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Television Media Hardware

Sony's Linux DVR Can Record Two Weeks of TV 311

DoctorNo writes "Sony will introduce - in Japan only - a Linux based video recorder in early November which can store 342 hours of content with 500GB of hard drive space. As well as the highend machine, Sony will also offer a cut down version with a 250GB drive. They will be priced at $1380(500GB) and $1035(250GB). More information, specs , and pictures (Japanese). Add another to the list of consumer Linux devices..."
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Sony's Linux DVR Can Record Two Weeks of TV

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  • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <> on Thursday September 04, 2003 @10:59AM (#6868910)
    the $699 US to SCO.

    Please be more careful next time.

  • Two Weeks of TV... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mopslik ( 688435 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:01AM (#6868933)

    Sadly, given the major networks' lineups, I'd say that this is likely a feature I'd never use.

    57 channels and nothing on...

    • 57 channels and nothing on...

      I have 57 movie channels. I have 300 something other channels. I would like to record movies, and in the article (which I'm sure you read) you can edit and record to DVD.

      Are you following this?

      No? Well, then I don't think this device is for you, but thank you for your comment showing that it isn't for you.
    • 57 channels and nothing on...

      You only get 57 channel of crap? I got over 200 channels of crap.

      I'm beginning to think of TV as spam.

  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Acidic_Diarrhea ( 641390 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:01AM (#6868934) Homepage Journal
    I hate to be the horse and buggy guy BUT I don't need 2 weeks of television recorded. There are very few shows which I actually enjoy and would like to watch. Furthermore, once I've seen a show, I don't often want to go back and watch it over again.

    On the other hand, pushing the envelope further and further makes the lesser powered models come down in price - which makes everyone happier.

    Although, I am a Time Warner subscriber and there OnDemand service does quite enough for me IF they expand it to more channels. I can start and stop shows all I want.

    • Then buy the lower spec model, and record in better format (more space taken, less tv recorded). Even better, don't buy one. I'm also guessing you aren't in japan, so you probably won't be able to buy one anyway.
    • Re:Well... (Score:3, Informative)

      by ruiner13 ( 527499 )
      If you want to have all episodes of the simpsons (thank you fox indianapolis for playing 3 episodes every day!) recorded and at your becon call, 2 weeks of recording space is barely adequate. There are what, 13 seasons of the simpsons, with around 13 episodes per season, at 30 minutes per episodes (without commercial skip), that makes about 84 hours, give or take. Then add in all the futuramas, all the family guy's, and you can fill up that drive pretty darn fast. Add in some stargate SG-1, and damn, i'm
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:13AM (#6869053)
      I hate to be the horse and buggy guy BUT I don't need 2 weeks of television recorded.

      Perhaps your thinking about it in the wrong way. Imagine stitting down in the evening and wondering - "I wonder if there was anything good on the movie channel* today that I might like to watch" rather than "I wonder if there is anything on right now that I might like to watch".

      It sounds cool to me, even more so if you are fussy about what you watch on TV.

      (* or BBC One or whatever is your preferred channel.)
    • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by morcheeba ( 260908 )
      I don't think the idea is to actually watch two weeks of television ... that would be two weeks of your life you'd never get back, and probably require medical supervision.

      The idea behind the bigger hard drive size is to increase the possibility that it'll record a show that you'll eventually want to watch. For example, you notice that tonight part II of an A-team episode is on, and you want to see last week's part I first. If the Tivo thought that there was a 1 in 1000 chance you seeing the show (based on
    • Re:Well... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Skier4Life ( 655714 )
      What about when sporting events are on like the Olympics, world cup or (insert sporting event that spans multiple days)? With work and school I can't be expected to just stay up 24/7 and watch, but I think it would be a really cool feature to be able to record all the televised events so you can have the opportunity to watch them later.
    • Re:Well... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jimsum ( 587942 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:48AM (#6869447)
      It depends how you are trying to use this box. If it is a true VCR replacement, it has to replace the tapes too. How many tapes does the average person have? I have about 60 hours of Simpsons episodes on tape, and about 20 tapes total. One of these boxes could let me get rid of those tapes and probably never buy another one.

