Gadgets

Google TV–Logitech Revue

I have been using XBOX 360 as a Media Centre for allowing my son to see his cartoons & for me to access my music & movie collections from my PC into my living room. For my Dad, it was an overkill, so I wanted something simpler that also allowed some basic web browsing apart from allowing access to the videos I have on my PC.

After seeing the launch video of Google TV, I got excited and purchased it online from Amazon. for $299 Got it shipped to one of my friends in the USA who was coming to India, I got the device two weeks back and had it configured recently. My quick take below after using Logitech Revue for few days:

Logitech Revue

Logitech Revue

Pro:
1) Logitech has bundled their Media Player App that allows accessing any UPnP libraries in the house including Windows 7 or Zune media sharing. The app is in beta and doesn’t seem to play all of the popular video formats

2) The device is compact, silent and has inbuilt power-pack, no separate power bricks. It has USB ports for connecting memory sticks to play video/audio/pictures from it

3) There is a cool iPhone App for Logitech Revue that can be used as a remote anywhere in the house (local Wi-Fi region)

4) The keyboard is light and keys are quite big, trackpad is responsive

5) Browsing is at decent speed – no significant lack that you can notice on simple tasks

Con:
1) Logitech Revue came with a big keyboard which is good for email and password typing, but inconvenient for most about everything – especially for plain content browsing

2) The Trackpad/mouse pointer and arrow keys/enter combination behave independently and take quite a while to get used to. The trackpad is on the right-top corner, mouse click button is on left-top corner

3) There is very little integration between the various Google services. For example, there is no native App (which I suppose was easy to do with Android) for YouTube or Picasa – two of the most compelling apps in my opinion for Google TV. They simply load up in Google Chrome browser and you need to type your Google username/password in them – doesn’t take it from the system-wide configuration you have done

4) There are Input options for a DVR and Setup-top box (Cable), but no input source for a plain DVD Player. The DVR can’t be used for this as Google TV insists on recognising and able to control the DVR. It even insists on me typing my LCD TV (Samsung) Model number before it allowed me to do anything

5) So far, I am not able to find Android Store to get new apps; maybe I am missing something.

In short, the whole product is clearly a v1.0. In my opinion Google needs to improve the software dramatically in next upgrade, otherwise, it is doomed to die even faster than Google Wave. My recommendation will be to wait for next version before you decide to buy this.