At the beginning of the year, the KDE project introduced something new. It was about Bigscreen Plasma, which was basically how they imagine smart TV software should look like. That was in March, and we haven't heard from that project again until a few hours ago, when have launched a second beta. It is not a very important update, but it makes us think that, although its development lags behind other projects such as Plasma Mobile, they are still going ahead with it.
In the list of changes, three stand out. The first one is that it includes official support for the Raspberry Pi 4, a bit late from my point of view. The second is that they have updated kernel and firmware, which improves hardware support. Also noteworthy is the support for armhf. Below you have the News list that have arrived together with the second beta of Plasma Bigscreen.
What's new in Plasma Bigscreen Beta 2
- Updated kernel and firmware: The image now features Kernel and Firmware from the version 5.4 branch and the raspberry pi kernel. This update includes several fixes for USB devices not working in the above image and also adds full support for newer revision boards.
- Armhf support: Although arm64 seems to be the popular trend, they still want to offer support for a base armhf system, so as of the current version, an armhf image will also be available for download.
- Base upgraded to Neon Focal- The image has been re-based on KDE Neon Focal 20.04, including the latest enhancements, application updates, and security updates for KDE Neon.
- Mycroft Core Release 20.08: Mycroft has been updated. The Mycroft-Core included in the image is now based on the latest version of mycroft development branch 20.08, improving not only the startup time of mycroft services, but also other smaller notable improvements.
- Support for KDE Connect: Plasma Bigscreen has added support for KDE Connect KCM and Indicator allowing you to pair your KDE Connect devices with Plasma Bigscreen and enabling the big screen plugin in KDE Connect will allow you to navigate the big screen interface using just a phone.
- Various improvements and fixes for voice apps- This release features a dedicated Bigscreen platform skill that implements more of the Mycroft GUI API to provide a smoother speech application experience. Furthermore, the latest beta image also features new skills / voice apps installed by default like PeerTube and all of mycroft's default skills updated to its 20.08 branch.
If you are interested in trying it, something that I would recommend doing in an extra microSD because it is all very immature, you can download the new image from this link. To record it, you can use software such as Etcher.