Logitech Revue with Google TV – Review and Test Drive

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Broadcast networks to Google TV: Go Away

There are a few challenges that Google TV will have to overcome, first and foremost the fact that Hulu, ABC, CBS, and NBC all block Google TV users from seeing their content.

Surf over to hulu.com and you will see “Hi! We notice that you are trying to access Hulu from Google TV. It’s not available, but we’re working hard to bring our Hulu Plus subscription service to Google TV! Stay tuned for updates.”

ABC.com reports that “the operating system or Web browser you’re using is currently not supported.”

NBC.com, which took forever to load on Google.TV, was equally uncooperative. “Sorry, the content you are trying to access is not currently available on this device” their Web site reported when I tried to watch a program.

CBS  announced “the video you have requested is not available on this device.”

The Revue with Google TV is simply one of many computers on my home network.  All of the above sites are accessible via my computers but the legacy television networks have decided that Google TV is different.  The reason for this is that the networks view devices that attach to TV sets differently than computers, even those computers with large screens.  Google’s position is that the Google TV uses the same Chrome browser as a PC and that the networks are arbitrarily blocking their own viewers in an attempt to extort money from Google, which Google says it will not pay.

Ironically, Google TV (which does not block any Web sites) makes it easy to access sites that provide links to pirated copies of TV shows from these very networks, such as surfthechannel.com.

Despite the aforementioned issues, the Logitech Revue with Google TV is the best interface yet for the large screen.  The image quality is excellent since the connections are digital and the interface, while it has a few warts, is well thought out.  If you’ve been trying to figure out how to watch your movies or Web content on a larger screen and you don’t want to purchase a new television with built-in Google TV, the Logitech Revue is the clear answer.

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