"There is one safeguard which is an advantage and security to all,
but especially to democracies as against despots. What is it? Distrust." - Demosthenes
     
SubSections
Recipes
Racetrack Playa
MOO
Store
My Flickr
My Twitter
My Facebook
My Last.fm


Bookmarks
Wulfgar
Mom
Sharon
Cuppa
Erik Burrows
SD Festivals
Digitalcity LA
Digitalcity SD
Cheese Course
Cheese Mistress
Cheese Under
Cheese by Hand
curdnerds
Steve Jenkins



Listening To:

log in or register



www.flickr.com

Twitter Updates
    follow me on Twitter



    Previous Day | Next Day
    Logitech Revue and Google TV Review - Oct 28th, '10

    Note that this is about the Logitech Revue unit, which contains Google TV. I'm not going to make much of a distinction even though they can be considered separate things.

    The good - The functionality that is included in Google TV, while limited, works mostly as expected. Assuming the setup goes as described in the "Quick Start" guide, getting things up and running is seamless and smooth. Assuming your needs are limited, the user interface is simple to use and quite functional. And if your expectations about features are based on 5-10 year old technology, the functionality is quite impressive. If all you want is the web, webpages in Google TV look fantastic and work as expected.

    Yes, that's the good. I think it's important to say something nice.

    The bad - Set up is a nightmare. Finding media on your local network will be impossible for the average user. Functionality that is ubiquitous in Google products and the Internet in general is missing. The UI assumes your viewing habits are minimal. Features specially built for the Google TV interface are inferior to what you get by just going to the webpage. Some web content isn't playable due to missing codecs and programs. The unit is surprisingly underpowered, making many websites very sluggish. Unless your home theater matches exactly what the Logitech unit expects (the specifications for which don't seem to exist), you will have major problems with audio. The mini keyboard makes an unwieldy TV remote, and there is no option for a regular sized remote. While the Logitech box can talk to my cable STB/DVR it's very buggy. Google TV as a whole seems to be relatively bug free, but the application as a whole is rather shallow. It really could use another 6-9 months of development. There is no app store, and no way to add apps.

    That's just the quick list of things which annoy me with the Logitech Revue and Google TV. I don't even have it on right now. If I was making a list while using it the list would be much longer.

    Okay, the details.........

    Everything I had read about the unit before it arrived gave me the impression the installation would be dead simple. Plug one cable into your STB/DVR, plug another into your AVR, run setup and go. With all HDMI this seemed realistic. Well, it didn't go that well. I spent 8 hours setting up the unit and getting it running. Eight rather angry hours. First of all my cable STB doesn't play nice with HDMI so the simple set up was a non-starter. Even three days later I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to monkey rig the audio to work right. Rather than just plugging in two HDMI cables the challenge actually ended up being closer to a complete recabling of my entire home theater. Keep in mind this is just due to my personal mix of components, mostly my POS cable box, but looking online turns up many similar stories. When all is said and done, the unit may actually not work for you, full stop.

    So there is no misunderstanding - Plan on the "quick start" guide being potentially useless. Which makes the COMPLETE LACK OF ANY FUCKING DOCUMENTATION ANYWHERE IN ANY FORM RATHER FRUSTRATING. Seriously. What the fuck. I am not happy with you Logitech.

    And the wireless Internet connection proved to be a very bad idea. I could connect to my network via WiFi just fine, but doing it that way made the unit lockup and reboot at frequent random intervals. Like 30 seconds to a few minutes. Maybe I was being an idiot, but since the unit could obviously see my WiFi router, authenticate, and download the update I didn't think that wireless was the problem. But after many factory resets and starting over with setup repeatedly I decided to try a wired connection, and the lockup/reboot problem completely stopped. Happily the on-screen setup is short and simple because I had to do it over and over and over again.

