Vidtonic lets you build your own Google TV…and you might have to [UPDATED]

Talk about geek paradise. As described in the press release below, a company called Vidtonic will introduce their new HomeBrew IPTV Developer’s Kit at CES, giving tinkerers the chance to build their own Google TV–or at least something resembling a television for program development. Availability is expected for Q2 and the kit includes a 1080p LCD panel with an ARM-powered MB. Vidtonic wants developers to get excited about creating Android software for the larger screen, and is betting on a DIY solution to stir up buzz.

The less inspired side of this story is that if things don’t improve for he Big G in the TV space, building your own Google TV might be the only option–outside of purchasing legacy items on ebay and CraigsList. After Google asked manufacturers to hold off on their CES GTV announcements so they could refine their software, Logitech has reportedly put production of their GTV Revue units on hold until February at the earliest. This comes after a drop in the price of Sony’s Internet Televisions and Blu-rays, and a less-than-stellar reception of the GTV software by geeks and mainstream tech consumers alike.

UPDATE: Revue production is continuing as planned. The rumor came from the dubious DigiTimes.

Despite the system’s nerd appeal, vast capabilities, and dorky potential, the clunky controls and superfluous menus have been a turn off for folks after that simpler than simple (platinum) Apple vibe. But perhaps a UI makeover and Google’s negotiations with major movie studios will result in an more elegant experience and a content delivery system that can compete–at some level–with Apple TV’s iTunes.


Fort Wayne, IN, December 27, 2010 – Vidtonic will be introducing the HomeBrew IPTV Developer Kit at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV. The Homebrew platform is powered by the AndroidTM operating system and gives software developers the ability to create applications targeted for the television screen.

Matt Miller, Vidtonic co-founder says, “Our vision with Vidtonic is to empower Android developers to create for TV platforms. Let’s level the playing field for TV application developers as it has been done in the mobile marketplace. Your skills as an Android developer in the mobile space can now translate directly to the consumer electronics and IPTV space. We want to help popularize the idea that Android isn’t simply for smart phones and give developers the opportunity to create great things.”

The HomeBrew Kit:

Is a hardware/software platform kit designed for AndroidTM developers to bring their applications to the TV screen.
Includes television housing, cables, 1080p LCD panel in various sizes, power supply and a motherboard using an ARM/DSP microprocessor solution.

Allows enthusiasts to build their own television, powered by AndroidTM.

Gives developers the open platform they need to write their own made-for-TV AndroidTM powered applications.

The Homebrew platform is expected to launch in 2Q11 with early adopter releases rolling out in 1Q11. Vidtonic will be opening the HomeBrew user/developer forums immediately following CES in January.

Vidtonic, a Fort Wayne, Indiana-based company, is a consumer video product development company that specializes in using open source technologies such as Linux and Android.

Via Android Central and Fortune

Tags: , , ,