Logitech Halts Revue Google TV Production?

Rumors suggest that Logitech has halted production of the Revue, one of the inaugural boxes providing the Google TV experience. Supposedly, this is a mere manufacturing suspension while Logitech awaits more polished Google software. Which seems to line up of with yet another rumor of new Google TV hardware delays. However, if accurate, the key takeaway seems to be that Logitech is sitting on a warehouse full of unsold Revue units.

I’ve had a hard time reconciling my Google TV feelings. While there’s a lot to like for the geeky amongst us, and plenty of potential, the platform isn’t currently suitable for a mainstream audience. And I’m not alone in this assertion. Walt Mossberg declares Google TV one of the worst products of 2010 and Harry McCraken states that it’s not ready for prime time:

Google TV feels like a first rough draft or a Google Labs experiment; Google hit its holiday deadline by releasing a work in progress. That’s fine for a free Web service, but when software comes on a $300 box, it’s just not good enough.

Here’s to hoping Google sticks with the platform. And perhaps there’ll be some good deals on Revue hardware if Logitech attempts to clear inventory. As there really is some pretty cool functionality to be had… with hopefully more/better to come.

12 thoughts on “Logitech Halts Revue Google TV Production?”

  1. Not sure how Walt came up with his list and I didn’t watch the video (which maybe explains it). The worst products of the year are things most of us probably haven’t heard of. And while I’m often critical of TiVo, no way is the Premiere a worst product of the year. Yeah, it’s underwhelming and it did ship with some performance bugs (many since cleared), but it’s still a solid product and the only DVR that features Netflix streaming and a large library of HD video on demand (Amazon) that doesn’t involve a cable or satellite company.

    Also I don’t understand why various publications are declaring 4G networks as technology of the year – first off, the designation is in dispute and does a cell phone that’s not being used as a hotspot or for tethering significantly benefit from a faster-than-3g connection? I think not.

  2. “Not sure how Walt came up with his list … And while I’m often critical of TiVo, no way is the Premiere a worst product of the year.”

    Perhaps he’s unaware that you can run the old UI on the Premiere, even if the beta UI is enabled by default…


    “I’ve had a hard time reconciling my Google TV feelings”

    Again, it’s just a weird proof of concept at this point.

    Google’s only error is actually trying to sell them to civilians for real money. They should have just given away 5,000 units to press and bloggers and held off on actually selling them until they had an actual product.

    No one would have a problem with Google TV if they weren’t actually selling them.

  3. Google probably felt they had to go to market given the other players in the space that were quickly eating up mind share such as Apple TV, Roku and Boxee. It was still the wrong decision given how important first impressions are. Chucky is right in that they should have given them away or sold them at a very low price point.

    When do you think it will be on woot?

  4. I would agree with Walt on the GoogleTV. I have reviewed a lot of products over the years and never have I been so excited to get a product in my hands only to be so disapointed.

    It was a hard review to write as the unit did have its good points but its flaws way outnumbered its positives.

    My Origional tite for my review was going to be “What a piece of crap.” but then thought about it a lot and then called it “A diamond in the rough.”

    The hardware is decent the issue was and is the software on the box. The other issue is that all the good web content you would want to watch on a GoogleTV box is blocked.

    I have believed and still believe that they rushed this box to the market just to get the holiday sales. And ultimately I feel that decission cost them a lot of sales and gave the GoogleTV bad word of mouth. To make things worse was DISH Network charging $4 a month more to use the GoogleTV with your DISH Network service. I am getting tired of bogus fees.

    With better software this box could be awesome! Look at how better it is just with the Netflix app updated.

    They should have waited to release this box.

  5. “They should have waited to release this box.”

    The funny thing is that Google has successfully pioneered the concept of releasing stuff with the “beta” label to inoculate it from early bad reviews. They just chose not to follow in their own footsteps here.

    If they’d paid Logitech to ship 5,000 “beta” GoogleTV’s to folks for free, everyone would think it’s an interesting proof of concept, instead of thinking it’s a lousy consumer product. Google could have entirely avoided the early bad reviews that way.

  6. Scott, the title of the review I never completed was “A New Hope” (trying to be optimistic and going with the Star Wars reference). Since the flaws have been well covered, I’m thinking of doing a post on some of the positive elements.

    Chucky, yeah launching a CE device is a vastly different proposition than launching a free web service. There’s some analogies to be made between the Android G1 and the first rev of Google TV, but at this price point and given the landscape, such as the $60 Roku, $100 Apple TV, or blocked video streaming websites, it’s a tough sell.

  7. While the various Internet streaming devices provide some different functions and may be targeted to slightly different consumers, there is enough overlap to compare them and their level of success this year. Most would probably rate them this way:

    Winners – Roku XD|S and Apple TV
    Near winner, still a chance for success – Boxee Box
    Not a winner, but not a clear loser – Tivo Premiere
    It’s early, but it looks like it could be ugly – Google TV
    An abject failure – PopBox

  8. FYI Logitech’s PR firm emailed us and says Google did not have them suspend production. However, they don’t actually state that production has not been halted. Regardless, I hope they collectively manage to tighten up the experience, open the app store, and work deals with content partners.

  9. I get paid the same whether I bash a product or heap tons of love upon it. The fact is, I couldn’t even bring myself to write a review – which is actually like a pay cut. So there’s no bandwagon I’m jumping on here. And Harry McCracken is a super standup guy. Feel free to express your product views, and thank you for the employment disclosure, but attributing motivation is unwelcome.

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