      Don't think of this box as a VCR with a big non-removable cassette; think of it as a video jukebox. Hard drive capacity is pretty cheap, and I'd rather have too much capacity since these things are probably not upgradeable when you fill the disk.

      Now, having said that, I understand this model deletes shows after 31 days; so never mind, the capacity is useless :-)
    • There are very few shows which I actually enjoy and would like to watch.

      You've missed the point You see, now you can go on Vacation - Like a cruise around the world or something and see your show when you get back.

      The fact you only like a few shows just means you can go on vaction longer. You lucky bastard Because you only like a few shows, you can go on vaction for 3 months and then catch up on your favorite shows when you get back. Just think: Spend winter in a warm paradise then come back and when e

    • I hate to be the horse and buggy guy BUT I don't need 2 weeks of television recorded.

      Possibly not 2 weeks, but considering the largest (unmodified) TiVo you can buy only records about 3 days worth of programming, it's a big step.

      You'd be suprised at how quick you can burn up 3 days of programming, especially if you're into sports where the programs are ~3 hours each. Throw in a couple of movie channels, the ability to record two channels simultaneously, and some sembalance of a life away from TV and yo

    • i have a 40 hour replayTV and once or twice in the past couple years it has been nearly full. When it got full, i deleted 10 episodes of blues clues (my youngest loves that one!) leaving me with 10 episodes. why would i need more?
    • Re:Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nolife ( 233813 )
      Then don't buy it?
  • Are these TiVos? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <> on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:02AM (#6868936) Homepage
    Considering that Sony and Philips used to be the manufacturers of TiVo units, and TiVos are Linux-based - Are these just new TiVos with huge hard drives?
  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:02AM (#6868940) Journal
    Close to 1500 for a suped up VCR. Ouch.

    I have a question, would you all be as excited about yet another PVR, would this be newsworthy, if it ran Windows CE or anything other than linux?

    And why does it not bother anyone that the OSS community will get nothing out of this, like improved video capture drivers for your linux box?
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) *
      I have mentioned the fact that companies using Linux and not contributing back to the community is not all that great for Linux and I was flamed to death.

      The "community" believes that the press is great. I don't see how it matters.

      People using PVRs aren't going to give a hoot if Linux runs on it. They just know it works and that's all they will ever care about.

      I think that while Linux is great, it was created from the community. Now these companies are taking everything about Linux that is great and n
      • by mark_lybarger ( 199098 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:41AM (#6869375)
        first off, how do you know they're not providing patches back?

        secondly, it is good for the community. it shows that the cost of using a linux implementation is more effective than using another (windows) implementation. these companies don't have to pay licensing fees (go to hell SCO) for every box they sell, or some huge development licensing fee.

        sure the TCO's have different aspects with the different os's. the TCO of a .NET .vs. a j2ee implementation also has different aspects and depending on the project requirements (longjevity .vs. quick to market perhaps), the technologies will fall into place.

        linux makes sense for consumer devices.
      • It's continuing verification that Linux is not just a "school project" or some random punks' little project. It's a modern OS which can compete with the best that closed-source companies can create. It validates that open-source can compete with closed-source. It validates that the profit motive is not the only major force in business and that else should be ignored.

        Yes, this has been proven years ago, but seeing as how controversy-seeking reporters like to continually spout that unix-based OS's are ha

      • There are a lot of people that never contributed back to the community, despite having used Linux.

        That isn't the point, though. The Linux community put it together and made it so anyone, anywhere, anytime would be able to use it. You don't have to contribute back if you don't want to, or don't have the means. As long as enough people want to contribute, it's good enough.

        Linux was never really meant to be something where if you use it, you have to give something back. That's just another way of saying that
    • Looks like a 500GB fileserver to me. :-)

      Not very big, propably rather silent, has 100Mbit ethernet, now all we need is someone that hacks it.
  • You might as well just pay the extra $245 for the 500GB model.
  • I know that I seem to ask this on at least half of the new products posted here...but I just don't get it!

