So I schlepped Downtown on Wednesday to see a demonstration of the Logitech Revue Google TV box, which promises to provide the user with “a new experience that combines TV, the entire Web, and apps – as well as a way to search across them all. While Google TV will enable infinite access to content, Logitech will enable seamless control over how you experience it.”
It’s way-cool, yes, but as someone who is by no means a tech-head, at $300, I’m not sure it’s something that most people will feel like they have to have.
Mostly, the Logitech device and Google TV bring web and TV content together and create a simple way to access both. The key device is a keyboard — about four by 12 inches or so — that essentially replaces the remote, though you can also use a smaller version or even a smartphone in conjunction with it. So viewers will actually be able to type in searches the way they do on Google online, then punch it up directly onto their TV.
According to Logitech’s Ashish Arora, GM of the Digital Home Group, the device will solve your “hardware mess,” while allowing consumers to fulfill a clear goal — namely, accessing their favorite content on “the most beautiful TV” in the house, which is the big HD set, not on their puny little laptop. Indeed, the related gadget that seemed to have the most potential was an easily clipped-on camera to facilitate and improve video calling and bring the experience into the living room. (Logitech Vid, which would compete with Skype, is a free download.)
As for some of the other features, they’re kind of nifty — like being able to look up an actor’s credits on imdb.com while you watch them in another window — but again, not completely necessary, especially if you already have an iPad or portable laptop. Yes, it’s one box, not two, but I’m not sure it really replaces anything other than your remote control with a bigger, better version.
Oh, one more thing: You can actually do a voice search on your phone, and the content roster shows up on the TV screen. That was pretty damn impressive. And obviously, it eventually makes sense for all content to feed directly into the big TV — what we once quaintly referred to as the “video jukebox.”
But if you’re worried about what to get me for Christmas, I think I’ll hold off on this one for now.