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Google TV takes on Apple TV and I'm still waiting.....


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#1 of 61 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 16 2010 - 02:16 PM

I find the new Apple TV very appealing though

even at a remarkably low $100 pricepoint I cannot

justify purchasing it.


I can get Netflix on my new display or Tivo

though I understand the navigation interface

is vastly improved on the Apple TV.


I can also stream any file from my computer

via my TIVO.  I just drop any video file into my MAC
to TIVO folder.  Apple TV can only handle MP4

and will not randomly play most any other type

of video file.


Do like the fact that I can stream all my iTunes

music to my Home Theater.  That's a major plus

considering my best speakers are in the theater

room.


So, I wanted to find out exactly what was involved

with GOOGLE TV and if they were offering something

even better than Apple TV could.


Doing a search on Google TV tonight I got a great

flash demo on how it works.  Then I was directed to

a page of products that featured Google TV.  You see,

it's not simple set top box like Apple TV. You either

have to get it incorporated in a new Sony Display, a

new Sony Blu-ray player or a rather elaborate set top

box and keyboard package from Logitech.


Logitech Revue


Looking at the various videos on this site, I was

rather excited by what this $300 device can do.  It

does a much better job of closing the gap between

television and the web than Apple TV does.  I can

sit and watch TV and have access to any Internet

page I want.  It also has its own set of APPS (with

more promised) that include Netflix, Pandora Radio

and much more.


From what little I picked up from the video, essentially,

the keyboard allows you not only to search the web to

immediately locate and play content, but to find television

programming as well.


The big problem here is its limited DVR integration.

Right now it seems that Dish Network makes a DVR
that integrates with the Logitech Revue, allowing
you to search for shows and record them.  Right there

is a big reason why I decided this thing is not quite for

me right now.

I love what this device sets out to do.  However, it

seems that it's the starting point of WEB/TV/DVR

devices that can only get better over the next year.

I am really looking forwar to a device that will let me

surf, email, stream PC content, watch TV and record

to my DVR.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like we are

totally at nirvana just yet.


* Please note that some of this information may have

changed since I have been reading mostly press releases

and initial user reviews on this product.


Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 61 DaveF

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Posted October 17 2010 - 10:24 AM

When I can have an iPad for $499 that gives me the web in my hands, regardless of what TV show, videogame, Blu-ray is on the TV, in any room of my house, on vacation, a friend's house: why would I pay $299 for the web trapped on a single TV in my house?


  GoogleTV has potential. All things being equal, I'd buy a TV with it over one without it. But since I just bought two new HD flatscreens last year, that's a non-starter. And the Logitech Revue doesn't solve any problems I have and seems to do much less than I have with my Tivo and iPhone. So we'll see how it develops.   But the future of it is an integrated feature in new TVs and Blu-ray players and video game consoles. So long as they don't have a price premium over equivalent devices without GTV.

#3 of 61 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 17 2010 - 10:38 AM

Dave,


Very good points made.  With an iPad on your lap you do have
the Internet at your fingertips with every display in your home

without involving the TV.


Also agree that if it was offered at a non premium pricepoint

included with a new display or Blu-ray player it would be a
no-brainer option.


I also expect the price of Logitech Revue to drop next year.

If they can do better with integration with more brands of DVRs

including Tivo, it might be very compelling for me to buy it then.


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#4 of 61 DaveF

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Posted October 17 2010 - 12:35 PM

I wonder if the Revue will fall very much or very fast. The Harmony One was released in 2007 at $250 and three years later the MSRP is only dropped $50; Amazon price is down about $85. They might hold the price on the $299 Revue to over $200 for a few years.



#5 of 61 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 18 2010 - 06:15 AM

Dave,


Been doing a lot of research of text and video

reviews across the Internet.  The collective

opinion seems to be that Logitech overpriced

this unit.

Here is one such video review that talks about that


http://beta.video.fo...aylist_id=87937


There's speculation that Logitech will drop the

price somewhat.  I think there is more competition

for the Revue with Apple TV than there is for the

Harmony One remote.

However, nobody can say for sure how much

money we may be saving a few months from now.


I do want one of these.  Just not at $300.  If it

were $200 it would be a justifiable purchase.


In the meantime, I am talking with Logitech in

hopes of obtaining a unit to review on this forum.


Ronald J Epstein
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#6 of 61 DaveF

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Posted October 18 2010 - 07:22 AM

A forum review would be great. My opinion is basely wholly on Google's pretty scant overview of "GoogleTV". I'm curious what it really does and how it does it.


I'd especially be interested in a review done in a real-life family household. Does the wife yell at the husband to get his Facebook out of her America's Next Top Model? Do the kids love having IMDB on the big screen? Is it a good solution for parental monitoring of kids' 'net usage? Is there any room for that monstrosity of a remote in the living room? Do they use it with TV, or get bored and go back to using iPod Touches for web surfing while watching Survivor?


