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Review: Google TV Underwhelms

By Leon Shaw
Google TV could suffer like Windows Media Center: it does everything, but only a few of them well.


I've spent some time with Google TV and have formed some definite opinions.


Logitech Revue - Google TV in a box - looks non-descript and comes with a wireless keyboard with limited remote functions. I installed it into my system, which includes a TiVo HD DVR, Classe SSP-800 surround processor, B&W 800 series speaker package, a stack of Rotel amps, a 2:39 Stewart screen, and a Runco Q-750 LED front projector.


Hook up is very simple: the idea is you have to pass the signal from the cable/sat/TiVo through the Logitech box using HDMI. That's the only way to hook it up, component video is out.




Once connected, I went through the setup menu, the first step of which was very strange. An image comes up and you expand the top/bottom/left/right until it fills your screen. You then tell it who you are and where you live and can either opt in or out of the box tracking what you do. Next, you tell the box the model of your cable/sat/TiVo, the model of your TV if you wish, and the model of your surround sound piece. You then tell it your service provider for cable/sat/TiVo and go through some channel confirmations to make sure it knows how your channel line up is set up.


The next step is to enter your Google Gmail account or create one. You must do this to move through the setup. Once you get past this, it goes out and looks for new software, then reboots.

Click here to continue.
 

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Looks like Google TV is currently a failure. I'm glad I read this becuase I was considering it.


Many of the search items, including You Tube integration with your Sat provider programming, will be coming to DirecTV's HR2* series. Therefore, the need for GTV is eliminated.


Scariest quote: " I am 99 percent certain the picture of your cable/sat/TiVo box is degraded by the video pass-through."
 

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Didn't read your review yet but I'm definitely looking forward to it. I just wanted to say that I felt from the first press of the device it would be an incredibly niche product. I felt like what they were going for would require total cooperation from all major cable co/sat. providers to give a full & proper experience.
 

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i like google, but this seems typical of their products. They do it cheaply ( for the consumer), add some cool features, but disappoint in the delivery. Much like how android first wasnt too great and ran poorly on underpowered phones. the new chrome tablet hasnt gotten great reviews, but a cool idea. even gmail has its problems (the interface, constant timeouts, poor interface regarding usability, convoluted settings menus).


If google can learn one thing from apple is that the interface is king. speed and ease of use trump quirky features anyday. interface is one thing that google just isnt that great at.
 

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I too bought the Revue, hooked up on a Friday night, returned it for a PS3 on Sunday afternoon. I will say I hope the search feature makes its way to more products, Very cool. Would be worth $50, Not $300.
 

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My number one complaint besides the lack of network content providers is that the internet through the chrome browser is slow. Web pages that have a lot to load sometimes hang. The keyboard is fantastic, but I was hoping browsing the internet from my couch would be a simlar experience to using my laptop but it isn't.
 
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