    Why in the world would you want 2 weeks of TV? I suppose multiple shows etc...but thats a LOT of shows.

    Maybe if I could plug it into my DVD player and copy over the 5 DVDs I rented but forgot to watch before they were due back. Still 2 weeks?

    I think it'll be cool when it can store 6 hours and cost $150.
    • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:07AM (#6868987) Journal
      Why in the world would you want 2 weeks of TV?

      Because Comcast screwed up and gave you the Spice Channel. You want to capture as much as possible before they realize their mistake.

      • Because Comcast screwed up and gave you the Spice Channel. You want to capture as much as possible before they realize their mistake.

        "Anyone seen stratjakt?"
        "I heard he recorded two weeks of Spice Channel and is trying to sear Vixen Bakery Apprentices into his retinas before it self-purges from his PVR."

        Actually, there's a definite self-purging joke there, but I'll leave it for someone else.

    • I have a TIVO with an extra large hard drive in it, and I use it as a library or jukebox of all my favorite movies and more importantly all of my kids favorite movies.
      Kids like to watch the same movies over and over (Shrek, Babe, etc) and it's great to have them all at your fingertips.
      TIVO grabbed them off of HBO or something (I don't even know what channels carry what anymore since I got TIVO).

      My kids have managed to scratch the hell out of every DVD in the house. So far the TIVO movies have been undamaga
    • My first Tivo recorded 35 hours, and I paid $99 (Hughes Series 1 DirecTivo). So, using the values you provided, that would be roughly 8.8 times cooler than what you just described.
      • Quite frankly I had no idea that Tivo was so cheap.

        Which makes me wonder why the sony is so much more..
        • Note that he mentioned a DirecTiVo

          These are financed in the same way as cell phones - Dirt-cheap if you commit to a 1-2 year contract. (In this case, a contract for DirecTV satellite service.)

          Also, it's a 35-hour unit, which means (approximately) 30-40 gigs of storage as opposed to the 250 or 500 gigs of these new Sonys.
        • The DirecTV Tivo models are far less expensive than the standalone units for 2 reasons: First, because they are recording an aldeary digital signal directly from the satellite stream, they do not have any expensive MPEG encoding hardware... It would be redundant. Second, DirecTV subsidizes the cast of the receivers, expecting to make their money on your annual subscriptions. Currently, the Hughes HDVR2 (Series 2 DirecTivo) is running about $250 at Circuit City. You can get a much better deal as a new D
    • I have a TiVo (Sony T-60 model in fact) which I upgraded with two 80 Gb drives for a capacity of approximately 140 hours.

      When you have that much space available, you tend to leave certain recordings for easy access. I have a number of movies - Office Space, LotR-FotR - on my box for almost a year now. Whenever the mood strikes, I can fire them up.

      TiVo has the advantage over other video recorders in that it will take advantage of unused capacity to capture programs it thinks you might like. It will fr

  • jsut think...two whole weeks of seizure robots, brought to us by our friend, open source software.

  • by cetan ( 61150 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:05AM (#6868968) Journal
    Or, after you remove the commercials, about 24 real hours...

  • You know, there have been several articles on /. regarding the fact that many predictions about the future of technology just haven't come to be.

    I really think we have lost sight of what's truly important. Forget about moving sidewalks and flying cars, this device is getting pretty close to my utopian future vision... a video on demand device that will hold every Dr. Who episode.

    The future is looking brighter ;)
  • Living in the UK, I would estimate that there is on average around 3 hours of TV per week that I would actually consider worth recording (maybe two, now Six Feet Under stopped on terrestrial). At that rate this thing would last me three years without having to erase anything!
  • by MrLizardo ( 264289 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:06AM (#6868977) Journal
    Slick micro-atx case: $59
    Athlon and mainboard with integrated sound/video: $160
    2x 250GB harddrives: $500

    The Sony logo to put on it: priceless

    For everything else there's a cheap x86 box.


    • What the best Linux-based (of course) software to put on this thing? Last time I looked they were all pretty immature.
      • by BacOs ( 33082 )
        MythTV []. I've been using it for months and am very impressed.

