Posts Tagged ‘Logitech Revue’

DISH Network Offers Enhanced Service for Google TV

Friday, November 12th, 2010

DISH Network has been heavily advertising its “Enhanced Integration” with Google TV this week. I got two notices in my email on the same day. Having watched the Google TV announcements from the beginning, I knew DISH Network was going to cooperate with Google, but the details were not really known until now.

The most exciting feature is the subsidized price of $179 for the Logitech Revue (see review). Notice I said subsidized, and not discounted. Initially it looked like a simple discount. When I was setting up the Revue at home last weekend I noticed a stipulation: you must sign up for the $4/month “enhanced integration.” Since the unit I was testing was not my personal unit I chose at the time not to sign up since I wanted to make sure I could get the subsidy in the future should I decide to go with the Revue. So what exactly is the enhanced integration all about? Check out the video below, as featured on the Google TV blog.

My first thoughts about the enhanced features is that this is what was advertised with Google TV from the beginning. Devices like the Logitech Revue and Sony Internet TV were supposed to cooperate with your cable/satellite provider and let you search and record with your DVR. It looks like DISH Network will be charging for the service that was supposedly standard. This is a little disappointing.

I know $4 doesn’t seem like much to haggle over, but then again, think about all the subscription TV offerings out there: Apple TV, Hulu Plus, Amazon VOD, etc. I already pay for a satellite TV subscription, so why do I need to keep adding other subscriptions? I don’t even subscribe to movie channels like HBO or Showtime, so Hulu Plus and the like are not really an option for me. I am not sure that DISH Network is offering enough value for the $4, especially considering Hulu Plus is going for $10/month.

The bottom line really doesn’t change though. If I want to use Google TV to its full extent I am going to have to subscribe to the DISH Network Google TV package. The whole point of using Google TV is to integrate it with my DVR, in my opinion. I can’t very well do that if DISH is blocking me. The subsidy will reduce the sting a bit though, which helps.

Logitech Revue: Unboxing and First Impressions

Friday, November 5th, 2010

The Logitech Revue is one of two choices when connecting to Google TV. I reviewed the other choice, the Sony Internet TV, here. The Logitech Revue is not exactly cheap, but it costs a lot less than buying a brand new TV. DISH Network customers even get a discount on the device.

The Revue is pretty simple as far as hardware goes. There is a keyboard remote and a cable companion box. Setup is pretty easy. If you need a MAC address to connect a device to your network, you can view it for the LAN and WAN on the underside of the companion box. Other than making sure your network allows new devices, you simply answer some questions about your TV, cable company, and log into Google.

If you don’t have a set-top box or DVR from your cable provider, things get a little tricky. You can watch TV, but you can’t use the keyboard remote to control it. This means you can’t select a television show from Google TV either. You really need a set-top box or DVR to get the full value out of the Revue.

Searching for YouTube videos is easy enough. I looked at some of the pre-set applications as well, including CNBC, Netflix, and Twitter. These are Android apps, but you can’t currently access the Android Market. That feature is coming soon.

In addition to Android Apps, you also get Google Chrome. It is designed to behave just as Chrome would on your computer, but tabbed browsing can be a bit tricky. I Googled it from Chrome on the device, and it didn’t indicate a difference in tabbed browsing. There was mention of a menu button or clicking Control – T, but that was it. I poked around a bit more and figured it out. If you want to view open tabs or input a URL, click the search key at the bottom of the keyboard (it looks like a magnifying glass). You can input URLs here, and if you look at the far right you can see an icon for selecting open windows. This is not only for Chrome it seems, but for all of Google TV, as the home screen is included as a choice.

All in all, first impressions are pretty good. I am going to test it a bit more with DISH Network tonight, so I will discuss those impressions soon. The keyboard is really easy to use, and is far less complex than the one on Sony’s Internet TV. This means it is more accessible to the everyday user, not just geeks like myself who like the Sony version.

If you’ve tried the Logitech Revue, let me know what you think in the comments.

Dish Network Customers Get Google TV Discount

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Google TV is upon us. Logitech has announced pricing on the Revue, and Sony will soon officially reveal pricing on new Google TV-compatible televisions. Dish Network customers can choose to use Sony or Logitech to connect to Google TV, and Logitech offers quite the incentive to use the Revue. Dish Network customers can pick up the Logitech Revue for only $179, nearly half off the regular price.

Dish Network can connect to the Logitech Revue a couple of ways. First, the HDMI output from the Dish Network HD receiver connects to the HDMI input on the Revue while the Revue passes the signal to the television. Because the Revue can take wired and wireless internet connections, you can use a patch cable to connect the Dish Network receiver to the internet and connect the Revue to the Wi-Fi.

While using Google TV, the Logitech keyboard can control Dish Network functions. You have the choice to watch TV the old-fashioned way too, using your standard Dish Network remote.

While it would be great to connect to Google TV with your brand new Sony television, the Revue is a more affordable entry-level device. Dish Network makes it even cheaper. I was planning to switch back to Dish Network before the Google I/O conference, and once I learned they were partnering with Google I was all the more eager to switch. I set up my account couple weeks ago and am planning to enjoy the discounted Revue. I’ll be using it at work and at home. I intend to see what I can do with Digital Signage using Google TV. I’ll be posting a review of my testing once it is done.

The Revue will work with other providers, but with the huge discount offered by Dish Network, why not switch over? It has better service anyway, and offers free HD for life. Google TV is icing on the already decadent cake.

You can learn more about Dish Network’s Google TV offering at www.dishnetwork.com/googletv.