Logitech today unveiled the first "Google TV" boxes touted as merging online content and traditional television offerings.
Logitech Revue boxes were priced at 300 dollars (US) each and will be available in the United States by the end of October, according to the Swiss company.
Google TV brings traditional TV programming together with the entire Internet, with the ability to search across them both.
Logitech Revue with Google TV is a compact, plug-and-play companion box with its Logitech Keyboard Controller, which together provide control over the Google TV experience and home-entertainment devices. The company's portfolio of products for Google TV also includes the Logitech TV Cam and Vid HD service for HD video calling from the comfort of one?s sofa. In addition, Logitech is offering the Logitech Mini Controller for Logitech Revue as well as other applications designed for the Google TV platform.
"Logitech Revue with Google TV makes it easy for people to use just one controller to find and enjoy content from a variety of sources - programs from TV providers; the entire Web, including Flash-based games; music, photos and videos from their personal library; and a growing selection of apps," said Ashish Arora, vice president and general manager of Logitech?s digital home products group. "Logitech not only delivers the Google TV experience for any HDMI-ready TV, but we build on it with exceptional interface devices, control of living room components through Logitech Harmony Link and enhanced experiences such as video calling in the living room."
"Google TV combines the power of search, a full Web browser, and Android apps with the TV experience you know and love," said Mario Queiroz, vice president of product management for Google.
With a broadband Internet connection available, connecting the Logitech Revue to your home entertainment system is easy. Use the included HDMI cable to connect the Logitech Revue to the port on your HDTV, and then connect another HDMI cable between the Logitech Revue and your cable or satellite provider box with HDMI out. Then plug in the system to power up your Logitech Revue and follow the directions on the TV screen to complete the brief software setup.
Once set up, you can use the included Logitech Keyboard Controller to navigate and interact with the new world of content available on your TV screen. Watching the big game on live TV and want to know the latest stats on your favorite player - Simply use the dual-view mode to see the stats on the Web while still watching the game.
The Logitech Keyboard Controller includes everything you need to control Google TV and features a familiar keyboard layout so anyone can start searching without a learning curve. It includes a touch pad with scroll functionality for control in addition to back and home buttons for easy Web page navigation. The Keyboard Controller uses Logitech Unifying wireless technology.
Because Harmony Link technology is embedded in Logitech Revue - the same technology that powers Logitech's family of Harmony universal remotes - you will enjoy control over how you experience Google TV. So when you search for something and then click on it, your selection will come up at the touch of one button ? no manual switching of inputs required.
Logitech also provides buttons to control your TV, A/V receiver and DVR. These let you power on your TV, turn up the volume on your speakers or access your DVR content without needing to use an additional remote. In addition, you can use the setup software to customize buttons of your controller and map commands for your devices.
Logitech Mini Controller
The company developed the Logitech Mini Controller for use with Google TV - a palm-sized keyboard, touch pad and remote control combo.
Despite its compact size, just 6-inches by 3.5-inches, the Mini Controller offers full control over the Google TV experience. It has a touch pad that removes the need for a mouse, as well as illuminated keys that change color depending on the mode you're in: green for navigation, orange for typing and pointing. The Mini Controller provides buttons to control your TV, A/V receiver and DVR.
The Mini Controller has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can go up to two weeks between charges.
Logitech TV Cam and Logitech Vid HD
The Logitech TV Cam lets you make and receive high-definition video calls on your HDTV - no computer required. It connects with your Logitech Revue box using USB to deliver clear images - thanks in part to Carl Zeiss optics - and high quality audio. And the TV Cam also provides a wide-angle lens and a 5x digital zoom.
The TV Cam also includes two digital, directional microphones that help reduce noise and echoes in a living room environment and uses Logitech RightLight 2 technology to adjust images in dim lighting situations.
Together, the Logitech TV Cam and Vid HD software enable high-definition video calls of up to 720p. To make a video call, connect the Logitech TV Cam to your Logitech Revue box and select the Logitech Vid HD app, which comes preloaded on the Revue box. If the video call is with someone who is not using a TV Cam with Logitech Revue, they can download Vid for free onto their PC or Mac from www.logitech.com/vid.
If you receive a video call using Logitech Vid HD on Google TV, the TV Cam will blink to alert you of an incoming call. If your TV screen is on, you will hear an audible ring and receive a notification and caller ID so you can know who's calling - and you have the option to answer or ignore the call. If you ignore a call or are away from your TV, you will be aware of any missed calls thanks to a call notification icon in the Vid HD interface or from an LED light on the TV Cam that lights up when you've missed a call - even when your TV is off.
Logitech Google TV Apps
Preloaded on the Logitech Revue in the Applications section you will find the Logitech Media Player. The Logitech Media Player lets you access your personal content, including photos, downloaded music files and home videos that are stored on a USB drive or a DLNA-certified media server on your home network.
For added control possibilities, Logitech will offer two downloadable smartphone apps: the Logitech Harmony for iPhone and the Logitech Harmony for Android. These apps allow you to use your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android device to control your Google TV experience.
Available for pre-order today on Logitech.com, Amazon.com and BestBuy.com, Logitech's line of products for Google TV are expected to be available online and in Best Buy stores across the U.S. by the end of October. The Logitech Revue with Google TV suggested retail price is $299.99 (U.S.). The Logitech Mini Controller suggested retail price is $129.99 (U.S.). And the Logitech TV Cam suggested retail price is $149.99 (U.S.).
In addition to being bundled with the Logitech Revue, the Logitech Keyboard Controller will be available for purchase online as an individual item to work with other Google TV systems and will have a suggested retail price of $99.99 (U.S.).
The Logitech Harmony for Android app will be available for download from the Android Market for free. The Logitech Harmony for iPhone app is expected to be available for download from the Apple iTunes store for free.
In a separate press release today, Logitech and DISH Network announced that Logitech Revue with Google TV and accessories will also be offered to existing and prospective DISH Network customers through both Logitech and DISH Network. The Logitech Revue will be available to both current and new DISH Network customers beginning later this month. It will cost Dish network customers $180.