UPDATE: 8/14/11 – There has been a significant price drop of Logitech Revue to $99.99 (previously 3x that much). This lower price point along with the upcoming update to the OS within a month or two, should make this device a very interesting addition to your living room.
Indeed, it would seem that this little black box that’s designed to help unify our TV-focused lives is Google’s idea when it comes to transforming the world of HTPC’s.
Essentially a streaming set-up box
Quite simply, the Logitech Revue with Google TV is a set-top box that has HDMI-in as well as USB / Wi-Fi and wired network connections. Essentially, the idea is that you connect it up to your network, your cable / satellite box and enjoy a streamlined HTPC experience thanks to Google TV.
Connectivity limited to HDMI
Out of the box, the Logitech Revue is pretty much indistinctive. At $299, it’s a tad more expensive than the competition, but with 1x HDMI-in, 1x HDMI-out as well as IR blasters that allow you to control pretty much every device in the living room from the Revue itself. Sadly, it does not feature composite-out, so this gadget won’t be suitable for older TVs.
A box that controls everything
Looking at the device, the area in which it truly shines is in the way it unifies your home theater into a single box that controls everything. With the high-quality keyboard that comes as standard, you’ll be able to control just about everything.
The only drawback is that it’s not backlit, which for a $299 device is something that should have been pretty much standard. However, if you own a smartphone (iPhone / Android) it’s possible to download the Harmony remote software and control everything right from your smartphone.
In addition, Logitech has now published a Mini Controller which is similar to the popular diNovo Mini keyboard / mouse combo.
Does it achieve the promises?
On the inside, Revue with Google TV is a very solid idea as it tries to do what many HTPC enthusiasts spend months attempting, but does it achieve it? Not entirely.
While the Logitech Revue with Google TV works great as a set-top box, you might find that at the minute, thanks to some spats with other TV networks, Google TV is somewhat lacking compared to rivals Hulu, Netflix and Boxee.