Logitech Offers TV Cam and HD Calling
In a demo onstage here in Chinatown , Kevin Simon, director of product marketing in the digital home group at Logitech, showed the cramped crowd of media how to search for content with the controller, which has a touch pad, directional pad and buttons to control the A/V receiver TV and digital videorecorder. Simon used the controller to switch to dual-view mode to split his viewing between a TV program and the Web. He also showed off several of the applications preloaded on the Revue.The Logitech Media Player lets users view personal photos, downloaded music files and home videos stored on a USB drive or a DLNA- certified media server.Simon also demonstrated how to access Google TV from his phone, "flinging" video from YouTube to Google TV in seconds. These capabilities are enabled by the free Logitech Harmony for Android and the Logitech Harmony for Android applications, which can be used to turn on the television, cable/satellite box, and A/V receiver, as well as navigate TV content and apps. Simon also unveiled the palm-sized Logitech Mini Controller, which provides the same control and navigation as the keyboard controller for the Revue but measures 6 inches by 3.5 inches. This hardware costs $129. The new Logitech TV Cam, which connects to the Revue via a USB cable, and its Vid HD service provide high-definition video calling through Google TV. This gadget will cost $149.99. Glen Kuo, global product marketing manager for Logitech, demonstrated a video call between the Google TV-enabled TV on stage and his colleagues in a loft in New York, splitting the screen to show his colleagues and the media audience they could see at Logitech's launch event. The video was crisp (supports up to 720p), although the sound was spotty despite the fact that the TV cam includes two directional microphones to reduce noise and echoes. One final note: Logitech Revue with Google TV and accessories will also be offered to DISH Network customers.