Tag Archives: Google TV

Google TV 2.0 Add-on for Android SDK out for preview, helps developers tweak their apps for the big screen

While we still don’t know when exactly our Google TV units will get some Honeycomb love, the developers are getting a hint of what is to come with the help of a new Google TV Add-on for Android SDK and hopefully TV optimized Android Apps will follow.

The new Add-on contains only a limited set of the new Google TV 2.0 features but fortunately the new TV interaction APIs are in (including TV channel line-up). Also in are the new UI guidelines for the 10-foot experience.

If you are a developer, you can download your Google TV add-on today. In time, maybe we can finally put that $99 Logitech Revue to good use. The beta Android OS 3.1 Honeycomb leaked some time ago and offered a preview of the Android Market and the new user experience.

via Android Developers Blog

Logitech Revue Google TV now on sale for only $99

Google TV has its own share of missteps including lack of content rights, initial high price, etc. As a result, the sales were abysmal, at least compared with the expectations. It looks like Logitech finally figured it out that at least, if you can’t compete on the features, try slashing the price and starting today, Logitech Revue Google TV will sell for only $99. This price is a far cry from the initial $249, but at least Logitech has now the chance to move some boxes. If you don’t know too much about Google TV, check out our Sony Google TV Review.

The new price is even better considering that soon all Google TV devices will be upgraded to Android Honeycomb and it’ll also get a market. You can have all your apps working on the large screen, including games. Also, Logitech Revue has its own dedicated application to access media from your network shares / USB / DLNA making local content a non issue. Some other interesting features I personally love are the HDMI overlay all Google TV’s are capable of,  the Picture in Picture (PIP) capability over a live TV show and the full screen browser.

The new price is not yet updated with Logitech main site still showing $249 but  the change is expected soon. Based on Logitech’s recent press release, the change was prompted specifically by the weak sales in the Digital Home category. Yeah, we know, Roku 2 / Apple TV / Boxee Box and WD TV Live all much cheaper than the $249 Revue surely had something to do with Logitech’s crappy sales.

“While Logitech is making progress in improving operations in the Company’s EMEA sales region, the Q1 performance reflects sustained weakness in the region. The Company also experienced minimal sales growth in its Americas region, primarily due to very weak sales in the Digital Home category. Logitech’s loss in Q1 was compounded by the significant impact of the decision to reduce the price of Logitech Revue from $249 to $99 during Q2. The action was taken with the goal of accelerating adoption of the Google TV platform by removing price as a barrier to broad consumer acceptance.”


Google TV take 2 will get Android 3.1 and Market

This is the moment everybody was waiting for (or at least the media center aficionados). After a less than perfect start for their media streamer box, Google went back to the design board and made some improvements. Among them, the boxes will receive the latest and greatest Android OS version 3.1, some newer hardware, apparently cheaper and faster and, best of all, a market. Expect the applications to pop-up like crazy finally transforming your stupid old TV set into a web portal with games, apps, news and of course, music, photos and movies. Take that Apple TV 2.

Criticized by the lack of content, Google also announced today a service for storing / streaming music from the cloud and the availability of rental shows via YouTube and Android Market so when the Google TV 2 arrives, at least will have more content than the initial release.

The new features will also be available on the existing hardware, so if you bought a Sony Google TV (check our Sony Google TV Review here) or a Logitech Revue, you’ll get the update as well. Honeycomb SDK will be available for free if you feel like developing stuff for the box and there is also a small crowd of hardware manufacturers ready to sneak a box in your living room, including Samsung, Vizio and the previous culprits, Logitech and Sony. We don’t know how the boxes will look like but expect some detailed hands on reviews as soon as we’ll have one in our hands. More details to come tomorrow!

Dish Network – Google TV marriage gets official – no VIP922 love

As Dish Network a subscriber, I just received an e-mail from them to inform me that Google TV with DISH Network is available and that, as a subscriber I qualify for a special price of $179. The current MSRP for the Logitech Revue Google TV box is $299 so there is quite a savings. Unfortunately the discount is not available for Sony Google TV products.