        The feature list [] details some of MythTV's features, including:
        • Basic 'live-tv' functionality. Pause/Fast Forward/Rewind "live" TV.
        • Support for multiple tuner cards and multiple simultaneous recordings.
        • Distributed architecture allowing multiple recording machines and multiple playback machines on the same network, completely transparent to the user.
        • Fully automatic commercial detection/skipping
    • Those estimates aren't really accurate. Here's what I spent on mine:

      Mini-ITX case: $59
      Mini-ITX board with integrated sound/video: $89
      128MB of PC100: $20
      Remote Receiver: $20
      Remote: Free (left over from DVD player when I upgraded to universal)
      Infrared Keyboard w/ Integrated Mouse: $39
      TV-Wonder VE: $39 (after rebate)
      DVD-Drive: $25 (e-bay)
      250 GB Drive: $239

      Total: $530

      Note: I didn't put a 250 GB in mine. I put in a 40GB cause it was free and sufficient. My actual cost for this pvr? $291... and I'm not lock
  • by wackybrit ( 321117 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:06AM (#6868984) Homepage Journal
    The device comes with a mandatory 'automatic purge' feature. Each recording is marked by a timestamp on disk and thirty one days after a recording has been made, it is automatically deleted. This feature fits in with Japanese copyright rules.

    Oh great, what next? A 'will not record porn because it's not good for the children' feature? When will consumers get treated like adults? This sucks about as much as the end of Jeepers Creepers 2 where all the people except the hot chick die.
    • The device comes with a mandatory 'automatic purge' feature .

      Right. This is a "feature." What if I had decided to hang on to this recording for a while, for whatever reason?

      For $1400, it had better not have any of these "features."

    • couple of points:

      1. it implements copyright rules! i'm quite sure sony wouldn't put this feature in if the law didn't exist. so we can't neccessarily blame manufacturers...
      2. jeepers creepers 2 - no, really, thanks for the spoiler...and don't say thats predictable - because normally its the hot chick that gets it first!!!!
    • The device comes with a mandatory 'automatic purge' feature. Each recording is marked by a timestamp on disk and thirty one days after a recording has been made, it is automatically deleted. This feature fits in with Japanese copyright rules.

      So, since the device stores two weeks of TV, it would need to record every 2nd program on a channel to ever fill up the harddisk.

      Or, if you have recorded two weeks of continous TV, in order to see everything you have recorded you would need to go on holidays and w
    • by crow ( 16139 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:35AM (#6869303) Homepage Journal
      Something like that would totally change how I use my ReplayTV. The whole point of these things is to let you control when you watch things. I like getting several weeks behind in my favorite shows so that I can watch several episodes together. I didn't even start Firefly or Birds of Prey until after they had aired the last episodes. If I had to worry about shows expiring, it would change my use to be much more like one of those old video tape systems.

      So why would Japanese law have such a requirement? It can't apply to VCRs, so what makes PVRs legally different? Sure, I could understanding having a timeout built into something like the ReplayTV show sharing feature (which is being dropped in new models due to lawsuits), but for stuff that isn't leaving the system you recorded it on, it's already more restricted than video tape that you can loan to a friend.
    • recorded a bunch of shows one after another and then waited 31 days, would that be "binge and purge"?
    • This sucks about as much as the end of Jeepers Creepers 2 where all the people except the hot chick die.

      Mod this guy up, he'll save 106 minutes of your life [].
  • a possible market (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Savatte ( 111615 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:07AM (#6868992) Homepage Journal
    the average consumer doesn't need this, but a business might. Imagine being able to record 2 weeks worth of security footage without having to change a tape.
  • by twoslice ( 457793 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:08AM (#6869007)
    More information, specs , and pictures (Japanese).

