Logitech Launches the Revue – The First GoogleTV Device

Today, Logitech launched the Revue which is their set-top box powered by GoogleTV.  This is the first of many future devices that will use GoogleTV and will initially be sold for $299.99.  I have not had any hands-on experience with the unit yet, but wanted to provide some introductory perspectives.

The first thing that caught my eye about the unit was the controller.  The original insider reports suggested that the included remote would be the Logitech Mini Controller, but Logitech chose to package a full-size keyboard instead.  The keyboard offers extensive functionality, but appears to be bulky and it looks like it would be awkward to use in practice.  The Mini Controller is available, but requires an additional $129.99 which seems extraordinarily expensive.

Continue reading Logitech Launches the Revue – The First GoogleTV Device

Set-top boxes: is simple better?

I blogged a few weeks ago about my positive experience with my new Roku, and it appears that the battle of dedicated Internet connected set-top boxes is starting again.  (Note that gaming consoles such as the XBox360 or PS3 could also be considered competition in this space.)  Specifically, Apple has announced its newly updated AppleTV, D-Link will soon be launching their Boxee device and Logitech will be releasing the Revue based on GoogleTV.  All of these boxes are designed to dominate your living room by providing access to rich Internet content.  However, the strategies used by these vendors vary.  The Revue and Boxee bring a full Internet experience while the Roku and AppleTV focus on a streamlined approach.

The living room has always been a consumer electronics battleground.  An early company targeting the space was WebTV who sold a set-top box that accessed the Internet and provided a web browsing on the TV.  WebTV’s devices were relatively complex and included a dial-up modem (limited broadband back then), a traditional remote control and a wireless keyboard.  The company was not successful and was purchased by Microsoft for very little.  I believe that the device was overly complex for the living room and did not provide a quality Internet experience.  Ironically, Logitech and D-Link appear to be following a similar path. Continue reading Set-top boxes: is simple better?