When Logitech lowered the price on the Revue from $300 to $100 and then to $80 as a "refurb", I was in. I loves me some tech.
Setup was as easy as could be. It recognized by Tivo as video source. It recognized my TV model. It seems to be able to control my Tivo without the (supplied) IR booster. Nice.
The keyboard is comfortable.
The firmware/OS that came with the unit (2.x) was functional, but hard to navigate. (I say this as someone who has designed interfaces and works with computers every day). Too much "why is this here?" and "what is this supposed to do?"
The new update to Honeycomb OS (3.x) is much better. Very streamlined and pretty obvious. It also brings the Android marketplace to this platform, although the number of apps that will run on this platform is currently pathetically small. I went through the list and found nothing I wanted to add...
This is a lot of fun for $80.
For most people, the big pluses will be the ability to browse Youtube and Netflix, and the ability to use the Google Chrome browser. And the ability to make your current video stream small (picture in picture) while you do it.
Downsides include the lack of worthwhile apps in the Market, annoyances related to the Chrome browser (no tabbed browsing being the big one), and no native support for features such as Amazon streaming video (which is, at present, accessed through the Chrome browser).
I'd say with the Honeycomb update, this feels like a B-level product, ready to make it to the A-level with the next major update.
And there's the rub. You see, Logitech has discontinued this product after losing around $100 MILLION on the failed launch (they built a ton of them, expecting big sales. They sold very few and got a huge number of returns on top of that). They're done. They added that they won't be getting back into the Google game anytime soon. So this is an orphan product.
That means that future updates to the OS are in question. Google could push them across--and that's not entirely unrealistic. But you can't be sure that will happen. If it does not--if the current updated OS is the last this unit will ever see--then I'd say it's fun, and it offers plenty for the price, but in some sense it's more tantalizing that essential.
Logitech's end of support also means that third party vendors and content providers (such as Amazon) aren't going to have a whole lot of impetus to create native apps for this platform. It's not horrible using Chrome to access Amazon video streaming, but it could be a lot nicer.
So where does that leave us? Assuming this is the end product, this is still a win for gadget freaks, and for people who want to bring some Internet content to their TVs (and who don't either have a PC connected to the TV or have a high end smart TV with those functions). Integration of Web searches with the video source is pretty swell (type "ABC" and your video source changes to the ABC network; or you can see a nice display of movies that are currently on--with pictures of the "video boxes" and synopses--and this search is also interactive with your video source). But with a Q/A or experience design hat on, I'd say that this product is converging on great, but not quite there. I can see where the dots are, and how you'd want to connect them. But as an orphan product, they may never get connected. Your willingness to deal with that kind of thing should determine how happy you'll be with this iteration of the product.
on December 20, 2011
This little box does a heck of a lot for under $100 - I don't think I could ever go back to the way my TV worked before. You can stream any flash based video from any website, or use apps from the Android Market to expand into other things - Pandora, Netflix - they just added Sling Player support! You also have the capability to stream photos, music, and videos from any PC or Mac in your house. This box is amazing - worth twice the price.
on January 12, 2012
I received this as a gift for Christmas from my wife.....well, actually what I received was the Roku XD and we returned it. I hadn't decided which direction we were going with trying out a streaming device and the Roku was easily returned while we did a little more research. Our choices ran the full spectrum from Apple TV to the Western Digital TV Live to the Roku. I had only considered the Google TV devices when a refurbed Sony Blu-Ray with G-TV tickled my fancy because of the price but the overwhelmingly iffy reviews kept me away from that one. So how'd I choose? A pretty thorough mix of science, efficiency and emotion:
Apple TV - both friends and family owns these and we have plenty of "iDevices" around the house, but from everything I've read, seen, watched you REALLY need to be integrated into the "i" lifestyle to make this worthwhile. Around the house we stream Pandora as much or more than listen to our iTunes music. For us, not quite ready for Apple TV.
