Logitech Revue

Logitech has announced that it will sell off remaining inventory of the Logitech Revue. But according to The Verge, Logitech has no plans to make another Google TV set top box.

The Revue launched last year for about $300. Today you can pick one up for just $99.99. The box was one of the first products to ship with Google TV software designed to bridge the gap between computers and televisions.

Here’s the idea behind Google TV: You stick an internet connected box by your TV and users can search for things to watch whether they’re on the web, on your DVR, or on cable or broadcast television. The Google TV software is also based on Android, and Google recently rolled out a major update which brings a version of the Android Market to Google TV devices. That means you can install a range of third-party apps including Pandora and CNBC.

Here’s the problem with Google TV: it’s only as good as the content available. Many of the top online video sites have gone out of their way to block Google TV, which means if you bought a Google TV box with the hopes of watching Hulu or Fancast on your big screen TV, you’re out of luck. Neither site supports the Logitech Revue or other Google TV devices.

Ultimately you’re better off going with a product such as a Roku or Boxee Box that comes from a company that has actually worked with Netflix, Hulu, and other online video sites to make content available. Or you could just do what I do and shove a computer by your TV.

Still, Sony is continuing to sell a Blu-ray player with Google TV for about $200, and the company has a line of televisions with built-in Google TV software as well. Google is also continuing to highlight new apps for the platform, including a recently launched AOL HD app, and a new recipe finder from Allrecipes.

It might be too early to put the nail in the coffin for Google’s television dreams. But Logitech’s move to abandon the platform certainly puts it on life support. Unless Google manages to sign another partner, the only way you’ll be able to use the service will be to buy a set top box or TV from Sony.

On the other hand, if you’re holding out hope Google will continue to push out software updates improving the service, now’s as good a time as any to pick up a Logitech Revue for $100.

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9 replies on “Logitech Revue is dead… is Google TV next?”

  1. The title ticked me off a bit “Is Google TV next?” 

    Makes me want to remove Liliputing from my RSS feed, could have went with something different as it does not even warrant a discussion about Google killing off a part of Android. 

    “Steve Jobs is dead, is the black turtle neck company next?”

    1. The title may be a bit sensationalist but it’s still a legit question.  GoogleTV hasn’t been doing well and the loss of Logitech is significant to the GoogleTV market.

      After all, even discounting that their market penetration has been very limited up to now and this will only make it harder for them but there are also alternative SmartTV products that already compete with GoogleTV. So it’s not like it’s the only choice or even the best choice available, and at the very least this puts GoogleTV in a weaker position.

  2. Yeah… and you completely forget to mention the other manufacturer’s who are just starting to make Google TV devices, like Vizio.

    I think the title is a little sensationalist.

    1. Vizio has been talking about Google TV since January but right now there are still only two companies selling Google TV devices: Sony and Logitech. And one of them is dropping out.

      Yes, it’s definitely still possible that things could turn around, but right now things don’t look good. 

      1. And Samsung is working on Google TV devices… and there are rumors about Motorola (one of the largest cablebox manufacturers in the world) working to integrate Google TV into a set-top box.

        I think Google will probably keep this a lot more tightly controlled than on the phone side though to try and prevent some of the splintering that the phone industry has seen, which will slow it’s rollout a bit.  I think they need to do that, but because of that it will take a while for some of those manufacturers to get products to market.

        While I don’t disagree that to date Google TV has been a massive failure when judged by the initial hype, they did say that this was a marathon and not a sprint.

        Granted Logitech’s announcement can’t help them with other manufacturers currently evaluating the product, but I still think the title is a bit sensationalist.

        When the Vizio TV with GTV and OnLive built in finally hits the market, it could be a quick turnaround from being a flop to being the future.

        1. OK, I’ll grant that the title might be a bit sensational — since it asks a question none of us can really answer.

          But over the past year or so we’ve seen Google repeatedly kill of products that were launched with much fanfare. If the company can’t get third party partners to adopt the Google TV platform (or Chrome OS, or any number of other products), I wouldn’t be shocked to see them go the way of Google Wave, Buzz, Lively, Jaiku, Code Search, etc…

          1. I think TV is a bit bigger investment than those other products.  I also think buying Motorola Mobility (the branch that also makes the cable boxes) for $12.5 Billion was a bit bigger investment into that market than they put into Buzz or Wave and so on…

            It’s too big of a market to toss away.

            Their biggest problem is the fact that Apple wants in that market so badly.  Their biggest asset is that Apple wants to make everything it sells and cut everyone else out.

            Have you read the interview, yet?  Guerrino didn’t exactly bash Google TV.  He said he would do it again and would definitely want to help Google establish Google TV, he’d just do it with a significantly smaller approach.

  3. Google needs to stay in that game not for content but for integration w/ phones and tablets.

    20 years ago PARC identified three classes of displays:
    https://sandbox.xerox.com/want/papers/ubi-sciam-sep91.pdf

    “inch-scale machines that approximate active Post-It notes, foot-scale ones that behave something like a sheet of paper (or a book or a magazine), and yard-scale displays that are the equivalent of a blackboard or bulletin board.

    How many tabs, pads, and board-sized writing and display surfaces are there in a typical room? Look around you: at the inch scale include wall notes, titles on book spines, labels on controls, thermostats and clocks, as well as small pieces of paper. Depending upon the room you may see more than a hundred tabs, ten or twenty pads, and one or two boards. This leads to our goals for initially deploying the hardware of embodied virtuality: hundreds of computers per room.”

    That was in 1991, now look around you, chumbys, smartphones, mp3 players, tablets and big TVs all computers! PARC drove the development of PDAs, Tablets and Smartboards, which after several generations morphed into the devices we know now.  And then some clown tacked a lowercase “i” to each of them and took credit, but that’s another story…

    The other crucial element of this vision is integration, the computers were linked and interchangeable. You could toss you calendar from your phone to your tablet to your TV, or you could interact with the onscreen display for your TV on your tablet. In reality, they were all shadows on the cave wall of a common ubiquitous environment like the “cloud” we speak of now but much denser.  

    Android is omnipresent on devices on inch scale and foot scale, Google TV is the yard-scale foothold for Android. In ten years, TV’s will be those big displays and smartboards “which can also play videos”

  4. Personally I think TV in general is headed toward smart TVs. It’s just a matter of time–they’ve got to get the content producers to stop fighting progress.

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