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

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

Summary: 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.

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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.

Topics: Hardware, Google, Mobility

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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17 comments
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  • RE: Google TV and Revue: say goodbye to your passive TV experience

    This is a new age and it is time for change. Google has touched on the next level of viewing tv. This is a doorway to what I and my bank account have been waiting for. Eliminating the monopoly of cable tv providers. I have waited some long to pay for the tv programing of my choice and not the excess of others choice of tv. I understand that google tv has not done this yet but it is definately a strong stepping stone in that direction. I am 200% in favor of the google tv and definitely will be purchasing this product. Multi-tasking definitely the way to go.
    Captivate Man
    • Reminds me of 2002

      @Captivate Man I haven't had a TV that wasn't able to display any kind of web video content since 1997. Since '98 I've always had a TV tuner enabled PC that displayed DVR'd TV shows on a TV. It became really nice in 2002 with XP Media Center Edition, and today Windows 7 Media Center is working beautifully.

      The real new-age for TV is going to be the Xbox Kinect interface; no remote, no controller... just voice commands or hand gestures for controlling playback and flicking through menus.
      AdamzP
    • RE: Google TV and Revue: say goodbye to your passive TV experience

      @Captivate Man

      TV viewers are not called "couch potatoes" for nothing. Most TV viewers just want to watch their series or sports event and be left alone. If I want to multi-task when watching TV, I have a notebook computer in front of me which does not block the TV screen.
      jorjitop
  • The Future is Now

    Just yesterday I was telling my wife the wave of the future will be to watch YouTube on regular TV. There is much more variety on the Web than anywhere else. Plus, it is just beginning to explode. Power to the people! Have fun creating and consuming your favorite content for FREE!
    helpology
    • RE: Google TV and Revue: say goodbye to your passive TV experience

      @helpology

      Few people have enough internet bandwidth to actually stream HD video at a resolution that will look good on a large TV. I've downloaded some youTube clips in their highest definition and they look great when played back on our 65" set via a Viewsonic VMP-70 medial player box, but they were un-watchable in real time on my computer.

      This is likely the reason AppleTV limits things to 720p
      wkulecz
  • Welcome to Nonsense Analysis Land

    "I don?t really want to have a keyboard option there that could take away from my viewing experience.."

    Are you kidding me?? You don't want to have a keyboard option?. Its an "option", which means you have to choose to use it if you want to. If you are in the middle of a passive tv viewing and don't want any distractions, here's what you do: DO NOT DO ANYTHING.. Its not that hard, try it sometime. :)
    geekrupt01
    • RE: Google TV and Revue: say goodbye to your passive TV experience

      @geekrupt01

      Thats a good response :-)
      mKind
  • The Winner of all Devices, New Way of Living

    With great bundled Wireless keyboard/pad, :lol: HD Video calling TV-TV or TV-PC/Notebook without monthly fees like Cisco and Great accessories and Full Internet (Twitter, FaceBook, Gaming,Amazon, Flicker, Nepster) is an example with Flash 10.1 and Chrome Browser and Intel processor Inside no need for a PC and also the Apps and the Control of your Music and Photos and Videos in your own local home media and Streaming of Multimedia and many other put it on top from the Great Logitech Brand, Even Logitech Alert Security system access, Logitech Media Player, Logitech Vid HD,
    swisslakes
    • HAHAHAHA logitech products SUCK! mice, keyboards, webcams

      remotes, even these simple things they cant and dont do well. why would anyone want ANOTHER box that DOESNT replace their cable box and DOESNT replace their dvr and DOESNT let them do anything useful they cant already do better with existing web/tv solutions?
      Johnny Vegas
      • RE: Google TV and Revue: say goodbye to your passive TV experience

        @Johnny Vegas You are in the same team of @banned from zdnet, Sometimes I think you are the same guy.
        czorrilla
  • RE: Google TV and Revue: say goodbye to your passive TV experience

    DOA...

    $300 for this thing? $130 more for a "mini" controller? $150 more for a web cam? Laughable. This is what happens when you let geeks run free as marketeers. They don't do any market research. They just want to make what they want: stuff for geeks, which makes up less than 1% of the population.
    alexkhan2000
  • doa

    do you really think normal people will have a keyboard lying on their coffee table to operate their tv? google tv: it is the colossal failure of webtv all over again. doa.
    banned from zdnet
    • RE: Google TV and Revue: say goodbye to your passive TV experience

      @banned from zdnet: We all know how much you hate everything related to Google, therefore we know not take your ultra biased comments seriuosly.
      czorrilla
  • This reminds me...

    of the evolution of the PC. My first "PC" was a Timex Sinclair 1000, bought in 1982. I thought ot was cool, but the rest of the world wasn't ready for a PC in every home and quite frankly technology wasn't where it needed to be to support that anyway.

    Flash forward to 1985 and I upgraded to a Commodore 128. Better technology, color, the height of coolness. Still, the rest of the world wasn't ready for a PC in every home and the technology still wasn't there to support that.

    Flash forward again to 1989. I upgraded to an IBM 386. Now we're talking...VGA graphics, hard drive, an actual monitor instead of plugging the thing into the television. And yet still the world wasn't ready for a PC in every home and technology still wasn't ready.

    Poof, we're in 1994. We've got a 486, DOS and Windows, memory and hard drive space galore, SVGA graphics, a modem and a Compuserve account...life is good. And yet still the world wasn't ready for a PC in every home. The technology was getting there, but the interest wasn't and the pricing structure wasn't.

    A few hops later and we're sitting here in 2010. I don't know anyone, including my grandmother, who doesn't have a PC in their home. It has become pervasive technology, just like the television set became between the 1950s and the 1970s.

    At every step along this journey, there were people who said that the PC was a fad, that they'd never catch on, that each next iteration would be a "colossal failure". And at every step, there were visionaries who saw potential. Visionaries don't always see their dreams become reality, but those who stick with it and have both the desire and the means to see them through generally have pretty good success. People like the Wright brothers. Thomas Edison. Philo Farnsworth. Nikola Tesla. Steve Wozniak. Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Pierre Omidyar. Some of the people in that list, people who have already revolutionized an industry, are trying to change the future of television. I wouldn't bet against their success. Web-Tv was a failure like the Timex Sinclair 1000 was a failure or the Commodore 64/128 were failures...nothing more or less than a step in evolution.
    jasonp@...
    • RE: Google TV and Revue: say goodbye to your passive TV experience

      @jasonp@... very nice little article Jason, you're spot on
      neil_killick
  • Google TV is great!

    I have had the Google TV now almost 2 months now and I have no complaints. I first used it at my job DISH Network. I like this product so I can be in one spot and do my surfing and watch my shows. This thing searches my DVR viewing schedule by program title or actor name, etc. It also searches the web, Amazon VOD, Netflix, etc. It can automatically schedule programs and automatically download and queue podcasts and look at YouTube videos full HD screen size and browse the web.
    Joe1DISH
  • RE: Google TV and Revue: say goodbye to your passive TV experience

    I use Google TV in our home, and I have to say that it is pretty neat- and it is easier to use than most people would believe! Being an employee at DISH, I got to play around with it before I purchased it. I am very impressed with the innovative technology that is designed into it. It has made watching TV and browsing the internet so much easier. The integration of the Google TV with the DISH receivers works great.
    Joe1DISH