    I can't make out any of the information or specs but hey, it seems I am fully fluent in looking at Japanese pictures. And I never even took lessons!
  • by trellick ( 67244 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:08AM (#6869012)
    this is what babelfish kindly gave to me

    * Keyword just is registered, gathers favorite program,new "entrust roundly record 2".
    * You study the taste, the favorite so being automatic, you videotape program,"the male be completed algorithm".
    * Ground wave 2 tuner loading which corresponds to CATV. 2 programs where broadcast is piled up can be recorded simultaneously,"2 program simultaneous video recordings".
    * Relay of the baseball and the soccer becoming extension, without letting escape, you can record,"baseball extended corresponding function".
    * Without overlapping it can videotape can reserve continual drama and animation"series reservation".
    * It can enjoy to seamless also program and the still picture which are video recording program and in the midst of broadcasting"MyCast view".
    * The attachment remote control which adheres to ease of use, actualizes comfortableoperativity.
    * with cooperating, recording favorite video recordingprogram to DVD.
    * Bulk hard disk loading which records favorite program and the program which becomes matter of concern, steadily and is accumulated."

    What does "entrust roundly record " mean?
    Sounds nice tho'!!

  • by JeffVolc ( 89846 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:10AM (#6869028)
    I have a MythTV box which can store about 100 hours on a 120G drive right now. A MythTV box can be built for easily under $500 including the cost of the hardware encoding Hauppauge Wintv PVR 250 card and a 120G harddrive.

    Keep your Tivos and your monthly subscription.... MythTV is the best/cheapest PVR out there. I can watch any live or recorded show on any linux box in my house or on the TV in the living room using the TVout of my Linux box in the other room.

    I also reencode shows for watching on my Dell Axim PocketPC (they are just Mpeg2 files after all) when I travel. 3 one hours shows fit onto a 256M CF card.

    No proprietary formats to mess with either.
  • What they *really* mean is that it will record two weeks worth of in-your-face infommercials, sliced-and-diced movies that bear little resemblance to the original threatrical release, and the same episodes of inane sitcom reruns over and over ad nauseum.

    I am reminded of the observation that "TV is a medium that is rarely well done." Methinks I'll spend the $1380 on a memorable two week vacation instead.
  • I like the size of the hard disk, but these days we expect more from our tivo-like devices. For example, camcorder input, output onto CD rom or DVD rom, and maybe network access. How well can it control a cable box? What about recording two channels at once? How much does the program guide cost?
    The RCA Scenium gets its program guide for free from the TV signal (only 2-3 days ahead though.) The Panansonic DMR-HS2 writes DVD+RW and DVD RAM disks (RAM might be a proprietary format) but it can't control a
    • Some minor corrections. The DMR-HS2 has for the most part been replaced by the DMR-E80 and the E-100/120. All have HDDs, the the much higher priced E100 series have firewire for camcorders. Panny always supported DVD-R and -RAM, but never the + format or the -RW format.

      What I want/expect is DVD writing ability, but not just basic 1x real-time copy:

      1) High-speed copies to removable media to HDD

      2) Multi-program batch saving

      3) Selectable downsampling to lower bitrates for maximum programs/disc (good for
  • You could buy a 500 GB MythTV box, with dual tuners and about 3 xboxen for front ends. You could have the same storage and have time shifting in four rooms of your house, not to memtion all of the plug-ins mythvideo, mythdvd, mythgame, mythmusic, mythweather, and you could ssh into it as well.
  • This doesn't seem all that innovative to me. They're not actually doing anything except throwing capacity at the problem. And, they're not even utilizing that capacity very efficiently. A TiVo typically stores 1 hour/GB of disk space (at the lowest quality setting). So 500GB of disk in a TiVo would enable 500 hours of recording, not 342. Instead of slightly over 2 wks of programming, a similarly equipped TiVo would record slightly under 3 wks.
  • Why is it that all the linux geeks Woop and Holler when Linux is used in a consumer product. I got news for them. It is not because its open source, it's not because its politically correct, it's not because its the best OS.

    It's because it's FREE! The time and money to develop an embedded OS, or licensing fees for using a pre-existing one used to be a very expensive undertaking. Now with Linux it's free with minimal R&D.

    Celebrating price only reflects one thing, price. It has nothing to do with
  • Wow. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:15AM (#6869079)
    Great, now I can take a 2 week vacation and catch up on the 2 weeks of TV that I missed while the machine records the current 2 weeks of TV I'm missing while I catch up on the 2 weeks of TV that I missed while on vacation.