There's so much going on with it and how it could interact with normal TV usage, that I'm curious about not just "what does it do" but "what do people do with it"?



#7 of 61 Keith Plucker

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Posted October 19 2010 - 02:41 PM

Given the progress that the Android software has made since its release, and how few of the early phones got updated software, there is no way I would want to jump in as an early adopter to GoogleTV. Especially if we are talking about it being built into the display. I am actually a little surprised that so many people seem to like the idea of something like this being in their plasma/LCD display.


GoogleTV hardware and software is going to advance very quickly. I can't imagine people would want to be using their original GoogleTV hardware 2-3 years from now. Sure you can always ad an external box but if you are going that route why get it in the TV in the first place? To me, it just seems like another point of failure in the display.


The Logitech unit is too pricey to be interesting. Heck, you can get a full blown PC with a wireless keyboard mouse and MCE remote for not much more than $500, and it would be more versatile. It may even become possible to run the GoogleTV software in a virtual machine on a standard Mac/Windows box.


On a side note, does anyone else think we need a new forum section to for things like the GoogleTV, AppleTV, Roku, MCE. etc?


-Keith


As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. - Hunter S. Thompson, 1958, from cover letter he wrote for a newspaper job.


#8 of 61 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 20 2010 - 01:59 AM

Keith,


Good point.  When you have AppleTV selling for $100

it's very hard to justify $300 for the Logitech Revue.


It doesn't look like they are willing to give up a unit

for review.  Really wanted to give this thing a spin.

Had they priced this just $100 lower they would have

had me onboard.


Ronald J Epstein
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#9 of 61 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 21 2010 - 12:52 PM

Wow!


Bad news for Google TV


Not sure if this is mentioned or not but HULU is being

blocked as well.


Guess that puts the kibosh on any purchase plans.


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#10 of 61 DaveF

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Posted October 21 2010 - 01:39 PM

Maybe I just assumed it, but I thought I heard that shortly after the GTV announcement.



#11 of 61 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 21 2010 - 01:56 PM

Dave, you did.


I'm doing a lot of reading on this unit this evening.


Apparently, the Hulu access was blocked at the unveiling

NYC press event just the other day.


Now the networks are blocking their content.


Really had a strong desire just to spend the money and

buy this thing.  But now, I'm realizing that between content

being blocked and the fact that it does not have universal

DVR access this thing is overpriced and overhyped.


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#12 of 61 Steve Tannehill

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Posted October 21 2010 - 02:07 PM

Why not get a TiVo Premiere?  It's a real DVR, it streams music and photos from Macs, it has Netflix streaming, Amazon streaming, and just added Pandora Radio.


I have an older TiVo Series 3, and can do all of this.  Plus, I bought product lifetime service, which has paid for itself in the 4 years I've had it.


With TiVo, I don't need an Apple TV or a Google TV.



#13 of 61 DaveF

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Posted October 21 2010 - 04:00 PM

Discovered pandora on my TiVo tonight! Great!

#14 of 61 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 21 2010 - 11:05 PM

Steve,


I hear a lot of problems with those Tivo premiers.


But I do have a Series 2, and yes, doing all of that.


Just was looking for an all-in-one device with better GUI.


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#15 of 61 Sam Posten

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Posted October 22 2010 - 12:37 AM

This thing seems like a total mess.

http://searchenginel...pressions-53471


I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#16 of 61 mattCR

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Posted October 22 2010 - 04:56 AM

Major Networks block it:


http://www.engadget....-web-based-con/



Here's my problem with a lot of this.  People are busy looking for TV connected devices, but they are going about this all wrong.   I think, fundamentally, you are looking at limited livingroom space, and if you want to put yourself there, you have to give the consumer a reason to be there.


Right now, it goes like this for MOST consumers:


Cable Box

DVD or BD Player

TV.


Google wants to integrate into that by putting themselves in the TV.   The hiccup with that is, outside of basic content, they apparently aren't going to offer much.   It becomes a 'gimmick' because real content is still not there.


Apple goes a step farther;  AppleTV at least allows integration of iTunes (BTW, for those interested, I'll post a FAQ later on how to make AppleTV stream content from a Windows Home Server / Windows Media Center).  And, since it can be made to connect to those libraries, people can bring their own content out.   But still, it's a rent based device.    I think this is better then Google, by a huge leap, and the price point is at least decent.


Microsoft, with MediaRoom/MediaCenter, is trying to replace the cable box.  Those of us who are using CableCard find that MCE makes a pretty effective solution (I now have 8 "tuners" in my cable box, and can record 7 shows while watching something different, all in HD if I want, and I get all of the cable stations) and it's extender to XBOX is a nice perk.   The hitch with it is that it's a much bigger box to do it, though the perk is you can replace your BD/DVD and Cablebox all at once.