    Okay....... So it's 3:00 AM and I finally have the unit "working". The audio is kooked up, but let's just ignore that for now. While the UI in Google TV and the included mini-keyboard work well, many things seem to be missing. There is a place to bookmark any media you have access to, but if you need to bookmark more that a few things the UI quickly becomes rather cumbersome. And even though the unit knows who I am via my Gmail account, there doesn't seem to be any integration with Google apps. The exception is Picassa, which makes the other missing apps rather obvious. The lack of a function for importing my browser bookmarks from Chrome is also disappointing. Etc etc. Things just seem to be missing.

    Also missing is any meaningful integration between live TV (and some of the Google TV features) and social media. If I'm watching much of the Google TV content I can push a share button on the mini keyboard to open a Twitter interface preloaded with a link to what I'm watching. But that's missing from things like live TV and audio podcasts. The point being that some obvious things are missing, and the user interface is very inconsistent.

    Finding music and other media on your local network may be easy to impossible depending on your familiarity with DLNA, UPnP, Windows Home Server, file permissions, etc. Only true computer and AV nerds are likely to have any luck with this at all if it doesn't just happen to work for you by default, and it probably won't. I have it working here, sort of, but that took many hours of reading forums that would frighten off non-technical users.

    I could go on and on. You get the idea. It's not even marginally as simple as expected to set up, and the functionality, while pretty much bug free, needs serious work.

    There are things I really like. The pocast/RSS features are very nice, even though they lag way behind desktop applications, which I think is acceptable on a TV screen landscape. Webpages look perfect and work as expected, which is one of the main things people want from Google TV I suppose. The search features are, thankfully, to Google standards. One search interface finds things on the web, media on my local network, podcasts, videos, programs on my cable service, etc. And if that isn't good enough I can take the search right to the Google's web-based search page. Very nice. And the Netflix integration is honestly a delight.

    I'm sure that both the Revue and Google TV will be getting updates soon, but right now it all feels rather frustrating and half-baked. I get the impression that if I'd waited a year I'd completely love it.

    31 Comments


    Comments:

    OMG, you actually posted something!!!! hehe
    Posted by Valerie D. at 4:43 PM EST on Oct 28th, '10

    Here's a much more comprehensive review -

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/29/google-tv-review/

    I'd say that unless you're at Jon's level of being able to troubleshoot on your own, without help from the system (their troubleshooting options were oddly short, more online of course), then you should hold off at least 6 mos. on this technology. We're keeping it though - because it's able to be updated and thus the theory is that the bugs we're experiencing can be fixed. Hopefully. The audio hookup issue may be an eventual deal killer, but that may be more of a Timer Warner Cable problem.

    I should also add that the tv remote always has been on Jon' desk, and thus the Google tv keyboard will be too. Though I now have the app on my Droid, meaning that I too can use my cellphone as a tv remote, if I should ever find the need. But nope, I'm still listening to all my podcasts on my ipod, and if I need to watch any video I usually just watch it on my computer. I will say that the immediate Netflix movies are totally worth it if you find yourself impatient for the mail. We're not particularly, but the immediate thing is kinda fun.

    As a Usually Not An Early Adopter I'd not have tried this on my own. And would have given up on setup process much sooner than Jon.
    Posted by bagrl at 4:42 PM EST on Nov 2nd, '10

    Thinking of an "Orange Liqueur Turkey" this year, If I just had the recipe...
    Posted by Coqui at 8:37 AM EST on Nov 22nd, '10

    A very Merry Christmas to one and all from the chilly tropical paradise of Cornwall.

    Lots of festive stuff and liqueurs (hic!).

    Happy New Year to the Sullivans, Mom, Dad, Sharon and especially Mr. Morgan and fellow posters.

    From the real Tropical Paradise/Banana Republic of South Florida... Sorry Tim, times like this(70) makes it worth while. Cheers!!!
    Posted by coqui at 4:43 PM EST on Dec 31st, '10




    Disclaimer: (please obey)

    JonSullivan.com is not responsible for your own dumb ass. For best results, don't be a dumb ass.

