At a press conference today, Logitech revealed the full details of its upcoming Logitech Revue with Google TV, a set-top box that aims to integrate all of your content--from your cable box to YouTube--to a single unified interface.
The Revue is set to come out at the end of October with a $300 list price, and preorders begin today. The Revue will be one of the first products, along with Sony's forthcoming TV, to integrate the new Google TV platform. Here's a preview of what it can do.
Google TV software
The highlight of the device is, of course, Google TV. The basic pitch for Google TV is the ability to search all of your TV content through a search bar similar to Google.com. The bar overlays whatever screen you're on and combs through online video sources as well as live TV from your cable/satellite box to find content (currently, Google TV searches only DVR programs for Dish DVRs, although a Logitech representative told us he expects compatibility with non-Dish DVRs to roll out over time). The idea is that you don't need to know whether the video originates from Netflix, your cable box, YouTube, or a random Web site--Google just finds it.
For launch, the Revue/Google TV software has support for several streaming-media services, including YouTube, Amazon VOD, Netflix, Pandora, and Napster. Google announced partnerships with TBS, TNT, CNN, and HBO, which take the form of customized Web sites and, in the case of HBO, access to HBO Go's service for subscribers.
Google TV also has built-in apps for Twitter, the NBA, and CNBC at launch, and we'd be shocked if Facebook didn't show up soon. Later in 2011, there will also be support for the Android Marketplace, so you'll be able to use Android apps on your HDTV. Phone apps will be scaled to fit bigger TV screens, and Google expects developers to start creating apps specifically for the Google TV platform.
One big difference between Google TV and competitors like Apple TV and Roku, as well as Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players, is its capability to access just about any source of Web-based video. Google TV has a built-in Chrome browser that supports Flash 10.1 and HTML5 video. The browser should allow virtually the entire world of video on the Web, including video from sites like comedycentral.com and PBS.org, to show up on your HDTV.… Read more