Logitech Gives Up On Google TV

Dave Zatz —  November 21, 2011 — 31 Comments

Logitech nearly bet the farm on Google TV… and lost. Even at $100, they’ve been unable to exhaust the formerly $300 gTV Revue inventory. According to Logitech’s new CEO, they:

executed a full scale launch with a beta product and it cost us dearly

Indeed. And instead of doubling down on Google TV, they’re abandoning the platform. So, despite earlier intel to the contrary, there will be no Revue 2. Further, those that took a flyer on the Revue are still awaiting the Google TV 2.0 Honeycomb experience. Logitech tells me the update will arrive (late) by year’s end, but it’s merely lipstick on a pig and it’s probably safe to assume that the Revue will see no further improvement. Here’s to hoping for a robust Android Marketplace?

31 responses to Logitech Gives Up On Google TV

  1. The reason we’re a bit late covering this new is because I was trying to dig up details on a possible aborted Revue successor, but obviously didn’t learn anything new or to contradict my earlier intel.

  2. The Revue was the worst media player I’ve ever owned. I got one when it was $99 but had to return it since it couldn’t even handle the simple task of 5.1/7.1 HDMI audio.

  3. EDIT: I meant stereo audio over HDMI going to a 5.1/7.1 setup.

  4. I bought mine a few weeks ago. I guess i like technological underdogs (also own a HP Touchpad). It’s unfortunate, because it has so much promise.

  5. May have sucked as an actual real-world device. But it was a helluva proof of concept. It sliced and it diced. It was a floor wax and a dessert topping.

    (One does wonder what Logitech’s management at the time was smoking. My assumption at the time had been that Google and Logitech had worked out a deal where ‘teh plex’ was subsidizing Logitech to the point where they couldn’t lose money on the proof of concept hardware. But my assumption has obviously been proven wrong.)

  6. The title doesn’t express the real story

    Logitech will not introduce new setup box but still support Revue Box

    During Morgan Stanley Conference 16th Nov. , Logitech CEO said Will work on Perpaheral Add-ons for Google TV and for Apple if any they come up with (not setup boxes)

  7. I obviously disagree with your assessment. I’ve perused the conference coverage, read the blog post, and corresponded with Logitech. Warranty support is not the same thing as providing software enhancements or even bug fixes. And those software improvements are way more pertinent than any possible new hardware accessories. (By the by, their existing tiny Bluetooth keyboard and HD camera were not designed specifically for Google TV.)

  8. They were surprised that Google put out a beta product? Really?

  9. For 99, it was worth it for me. It let my in laws watch Indian television shows. Hopefully the 2.0 makes the browser a little better and we get some cool apps. Also, I hope that eventually the rooting community gets the ability to put roms on it and we can move on regardless of Logitech’s support or lack of it.

  10. So does this mean that the Sling Player for the Revue is dead as well? I was looking forward to some sort oof Sling Player function in some sort of box like the Revue, Apple TV, TiVo or Roku. Any guesses where it might happen first?

  11. GoogleTV was ahead of its time. It could have developed into a really slick HTPC.

    I still maintain that whoever creates the first HTPC-style device for the masses will kill. Tivo is close but not enough Apps and expensive. Boxee is getting there but no DVR. I still think Google will be the big winner here. Remember they just bought SageTV in June. I expect real second generation GoogleTV devices to be amazing and fulfill a lot of the promise of the ecosystem.

    As for Sling AFIK, SlingPlayer for Connected Devices is still rolling along.

  12. I thought Google TV was behind the times. I had a better experience browsing with my HTPC on my HDTV back in 2001 than I did with the Revue.

  13. Definitely not ahead of anyone or anytime However, I do appreciate the UI speed, overlay, and web browsing (when not blocked by content providers). But otherwise, it’s a mess. It’ll be interesting to see if Google integrates SageTV in some way down the road. But that deal went down before Google bought Morotola’s set-top box business. So it’ll be interesting to see how, if, and when these various properties converge. And if Google sticks with retail.

  14. I got a revue myself. It’s pretty useless at 1.0, but comes packaged with an EXCELLENT keyboard/touchpad that is easily worth $99.

    I’m looking forward to the googletv 2.0 upgrade. Hopefully it’ll make the revue itself useful. If not, I’ll pick up a logitech universal receiver USB dongle and use the keyboard on my HTPC running XBMC and huludesktop.

  15. I agree that the execution was heavily flawed but GoogleTV links your cable/sat TV with Internet TV better than anything else out there (except a real HTPC of course). Having a unified box and a search that searches things on TV, Internet TV, your network storage etc is huge.

  16. Say what you want about the Revue, i love mine, i am running the leaked Honeycomb 3.1, and couldn’t be happier.
    There is a video on YouTube where they answer questions about what is going to happen to the Revue, and Google has alot planned for the box.

