A Review of the Revue

October 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm Leave a comment

Last Saturday, I picked up the Logitech Revue.  This device looked interesting to me when I first saw it, priced a little below $300, but didn’t look to be worth that price.  The pricing slowly came down.  At $199, I was tempted, but held off.  A month or two back, the price dropped to $99.  I held off, hoping for the Honeycomb update to be released, but really, at this price it’s a good deal.  It’s based on the Atom processor, so while it probably uses a little more energy than some competing set-top units (like the AppleTV and the Roku), the upcoming Android market is what will probably make this unit really worthwhile.

But, based on the current capabilities, here’s my review:

Positives:

– Netflix streaming is probably the #1 use for this machine at the moment.  Now that it’s the same price as two other major streamers (mentioned earlier), I think it can probably be said that this is the best streamer of them.  It supports 1080p and has a nice sized keyboard to help you search.  The Netflix interface is very nice, as well, similar to the excellent Roku interface.

– There are several “channels” of content to view, similar to the Roku.  I will say the the Roku has better channel support at the moment, but I could see that swapping, and fast, if Honeycomb ever arrives.

Somewhere between Positive and Negative:

– The Keyboard.  What can I say?  On one hand, it’s big enough that if you want to type something sizable out, you can do it without a problem.  On the other hand, it’s a little big for a remote.  If you can get over the size of it, though, it’s really not bad.  It has some of the capabilities of the Harmony remote series, built right into it.  It’s currently controlling my TV and my SageTV HD200 box via the built-in IR blasters.

– Ok, so you aren’t in love with the keyboard…  Ditch it!  There is a free iPhone app that lets you control your Revue over Wifi.  I think there’s an Android version too.  Yes, the iPhone app communicates via Wifi to the Revue and if you change the volume via the iPhone app, it IR Blasts the TV to change the volume.  It IR Blasts my SageTV HD200 to select the show to watch, pause, fast forward, rewind, or whatever.

Negative:

– Hulu!  You can’t watch it yet, not even the Plus version.

– Chrome Browser:  It’s my opinion that it’s just not the most usable thing right now.  It’s a little on the slow side, somewhat unstable, and if you have an iPad or notebook, you just wouldn’t bother with Chrome on the Revue.  It’s harder to make out text across the room, etc.

– Lack of content:  Everyone with stuff you really want to watch (like the major networks, Hulu, and some others) are blocking video content when played on a Revue.

Potential:

If Honeycomb hits the Revue any time soon (and they’ve been promising for a long time now, so don’t hold your breath), I could see a major turnaround in functionality.  The new version of Chrome is supposed to be more stable, smoother, and faster.  Plus, the Android market should be with Honeycomb, so that’s probably our ticket to sideload something to keep Hulu (and other networks) from realizing that you are watching on a GoogleTV.  If you can do that, you could potentially watch all your TV shows after their original airdate across your Internet connection.  Cut that cable TV cord!

Anyhow, here’s to hoping that there’s a juicy update waiting for me int he next week or two…

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Entry filed under: General.

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