The TVNC is a new range of systems from Siamese Systems that
picks up on the themes of Digital Convergence that Amiga Inc
introduced to the Amiga community. Using a custom-designed device
and based upon a version of Linux the project attempts to integrate
a number of low-cost computers and terminals into one intelligent
device. Selling the idea of allowing an "average" individual to "do
what they want", the TVNC is capable of displaying all current
visual displays (terrestrial, satellite, video, etc), as well as
replacing stereos and other commodity items. Future developments
could also result in the toaster being replaced!
The system is based upon a full Linux distribution with all of
the TVNC software installed and will be distributed separately on
CD-ROM for 29UKP, allowing current systems to be converted to the
new network distribution. The basic concept is a return to the idea
of dumb terminals that were common up until the 1970's. The average
system nowadays is more powerful than it needs to be. Many people
buy a 400MHz system just to do some simple word processing! The
TVNC acts as a server that controls access to devices and software
by the other systems. This reduces the need for large hard drives
and multiple copies of the same program running on different
machines. It does not appear to take the idea to the limit by doing
the processing on the main server, referred to as the Base-Station,
and then retargetting the display to one of the terminals. This is
hardly surprising as the processor is certainly not slow, using a
300MHz IBM x86-compatible.
Where does the Amiga fit in?
The current systems appear to be largely based around the x86
architecture at present. The use of Linux means that future
versions could run from a PowerMac or even a 68k Amiga. The Amiga
is not being left out of the equation. The Amiga was the
inspiration behind the creation of the TVNC, providing pre-emptive
multitasking, 56k modem. It also features many devices and settings
currently out of the reach of most Amiga Classic owners such as
multi-user, TV-Tuner and video playback, 16-bit audio I/O, 3dfx
graphics card, and an optional inclusion of Windows 98. TVNC owners
can integrate an Amiga into this system using either emulation
through the software UAE or the hardware-based PCI Amiga card. The
TVNC will create an established hardware platform for the
forthcoming AmigaOS 5 release. Through the Amiga card it is also
possible to run Mac 68k executables, creating a multiOS
The systems come in three variants:
- TVNC-Base-Station that controls all other machines on the
- TVNC-Satellite that acts as a gateway to the Internet and TV
- TVNC-Booster similar to the TVNC-Satellite but does not include
CD-ROM, Floppy drive or TV Tuner.
IBM 300 Processor fitted onto a P5 ATX Motherboard, 512k cache,
Samsung 15" monitor, 32mb DIMM RAM, Internal 56k Modem, 6.8Gb hard
drive, floppy and CD-ROM drive. Voodoo 4Mb 3dfx and TV Tuner card.
Ethernet PCI card, plus standard keyboard and Mouse. All fitted in
a standard ATX mini tower case.
699 UKP, including Vat.
599 UKP, excluding VAT or outside EEC.
IBM 300MHz Processor fitted onto a P5 ATX Motherboard, with 512k
cache, 14" SVGA monitor, 32mb DIMM RAM, CD-ROM, Ethernet card,
Voodoo 4Mb 3dfx PCI and TV Tuner card. As well as keyboard and
mouse fitted inside a PC Mini Tower.
399 UKP, including Vat
349 UKP, excluding VAT or outside EEC.
IBM 300MHz processor fitted onto a P5 ATX motherboard, with 512k
cache. SVGA 14" monitor, 32Mb DIMM RAM, PCI Ethernet card, S3 Virge
4mb graphics card. Standard keyboard, mouse, and PC Mini Tower
299 UKP, including Vat.
249 UKP, excluding VAT or outside EEC.