The deep integration between Google TV and Dish Network should make available for search all your recorded shows as well as the shows listed in the electronic Guide. Unfortunately, during  my recent tests, the only Dish Network receivers compatible with a Google TV unit ares ViP 622, ViP 722 and ViP 722k. As I have the more advanced VIP 922 (full review here), I am out of luck for now.

Check Dish Network’s full press release and a video clip demo-ing the Dish network – Logitech Revue Google TV integration. Read More…

Google TV media streamer becomes a game streamer via GameString Adrenalin

If you already looked into our in-depth Google TV review, you probably realized it is a quite capable box, but in dire need of applications to show its potential. One of these applications is coming from AfterCAD via their GameString Adrenalin service and allows you to stream your PC games directly on your big TV. Adrenalin  actually streams the PC output to a browser, so presumably you can see it everywhere there is a full browser involved, but  it happens that Chrome on Google TV is a very capable browser so the Adrenalin – Android (Google TV) combination is quite a happy marriage.

The service is currently in beta and you can sign for free right from your Google TV Chrome browser at adrenalin.gamestring.com. The launch is scheduled 76 days from today.

Check after the break for the full press release and a video demo-ing World of Warcraft on your TV via Google TV. Read More…

Google TV media streamers is now officially PlayOn compatible – How to use it

If you remember in out in-depth Google TV review, PlayOn support was a hit and miss, with many users reporting that it doesn’t work properly. Well, now thanks to some PlayOn tweaks in their latest version, Google TV is able to play nice with PlayOn software, although there are some issues left. Here is how to do it:

Step 1: Go to PlayOn website and download their latest release (version 3.0.28 or higher)

Step 2: Navigate from your browser / search in your search box  for gtv.playon.tv (that is the page that should discover your PlayOn server), bookmark it

Step 3: Once PlayOn UI is available on your TV, choose whatever you want to play.

Per PlayOn comments, there are some issues controlling the playback: back button from the keyboard works but the play / pause don’t so you’ll need to use on screen navigation to perform the actual commands.

Sony Google TV Review

1. Introduction

2010 is certainly a year where media streaming boxes really flourished. From cheap dedicated media streamers like WD TV Live Plus and Apple TV, going through (although unreleased yet  Boxee Box) and ending with more expensive (for now) Google TV boxes from Sony and Logitech (Revue) there is enough diversity to satisfy everyone. The questions are: Do they succeed in offering a truly enjoyable experience? Which one is better / simpler to use / easier to integrate in your existing Home Theater?

Google TV’s entry in the media streamers market is here and it hopes to bring more than mere streaming. Its main purpose is convergence and the ability to search / reach for your media in a unified manner, while enjoying the comfort of your own couch. Does it succeed? We’ll try to find out in Review’s Horizon ambitious take to review this complex box.

2. Sony Google TV Unpacking Read More…

Logitech Revue Google TV remote app for Android is out

The Logitech Revue remote control application for Android OS is now live and free for download. Logitech mentioned also an iOS version as well, but considering the intricate process that Apple has in place to approve applications in their App Store, there is no way to know when it might come up. The application uses WiFi to connect and you need to be on the same network for it to work.

Logitech Revue is one of the two Google TV boxes available to date (Sony Google TV is the other one – read our review) and it retails for $300 at Amazon. It includes a full wireless keyboard with touch pad, IR emitter to control other devices, full integration with Dish Network DVRs, Google Chrome web browser supporting Adobe Flash 10.1, HTML 5 video and various web clients including Netflix.