    JonSullivan.com is not recommended for children under 13. Parents should be aware that this site contains: discussion of sex with blow up animals, gratuitous amounts of profanity, and really wacky shit we can't even classify, much less recommend to little tikes. Expect misrepresentations, false assertions, and malicious deception.

    While using JonSullivan.com, please refrain from operating power tools, underwater breathing devices, powered enema machines, or the "Thigh Master". Failure to comply with this rule may lead unscrupulous types to hack into your web cam and post incriminating pictures of you at "Am I Hot Or Not?"

    Improper operation of JonSullivan.com can lead to insomnia, dropsy, toe loss, addiction to yogurt, very small fingernails, rapid eye movements, aversion to French cuisine, and spastic colon. Among other things. Don't make us list them all. You get the idea. Just be careful. It's not a toy. You could put an eye out for God's sake!!!

    Notice: Most interesting, useful, or humorous content found here was stolen from other sources without asking, and no return linkage or credit will ever be given. Unless you are named "Arnold P. Fasnock", you may read only the "odd numbered words" (every other word beginning with the first) of the message above. If you have violated that, then you hereby owe the site owner $10 for each even numbered word you have read.

    IMPORTANT: Comments found on this website are intended for the use of the individual(s) they are directed towards and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humor or irrational religious beliefs. Unless the word absquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the creation of this website, although the yorkshire terrier next door is living on borrowed time, let me tell you. This message represents the official view of the voices in my head.

    Your eyes are weary from staring at the CRT. You feel sleepy. Notice how restful it is to watch the cursor blink. Close your eyes. The opinions stated above are yours. You cannot imagine why you ever felt otherwise. Sue Jon Sullivan? Never! What a silly idea. Jon Sullivan is a wonderful human being who would never harm or deceive anyone. Jon Sullivan is not like the others. He is your friend.

    The comments & opinions expressed herein are NOT those of my employer, who, if he knew I was sending emails and surfing porno sites, would cut off my gonads and feed them to me for afternoon tea. Activities and vehicle modifications appearing or described in this website may be potentially dangerous. We do not endorse any such activity for others or recommend it to any particular person - we simply describe our experiences and opinions.

    This website is not affiliated with any company, person, entity, organization, fictional character, or any other thing which could at any time be considered to have a legal definition or status, or might for some reason sue me. This website does not reflect the thoughts or opinions of myself, my company, my friends, or anything, or anyone. Terms are subject to change without notice. Illustrations are slightly enlarged to show detail. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is unintentional and purely coincidental. Do not remove this disclaimer under penalty of law. Hand wash only, tumble dry on low heat. Do not bend, fold, mutilate, or spindle. Your mileage may vary. No substitutions allowed. For a limited time only.

    If any defects are discovered, do not attempt to edit them yourself, but return to an authorized service center. Do not read if safety seal is broken. If rash, irritation, redness, or swelling develops, discontinue reading. If ingested, do not induce vomiting, and if symptoms persist, consult a physician. Disclaimer does not cover misuse, accident, lightning, flood, tornado, tsunami, volcanic eruption, earthquake, hurricanes and other Acts of God, neglect, damage from improper reading, incorrect line voltage, improper or unauthorized reading, broken antenna or marred cabinet, missing or altered serial numbers, electromagnetic radiation from nuclear blasts, sonic boom vibrations, customer adjustments that are not covered in this list, and incidents owing to an airplane crash, ship sinking or taking on water, motor vehicle crashing, dropping the story, falling rocks, leaky roof, broken glass, mud slides, forest fire, or projectile (which can include, but not be limited to, arrows, bullets, shot, BB's, shrapnel, lasers, napalm, torpedoes, or emissions of X-rays, Alpha, Beta and Gamma rays, knives, stones, etc). Other restrictions may apply.

    This website is void where prohibited, taxed, or otherwise restricted. Opening this website may void your warrantee.