Tag Archives | Logitech

Logitech's Google TV Box: Google, Intel, and Harmony Inside

This morning’s unveiling of Google TV was so dense with stuff that needed to be explained that we didn’t hear much about Logitech’s Google TV “companion” box other than that there’d be one, and it’ll ship this fall. But I visited with Logitech after the keynote and got a few more details.

  • This isn’t a replacement for your cable box with a tuner and CableCard slots, or anything else  too fancy, technically speaking–it’s a black gadget about the size of a thin hardcover book with HDMI in (for your cable connection) and HDMI out (for your TV). There’s also a SPDIF connector, two ports for IR blasters, a couple of USB ports for accessories such as game controllers, Wi-Fi, and an Intel Atom CPU and related electronics. That’s about it. The big benefit here: It’ll work with any entertainment setup you’ve got, as long as you have an HDTV.
  • The box incorporates Logitech’s Harmony software, which powers the company’s popular universal remotes. You’ll be able to use an existing Harmony remote, an iPhone or Android app, or future Logitech remotes (including one with a touchpad and QWERTY keyboard) to control the box and all your other living-room devices, such as the TV itself or an AV receiver (the quick demo I got even included the iPhone app controlling a TiVo). The Harmony angle helps to explain why Logitech–a company synonymous with accessories–is making a set-top box.
  • The fact the remote will be able to control a TiVo doesn’t mean there’s Google TV-TiVo integration that would let you find a show using Google TV and then record it on the TiVo. Dish’s DVR is the only one which will allow that.
  • The box won’t come with a controller–you’ll choose one separately, or use one of the smartphone apps. (Correction: I misunderstood. It will come with a remote, but you’ll be able to opt for one of the other smartphone apps or other Logitech controllers instead.)
  • Logitech isn’t talking about a pricetag. I predict $199 or thereabouts…


Google TV: More Details This Week?

Remember that Google TV rumor from a couple of months ago, involving Google entering the living room in partnership with Intel, Sony, and Logitech? The FT’s Chris Nuttall expects it to get official this week. (He mentions Sony and Intel, but not Logitech–but I’ve heard that Logitech will have some sort of presence at the Google I|O developer conference which starts on Wednesday.)

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It’s Inevitable: Google TV

The New York Times’ Nick Bilton is reporting that Google, Intel, Sony, and Logitech are collaborating on a new platform for Internet-enabled TV called…Google TV, of course. Bilton doesn’t have a lot of detail, but he says that it’ll be an open-source platform that can run third-party apps; that it will include Google search; that it will run the Android OS and Chrome browser on Intel’s Atom processor; and that Logitech is working on remote controls, including one with a tiny QWERTY keyboard. Google has a prototype box, but the technology could be built into TVs; consumer products may arrive as soon as this summer.

It would have been startling if Google didn’t try to something along these lines, given that TV remains one of the most important screens in the lives of millions of people, and one without any Google presence to date. And nobody’s figured out how to build an Internet TV platform that’s truly a breakout hit–even Apple, which famously keeps insisting that Apple TV is a mere hobby. Roku and Vudu are both pretty nifty, but neither is close to becoming a household name.

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The Mouse That Soared


On December 9th, 1968, Stanford Research Institute scientist Douglas Engelbart demonstrated his unique invention–the computer mouse–for the first time in public. It took another decade and a half for it to catch on, but once it did, computing was never the same. And today, it’s hard to imagine using a desktop or laptop computer without a mouse (or one of its latter-day substitutes such as the touchpad). In celebration of the anniversary, here’s a gallery of some of the mightiest mice of the last four decades.