Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Google TVs Missing links

So after playing with the Logitech Revue with Google TV for a week now, I have to say that there are a few key things that they are missing.  If you look at it as another streaming box then its kind of boring and overpriced (until they cut it to 100 bucks).  If you look at it as an add on to your cable box then its kind of useless and overpriced.  If you look at its potential combined with what it already does, than its a steal of a deal for even the launch price.  A few notes though:

Logitech chose to use their own RF link instead of Bluetooth.  I can only imagine that this is to improve range and reliability, but it would of been nice to have Bluetooth included.  Two main reasons: more peripherals and A2DP.  It would be nice to be able to use any Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for control.  Also a Bluetooth headset would be great for night time viewing or video chat.  A2DP would of made streaming audio from your phone a snap.

The RF would have been a great choice, if it had worked with Logitech's own Harmony remotes.  While the Revue does WORK with the remotes and does offer some enhancements a la "Harmony Link" it does not integrate as well as possible, or work as smoothly as it should.  The ideal setup to me would be the Harmony 900 with the Revue acting as its base station.  During the setup on the PC the software would talk to both the Revue and the remote to get everything in sync.  If you take it a step further and added Bluetooth to the Revue, than it could act as the Harmony PS3 adapter and you could have full control over your PS3 and have keyboard input.  Seems like a no brainier right?  Well lets take the no duh another step.  Lots of devices have network control these days.  The Revue has a network port.  Why don't they work together?  I get that it would be a huge undertaking for Google or Logitech to write code to control every network device, but why not make it an open plug in style thing so that manufactures could write the plug in to make it work?  Two way communication and control between devices.  The only thing in my entertainment system that doesn't support this right now is my  receiver.  I would buy a new receiver to support this.

Speaking of a new receiver... I believe the receiver is the best spot in the home theater chain for the Google TV. Most people use their TV as a monitor and don't even realize it.  Most people would be better off having a quality display with one HDMI input than what they are getting today.  A couple of years ago I bought a Pioneer KRP-500m.  It doesn't have the wiz bang features that you find in sets today, but it has a far superior picture and the ability to be calibrated.  This set will last me until 4k displays become common or I build a home theater with a projector.  Back to why Google TV should exist in the receiver.  The receiver touches everything.  All of your devices come to it before getting pushed out to your display.  This has a caveat though.  Forum posters have posted complaints about the delay that Google TV adds.  So if it were to exist in the receiver than there would need to a way to bypass the processing for a game mode.  The advantages should be obvious though.  The ability for the Google TV to control all of your devices and access all of their content.

And for the last time... Why doesn't Tivo work better with Google TV?  Arrrggggg


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