Google TV now has at least one real retail product firmed up: the Logitech Revue, scheduled to ship this fall. This is a set-top box that’s supposed to bring the Google TV experience to your existing home entertainment center. So far so good. But I’d like to understand how this is going to happen. Oh, I get how one box would be able to search both TV listings and the internet for content. I’m more confused by how the ‘control’ aspect will work.
You’re supposed to be able to use your smartphone (iPhone or an Android phone, more specifically) to control your home entertainment center. See the video below, provided by Engadget HD. It uses Logitech’s Harmony technology to turn on components, set inputs and so on. I understand how an actual Harmony remote is going to do this; it has an IR emitter after all. But how is the Logitech Revue going to accomplish this? I have this nightmare vision of a web of IR Blasters running from the Revue box to each component of my home theater. That was problematic enough when I did it to allow my Tivo to control my cable box. Granted newer cable boxes can now be controled via cable cards, but that doesn’t help with my receiver, TV, sub-woofer, etc, etc. Aside from how it’ll control things, the other big question is price. Taylor Wimberly over at Android and Me hopes it’ll be under $500 and would love to see it be under $299. I’d be astonished if it was more than $299 and I think they need to aim closer to $200. Google is trying to introduce a product that no one really knows they want; the price needs to be kept low. Besides, at the end of the day Google TV isn’t doing anything we can’t already do (assuming you have some kind of box connected to the TV that has a web browser, such as a Sony PS3 or a Nintendo Wii); it’s just gathering functions into one place. Android and Me does have a few specs for the Revue: it’ll run Android 2.1, support Flash 10.1 and comes with Chrome installed (naturally). How much would you pay? Don’t forget we have the Boxee Box still in-bound and predicted to sell for about $200, though it’s been delayed until November. It ought to deliver most of the web content you’d want on your TV. Granted you’d have to switch between cable and Boxee inputs, but that’s not such a huge chore. So are you interested in Google TV, or are you not yet sold on it?