392 of 421 people found the following review helpful
Shawn W. Hall
- Published on Amazon.com
Logitech Revue Companion Box with Google TV and Keyboard Controller
While I think the price point should have been closer to $200, I am overall very satisfied with Google TV, using the Logitech Revue box and keyboard. I am an Android phone user as well and the OS used in Google TV is very similar. The set up was easy and intuitive. One note: You do need an HDTV, high-speed internet (wired or wireless), and a cable box with HDMI cable inputs to take full advantage of all Google TV has to offer. And while the box comes with 1 HDMI cable, you will need at least one more. I am not completely sold on using the keyboard to control the DVR, although it is possible. There is a free Harmony app for Android phones (iPhone coming soon, I believe) that is an added bonus.
I won't be getting rid of my laptop, but will be using it a whole lot less! If you use the internet for games, Facebook, searching, shopping, photos, videos, etc., then having quick access to that using the full Google Chrome browser while in your living room, is a no-brainer. I enjoy the integration of my DVR content with internet searching, if I search for "Desperate Housewives" it shows me not only my recordings on the DVR, upcoming shows in the guide, as well as related websites and other references. Neat. I like the Pandora application so I can listen to music through my stereo, surf the web, and watch the local news in picture-in-picture, all at once.
I look forward to having more application options (Google is aggressively pursuing developers to create apps for Google TV like they do for the Android Marketplace). I think a very basic app they should have included out of the box is Weather.com to quickly pull up the local forecast. When an app market is available and as other enhancements are added (updates over the internet), this will soon become the perfect product, until then, it's very fun and I'm glad to have it!
UPDATE: 8/1/11 - Glad to see the price drop to $99.99 (even though I paid 3x that much). This lower price point along with the upcoming update to the OS within a month or two, should make this a no-brainer. Check it out!
188 of 202 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Background: I have AT&T U-Verse 200, a Sharp 37" LCD tv, Bose Cinemate Series II speakers and I also have a DVD player and an iPod dock connected to my TV. I have always wanted something that enables real time content download from the internet on my TV but never expected Google TV to replace my standard cable connection. At most, I expected to stop paying the extra 10$ I shell out every month for HBO access.
Setup: Bought the device from Best Buy and setup took about 20-25 minutes as the system had to download some updates from the internet. Overall the setup is dummy proof - the device automatically detected my wireless internet and took care of most things on its own except for periodic inputs on location, cable provider etc.I give it 5 stars for ease of use and setup
Initial impression: I have been using the device for 3 days now and am impressed enough. I am originally from India and have been able to watch Indian programming on my TV through YouTube. Additionally, my Netflix subscription allows me to watch streaming videos of high quality on my TV. Are there glitches and hiccups - yes! But nothing that you wouldnt find in a first generation product and nothing that wont be ironed out over time. When Android first came out people were complaining a lot now its overtaking IOS as the operating system of choice for phones - patience is key with new technology.
It took me a while to figure out some basics as the manual is pretty much oriented towards basic setup and configuration. For instance, I realized that the trackpad allows scrolling of windows if you use 2 fingers instead of 1. One big advantage is that the box connects to my AT&T set-top box as well as my TV and thus has helped eliminate both remote controls. I am guessing that if I have an A/V receiver I could also eliminate my DVD remote.
Like other reviews have mentioned the apps are slim but I expect that to grow - again, patience people.
Cons - The price is a bit high compared to Apple TV and while I do not favor either Google or Apple over the other, more apps and content needs to be enabled to justify this price tag. $299 is a bit high to get a web browser on my TV.
BTW - this review is being typed using the Logitech Revue keyboard connected to my TV. I will be taking this device to India later this winter to see if the device works well over there and can enable broader content access for my family.
All in all, I recommend this product to those who are looking to enhance their TV viewing experience not replace their Cable or Satellite provider. The same can be said about Apple TV as well - the industry is still 3-4 years from being completely web oriented.
257 of 278 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
UPDATE: 8/2/2012: (3 star taken back to 5)
So I called logitech support and once again got right through to them. The customer service rep on the line suggested a factory reset which fixed the issue. I wanted to do this myself, but I was worried the network error might stop it from going through the setup steps so I waited to be on the phone with support prior to doing so. It fixed my problem and i am back to enjoying my google tv's (have one for each tv cause tv is not the same without it). At this stage I would reccomend the sony boxes with google tv since they are still making theirs and get updates, not to mention the current sony has a dual core 1.2ghz processor so it would be a lot faster than the revue...but for what the revue has offered me so far, I stick with the 5 star rating.
