KDE’s Plasma Bigscreen Project Aims to Bring Plasma Desktop to Your TV

Plasma Bigscreen

The KDE Project announced today a brand new project called Plasma Bigscreen, which promises to deliver the powerful Plasma desktop environment to big TV screens.

As its name suggests, Plasma Bigscreen will be a variant of KDE’s Plasma desktop environment for TVs that can be controlled with the remote control of your smart TV.

The project is designed to support single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi and takes advantage of the open-source Mycroft AI voice assistant project to deliver voice control capabilities on big TV screens.

By default, Mycroft AI uses Google’s speech-to-text (STT) system to send anonymized utterances to Google. However, users are free to de-activate voice recognition or switch to a different backend, including a self-hosted STT system like Mozilla Deepspeech.

On top of that, Mycroft AI features skills to allow users to expand the capabilities of the smart voice assistant to perform more tasks, such as retrieving weather information or cooking recipes. Developers can even create their own rich voice skills in Python and QML.

Apart from aiming to deliver media-rich apps, the Plasma Bigscreen project will also provide users with support for the traditional desktop apps they’re using on their computers, but redesigned to fit the big TV screen experience.

“This is new territory for KDE interface designers and requires a new thinking of how to layout applications and how to make it easy for people to interact with Plasma from their couches,” said KDE.

If you want to try Plasma Bigscreen right now, the KDE Project has provided a beta image you can download from the dedicated website to run on your Raspberry Pi 4 computer connected to a smart TV or regular computer monitor.

If your TV supports HDMI-CEC, you’ll be able to control Plasma Bigscreen with your TV’s remote control. The KDE Project hasn’t revealed when the final release of Plasma Bigscreen will be available, but they’re promising it’s coming soon to a smart TV near you.

Last updated 4 years ago

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