Google TV and Revue: say goodbye to your passive TV experience

Google TV will finally succeed in merging the web and your TV, but is it really something that we want? I'm on the fence.

Today Logitech showed off its Google TV offering: Revue. If you're not familiar with Revue, it's a set-top box that will hook to your HDTV and deliver a combined web, TV viewing experience. Using a full-size keyboard you can type in Google TV searches, stream music via the built-in apps, tweet to your friends, and more. The company also showed off a plethora of accessories, including an HD camera that lets you make live video calls from your living room. You can read more about Revue at Logitech.com.

So, yet another play for putting the web on my living room television. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the launch event but my colleague posted his thoughts, and my buddy Sal at Geek.com offered up some quick impressions:

"Google TV feels fluid and Android seems well-suited to the environment. The universal search was the most interesting feature, though most people don’t use their television for discovery, so this will take some retraining."

Sal's statement above hits on how I feel. There's something about watching TV that I like to do on a full screen. What I mean is, I don't really want to have a keyboard option there that could take away from my viewing experience, and therefore don't want "retraining". While I can appreciate the power that the keyboard and true integration with the web will afford me, I'm uneasy about linking the two on one screen. For example, today I watch TV and occasionally browse the web on either my iPhone or my iPad. If I had the option of browsing on screen, while watching a show, my TV experience would be altered in a negative way. In my view, TV viewing should be a passive experience. Introducing the ability for me to arc off in any direction I feel like on the same screen that I'm using to watch a show, seems to be an exhaustive experience.

On the other side, the ability to have access to all of these apps and even do HD video conferencing makes it a great living room appliance, so I can see the value it brings. I'm just not sure about the full integration into my TV experience.

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