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Development bounties offered for open source STB

Dec 19, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Neuros has announced its first “bounties” for developing Ubuntu-based Linux software on its Neuros LINK open-source set-top box (STB) (pictured). The cash bounties cover Netflix, Move Networks, and iTunes integration, as well as projects on networking, video resolution, error reporting, and GUI upgrades, says… Neuros.

Neuros began shipping its $300 Neuros LINK STB in November. The hackable IP box works with a free Neuros.TV service to let users play popular video content on-demand without subscribing to TV services, Neuros says. The LINK is a small, mini-ITX system that runs an AMD Athlon 1660 processor clocked at 2.8 GHz, as well as AMD's +780g chipset. The system has 1GB of RAM, and boots from 4GB of flash, which is its only standard-issue storage.

The Neuros Link service
(Click to enlarge)

The LINK runs a user-modifiable Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 8.10 that includes popular open source video players. To encourage participation from developers, Neuros has offered bounties for other projects, including its older OSD (“open source device”) STB hardware design, for example, offering up to $3,500 for hacks enabling the OSD to be used with TiVo's web-based interface.

The new round of bounties “are largely Ubuntu tweaking on the Neuros hardware, which is pretty standard x86 components,” wrote Joe Born in an email. “Ownership of the device isn't necessary for completing the bounties, although it's a help for many of them.”

The Ubuntu/LINK bounties vary in the terms, with several requiring documentation to be written. The bounties are said to include:

  • Netflix ($2,500 to $3,000) — Connecting the LINK directly to Netflix pays $2,500, and getting it “working using PC software as an intermediary” is worth an extra $500. Must beat Netflix and Boxee (see below) from enabling similar functionality.
  • Move Networks ($2,000 to $2,500) — Writing a Move Networks plugin pays $2,000, and getting it to work within the Linux version of Firefox pays another $500. Must complete before Move Networks writes similar plugin.
  • iTunes ($1,000) — Tweak existing Ubuntu code to make the LINK play iTunes Store audio content.
  • Networking wizard ($750) — Improve Ubuntu's wizard for wireless and wired networking.
  • Video resolution ($750) — Develop graphic-card configuration GUI that supports Xorg options.
  • Update GUI ($750) — Make GNOME's “system tray update notifier and installer” TV friendly.
  • Error and problem reporter ($500) — Develop GUI app for interacting with Neuros tech support.

Born also reports that Boxee, which offers an alpha-stage “social” media center “Boxee” Linux distribution, is porting the distro to the Neuros LINK. Boxee is designed to stream social networking content from various free and commercial Internet sources, and download videos, music, and photos to Linux desktops. Boxee is currently working on a version supporting direct Netflix downloads.


More details on the Neuros LINK bounties should be available here.

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