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Kylo TV Web Browser Open Sourced (Remote Control Not Included)

Hillcrest Labs recently released the Kylo TV web browser under the Mozilla Public License. I took it for a test drive with my Mac and HDTV, and I'm keeping my Roku.

Before the open source code release announcement, I'd never heard of Kylo, which is odd considering that Lifehacker named Kylo as one of the Most Popular Free Mac Downloads of 2010, and the web browser was named an International CES Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree.

I decided to try it out on my Linux laptop, which is running the latest Ubuntu. Contrary to the news article I read, Kylo doesn't work with Linux yet, so I changed gears and installed it on my Mac and bought an adaptor to hook up my Mac with my new HDTV.

Recently I canceled my cable service for several reasons, but mostly because nothing "good" was ever on. So I handed my old Roku to my daughter and upgraded to a newer Roku, which fits in the palm of my hand and couldn't be more user friendly. Plug it in, connect to my accounts, and go. Kylo looked like a nice addition to add to my viewing options, so I hooked up my Mac to my television.

If only everything could be as easy as my Roku.

Figuring out which settings to change on my t.v. and rearranging my displays so that Kylo wasn't just showing up on my laptop was easy enough. The sound, on the other hand, was another beast. I could hear through my laptop and tried rearranging cables and tweaking settings. Still no sound from the t.v.

Sure, I could have done some troubleshooting and eventually figured it out, but why would I? Browsing the web, watching Netflix, and catching up on Facebook — I've already got these things covered with other devices that are more user-friendly.

Unless I'm completely missing something here, I have to control my Kylo viewing on my television through my laptop, which is hardly convenient.

Or, for US$ 149.00 plus $18.10 for UPS Ground, I can get a Scoop Pointer Remote Reference Kit in-air mouse, manufactured by Hillcrest Labs and compatible with Macs or PCs.

Sure, the Kylo site also recommends the Logitech MX Air Rechargeable Cordless Air Mouse, but it's currently unavailable on Amazon.com. Your plain vanilla mouse won't work, unless you plan to sit close to the telly.

The most expensive Roku streaming player will set you back US$ 99.99, which includes the remote control and shipping.

Tell me what I'm missing here: How will the Kylo browser improve my browsing or viewing experience? And if we just need developers to get their mitts on the open source code, what can they do to make anyone want to download Kylo and connect it to HDTVs?

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