Revisiting The Google TV

Logitech Revue Google TV

We aim to serve. And, by request, the Logitech Revue Google TV was dusted off for a quick look at HBOGo. At least that was the plan…

Like CrunchGear, I originally had a difficult time constructing our Logitech Revue, er, review headline and ultimately settled on the Star Wars inspired  ‘A New Hope’ – as there was a whole lot of anticipation ahead of Google TV’s launch. Indeed, I was pretty fired up when the $300 box arrived, courtesy Logitech.

Without doubt, Google TV features the very best television-based web browsing experience. And the Logitech Revue IR blaster functionality is the most powerful I’ve come across. But this is the provence of geekdom, and not really suitable for the civilians amongst us. They’d only wonder why watching TV requires a (wireless) keyboard and touchpad while searching the couch crevices for a traditional remote that just doesn’t exist. Heck, the unexpected delight of discovering something new on a daily basis even became a frustration for a geek like me as it turns out the interface and keyboard interaction are both a mess. And, like so many other half baked products, our Google TV review unit was banished to the Land of Misfit toys (aka the basement cupboard).

After months of slumber, the Revue was put back into service for another look. Sure enough there was a large update to be had. Perhaps it clears a variety of Google TV errors and we know the Netflix experience has seen a significant Google TV update. Yet Google TV still isn’t quite ready for prime time. And probably won’t be until the UI is improved and an application market launches. For example, it’s baffling that YouTube access is provided via a web page, versus an app. Granted, they offer a customized ‘leanback’ interface. But it’s still not quite ideal for television-based viewing.

Bringing us around to that advertised HBOGo functionality. Which really means ‘website not blocked’ … like so many others. But, adding insult to injury, Comcast HBO subscribers are redirected to the site. The one that only supports Mac OS X and Windows.

This post was originally published on the Dice Blog Network.

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7 thoughts on “Revisiting The Google TV”

  1. So if I’m understanding correctly, in short, the HBO GO experience on the Revue is pretty much perfect with the minor exception of not working at all.

    Gotta love that Google platform. They make TiVo look like platform geniuses…

  2. Google I/O, the second week of May will bring Google TV up to speed, expect the new Honeycomb Android build in some shape or form to come to Google TV then.

    I actually love my Sony box, Netflix, Amazon video on demand, all my music in the could with and I watch tons of YouTube, so despite it’s shortcomings at times, I love the thing.

    What we are waiting for is a major update to Chrome, the flash player update to 10.2 and bringing the Android version up to 2.3 or above so we can use the Android market (most important).

    So really, it’s only a few more weeks and we should get what we all expected in the first place….

  3. @sam,

    Yup, its definitely Comcast’s fault. Only problem is they have little to no motivation to fix it, since they presumably would rather Google TV just died. The fact that HBO went along with Comcast’s wishes is the problem, since HBO would probably like it to work and might attempt to fix the problem.

  4. I love my Logitech Revue. I use it to watch English Premier League soccer through I watch it way more often than I watch normal TV. We also love Amazon VoD and are thinking of restarting our Netflix subscription because of the Revue.

    I know it’s not as slick as the smartphones out there, but it still is a great little piece of gear.

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