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CNET First Look
Logitech Revue (Google TV)The Logitech Revue with Google TV is loaded with potentially game-changing functionality, but its high price, numerous caveats, and current assortment of bugs makes it best-suited to early adopters--at least until promised firmware fixes become available.
-Hi! I'm Matthew Moskovciak and we're here with the Logitech Revue featuring Google TV. The revue costs $300 and it's one of the first products available with the new Google TV platform, which tries to bring a single, unified interface for finding content whether it is on the web, on your cable or satellite box, on a network PC. Now, the Revue's design is excellent for first generation product. The set-top box has a glossy black finish and there are built-in IR emitters along the front. These send IR commands to other devices so the Revue can control your cable box, AV receiver and TV. Around the back are the inputs and outputs. You'll notice there is an HDMI input, which is where you will connect your cable or satellite box and the Revue passes the signal through it to your TV. The other part of the package is the wireless keyboard. It is thin and light and having a full-sized keyboard is really helpful with Google TV as you will be doing a lot of searching. There is a touch pad in the upper right from moving the on screen cursor as well a directional pad for navigating menus plus other home theater controls like volume, up and down. If the keyboard is too big, you can also control the Revue with an android-based smartphone by downloading the Harmony App and an iPhone App is coming soon too. So, the hardware's design is great, but our experience with Google TV was a little more mixed. It has a built in Chrome browser capable of playing back Flash and HTML5 video, which possibly opens up the whole world of web video on your TV, but major content providers like Hulu, CBS, and ABC are blocking Google TV devices from streaming video. It currently has some basic apps, like Netflix, Napster, Pandora, and Twitter, but the included Netflix interface is really outdated compared to other devices like Apple TV, Roku XDS, and the PS3. Cable/satellite box control is fully integrated if you have a Dish Network DVR, but if you don't, then the Google TV can directly schedule recordings or Season Passes. And while we love that you could bring up the Google search bar at any time to find content, Google currently doesn't find programs on Netflix. We also found that some of Google TV's listings info is inaccurate for shows like the Colbert Report and the Daily Show. Now, Google TV software's side, we also ran into some network performance issues with the Revue particularly with Wi-Fi acting sluggish even though we haven't had trouble with other devices in the same environment. A wire connection worked a little bit better, but it is still wasn't flawless. Altogether while we still think the Google TV platform has a lot of potential, our early experience with the Logitech Revue has too many caveats and issues to recommend to anyone, but early adopters. Google and Logitech are promising firmware updates in the future, but you're probably better off waiting until those updates happen before buying a unit. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET and this is the Logitech Revue with Google TV.