Cisco, Logitech botch most important digital living room spec: Price

Cisco, Logitech botch most important digital living room spec: Price

Summary: Logitech and Cisco aim to revamp your living room in the mold of their digital visions. We're talking Google TV, telepresence and interactivity out the wazoo. We're also talking about two efforts that are going to be too expensive.

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Don't be surprised if cash strapped consumers shun next-gen digital living rooms.

Logitech and Cisco this week delivered two big efforts to revamp your living room in the mold of their digital visions. We're talking Google TV, telepresence and interactivity out the wazoo. We're also talking about two efforts that are going to be too expensive.

Let's start off with Logitech. Earlier this week, Logitech took the wraps off of its vision of Google TV. Logitech's Revue is a $300 set-top box---yet another one---that brings Web content to your living room. The Revue also includes a keyboard to make Google TV searches easier.

Aside from Sam Diaz, I'm not seeing a lot of consumers camping out at Best Buy for this one. Why? It's too expensive. Will consumers really fork over $300 for a set-top box that's arguably inferior to the $100 one from Roku? Is true living room interactivity really you with an iPad checking fantasy football scores on the couch while you're watching the Jets kick the snot out of the Vikings?

Color me skeptical. Sony has also reportedly leaked its Google TV pricing. Simply put, those TVs aren't cheap either. Christsopher Dawson also wonders out loud about the Revue pricing. If the Revue isn't subsidized somehow it's toast.

And then there's Cisco's Umi. This immersive telepresence system will run you $599 with a $25 a month fee. You'll also need some serious upload speeds. You need upload speeds of 1.5Mbps and 3.5Mbps for 720p and 1080p video quality, respectively.

At this point, Cisco only sees 32 million homes with the broadband and TV to support Umi. So go out and upgrade your broadband and buy a new TV and then fork over $599 for the Umi system.

Sounds great eh?

Bottom line: These digital living room experiments are all just swell. The specs look good too. The only problem is that tech companies forgot the biggest spec of all---price. With unemployment nearing 10 percent, I'm not so sure that people are going to be jumping through financial hoops in the name of a digital living room.

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Topics: Mobility, Cisco, Google, Hardware

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13 comments
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  • not only price

    ... but having a keyboard in your living room is ridiculous at well. these people will never learn. it is astonishing. some geeks may love to have another remote with millions tiny plastic buttons on their coffee table, the majority will simply use airplay, pushing all their content from their easy to use iOS devices onto a tv with the slide of a finger. meanwhile zdnet-nerds browse the web on their tvs to find some logitech drivers.
    banned from zdnet
    • RE: Cisco, Logitech botch most important digital living room spec: Price

      @banned from zdnet A lot of us know that you hate everything related to google so your opinions are extremely biased.
      czorrilla
      • RE: Cisco, Logitech botch most important digital living room spec: Price

        @czorrilla Perhaps he is a bit biased but at the same time if I can get an Apple TV box or a Roku box for a third of the cost of the cheapest Google TV box I'm not going to give Google TV a second look until the prices drop. I did the same thing with the E-Readers until lately...
        athynz
  • RE: Cisco, Logitech botch most important digital living room spec: Price

    You don't even mention the Apple TV for $99. OMG, Apple is still wagging the dogs tail.
    Scott Stokes
    • RE: Cisco, Logitech botch most important digital living room spec: Price

      @Scott Stokes
      Or the Roku for $59. Who's wagging what now?
      reziol
  • RE: Cisco, Logitech botch most important digital living room spec: Price

    Don't forget the WD TV Live Plus. It also plays ISOs--something most of the other boxes can't do--so you can play movies over your network or from a USB drive plugged in to it.
    I loved mine so much I went out and bought two more. At $119 each, that would've only been one of the devices mentioned here--and now my whole house is digitized, not just my family room.
    jcanker@...
  • Careful when stating the obvious...

    Here's the problem I see with companies such as Logitech. They are peripheral/hardware companies, so their revenue mainly comes from the box and the add-ons they try to sell to consumers. Apple can afford to sell a cheap $99 ATV Box because they have the whole iTunes/ and future App store ecosystem and developer program to support it. They have the whole pie, while Logitech and Google have to share. One tries to make money off the hardware and the other off the ads and data it collects.
    dave95.
  • RE: Cisco, Logitech botch most important digital living room spec: Price

    I'm going to get my 81 year old dad an Asus Oplay for a hundred bucks for Christmas. Apple is just trying to extract money. Logitech stuff tends to be too complicated.
    Schoolboy Bob
  • You're missing the point...

    Umi needs high upload speeds to deliver the experience Cisco believes is required for it to be successful. That bandwidth is expensive and Cisco can't control the price of it so whether their box cost $599 or nothing, their market is limited. That being the case, they might as well charge $599, it will make little difference to their adoption levels. Someone willing and able to pay for high-speed internet access can afford $599 and will probably pay it for the better experience. At this price point, I'd expect small/medium business adoption to be pretty high and this market would never buy full TP systems.
    philgr99
  • RE: Cisco, Logitech botch most important digital living room spec: Price

    There are plenty of other options.<br>PS3 with Move/Eye, Xbox 360 with Kinect, HTPC with webcam. <br><br>If Apple adds an iSight to Apple TV, then Cisco and Logitech are toast,
    Stark_Industries
    • RE: Cisco, Logitech botch most important digital living room spec: Price

      @Stark_Industries

      Seriously. All it would take is a $49 iSight type cam plugged directly into the new $99 Apple TV. FaceTime calls come in from iPhones and iPod Touches and can be accepted on the Apple TV. Cheap setup, and no monthly fee.
      dave95.
  • RE: Cisco, Logitech botch most important digital living room spec: Price

    VGA or HDMI from your computer to your TV BAM FREE lol thats what I do and a nice ati tv card with a remote is the way to go! and also you get full internet usage on your tv along with anything you want to watch. lol just trying to suck money from you!
    stevesalot
  • RE: Cisco, Logitech botch most important digital living room spec: Price

    I work at DISH Network and a consumer can get the Google TV for a discounted price of $179.00. Then if you want to integrate with the receiver to take advantage of the features is a $4.00 DVR service fee per month. This also serves as a wireless router. It works great and goes hand in hand with my VIP722k with the integrated feature. Now I can search things that will pull it up in my guide as well on the net, then I can select if I want it to record or not.
    Joe1DISH