Google TV powered by Logitech's Revue companion box and keyboard controller is a fine way to turn one's TV into a computer and the service should only get better with time.
Users interested in turning their TV set into a Web-surfing computer can satisfy that
need by using Google TV via Logitech's Revue companion box and controller.
Google TV is the search engine's TV-Web content and application cocktail
. It's powered by
Android 2.1 on machines running an Intel Atom chip, with Web apps, such as
YouTube, accessible through the Chrome Web browser.
spent the weekend of Oct. 22
through Oct. 25 with the modest-sized Revue box
and controller, which, at $299 from Logitech.com and in Best Buys
stores is, for our
money, the way to procure the service. Sony Internet TVs and the $399 Blu-ray player
are too expensive
for our taste to run Google TV when you can get Revue.
tested Revue with
Google TV on a 46-inch Toshiba LCD TV, a Sony digital A/V receiver and a
Motorola Set-top box fed by AT&T's U-Verse service.
Configuring the box takes some time-there are 12 steps-especially if users
want to use the Logitech keyboard to turn the TV, set-top box and A/V on and
off, as well as change channels.
You'll want to make sure to have handy your home WiFi network name, zip code,
and the make and models of all devices you want to connect to Revue.
Once configured, we experimented with the lightweight but full QWERTY
keyboard, which was quite comfortable. A quick-search button sits between the
function button and control button, bringing a search bar down atop TV content
in a rather unobtrusive manner.
We conducted several searches and quickly realized how attuned to
entertainment content the special Google TV Search app
is. Searches on TV shows returned both TV channel and Websites results.
For example, a search on CBS returned results for The Bold and the Beautiful
along with an option to go to CBS.com-though, of course, Website content is blocked
from the system due to ongoing negotiations between
Google and broadcasters.
A directional pad sits at the top right of the gadget, offering down or up
arrows and easily marked back and home buttons.