Like CrunchGear, I originally had a difficult time constructing our Logitech Revue, er, review headline and ultimately landed on the Star Wars inspired “A New Hope” – as there was a whole lot of anticipation ahead of Google TV’s launch. Indeed, I was pretty fired up when the $300 box arrived, courtesy Logitech.
Without doubt, Google TV features the very best television-based Web-browsing experience. And the Logitech Revue IR blaster functionality is the most powerful I’ve come across. But this is the province of geekdom, and not really suitable for the civilians amongst us. They’d only wonder why watching TV requires a (wireless) keyboard and touchpad while searching the couch crevices for a traditional remote that just doesn’t exist. Heck, the unexpected delight of discovering something new on a daily basis even became a frustration for a geek like me as it turns out the interface and keyboard interaction are a mess. And, like so many other half baked products, our Google TV review unit was banished to the Land of Misfit toys (aka the basement cupboard).
After months of slumber, we pulled the Revue out for another look. Sure enough there was a large update to be had. Perhaps it clears a variety of Google TV errors and we know the Netflix experience has seen a significant Google TV update. Yet we’re still not ready for prime time. And we probably won’t be until the UI is improved and an application market launches. It’s baffling that YouTube is a Web page, versus an app. Granted, it offers a specialized ‘leanback’ interface. But it’s still not quite ideal for television-based viewing.
Bringing us around to that advertised HBOGo functionality. Which really only means “website not blocked” … like so many others. But, adding insult to injury, Comcast HBO subscribers are redirected to the Xfinity.com site. The one that only supports Mac OS X and Windows.
Check out more of Dave’s reflections on tech and media at Zatz Not Funny.