Roku - honestly, with some of the options that the next two devices offered, the Roku boxes just struck me a limited for what they could do. Remember, we actually bought one, but returned it.
WD TV LIVE - Actually, I was 99% sold on this device when the refurbed Logitech Revue came up in a search the week after Christmas. I liked the options for I/O, I liked the support for local media and the "apps" available. There is a big part of me that still wonders if I made the right choice.
Logitech Revue with Google TV - WINNER!!! Here's why.....
Price - How could we beat $79 for ALL of the functionality, at least on paper, of the WD TV Live, Logitech's name (I love their devices) and Google (more to come on those....).
Functionality - So while researching that week after Christmas on this exact deal I stumbled across a link to Dish Network, our TV service provider. Appears that for a measly $4/mo I can integrate this unit directly with my Dish account and receiver and control all functions of my satellite. Seemed pretty cool I thought, especially since I already knew this was going to be a new "toy" more than anything.
Apps - had Pandora, Netflix (w/HD which our current process of watching through the Nintendo Wii doesn't offer), bunch of TV and Movie apps, etc, etc. At least as good as the WD unit if not better with the Android OS and Marketplace with the Honeycomb update.
Set-up - physically, this couldn't have been easier. Plugging the unit in took all of about 5 minutes, the included HDMI was a pleasant surprise and it found and is utilizing my wireless network seemingly better than any WiFi device in my house (Netflix streaming has been a HUGE improvement over the Wii).
Remote - there's good and bad with this. The good is the thing works insanely good. It controls the TV, satellite and Google box like it was made for all of them. The bad part is some of the functions have become "two-handed" which is a little annoying (or maybe REALLY annoying) but I am determined to make this work as I am determined to get our money's worth out of this unit.
The Rest - OK, so overall I REALLY like this device and a lot of the stuff it does. However, my research didn't go quite far enough the day we hit "Confirm" on our order. It was later that afternoon that I finally caught up with the reports of Logitech killing this device and Google TV questioning whether they were staying in the marketplace. My wife and I discussed it later and decided to stick with our decision on a more "irrational" basis that if we had bought it a couple weeks earlier instead of the Roku we wouldn't have even questioned the decision. I am a little disappointed in some of the functionality of the apps and Android. I understand it is a mobile operating system but we are running into minor annoyances with certain device drivers, downloadable content, etc working with the browser. One of my MAJOR annoyances had been with Dish and Blockbuster. One of my decision factors for getting this device was the purported (by Dish) integration with their network. However, after a VERY long an difficult online help-desk chat with their Support team I was finally able to integrate the remote with our receiver only to find that the only added functionality was really the "Search" function within the Dish content.....hmm, I may be dropping the $4/mo and go back to two remotes, still deciding on that. Also, we found that we couldn't stream our Blockbuster Online movies because of issues between the Blockbuster streaming service and the browser - MAJOR bummer there. I am REALLY hoping that both Google and Dish supply some future updates that fix some of the limitations we've found. Until that point though, I do enjoy the device and we've done a couple things while sitting on the couch that had earlier been reserved for everyone huddled around the laptop in the kitchen - namely catch my daughters up on some of the better performances from NBC's "The Sing Off" on YouTube...in HD (a guilty pleasure in our household).
To sum it up, I think we are happy with our choice, especially for the money - which CANNOT be discounted in this decision. I really think I will find more uses and enjoyment out of our new toy as we get more chance to use it. I do hope it continues to be support, at least by Google, in the future.
