Logitech grabs Google TV spotlight to unveil Revue, introduce video calling

Logitech grabs Google TV spotlight to unveil Revue, introduce video calling

Summary: Logitech unveils Revue, a Google TV box and the key to a second video calling offering announced today.

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Mark your calendars. Today - October 6, 2010 - appears to be the day that video calling took a turn into the mainstream.

This morning, at a press event in San Francisco, Cisco unveiled Umi, a telepresence product for the home. Hours later, at another press event just a few blocks away, Logitech introduced a video calling feature as part of its Google TV offerings.

Gallery: Logitech Revue with Google TV

The two offerings are remarkably similar and really bring that Jetsons-like experience out of the cartoons and into reality. And while a second video calling offering in a day was newsworthy, it wasn't the reason that journalists crammed into a hotel meeting room for a Logitech event. We came for details on Google TV.

Also: Google TV will revolutionize television once viewers understand it

At the event, Logitech introduced the Revue, a $300 set-top box that will unleash Web content on the television. Out of the box, the product comes with a nearly full-size keyboard for typing in Google TV searches - and almost immediately, I started rethinking a Google TV setup for my own living room.

For some time now, I've argued that bringing the Web - in terms of content - to the living room HDTV is a good thing but that bringing a computer into a living room (as part of the TV experience) is a bad idea.

Companies from Sony to HP to Microsoft have been talking about that for years, but it's never taken off. Along comes Google and Logitech to do things differently - but then they bust out with a full-size keyboard that's supposed to find a place next to the remote control. When I saw that keyboard, one word came to my mind:

FAIL.

But then the Logitech guys started demonstrating the "Harmony" technology that it has built into its advanced remote controls and showed how that technology - which allows a single device to take control over the set itself, as well as the other components connected to it - works in an Android smartphone.

Ah-ha! That was more like it. I usually have the remote control and my phone sitting next to me when I'm watching TV so I was happy to see that the companies had come up with a way to build remote control functionality into a device that I'm already carrying around.

The company also introduced a mini-keyboard, which looked a bit like a large bulky smartphone. It's priced at $130. And the special TV camera that unleashes the video calling feature runs $150.

Today's event was more about Logitech's role in the GoogleTV rollout so, beyond another demo of Google TV, the focus really less about Google and more about Logitech.

The Logitech Revue is available for pre-order today on the Logitech web site and the company said the products will be available in the coming weeks.

Topics: Hardware, Google, Mobility

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9 comments
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  • RE: Logitech grabs Google TV spotlight to unveil Revue, introduce video calling

    Cut the price in half and... it would still be overpriced.
    razzledazzle
  • Well, looks great, but, they need to use Arm or MIPS and get the price down

    A great box if you have the money though . . . .
    DonnieBoy
  • RE: Logitech grabs Google TV spotlight to unveil Revue, introduce video calling

    Still a geek's toy.

    Unless you're typing a novel, there's no needs for a full size keyboard in the living room. These guys don't get that to reach huge success, they have to target the gen consumer. First by making the whole setup and experience brain-dead simple. Lose the full keyboard, lose the million and one buttons on the remote, reduce the price significantly, and maybe they have a chance.
    dave95.
    • Actually, if you are going to chat, do email, create documents, etc, a full

      size (or nearly full size) keyboard would be great. You can stick the keyboard in a drawer when you do not need it and use a regular remote.
      DonnieBoy
      • RE: Logitech grabs Google TV spotlight to unveil Revue, introduce video calling

        @DonnieBoy <br><br>How do we chat, do emails, twitter on our smart phones today without a full size keyboard? Unless someone is purchasing this Google TV Box as their main computer (doubt many would, we've seen such setup before) than really, it's not needed.
        dave95.
    • Dave95? Everybody Knows You're a CrAppleholic Fantard!

      @dave95. No need to explain it to us or demonstrate it on every story that concerns CrApple's competition. Really... do you have to make like you're imitating "Loverock Davidson" with his Microcrud mis-info! haha btw.....you could at least use one of your many other ZDNet usernames or hey.... I have a novel idea. Why not make some new accounts so you can TROLL CrApple anywhere on ZDNet in peace? :O <br><br>Oh well you're at least a little more presentable than some of thse weird CrAppleholics trolling these blogs! ;)
      i2fun@...
      • Think you've got me confused...

        @i2fun@... <br><br>But if you feel I'm some troll, what makes you with the use of the word "CrApple"? Do we balance each other out then? Me Apple fan, you Apple hatter? ;-) <br><br>I feel my criticism of the device have merit, based on the history such devices in the living room. We've had our WebTV, MSNTV, AOLTV, and Media Center PC before, they all essentially were PC's in the living room. Never quite work with the mass consumer.
        dave95.
  • RE: Logitech grabs Google TV spotlight to unveil Revue, introduce video calling

    Mark your calendars. Today - October 6, 2010 - appears to be the day that the Google spyware network took a great leap forward into our personal lives. With this they will monitor everything we watch on TV. Add that to their, already vast, database and you have another step into oblivion.
    jorjitop
  • RE: Logitech grabs Google TV spotlight to unveil Revue, introduce video calling

    Well I just got the Google TV from my job DISH Network. I like this product I like to be able to surf and watch my recordings. This also searches shows on my DVR and on the internet. I have the ability to set up to record and other options. The VOD Amazon is great. Nice that I can watch a movie from Netflix while on Face book.
    Joe1DISH