Tag Archives | Logitech Revue

Logitech Revue: A Swiss-Army Approach to Internet TV

After I attended Cisco’s unveiling of its ūmi telepresence system this morning, I hopped in a cab and went to Logitech’s launch event for Revue, its Google TV box. It made for a fascinating comparison.

Cisco’s product, like Apple TV and Roku, is about doing one thing.  All there devices compete with Revue, because it does many things:

  • Like Roku and Apple TV, it’s a way to watch movies and listen to music;
  • It supports not only services Google has partnered with, such as Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand, but just about any video on the Web;
  • It attempts to meld Internet video, live broadcast video, and DVR video into one seamless entertainment extravaganza;
  • It integrates with Dish Network boxes at a deeper level–it can control them and search recorded videos;
  • It lets you browse Web sorts of all sorts using the built-in Chrome browser;
  • It uses Logitech’s Harmony technology to let you control all your living-room gizmos;
  • It offers iOS and Android apps that let you use your smartphone as a remote control;
  • If you spend $150 for an optional Webcam, it provides ūmi-like HD videoconferencing (although at 720p rather than Cisco’s 1080p);
  • It’ll let you download and install Android apps (but not until early 2011, when Google makes its TV Android Market available).

Whew. (I’m probably forgetting a capability or two.) Revue costs $299.99, which is 3X the price of Apple TV and 5X the cost of the cheapest Roku, but it does so many things that I think the price isn’t nutty–if it turns out that the many things it does are things people want to do on their TVs. (That’s not a given: In many ways, Revue is a modern take on the idea Microsoft tried to popularize as WebTV a decade and a half ago, and which has fizzled in one form or another ever since. I’m still unclear whether there’s a critical mass of real consumers who want to use the Web on their TVs.)

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Google TV: More Details Emerge

One of the key selling points of Google TV compared to other Internet-TV systems such as Roku and the new Apple TV is the fact that it’s designed to tap into all the video on the Web, not just the stuff that’s available via services designed to work on a Google TV box. But that doesn’t eliminate the need for Google to work with content companies to ensure that their services work really well with Google TV. And today Google is announcing a passel of partnerships with outfits involved in video, music, and other more: CNBC, HBO, Turner, the NBA, Pandora, Napster, Twitter, and more. It’s also revealing that it has deals in place with both Amazon and Netflix, replicating the two core services on Roku.

More details here:

We still don’t know exactly when Logitech plans to ship its Revue, the first stand-alone Google TV box, or how much it’ll charge for it. That information will presumably be announced at an event Logitech is holding on Wednesday of this week–I’ll be there, and will report back with that news and more thoughts on Google TV then.


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