on December 31, 2011
The Logitech Revue is one awesome little device with a cool keyboard. The contents looks great on my 42" 3D HDTV. Having a functional internet browser on a big screen is dynamite and super fun. For me my DirecTV 3D signal won't work through the Revue. After talking to a very helpful customer service department at Logitech based here in the US, they were able to help me connect the Revue another way to my HDTV. Instead of the HDMI cable coming from my DirecTV HD DVR Box going in the Revue "in" HDMI port its now going directly back to the HDMI port where I had it in the first place on my HDTV. My 3D signal from DirecTV is now working again. The HDMI out port on the Revue has its HDMI cable going into a HDMI port on my HDTV. Everything on the Revue works great except I have no control over any of my remotes with the Revue(this was one of the reasons why I purchased the Revue. The Revue can be used like a universal remote if connected between your sat box/cable box.) Other than that this little guy is sooo fun to use. It's truly amazing how many features the Revue has. Using the Revue is like being in a candy store when you were a kid, sooo many things to play with! FYI: Your Revue may not work at first if you have many other devices using WiFi in the same room. This Revue is in my master bedroom. I have Net TV, Roku 2 XS, A LG 3D Blu-ray player with "Smart TV", My laptop and the Revue all using WiFi. It took me two hours to get the Revue to respond to its keyboard. I almost gave up and then got very close to the IR Blaser with the wireless keyboard and finally it picked up the signal and hasn't lost it since. I have position the IR Blaser at a higher level than the other WiFi devices. This is in the instruction that too many WiFi devices may interfere with the Revue own IR signal. Once everything was working, It was so easy setting up my Netflix account along with my Google account, and all other features.
FYI: On the keyboard you hit the "Home Key" which will open up an interface on the lower portion of your television screen. From Left to Right you have the icons: Notifications, All Apps(App Store), TV if hook directly thur the Revue, TV & Movies, Netflix(Which has a really cool interface) Android Market with many free and pay for apps, Google Chrome, and Search your gateway to the internet. Have Fun!
As for shipping, it came well packed. I have Prime and paid $3.99 for one day shipping got it in two days.
This is a Refurbished unit, it has the same warranty as a new one. It came with some scrathes on it otherwise it works great and I'm very pleased with it!
A truly fun product!!!
Before I start, I'm not sure why there are multiple listings of the same Logitech Revue on Amazon, but whatever. I just want to get the word out that this device sucks.
Looks Decent: It will blend with your home theater.
Decent Horsepower: The Revue is a beast compared to the anemic and underpowered Roku XD. More on this in the 'Bad' section.
Lots of Apps: I feel that out of all the internet set top boxes, Google TV has the most. More on this in the bad section.
Surfing the Web: You can play video from Flash movie websites that don't do apps on any of the internet set top boxes.
Live TV Integration: This is convenient if you still have a cable box. Everything is in one place.
TV and AV Component Recognition: Google TV can recognize pretty much every TV and AV component, even the cheapest sound bars like mine.
Price: This is the cheapest known Google TV device.
Wires: It's nice that this came with at least one HDMI cable. Most devices do not come with their required cable, forcing you to either wait again by mail or to drive to a store. This is really nice.
Google Music Integration: This is one app that is done right. I wish all of the other Google apps were as good.
Not Intuitive: I heard from my friends at Google that earlier last year, this device was just totally unusable since the UI was so bad and that it was massively improved last Fall. Frankly I feel that it still sucks post UI update compared to the competition. I'm a techie and I still had a little trouble finding my way around this device.
Lots of Crappy Apps: Few of the apps are video related, and most of them are just garbage. It's so bad, that Google seems to try to hide most of them (this is a good thing). Roku still has the most video content in terms of channels. I predict with time, this will change; but it will take a year or more.
Even Major Apps Suck: I didn't think it was possible to screw up Netflix. Netflix is great on every platform that I've seen (PS3, Xbox 360, iPad, Apple TV, Roku), except on Google TV. At first it just wasn't smooth, and now it just doesn't even work. All I get is a black screen. I don't know why Netflix sucks on Google TV, but if I were to guess, it's because it's just a web page on Chrome. Amazon Prime Video's app was just a joke. It doesn't even pretend to be an app. It's just Chrome bookmarked to Amazon Prime's web page. If I were Netflix and Amazon I would just immediately remove those apps from Google TV. They are so horrible and embarrassing that they tarnish both companies as well. Youtube is almost just as bad on this thing even though Google owns Youtube. It literally takes 30 seconds or more to start a video as opposed to Youtube on either PS3, Xbox 360, or Apple TV. Ironically Youtube is also great on other platforms like Xbox 360 and Apple TV. About the only major apps that were better on Google TV were TWIT TV and Revision 3. Even Google Play itself felt unstable at times.