  17. Google can’t release firmware for the revue without involving logitech, because all the harmony stuff, webcam app, and local media support (such as it is) comes from logitech. If google pushed virgin googletv 2.0 to the revue, users would lose functionality.

    Now since logitech is dropping the device entirely, they may allow google to do whatever they want, and allow users to opt-in to losing that stuff. That would be cool. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Can you imagine the support calls?

  18. That’s why you leak it, without support…

  19. I got one at the discounted price. Haven’t used the box, but the keyboard is easily the best HTPC keyboard on the market. It controls Windows Media Center juts fine. Used to make do with a Lenovo, but the Logitech keyboard (which by itself is also $99 I believe) is much better.

  20. Look, I’m sorry but this was flawed from the start and the update isn’t going to fix it.

    IR blasters? Really? They couldn’t even be bothered to do network integration with Tivo or other devices? I mean its not like network integration would be foreign to Google?

    HDMI pass-thru is a great idea in theory, but in practice it breaks a lot of stuff. Doesn’t work with SA STBs as I recall, which hey are only half the damn cable STB market.

    And if they were going to do IR blasters and sell the device for $300 what were they thinking when they decided not to integrate the Harmony library with the thing? Seriously?

    Logitech was shocked that Google released Beta software? Google was shocked that people didn’t want to use a device on their couch that required either a full keyboard or a remote from the 1970s? Google was shocked that web sites blocked access to their web browser on the TV? Seriously?

    Look at Microsoft’s attempts in this space. They’ve spent a LOT of money for relatively little gain and have basically given up and gone in a different direction. I’m not saying it isn’t doable or that Google won’t do it, but its not a good bet. As Steve Jobs said, there’s no good “go to market strategy”:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-apple-apple-television-2011-11?op=1

    Yes its possible that Google will do something cool here by combining Google TV with Sage in some kind of DVR. Or with Motorola’s DVRs. Or both. But there are problems with all of that. MSOs stand in the way of most of this potential progress.

    Cable Card still sucks. People aren’t technically competent and opt for the crappy cable company rental DVR more often than not. Input one is still a big advantage since most people don’t even use the remote for their TV past the initial setup.

    I HOPE that Google follows thru with a full court press here–more Google TV partners now using ARM parts rather than Intel, lobbying with congress and the FCC for AllVid, integration of a whole home DVR using Motorola and/or Sage DNA, network standards for home control, network standards for VOD and SDV access, etc etc. But I fear they will founder on the rocks that have stopped so many before them…

  21. Walks into living room. Has beer, food, and HTPC CableCard HDHomeRun unit working…

    Don’t buy a Google TV!!

    Snores…

  22. Hey Chucky!

    Just in case you’re reading this… TivoDesign just tweeted Dave Zatz that they think the latest update just rolling out (14.9.2?) to the Premiere units has fixed the SDUI “10 minute” hang bug (sometimes only 3 minutes apparently). I guess we won’t know for a week or so, but you might want to track Tivo Community if this is your deciding issue…

    BTW, the latest update does NOT appear to fix the random reboots problem that might be the new issue that keeps you from updating…

  23. Logitech pushed out a complicated product without even a manual. It is obvious that there was no field testing. The thing didn’t interface with the many different components their buyer have.

    IMHO, they should have hung in and pushed a Revue2 to use the new GTV update.

  24. Glenn, how exactly do you expect a third party piece of hardware to change the channel or execute any other function on a multitude of STB’s and Receivers? Should I be sending my FiOS DVR back for including a remote? Am I missing something here or has SlingBox failed to obtain the insider intel as well?

    Logitech made a massive mistake by including essentially open-source beta software, un-tested in the market or anywhere for that matter. I’m pretty certain Version 5.4 of Ubuntu isn’t still being flamed on boards due to it lack of functionality.
    The bottom line, Logitech is continuing it’s mistakes by not weathering the storm of software development and it’s ability to be updated. When you ask to use another company’s software, on your product, you are cutting corners by not creating your own. Thus relying on them to fix it for you. This is not Google’s mistake, never has been.

    We all knew what the Revue was capable of at purchase. I knew it came with a highly functional keyboard, check. I knew it was running a beta piece of software bound to be filled to the brim with bugs, check(see any version of any mobile phone OS, or desktop). I knew what codecs were and weren’t supported and dealt with it accordingly by transcoding on the fly, downloading a different file-type, or just not trying to watch a file that wasn’t going to work.

    If you own a piece of hardware that isn’t doing what you need it to, fix it. Figure out how to Flash the thing and put something else on. But claiming that Logitech is a bad company for making a mistake by rushing to the market a product they have no experience with, is not true. They either don’t have the capital, don’t want to tie it up, or just feel they are in over their head is the bottom line.

    Every good company looks for ways to innovate, there will always be stumbles along the way. This one; a sub-par HTPC that turns on and runs as advertised, just one that doesn’t do what everyone wants it to, and never will.

