The Logitech Revue was officially announced today and pnosker.com was at the New York press event. Pat Nosker live blogged a lot of the important information, but here is the information in a slightly more organized format.
The Revue is an interesting piece of technology that is geared to unifying and simplifying your home entertainment system. The Revue is designed to filter and enhance that audio and video content that you are already viewing. To use the Revue, you simply redirect the HDMI cable that was plugged into your TV through the Revue and give it access to the internet.
Now that the Revue is hooked up, you now have access to Google TV. Google TV is a media management system built on top of Android. The two things that excites me the most about Google TV is unified searching and full web browsing. A Google search bar can be brought up at any point. Typing into the search box brings up results as you type, but that really interesting thing about this search bar is just how much it searches. In addition to the internet, the search bar also give you results from your dvr, the internet, tv listings, and your computer, assuming all of those things are connected. Here you can see the search overlay with a movie still playing underneath.
If your search guides you to a webpage, Google TV will open up a special version of Google Chrome. The claim is that it is fully functioning, but while playing with it at the press event, the flash plugin crashed several times. In fact, the first site that it failed on was Logitech's own website. Other flash applications seemed to work fine though, such as videos hosted on topgear.com and youtube.
By controlling the output's of your other devices, the Revue is also able to do a form of picture in picture. While you are browsing the internet, or using any other Google TV feature, you can continue watching your TV show in a small box in the lower right hand corner of the screen.
Since Google TV runs on Android, you will be able to download apps from the Android Market when it goes up in 2011. The Revue comes loaded with a few apps by default. Some of the apps that we saw at the event:
The Logitech Revue is designed to be integrated with the DISH network DVR, but will still work for the most part with any television provider. It was a bit unclear what features required DISH to work, but I believe that the search bar will not be able to search another company's dvr.
Logitech designed the Revue to be controllable with a wide variety of devices. To name a few: a keyboard, a minicontroller, Harmony Remotes, and even smart phones.
This wireless keyboard is the best control device in my opinion, though I only played with each one briefly. It is a keyboard with a touch pad and directional pad built into it. It is 122 mm x 23.89 mm x 334.6 mm (WxHxD) and weighs 289 g. It has a handful of buttons that make controlling Google TV and media in general easier. It runs on two AA batteries and has a claimed battery life of close to a year with normal use. It can be turned off manually, but will go to sleep when not in use. The keyboard is currently being bundled with the Revue, but can be bought separately for $99.99.
The mini controller is more compact but still has most of the functionality of the larger keyboard. It is 23.7 mm x 89.77 mm x 151.77 mm and weighs 166 g. As you can see in these two pictures, the circular part of the controller changes between a d-pad and a touch pad. Though less clear from these pictures, the keys are also illuminated so this controller can be used in low light situations. It comes with a small usb adapter so can be used to control any device with usb hubs. Unlike the keyboard, it runs off of a rechargeable battery. It is being sold for $129.99 .
The last thing I am going to discuss at the moment is the Logitech TV cam.
The TVcam allows you to use the Logitech Vid HD app. This allows you to make HD quality video calls to not only other Revue users, but also to people using computers. The camera allows HD 720p video calls. Since the app is built into Google TV, you get on-screen notification and caller ID so you can know who’s calling and you have the option to answer or ignore the call, while you are watching TV. See what calls you missed via a call notification icon on Vid HD and an LED light on the TV Cam that lights up when you’ve missed a call – even when your TV is off. Since the camera is designed to sit on your TV, it has a wide-angle lens to ensure that you and your surroundings are captured. It has two digital, directional microphones to help reduce noise and echoes in a living room environment.
Ok, I think that covers most of the important information, but I will try to add more as it comes out. New information will be added in the appropriate place as well as in my list of facts. You can preorder the Revue now, but it wont be out until the end of October.
$299.99 bundled with the wireless keyboard.
Logitech Revue companion box (WxHxD) Dimensions: 247 mm x 171 mm x 36.1 mm
Weight: 600 g
HDMI input: 1080p/60fps, 1.3a w/ CEC
Networking: Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n
Wired: Ethernet 10/100 Base-T
Audio optical output (S/PDIF)
Two USB 2.0 ports
Integrated Logitech Harmony® Link IR blaster
Logitech Unifying wireless technology