Not Enough Power: While it's a decent device, it's not enough for the Google TV platform; specifically it's too underpowered for the Chrome web browser. Browsing the web takes forever especially when there's any Flash involved. Youtube browsing takes forever compared to on competing devices. Adding a full web browser was just a stupid decision. It makes the product more complicated (full keyboard and mouse) and gives Google's developers more leeway to slack off and rush out garbage. I have a strong feeling this is why even Google's own apps for Google TV suck really badly.
A Full Sized Keyboard: I'm not sure who's fault this is, but who thinks that people would enjoy using a gigantic keyboard in the living room? This is just really stupid design. At most, this controller should be a quarter of the size. It would have been better to have an app on both Android and Apple's App Store, if you wanted to provide typing functionality. My guess as to why they wanted to provide a keyboard is mainly Chrome. Then again Sony's version of Google TV has a better and smaller controller, even though it looks super complicated.
Chrome: Do you see a pattern? All of the major problems are related to Chrome. It needs to go. It allows Google TV developers to get lazy and release garbage like the Netflix, Youtube, and
Un-installable Bloatware: There are a couple of useless apps that I just can't get rid of. There is no way that I am aware of where I can uninstall them without rooting.
No Social App: More specifically there is no good social app, like the ones on Roku or Xbox 360. One of the major things I love about Roku is seeing a stream of pictures from Facebook right on my big flatscreen TV when it goes to screensaver mode. It's much better than just looking at the computer. Sadly, Google TV doesn't even have good Google Plus integration, which is both a good and bad thing (see the next item).
Potential Privacy Concerns: Right now you have the choice of whether Google associates your movie and TV browsing with your Google account. Depending on how popular Google TV gets, this may not be the case in the future. Then again I wouldn't be surprised if this happens with competing boxes as well. I only worry more about Google TV since Google Plus is pretty much linked to every Google account now.
Requires a cable box for live TV: If you want to watch live TV, you need a set top box.
Dead Product: Logitech discontinued this product since it was too overpriced for something so crappy (it was almost two hundred when it released), so owners may or may not get any more Google TV updates. This brings us to another really major problem.
Hard to Root: The Revue being discontinued wouldn't be so horrible is this device wasn't so hard to root. You will need to solder in order to root.
Not Polished: You really shouldn't get the Revue or Google TV unless you're a hard core techie, or you're interested in making apps for Google TV. This is one of those devices where I feel like I paid money to test out a product for free.
Shallow TV and AV Component Integration: It really only controls volume and channel selection. I don't think Google TV can do more without hurting ease of use, so I don't really see this as a big negative.
Podcast Access: It's not full access to all podcasts. It's only access to what Google considers podcasts.
I really wanted to love this device, given how much I like Google in general, but a Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p is still a better bet even though it's not perfect either (I have my complaints if you read my reviews). Google TV may one day get better, but as of right now it just sucks, even when you factor in the new low price as well. The only way I would recommend this device is if you're a programmer looking to make an app for the Google TV platform. It is a much cheaper entry than either Sony or LG's upcoming devices.
Unfortunately, I predict that Amazon will be the one to make a good Android based set top internet TV box. Maybe with time Google can fix this mess. I do see potential, but there is just so much to fix.
UPDATE: Looks like Vizio may beat Amazon to the punch. The VIZIO Co-Star is currently only less than one hundred dollars. It has a really small keyboard remote control, and it even comes the OnLive service, a streaming video game platform.
UPDATE: Co-Star still sucks, but not as bad as a Revue.
on January 5, 2012
I got a refurbished model for $79.99. That is a great price for this, but I think $140 is still a good deal.
