Logitech Revue with Google TV – Review and Test Drive

By Jonathan Spira on 9 November 2010
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13 minutes.  That’s how long it took from opening the box for the Logitech Revue with Google TV to be up and running.  It then spent about five minutes applying software updates and was ready for action.

I’ve been trying to connect flat-screen televisions with the Internet for years.  My original solution tied an old Lenovo laptop to the TV and was reasonably satisfactory in terms of functionality and image quality, but the Windows interface was far from ideal for a TV and there was no remote control.

I tried a variety of solutions, including Apple TV and WhereverTV, but these all had their flaws, despite some unique features and functionality.

The Logitech Revue itself is a box far smaller than the typical settop box, although it is about 20% larger than the old Apple TV box and nowhere close to the tiny new one.  There are only two buttons, both on the back, for power and Bluetooth pairing.  Everything else is handled through the keyboard (supplied).

The box has an HDMI output and an HDMI input, two USB ports, an optical digital audio output, built-in Wi-Fi (802.1N) an Ethernet jack (for those still using wires), and a few IR blaster ports.  The HDMI input is used to connect a legacy (i.e. cable or satellite) box, which the Revue will control.  (If there is no HDMI connector on your TV, you will not be able to use the device.)

The lightweight yet almost full-sized keyboard that comes with the Revue is not only your key to the kingdom of Google TV but it’s also what could make the Revue a smash hit.  It’s so light that it doesn’t seem to feel heavier than a standard remote, yet it can do so much more, given multiple dedicated keys for key functions.  If the keyboard is still too big, Logitech sells an optional handheld controller for $130, or one can use an iPhone or Android device.  The keyboard made such tasks as password entry (necessary for establishing the WLAN connection, among other things) very simple.

Click here to continue to Page 2 – Setting Up the Revue

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