    Something tells me that people watch too much TV and should get back to work

    (as I sit here at work, posting on /.)
  • Hey.

    yeah you.. all you people out there who are saying well golly why we do we need so much space...

    why do you need more then 640k of ram? :)
  • The idea of a Linux PVR has interested me for some time. But the cost and time of actually building one has kept me back. I figured that to build my one would be around $700 to get all the features I wanted. When TiVo exists for around $400 ($200 for the box, $200 for a lifetime subscription), this is not an easy choice.

    The details on the Sony box are a bit thin, but does anybody know why it would cost $1400 for the high end model?

  • I'll grant that it has neato geek factor, but I only paid $99 for my DirecTivo. For $1,400 I could have DirecTivos in every room of my house and my garage and still have plenty of money left to install mega hard drives in each one to up the capacity. And for the record, Tivos ARE Linux boxen which is why they are so geek-friendly when you want to mod them. So other than having a large hard drive stuffed into it I don't really see what makes this device all that special, and certainly not at that price.
  • Build a MythTV [] box... use the default MPEG-4 encoding, and you'll get an hour of recording for every GB available... you can even store to remote NFS or samba shares, distribute the recordings over your local network, and use your modded XBOX to watch Live TV (streamed over the network from the backend) or recorded shows. 500GB would give you 500 hours :)

  • If only the prices were in YEN and not US $


  • Sony's Click-to-DVD stuff is swamped with DRM crud. You can't do anything with the stuff you record other than play it on [a limited selection of] Sony hardware + software. Further, the stuff won't play anything that wasn't recorded and encoded with Sony's tech so forget about watching movies you downloaded off the net on your TV using the recorder's network connection. It's proprietary junk that should be avoided.

    If you do the math on the bitrates, the 342 hours on 500 gigabytes works out to 3.3 Mbits/sec
  • Moore's Law (Score:5, Funny)

    by cyber_rigger ( 527103 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:29AM (#6869245) Homepage Journal
    15 years from now PVRs will hold more information than we could watch in a lifetime
  • The funny thing is, it won't be too long before these specs are considered run-o'the-mill for DVR's!

    Half a terabyte in a box you put on your TV, geez...
  • An associate was saying this is basically a rebadged tivo...and if it's not tivo hardware, they are licensing TiVos technology.

    Now...put a "save to DVD" option on one of these..and I'm sold.

  • by AmigaAvenger ( 210519 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @11:35AM (#6869298) Journal
    at least half the replies to this article will be "just get yourself a cheap athlon/vid capture card and do it yourself for half the cost..."

    for anyone saying that, give it a try. I doubt it will last past the novelty phase, and will NOT pass the girlfriend test... It simply is way too cumbersome to be a usable solution.

  • is everything that American's would truly want to have is only ever released in Japan? What is wrong with those fools, don't they realise that we want this kind of thing here? Sure they're overly priced for what it does, but come on, at least they could do is sell them here as well.

    As you probably can tell, I'm not a big fan of things like DVD regions as well.
  • It's a box! Knowing Sony, it'll be a very nice box, and I wouldn't mind having one.
    But it's a box!!!

    Why the hell does ANYONE care what operating system it's running? It's a box!!!

    Coming in fall....can't wait.
  • The stock TiVo kernel doesn't support anything better than LBA28 but with a custom kernel you can do better (I have a 300GB maxtor in mine). Currently Series1 only but now that people are hacking Series2 TiVo proms it would be trivial to add LBA48 support to the 2.4 kernel on those boxes.
  • by mumblestheclown ( 569987 ) on Thursday September 04, 2003 @12:17PM (#6869844)
    Add this to the list of:
    • Company cleverly circumvents GPL to have its software development subsidized. No source code to community.
    • No average end-user will ever know what the underlying operating system is.
    • The OS licensing bit is less than 2% of the final cost of the product - in other words, the price savings will not appreciably passed along.
    In other words, to parahprase that clever .sig, "think free as in working for sony without getting paid."

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.