1. Netflix works phenomenally on this, far better than on the TiVo.
2. Component integration via HDMI turns the keyboard into a universal remote.
3. Has most all the apps (Pandora, HBOGO, YouTube, Google Music, Amazon Instant Video) for which I used to use a laptop connected to the TV.
4. Sleek little design looks right at home next to the flatscreen TV.
5. Content in their spotlight introduced me to channels I may never have found.
6. Podcasts are of (generally) much higher quality than what gets downloaded on my TiVo.
7. Only a related pro, but yet again I am thrilled with the one day delivery for $3.99 that comes with Prime. I ordered this Wednesday afternoon and I was using it by 4 pm Thursday.
1. No Silverlight support that I have found, and I could not install the linux version (Moonlight). Though it has HBOGO I cannot access the other content Comcast has available on XFINITY.
2. Chrome is not a full version (which is why I couldn't install the Moonlight Add-On). The fact that I can't sync my browser or add LastPass (and other add-ons) is a bit of a disappointment. Actually, the browsing experience is a bit clunky, which is surprising, since this is designed for Google. One would think it was optimized better.
I really like this device. I think Logitech would have done much better with it if they hadn't tried to recoup their R&D all at once. It was way overpriced when it came out, but is perfectly priced now.
on January 10, 2012
In this partnership, Logitech obviously invested a great deal in developing a great platform, which is unfortunate because Google appears to have spent about 5 minutes on their end of the bargain. There are few apps available to take advantage of the product. CLIFF NOTES: Pandora Radio works great, Netflix works fine, browsing on Google Chrome is so-so, and Amazon Prime is accessible but not smooth. Hulu and Itunes aren't accessible.
I ordered this product because I am excited about the integration of computer technology with televisions, and I expected Google to be a leader. I was wowed for the first hour. Out of the box, the set up is smooth and intuitive. The engineering that went into the keyboard controller is impressive and the range exceeds 30 feet. I like how the product allows you to move back and forth seamlessly between the Revue content, what there is of it, and live tv/DVR.
I spent the next hour checking out the Android apps catalog available for Honeycomb 3.1. There isn't much there. Most are mobile apps with little applicability to your tv (unless you're worried about optimizing your tv's battery or digital camera). I admit to being a gadget geek and having pretty high standards for streaming capability. I have a Roku2 XS, a Samsung wi-fi DVD player, an Iphone 4s, an Ipad, an HP Touchpad, a PS3, and there are laptops running HuluPlus and Itunes strewn about the house. All of these have content superior to the Revue, even the Touchpad running the defunct WebOS. It is amazing to me that Google has made such a weak attempt to develop Google TV. They are simply inviting Apple to come in and take control of what could be a huge market.
So if all you want is a cool product that will allow you to stream some movies and play Pandora, you will be happy with this. You can search the web on a limited basis using Chrome, but after the novelty wears off, why would you want to do that when your laptop, tablet and probably even your smart phone is faster and smoother?
If I only bought one media streaming product, I would probably buy the Roku instead of the Revue. But I will probably keep the Revue because the hardware is so well designed, and there is some talk about Google trying to make GTV a real product in the future.
on July 28, 2012
What really gets me about this product is that it could have been so much better. Logitech had a decent product (underpowered, perhaps, but Android can run well on almost anything with some good software work). However, Logitech discontinued support for this product (curiously pushing out a few more updates over the last few months, which have helped!), and the current lack of a good software root really puts a damper on this product.
+ Google TV, being a Google Product, integrates pretty well with Google Services. You won't get all of teh standard apps from phones and tablets, but you can sideload programs pretty easily using Dropbox or a similar product.
+ The USB port in the back, while a bit finicky, is also a good candidate for sideloading materials and programs.
+ The keyboard controller is well designed and easy to use. It actually provides pretty decent feedback for a cheap controller, and the touchpad is a decent enough touch. Battery life's been reasonably good.
+ Setup is pretty easy. I know some people have had difficulty with it, but my experience was essentially flawless.