Both Microsoft and Apple's solutions in the end are expandable in their own way with to be honest, a bright, strong interface that makes them open for expansion.   Both of them handle things like Netflix, etc.   And both manage online content just fine.   But they both offer something more then that, whether it's DVR usage or Library supports, etc.


Because Google has nothing in the way of a storage means, it can't do that.. and it's buffer method sucks... bad.   Outside of the fact that unlike Microsoft and Apple, Google doesn't have a carry deal with the networks (so no watching any back eps of any major net) you have to wonder what the heck it is but a complete gimmick.


The Apple solution, while too slim for many, compares completely robust in comparison.  And the Google solution's lack of local network connectivity means it's a complete dead end device.

I have no concept at all who, outside of someone connected via 1Gb fiber and with some sort of hack could really make this worth much.  It's a whole lot of raz-ma-taz with absolutely nothing to show for it.


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#17 of 61 Jeffery_H

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Posted October 22 2010 - 05:34 AM

For those that don't know already, the Google TV has been hacked many ways.


First, you can indeed get HULU working just fine, it is simple browser flag change. Second, others have gotten apps on the device but it will be supported soon. Third, there is already a group working on recording content via USB external hard drives since Google TV has ports built-in. People are thinking of this all wrong. It should be just like the iPhone vs Android. One is a closed platform and the other is very much open. Also, Google TV can indeed stream content from your PC and there are going to be other ways to do it too.


The Google TV can be hacked quite nicely it seems and it hasn't even fully hit the market. If you own an Android phone like I do, you can "fling" video and content to Google TV. Apple will have this too soon with "AirPlay" and iOS 4.2 so this is a tie there. You also have official app support announced by Google for this and it is coming very soon. Again, it will be like the iPhone vs Android. No limits on what content can be offered for apps.


Also, you have the Amazon VOD service vs Apple. Just compare them for what you get for the price. You can BUY episodes vs renting for the same price on Amazon VOD and the content will follow you anywhere you want. You can even play it back on a ROKU device.


This is just a box running Google TV software. It won't be outdated soon because software updates will keep rolling out for it. Apple TV will get some updates too, but what I mean is you can't think of this as a box that just does what it can out of the box because it will be changing frequently. There are many good detailed reviews on Google TV, like from IGN and others.


Good luck and I'll let you know what I think once mine comes.



#18 of 61 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 22 2010 - 05:46 AM

Hi Jeffrey!


Have done a lot of reading up on this over

the past day and I am aware of some of the

hacks out here, but at the same time, hearing

the networks are working hard to fill in those

loopholes.


Really, am hoping this device can be used

beyond its original intent and I look forward

to reading about how people are doing just that.


I am also looking forward to your review and

hope you share it with us.


It's just that this seems to be the first step in

technology that will probably be more refined

over the course of the year.  In other words, this

device might be obsolete very soon unless it is

as expandable as you indicate.


Ronald J Epstein
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#19 of 61 DaveF

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Posted October 22 2010 - 09:49 AM

Originally Posted by Jeffery_H 

This is just a box running Google TV software. It won't be outdated soon because software updates will keep rolling out for it.


Just like all those Android 1.6 phones from 12 months ago that got the 2.2 update...oh wait... It remains to be seen how these first-gen GoogleTV devices will be updated even a year from now. Based on Android devices, I'd assume that this first hardware will be obsolete in under a year and any measure of "future-proof" will not be seen until next year's gen 2 gear. Unless Google applied their lessons-learned.



#20 of 61 Jeffery_H

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Posted October 22 2010 - 11:08 AM



Originally Posted by DaveF 


Just like all those Android 1.6 phones from 12 months ago that got the 2.2 update...oh wait... It remains to be seen how these first-gen GoogleTV devices will be updated even a year from now. Based on Android devices, I'd assume that this first hardware will be obsolete in under a year and any measure of "future-proof" will not be seen until next year's gen 2 gear. Unless Google applied their lessons-learned.


I can't believe the amount of misinformation about this product. Seriously, read some details on this and do a Google search for some REAL reviews. This is just a small computer, like the Apple TV running iOS 4. It will soon get iOS 4.2 and Google TV is no different. You are comparing cell phones to a stand alone box and nothing you state makes any sense. Some phones can't be updated due to the handset makers hardware and such. Most Android phones though can be updated just fine. Also, smartphones are meant to be upgraded to sell you a new phone and create a market for them with new features and such. That in no way compares to a device like the Google TV where it has already been stated MANY times this device will be getting lots of updates. Just look at the review IGN wrote or some of the other details out there. Even the company itself says they are planning updates next year with OFFICIAL app support for it. As I point out, this thing has already been hacked in several ways too.