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Google TV/Logitech Revue Review


By steve - Posted on 15 January 2011

For some reason, as a registered Google developer, I received a Logitech Revue Google TV device a few weeks ago to try out.

It took a couple of weeks to get to because I was waiting to upgrade my internet connection to Virgin Mobile's truly unlimited plan before I was tempted to download any videos.

So, I got finally got the thing out of the box and got it working (I'm writing this using Chrome and the Revue, right now!).

The set up process was OK, since I'm a little technical, but I'm not sure Grandma is going to be able to set this one up...

Physical setup is easy. Hook up the HDMI from your DVR or setup box, then hook up the HDMI out to your TV. Hook up an ethernet cable from your DVR to the Google TV, if possible, as that will let them communicate to a much higher level. Hook up the power and you're off.

Once you see Google TV show up on your TV, the process consists of a series of questions. You'll find you'll need a Google account, if you don't have one, but the process will create one for you, if you need it. In my case, some of the other questions were about my brand and model of TV, the DVR I use, DISH network information, zip code, etc.

The worst part of the process for me was the upgrade which took 30 minutes with my connection to download and apply to the Google TV. The process was painless and necessary, but it was a little annoying for the people in the room with me who wanted to watch TV and had to wait (impatiently).

I'd recommend you allow 45 minutes to physically install the device, answer the questions, and download the firmware update.

After that, the only change I had to make was on my DISH network account. There's currently a $4/month for full integration with the Revue. The functionality was really nice and improved the experience. The main thing is that the Revue's keyboard acts as a full function remote. Also, all of the content you have on your DVR will be searchable and organized by the Revue.

I'm keeping that for now, but I will probably drop it later. It really is a ripoff to pay $50 per year to be able to use a keyboard vs. the remote sitting next to me (the integration is nice, but I'm not sure how much I'll really use it).

Overall, I'd have to say I really like Google TV. It still has a few rough edges, especially around things like non-family friendly content showing up in visual search results---yuck. The browser experience is really nice and you have access to Netflix and Amazon VOD.

The price for the Revue is still "early adopter" pricing, but if you can get a bundled deal and want to see what the excitement is about, or you are obsessed with Kevin Bacon, you'll really like Google TV.

A big factor for something like this is whether it gets used after the first week and month. I've seen some iPads that only got used for a few weeks and now sit with their batteries drained :-(

We'll have to see here what happens, but right now I'd have to say this will really get used. The kids love it and have been using it full time with the TV, to the point were it can get a little annoying (but makes me smile).

The browser is Chrome and does things like you're used to with your PC version. If the page works on your PC, it will work here (way better than previous TV based systems like WebTV).

I haven't played with a lot of the other apps that come with the device (it runs Android, but you don't have access to the Android marketplace), but the work like you'd expect. You can look at and buy Netflix or Amazon VOD content and the youtube integration is really nice. We watched some full screen videos on youtube and they looked and played every well.

Recommendation? It is early, but this thing is really fun and has some great functionality already. There really is some convergence going on here that makes sense and adds community and functional capabilities that will make the TV experience a lot more fun and exciting.

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