UPDATE 07/11/12: (5 star rating lowered to 3)
I have two revues right now, one for living room and one for bedroom and I love using them.... however, I recently changed cable provider so I went through the normal setup steps to disconnect my old box and add the new one. Well when you do this it wants to connect to logitech servers and popup a license agreement before you can add your box and for the past 5 days I have been getting network error. I had to add my box as generic video in which allows me to use it but not control the box, hence leaving me with half of the features. In the bedroom box, I decided not to disconnect the old settop box , just change the channel lineup. Fortunetly the new box and old box were compatible so this little trick worked and my bedroom revue works fine. However this is a major flaw from logitech and its been 4 days since I emailed support with no response. I will try calling them. So my final decision is that google-tv is awesome, but since logitech has stopped making the revues, it seems they also stopped support with their servers. Id recommend getting a sony box with google tv at this stage. Hence my review has dropped from 5 stars to 3.
I have had the revue for 5 months now and recently the revue hdmi output died (not the boxes fault..it happened during a surge that came from the cable box which also killed the hdmi switch at the revue output...trust me I know exactly what went wrong). I cannot begin to explain how you miss it after you have started using it for a while. Basically your tv is not the same anymore without it.
First off I want to address an issue I have seen on reviews with Netflix. I use netflix on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and the revue. The revue interface has everything you have through a pc with full search functionality and ease of use. The xbox and PS3 are far behind. The only reason people jumped to conclusions about this is because there are two choices to watch netflix. One is on the left menu which is sort fo a preview of netflix and the other is to go to Applications->Netflix and launch the dedicated netflix application. Thats when you have the full featured app. As for quality the revue is at par with the PS3 as the top two. The xbox for some reason decides to lower my quality at times due to bandwidth. This never happens with the PS3 or the revue.
Second I want to address the concern people have about blocked video websites. This has nothing to do with the revue. This is due to sites like hulu blocking android from accessing their content because they want to charge for this. If this bothers you, do not complain to logitech or google, but to the FCC. Tell them to take action because they are allowing sites to block content to charge. This should be illegal. The fake messages you get from hulu saying we are working on bringing hulu to android just means they are "working" on a monthly plan and hulu plus app.
Next ill address the mentions of connecting a pc to your tv to get the same or better results. the convenience of just having the web access at just the push of a button without needing to get up connect your laptop or having a dedicated pc for this purpose is not comparable. Just think of watching a movie, getting that brain freeze of where you saw that actor before, pausing your film, clicking the search button on your keyboard and checking on imdb in an instant and then resuming your film. You cant achieve this with a dedicated pc or bringing your laptop to your tv. Not to mention that not all tv's have a vga input, not all laptops have an hdmi output. Plus the revue is a tiny box that fits right next to your home theater setup without any bulky pc next to it (even a shuttle is bulky in comparison).
Other benefits I have. Streaming my media from my networked PC's to the revue. I just power up any pc in the house that contains the media I want and is shared (windows 7 and windows media center make it rather easy..even though im not a MS fan..but thats how it is). Use the logitech media player app and it will see any networked device sharing media. Pictures, music or videos. You can even use one of the two usb ports to connect an external hard drive with media and it supports a wide range of formats.
Another issue people have mentioned is the difficulty browsing websites. I noticed this mainly with scrolling. The on board mouse and buttons do not make this easy. However you can connect any wireless mouse and use that. It makes a big difference. I have a logitech wireless trackball mouse and that is a perfect companion for web browsing. some sites that are flash heavy might be a bit slow and jumpy but the fact that you can view them right on your tv with such ease makes a big difference. The trackball is also great since I do not need to move the mouse around. I just hold it next to me on the couch. I also love that I can go to youtube and show friends any youtube video right there on my tv without having to open up a laptop and everyone crouching in front of it. The youtube app offers the "leanback" experience but I am not really a fan of that.
Another great feature is how you can customize the keyboard to any functions of your various remotes that are not built in by default. For example i chose "fn" key and "I" for tv input source and "fn" and "1" to scroll through my favorites list on my cable box.