+ The included DLNA player that Logitech added is surprisingly good. It's not quite AllShare, but it's easy to use and plays pretty well.
- My unit arrived with severe scratching along the top. Since I don't leave it very visible, I didn't return it-- but it was annoying, and I expect much more from a "refurbished" product. Major marks down for that.
- 1080p video will play, but there's no audio. This might have been an issue with my setup, though, as I was using a HDMI to 5 RCA component AV Converter to hook this up to an older HDTV, and audio might have just gotten lost somewhere along the way.
- Infrared connectivity is solid most of the time, but there are just random periods where the remote stops wanting to play nice. The included AV blasters didn't really work for me.
- The product has been discontinued, and while Logitech continues to push out a few updates, it's up to Google to keep this platform alive.
- There's a pretty limited selection of apps available, so you'll get most of your goodies from sideloading apps from another Android device.
- Rooting this device currently requires hardware. While I know someone is working on a software root, it may be a while yet. No root means very little control over this device, and you cannot actually hide many of the apps included in the launcher. That's a huge minus for me, as I certainly will never be using apps such as NBA Basketball.
Even if you're skilled with Android, I find this one hard to recommend unless you want to get your hands dirty with a soldering iron.
on December 28, 2011
This was a great idea, but executed poorly for a media streamer. Got it today, going back tomorrow. Did not realize till after a purchased, that this was a dead plateform. If a unit is to be considered a media streamer it needs to stream on-line content as well as local content. To be fair the Revue has a great keyboard, integrated well with my Comcast Set Top Box, Sony TV and AVR as well as was great on the web and had great apps. Would have loved to keep it but its primary use was to stream my local DVDs, Home Video's and Pictures. Browsing the home network was simple and easy but the Revue could not stream even the basic/common file types.jpg, .avi, .mpg, etc.
Bought this to replace a SageTV HD-200 as the Sage is no longer supported as SageTV was bought by Google TV in June 2011. SageTV worked great although the interface was clunky and web access slow. Can understand why Google bought SageTV as SageTV could stream just about any file type, unlike the Logitech Review based on Google TV that could not stream anything from my Windows Home Server.
I own many Logitech Products, webcams, remotes, Wi-Fi Players and keyboards; all are awesome products. All are well thought out as well as the Revue was but how can you push something out and as a media streamer and it only streams a small universe. Was it poor execution by Google TV or Logitech? If Google TV maybe they will learn something from the SageTV folks if of course it's not the typical big corporate acquisition to crush the competition. Shame on Logitech for selling something and claiming on its website all you need is Logitech Media Server. I got sucked in because I love their Wi-Fi players that work well as own Squeezebox Radio and Squeezebox Boom.
on January 6, 2012
Don't hesitate to get the Revue. Even though Logitech has discontinued the Revue, it's an excellent device -- especially at $79 for a refurbished model!
If you look through my reviews, you'll see we've tried 3 streaming set top boxes now. We're staying with a blu-ray player and the Revue. Google TVs interface is fantastic - our box obviously has Honeycomb. Not sure if it did the update upon setup or if it came with HC. The Revue's "remote" makes this the go-to device for watching TV.
When Netflix is acting up, the Sony BD player will pause and think for a minute or more, while Google TV will give up and ask you to watch it again later. Not so bad, since Netflix stores your position. The Revue/Google TV loads videos faster than the Sony because it starts without having to rate the network speed. Meanwhile, the Sony does a 2 step process that takes a while before showing you the video.
Other than the plain cardboard box, there was no way to tell this unit was refurbished. It came with unit, keyboard, hdmi cable, power pack, IR blaster, and a nice Getting Started instruction book. Also once the Revue got up and going, we really liked the video it plays introducing you to the unit. Very slick, well done, appreciated, and notably absent on the Sony and WD streaming devices. Once done with the video, we got right in -- and didn't have to spend a few minutes wondering what to click to make things happen (like on the Sony and WD TV).
Love it, glad we got it!