A couple weeks ago, Logitech and Google held a special press conference to announce and debut the launch of the long-awaited Logitech Revue Google TV set top box. The Revue, together with the Logitech Keyboard Controller, provides users with a seamless integration of web-surfing, channel surfing, and apps for their HDTVs. One of the cooler features on the Revue is, with the addition of the Logitech TV webcam and Vid HD service, you can make HD video calls from the comfort of your sofa. I am particularly excited about this feature as I am a Skype junkie and this goes it one better!
Since I am out almost every night, I watch far more TV on the web than on my TV set. Thus, the idea of wedding internet with TV is a popular one with me. My only reservation is that Google TV is far more expensive than the economy priced, Roku. A complete package with the video camera for video conferencing (which is sold separately) would set you back more that $500. You can also only have integrated DVR if you are signed up with Dish Network, forcing many users to switch their cable subscriptions. Time will also tell how many content providers sign on since currently Hulu is blocking the device, which I hope is not a trend.
With Hulu being jackasses and trying to hold on to an outdated model, I am very disturbed by the possibility that the advent of this new set top box model may make free content I now watch on my computer may no longer be a freebie. We could end up paying a broadband bill, as well as, a cable bill and individual bills for each online TV platform, like Hulu Plus. (The good news is that I think Hulu Plus is a losing and idiotic proposition as folks aren’t gonna be all that apt to pay for something they used to get for free! They’ll just return to their cable and TV sets.)
I found the explanation of Google TV a little confusing, so would have to play around with more to give you a real review of its usability. I think the biggest problem with all these set-top options are they may just send people back to their regular TVs with the cable or satellite dish and their basic remotes because they are a bit pricey and complicated. Entertainment needs to be like a good date – mindless and cheap.
I love the Logitech folks as they have sent me some real cool and handy devices that I will be reviewing shortly. In addition, they sponsored my first event the TGATP/Nole Marin I Survived Fashion Week” party at the NYC Logitech Loft, which will hope will start having some other banging parties soon as the space is truly awesome.