Since Google announced Google TV in May, there’s been a bit of speculation about just when it will be available and how it will work. According to CNN, Logitech has been at the forefront of device manufacturing for Google, but until today details were fuzzy. Well, now we’ve got plenty of details and a price: $300 for the Android-based device. And it’s called the Revue.
The Revue has a few interesting features, including pretty wide integration with Netflix, NBA, Twitter, CNBC, Napster, and Pandora (but not Hulu, at least not yet). Essentially that looks a whole lot like my XBox Live. If you happen to be a Dish Network customer, you don’t have to pay the $300 rate, but you’ll get it at a discounted $179. If you want the additional 6-Inch Mini Controller it’ll set you back another $130—these will work with the iPhone, iPad, and Android systems. If you want to make HD calls, you can also purchase the TV Cam for $150.
While I think Logitech and Google are going in the right direction, concept-wise, the pricetag looks really huge from my perspective. Google’s initial press release sounds promising:
Google TV is based on the Android platform and runs the Google Chrome web browser. Users can access all of their usual TV channels as well as a world of Internet and cloud-based information and applications, including rich Adobe® Flash based content – all from the comfort of their own living room and with the same simplicity as browsing the web. When coupled with the Intel® Atom™ processor CE4100, Intel’s latest system-on-a-chip designed specifically for consumer electronics, the new platform will offer home theatre quality A/V performance.
But, as the CNN article points out: currently the newest AppleTV is $99, and the Roku box for Netflix is $69 and up. And if you’re like me, you just use your XBox to stream and access most of these things well, almost for free. Even if you don’t consider the additional accessories, $300 is a lot of money for a box and a keyboard.
Sony is also getting in on the deal, with “the world’s first Internet television” which will be announced during a press conference next week. CNN reports that it’ll essentially be an HDTV with Google TV support.
While Google TV is interesting, the whole effort does feel a little behind the times considering that many people, at least those of us in the geek contingent, have been doing much the same thing at home for years. But, as with all things, it’s in the hands of the consumers. Many of whom are not geeks. Who knows? Maybe we’re more willing to buy $300 pieces of technology than I think!