  25. mCoate, Merely turning on and running as advertised isn’t good enough to delight your customers or to be competitive. And it’s not at all safe to assume everyone was aware of Google TV’s many v1 shortcomings when making a purchase – heck, didn’t retailers and customers return more Revue hardware than they purchased one quarter earlier this year? But Logitech’s biggest mistake, which cost them their CEO and hundreds of millions of dollars, is what turned out to be an insane forecast. How many of these did they produce? Think about how fast HP cleared TouchPad inventory at $99 for comparison… so either the Revue doesn’t have mainstream appeal or they built way too many. Probably both.

    Glenn, the fact that TiVo’s spokesperson can’t confirm definitively should alarm you.

  26. man.. a little cheese with that whine..
    its 99 bucks it surfs the net quite well.. blocked content..
    its the net… if you want to see it its out there..
    yea im all for a atom net top box,, couple that with a decent hdtv.. and you have 95% of what your HTPC will do.. if you need hulu.. or what ever.. then you dont know how to search for content.. or dont whish to bother.. my revue is quite usable , again… it was a hundred bucks.. the KB alone is worth 50 of that.. so you get a nice atom processor with built in wifi.. for 50 bucks..

    yea right.. we got screwed..

    whatever… man.. i dig the revue.. and once gtv2 pushes..
    that will be cool too.. bad marks for logitech.. taking so long..
    but the product its self is quite amazing..

  27. Guys,

    Not saying it doesn’t do what some of you want it to. I’m saying it couldn’t possibly have been a hit the way it was defined. And I’m not sure it can be fixed either. Yes IR controls work, at least most of the time. I used a Tivo DT for years that relied on IR. It was also flaky enough that I switched to a Cable Card based Tivo HD as soon as one was available. For what Google wants to do, e.g. support search across content providers, live TV and DVR content, they need more than just IR.

    They need to be built into a Dish DVR. Or a Tivo. Or a Sage DVR. Or a Motorola DVR. Or all of the above. Or they need tight coupling that probably can’t happen without the cooperation of the provider, be it Comcast, DirecTV or whoever.

    Sorry, but browsing the web on TV was done by WebTV back in 1995, and Microsoft spent a bunch of money on the idea before abandoning it. That horse has left the barn. You just won’t sell 10′s of millions of a unit like that. People need a simple lean-back interface that uses a remote they can understand. Up/down/left/right. Something like the PS3 T-bar or the XBox interface. Or sure a whole new paradigm. But not a keyboard in the living room. Sorry.

    Dave, yeah that’s disappointing. But like I said, I’m upgrading my Tivo HD to get more drive space and not relying on the Elite to get its act together any time soon. Sad face, but that’s life.

    Hey, you might want to cover the apparently decent Tivo results:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57329894-92/maybe-tivo-has-its-groove-back/?tag=mncol;cnetRiver

  28. Glenn, I fired off a few tweets… maybe I’ll hit here tomorrow.

  29. “Sorry, but browsing the web on TV was done by WebTV back in 1995, and Microsoft spent a bunch of money on the idea before abandoning it. That horse has left the barn. You just won’t sell 10′s of millions of a unit like that. People need a simple lean-back interface that uses a remote they can understand. Up/down/left/right. Something like the PS3 T-bar or the XBox interface. Or sure a whole new paradigm. But not a keyboard in the living room. Sorry.”

    It’s all about teh content. End of story. Content rules in video. You need them as partners, and they hold all the cards. This ain’t the Cupertino Getting Rich on the Corpse of the Music Industry Part Deux.

    The wireline guys are a big part of the story, but they are only the seconds to the content guys. The CEA guys get sloppy thirds.

    And yes, I also hope Dave does a post on the Motorola Mobility news…

  30. I don’t think Logitech’s CEO had much faith in the Motorola/Google Merger..but look what it did accomplish,it raised the bar for the Google platform..but Logitech’s De Luca was the car sitting on the train tracks…Progress is a lovely word isn’t it?

    I think Logitech needs to get merged out by LG or someone bigger that has more “foresight”,to go the distance not just the “short term”.

    Yes,Logitech had that one coming,being they deemed the Revue as a “beta” come on guys good heavens even Google drove the car out of the “driveway” and launched products beyond beta.

    I’ve talked to people at Logitech who are still kicking themselves,and have told me the emails flooding Logitech are very to the point,and all of the “venting” is going to De Luca for saying one thing..”Google TV and Logitech have bright future” then pulling this over on us.

    Not to Logitech think merger partner and soon

  31. If you want to “get their goat” at Logitech,tell them what I said..in contrast to the Roku and Google TV..all they had to do is level the playing field out of the gate,BELOW 300.00 and you would have seen some fireworks come out of this…

Leave a Reply

*

Text formatting is available via select HTML.

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>