I really can go on and on about the features. The more you look into it and customize it (bookmarks, keys, websites etc), the more you find to love. Not to mention that Honeycomb was announced for the revue to be coming this summer. I cant wait to see what that is like.
Finally I have to mention Logitech customer support. They start off with the normal simple questions for ...lets say "inexperienced" users but as soon as you identify yourself as a tech they treat you very professionally and help you all the way. They offered a replacement unit, sent me a UPS return label for free shipping, I sent them an email once I dropped it off at a UPS location and they shipped the replacement before even receiving the defective one. Granted this whole process is taking me a week without my revue...and the weekend went by without it which killed me since I use it so much for everything...but as I said, very helpful, very understanding and honestly, Ive dealt with them before and several other customer service departments of many reputable companies and Logitech is at the top of the list.
So overall, I think that the bad reviews come from people who either do not know how to fully use their revue, or were expecting something the revue is not. Its and addition to your home theater setup that enhances it with several features and I feel this is the future of tv...Google knows what its doing. You can bash them all you want..but that is the plain simple truth. I highly recommend this purchase....especially now that its dropped to 200 bucks..Im considering getting a second one for my bedroom tv.
1,110 of 1,352 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
First, you should know that I'm a gadget/tech hound. I've had everything there is out there, from Amiga to Zenith. Remember the WebTV? I had one some 15 years ago. I bring that up because, frankly, I don't see much difference between that failed attempt at bringing the "web" (as it was called then) to TV and Google's latest try. Sure, the graphics are fancier and, yes, there will eventually be more you can do with Google TV, but for now, it's a disaster.
I got the Revue on Friday and hooked it up. I'm running Verizon FiOS with their newest DVR (not nearly as good as my TivoHD, but not bad for a provider). Setup was fairly easy, although the machine froze while trying to update. Had to unplug and reboot. Fine. Set the screen size, signed in, and... well... I was frankly unimpressed. As others have mentioned, accessing Amazon on Demand is lame - you can't search through the app, it's painfully slow to respond, and the picture quality of the video is subpar. Same with Netflix. My RokuHD box is MUCH better at accessing both Netflix & Amazon. And it only cost $79.00. Pandora? Eh. I can get that through Roku, too. Revue didn't provide anything in terms of apps that I couldn't get much cheaper, with better picture and sound quality and a smoother, faster UI.
As for the integration with the internet, it's nice, but nothing revolutionary. So I can open a browser on my TV. So what. It's not worth the $300 sticker price just for that benefit. The device controls the TV and my AVR, and that's it, so don't go thinking it's going to take the place of your dedicated all-in-one remote. All that, AND folks are discovering serious frame rate and audio issues (you can follow the discussions on the Logitech site, [...]).
So, to sum things up:
- poor video quality with Amazon & Netflix
- poor UI in Amazon & Netflix
- can't access Hulu, NBC, CBS and other major content providers
- Flash loads very slowly and flash video stutters
- can't control more than the TV and AVR
- the whole product - and the Google TV platform - feel very beta
- no killer apps (yet)
- Amazon's return policy
Frankly, I'm tired of being a beta-tester for the latest tech. I'll wait for v2 and rethink a purchase. I recommend you do the same.
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Finally someone got it right- THANK YOU LOGITECH
As an avid Apple fan and a computer user for over 30 years, I was a little hesitant that this would not live up to the hype. Let me say this product exceeded my expectations. I expected the easy setup and seamless compatibility with the components since this is a Logitech product and they shine with their Harmony remotes, in terms of ease of use. I was surprised with the beautiful user interface and ease of use of the on screen menu that anyone can pick up and instantly start using. The hardware is small and slick; therefore, I was able to locate it behind my wall mount tv with no cables showing. The ultra lightweight keyboard was by far the best I have seen. The split screen and integration with my TV made it simple to navigate. I can watch tv or even watch a game or surf the net with Pandora playing music all at once. Another cool accessory is the video chat camera. It works fantastic and it looks really cool sitting on top of the TV. I look forward to using this a lot more as this will become a regular household item. The preloaded apps come with the best looking version of Pandora and Netflix I have seen on any system, making this a necessity in any house. I'm looking forward to many more apps coming from the Android app system