The Google TV Logitech Revue launch event answered many of the questions consumers might want to be aware of when considering the new service. eWEEK serves up 10 key details we learned.
When Google unveiled Google TV at its I/O event in May, it sparked several
questions that went unanswered for a long time.
The Google-watching crowd knew the service would marry
channel surfing and Web surfing, powered by
Google's Android operating system and Google's Chrome Web browser.
The public also learned that Google TV would run on Sony Internet TVs and
Logitech companion boxes, both powered by Intel processors. Finally, a fall
launch date was promised.
Fall is here, and Logitech was the first to announce its Revue companion box
and wireless keyboard controller for $299.
The Revue includes the Intel chip and Android OS, as well as Logitech's
Harmony Link technology to "talk" to the Keyboard Controller and
control the consumer's TV, set-top box and AV receiver.
attended the launch Oct. 6,
which readers can read about here
and see pictures of here
Here are 10 key things we learned from the event that consumers may want to
be aware of when considering the service.
Logitech Revue requires HDTV with HDMI-in
high-speed Internet access and a cable or satellite set-top box with HDMI-out.
Users will connect the Revue box to their HDTV
with the HDMI cable. Then they must connect a separate HDMI cable between the
Logitech Revue and their cable or satellite provider box with HDMI-out.
2) Three Controls
In addition to the Keyboard Controller, which resembles a PC keyboard in
size and functionality, Logitech is offering a Mini Controller, a palm-sized
device that measures 6 inches long by 3.5 inches wide. The gadget also sports
illuminated keys that change color: green for navigation, orange for typing and
3) What About the Third Control?!
Wait a minute, you said there were three controls. We did and there are, and
you might already own the third one. Android and iPhone smartphone users can use
their handsets to control Google TV thanks to Harmony Link.
Logitech has written two apps-one for Android market and one for the iTunes App Store-that users can
download for free. The Logitech Harmony smartphone app "talks" to the
internal Harmony Link.
4) About That Smartphone-Google TV Connection
Navigating Google TV from a smartphone rather than with a controller that
sports a full QWERTY keyboard and directional pad might not seem appealing. That's
why Logitech has designed its apps to be voice-search enabled, so users who
search for a program can simply speak the name of the show into their phone's
microphone to manage content on Google TV.
5) Fling Content While on the Go
Moreover, users can also watch content-such as a TV program or a YouTube
video-on their Harmony-connected smartphone and "fling" it to their
Google TV at home to continue watching. Talk about station to station.
6) Dish Deal
Logitech Revue will recognize content from any cable/satellite provider.
However, Logitech and Dish Network struck a deal to enable content from Dish
Network to get surfaced in Google TV search results. Dish satellite subscribers
will find that the content they recorded on their Dish DVR will show up in
their Google TV search results.
7) No Hulu For You-you
Want Hulu on Google TV? No dice, said Logitech executive vice president Junien
Labrousse, who added that Hulu is blocking its content from Google TV-at least for
now. Talks between Google and Hulu are ongoing, he said.
8) Google TV Search
Google TV has its own special brand of search, called Google TV Search, to
surface TV content, confirmed Jill Szuchmacher, business development lead for
Google TV. The Google
will look at this more fully soon.
The Logitech Revue box is available for preorder now from Logitech.com
Amazon.com and Best Buy.com, with availability expected by October 31. It will
also be available in Best Buy stores around that same time.
10) Sony's Turn
Sony Oct. 12 is expected to unveil its line of Internet TVs at an event in New
York City. We will be there, but early pricing
detection doesn't bode well for the sets, which NewTeeVee said
are expected to cost from $1,299.99 for a 32-inch
screen set to $1,499.99 and $1,899.99 for 40-inch and 46-inch sets, respectively.