Google TV launches today via Logitech Revue

Today is a very important day that might define the future of television. We already announced the new Google TV Website but today we get to see the first devices supporting Google TV  a standalone box called Logitech Revue that will connect between your existing set top box and your TV and display its data as an overlay over the existing TV image enabling real time searches while you watch a TV Show. The Logitech Revue boxes will run a new Android OS optimized for large screens and, more important, starting early next year it will also support applications from Android Marketplace. The initial price will be considerably higher than Apple TV ($300 vs $100) it will offer more content and also Adobe Flash 10.1. This way we can expect a lot more applications (and games) in the following months and put the final nail in the Yahoo! TV Widgets coffin which never took off (We had foreseen that 😉 )

Google TV will come pre-loaded with apps like Netflix, Twitter, CNBC, Pandora, Napster, NBA Game Time, Amazon Video On Demand and many other so in terms of pure content it beats most media streamers boxes available on the market. Apps to remote-control the box will be available on iOS and Android OS devices. Most important for some, it includes a DLNA client and attached hard drives (and it can search there as well) and supports MKV files. No HULU yet (they are blocking the box) but Google and HULU are in discussion, so we might see some agreements soon.

Google TV Logitech Revue Highlights:

  • Dish Network’s subscribers will get a much better price at $179 which is well worth it since the box will have deep integration with Dish Network Guide and DVR boxes – can search the recordings from your DVR for example
  • Logitech Revue also uses Logitech’s universal remote control technology to manage various components in your entertainment system send IR signals
  • really neat RF Keyboard
  • HD camera for video conference (Die overpriced Cisco umi, die!) capable of 720p. You will need to buy a separate camera as it won’t come in the box and it uses Logitech’s Vid HD Service. Skype (and others0 computability can presumably come via 3rd party apps later through the Android marketplace. Neat!!! The camera has autofocus Carl Zeiss lens and microphones adapted to be used in the living room
  • You can use existing Harmony remotes for the box as well (that goes without saying)
  • a new Logitech Mini Controller, (customized from a DiNovo Mini). I wonder if I can use mine as  my Dinovo Mini or we need to buy a new one…
  • Voice search via your smart phone
  • launch day apps include CNBC, Photo Gallery, Chrome, HD camera, Napster, NBA Game Time, Netflix,  Pandora, Podcast
  • Netflix interface is rather old, it just displays the queue, no categories. Uhhhhh 🙁
  • Logitech Media Player – DLNA client – and indexes DLNA feeds and locally connected drives, and it also supports MKV files!!!
  • The Revue box costs  $299 ($179 via Dish Network) including keyboard
  • Keyboard by itself costs $99
  • DiNovo style mini keyboard costs $129
  • HD TV camera costs $149 (everything pretty steep but that’s Logitech prices for you). All in all, cheaper than Cisco’s solution and no monthly fee.
  • Available for pre-order at Amazon sometime today, will ship by end of October

Logitech Revue supported media formats and audio/video codecs:

  • Music: AAC (.aac), FLAC (.flac), MP3 (.mp3), OGG (.ogg),WMA (.wma)
  • Photos: JPEG (.jpg, .jpeg), BMP (.bmp) PNG (.png), TIFF (.tiff)
  • Videos: WMV (VC-1) (.asf .wma .wmv), WMV (VC-1) + WMA (.asf .wma .wmv), WMV + WMA (.avi), Xvid (H-264) + AAC (.avi),
    Xvid (H-264) + AAC (.mp4), Xvid (H-264) + AAC (.mt2s .mt2), Xvid (MPEG4part2) + AAC (.avi), Xvid (MPEG4part2) + MP3 (.avi)

Check photo gallery after the break.

Read More…

Dell could adopt Google TV as they are looking for alternatives in IPTV

What technology company doesn’t want to be trendy? And currently streaming stuff is all the rage (we are not sure yet how to reconcile the media streaming craziness with some Internet providers’s pitiful decisions to cap the monthly download allotment, but hopefully that will get fixed somehow). We want to stream everything starting with family photos, music, TV Shows, movies and radio shows. And some companies are ahead of others in providing solutions (see Western Digital with their WD TV Live Plus box(review), Google TV, Boxee Box, etc). Not wanting to be left behind, DELL is currently evaluating existing and upcoming technologies to adopt and it looks like one of them is Google TV software. Recently, desktop product manager Chris Camilletti confirmed that DELL  is currently evaluating STB prototypes mentioning only one, Android based Google TV.

Right now, DELL doesn’t have any dedicated media streamer box in its product line relying historically on their PC line to provide media features. Apparently this will change sooner rather than later.