's quite a few obstacles to be overcome, so right now I don't think the Pi is a valid option as a media player.

obarthelemy
Posts: 1399
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:53 pm

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:26 pm

Amstrad's device is a particularly bad deal. There are plenty of much more worthy doodads, starting with the Apple TV, which is $100 I think, and stil rootable ? I'm not quite sure which does what in detail, and I'm a semi-nerd, so even if the Pi once accessorized is not more expensive than the iTV, it'd be a tough-ish sale, I think.

User avatar
Gert van Loo
Posts: 2486
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:27 am
Contact: Website

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:47 pm

No fun, way too easy.
I just take one of our new devices, add two or three chip it's done. I can probably build the complete electronics (without HDD) for £40.
Add HD and a case: ~£80, £100 max.
Then I add 300% margin and voila: the same price as his!

BuzzCola
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:54 am

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:57 pm

Gert van Loo wrote:No fun, way too easy.
I just take one of our new devices, add two or three chip it's done. I can probably build the complete electronics (without HDD) for £40.
Add HD and a case: ~£80, £100 max.
Then I add 300% margin and voila: the same price as his!
Then it's just a question of software. The integrated catchup on the epg is a great idea. I'm not aware of any thing in XBMC for it's example that can compete with that. My smart TV has all the catchup services integrated but it's not user friendly accessing them so they hardly get used.. This would solve that problem at least. It's too expensive for me though

gritz
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:07 pm

When I was a teen one of my first jobs was in a local TV repair shop. We saw quite a few Amstrad "music centres" (technical nomenclature that older spammers may remember...)

They weren't hard to work on as the boards only ever seemed to be half populated! Less is more, etc. The most difficult part of any repair was getting into them without the whole compressed cardboard ensemble coming apart like a cheap watch.

Still, being stuck with one of his devices is probably preferable to having to work for the bloke.

And yes, the user interface is everything. I can't see Joe Public being quite ready for doing the fiddly stuff in terminal just yet.

Ravenous
Posts: 1956
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Location: UK

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:39 am

I just have an uneasy feeling about this, the "Amstrad" word...

The joke back then was they designed a nice system, then pulled components out one by one until it stopped working - when it stopped they soldered that last component back in and put what they had into production!

(Edit - in fairness I missed the word "Allegedly".)

gritz
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:55 am

Ravenous wrote:...(Edit - in fairness I missed the word "Allegedly".)
:lol: (pointy finger) "you're fired!"

babbage
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:23 pm

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:03 pm

hippy wrote:There's a lot of 'the R-Pi could do that' talk out there which often seems bordering on fanboyism to me so it would be interesting to see how it does measure up.
Well, i'm quite shocked at being accused of Rpi fanboyism. Look at some of my other posts and you'll see that isn't the case.

However, I do speak from experience as I have exactly what I suggested running working fine for me. I don't want recording, just viewing as I am on the wrong side of a hill and TV signal is poor. As most of the stuff is available on demand anyway, why do I need to record it ?

I understand the box may be bundled on deals from £4 a month which probably means it will sell some units, but this really isn't deserving of much more than that :o

mikerr
Posts: 2791
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:46 pm
Location: UK
Contact: Website

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:50 pm

Well it's quite absurd to compare a streaming-only solution with a full on recording HD PVR !
-especially purely on price.

You may not want to record or watch live broadcast TV - but that's what the £299 box is for;
recording HD TV with twin tuners and 500GB HD, the streaming is an added plus - not its only use.
(the whathifi link I posted above details specs)

No doubt they could release a £50-100 box just for streaming - there are many out there already.
Android app - Raspi Card Imager - download and image SD cards - No PC required !

babbage
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:23 pm

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:21 pm

Like I said above, why do I need to record when I can stream ? Most people use recording to timeshift, if it is available on demand, that completely negates the need to record. Little point recording to keep, as unless I can somehow get it off this £300 wonder machine it is a single point of failure and if you are any more behind than a week, then you aee going to end up knowing what happend in east enders et al from other media sources.

I'm fully aware of the specs of the box, I just think that recording as a whole has got a limited time left and this box is too little, far too late.

No USP and far too expensive.

User avatar
grumpyoldgit
Posts: 1452
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:20 pm

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:25 pm

The great thing about recording is that I can skip through all those adverts for the Olympics!

babbage
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:23 pm

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:30 pm

There's olympics on ? where?

reggie
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:51 am

Re: There's a business in that for someone...

Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:10 pm

Sugar is and always has been a box shifter, the only product of his that was marginally any good was his PC, everything else has been behind the curve, junk or both. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I saw the projected price for this box, £300 is quite frankly ridiculous for what you can get for around 1/2 that for a recorder or just £25 for an SD freeview/freesat box, pci tv card or usb tv card.

If only the foundation would produce a slightly more expensive pi with some codecs unlocked.....

Return to “General discussion”