Apple TV vs. Google TV vs. Roku: 3

By Matt Lake, Computerworld |  Personal Tech, Apple TV, Google TV

Configuring the Netflix channel was a little odd too: I didn't like it when the Apple TV made me navigate a virtual on-screen keyboard to enter my credentials, but that approach would have made sense with the Revue's full-keyboard remote. Instead, the Revue provided a code to plug into a browser. Fair enough -- there's a browser built in to the Revue. However, I then had to figure out how to switch between screens, launch Chrome, log in at Netflix.com and plug in the code -- before I'd had a chance to really learn the system. (Keyboard jockeys who automatically switch screens with Alt-Tab or Apple-Tab commands will fast realize that these options are missing from the modified keyboard on the Logitech remote control.)

Content

Once set up, the Revue's Google TV interface shows an easy-to-navigate system with a left-side menu that includes applications such as NBA Game Time, Google Chrome and a media player that plays video from locally networked computers or USB sticks plugged into either of the Revue's two USB ports. You can queue up or bookmark videos, get to Web sites and other video sources you access most frequently, and even browse what's on live television, all from top-level menus.

Once set up, the Revue's Google TV interface shows an easy-to-navigate system with a left-side menu that includes applications such as Google Chrome and a media player that plays video from locally networked computers.

The Revue provides several neat features that neither the Apple TV nor Roku can. For example, there's a picture-in-picture selection that streams live TV in a small window while you browse online. The product is extensible, too: There's an HD videoconferencing module you can buy for an extra $150 that enables you to conduct big-screen videoconferences.

As you'd expect from a Google-based product, the video search option is excellent. You can call it up from a looking-glass button on the keyboard remote. When you're searching from the main menu, you can find a movie or game on your DVR, TV or online by typing in only a few letters. But if you're in, say, the media player, you'll get results only from your PC or Mac library.

There are other occasionally frustrating limitations. For example, while you get Flash video, some sites, such as Hulu and the ABC, NBC and CBS TV networks, aren't available -- the result of a series of negotiation snafus.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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