Logitech Revue: Hands-On Impressions

logitech revue google tv hands on impressions

Make sure to check out our full Logitech Revue with Google TV Review.

Having conquered online search, webmail, and even online video, Google now wants to stick a blue, red, yellow and green flag in your 42-inch TV. Last spring, the company announced Google TV, a competitor to the likes of Apple TV, Windows Media Center and even free software like Boxee. The first hardware company to pick up Google’s latest experiment? Logitech, with its Revue set-top box.

The Revue won’t hit stores until this fall, but we have a hands-on sneak peek from a loyal reader who found a fully functioning Revue on his doorstep, courtesy of Logitech’s Revue beta test program. Keep in mind that his impressions aren’t our own, and the box remains in beta testing, but it looks like Google TV and the Logitech Revue box it rides on have a promising future in the next few months.

Update 9/3/2010: Shows are recorded to the DVR you have the Revue plugged into, not the “Cloud” like I first thought.

Hands-on First Impressions

A nondescript box was waiting for me on my porch when I got home yesterday.

Inside: the Logitech Revue with Google TV.

I had been one of the many chosen to do beta testing on it, and frankly, was pretty excited about it.


The unit un-boxing was a bit anticlimactic, as they had not worked out all the details on advertising and packaging, everything was literally brown-box style.

Specific contents were as follows:

  • 1 Revue unit
  • 1 two-part power cord
  • 1 HDMI cable
  • One keyboard
  • 1 IR remote blaster unit
  • Basic, incomplete instructions
logitech revue google tv hands on impressions keyboard


Connecting the box was easy, although I did actually screw it up the first time. Simply insert the Revue unit inline between your cable box and whatever it was plugged into before. For me, it’s an amplifier. For most, it’s a TV. From there, the Revue literally walks you through everything else. The 12-step process includes asking the details of your Google account, your physical location, TV, cable box, amp, and more, then confirms that the information you have given it correctly programs the unit. One of the great things about the Revue, right out of the gate, is that it has the Logitech Harmony technology built into it. So if it’s in your home and it has a remote, the Revue can probably run it now. I actually have a nice Harmony in my place already, and have put the Harmony controls on my Droid Incredible as well, so it’s pretty much overkill, but who cares?

logitech revue google tv hands on impressions keyboard

Covering the Basics

On to the good stuff. Once you’re set up, everything you do will be linked in some way to the cloud via your Google account. But really, this is not even an afterthought. Many of the things that are presented to you in the onscreen menu are similar to what you would find on a PlayStation 3, or even some of the newer televisions that have online capabilities. Facebook, YouTube, and other online services are all at your fingertips, so I will not dive too far into these features, as they’ve become more common.

logitech revue google tv hands on impressions

One Filter to Rule Them All

So what’s so special about Google TV? Well its ability to filter television, for starters. The “What’s on TV” menu is absolutely amazing. Every program on TV can also be broken down to subcategories. Movies, cartoons and animation, drama, horror, the list goes on. With one simple click, you can tell it to go find them. It will list them, what channel they are on, the remaining time, and if you highlight one, an in-depth description pulls up on the side of the screen.

logitech revue google tv hands on impressions

Search and Record

Still can’t find what you’re looking for? No problem, there is a search button right on the remote keyboard that comes with the unit. Want to record what you’re watching or missing? There’s a button for that too. And with Google Chrome, and a clearly Android-based OS, this just keeps getting better.

logitech revue google tv hands on impressions

Can a Keyboard Kill the Remote?

This keyboard, if you want it to, will completely replace all remotes. It just takes a little getting used to, with no traditional 10-digit keypad to plug in channels. But a built-in touch pad and a one-touch picture-in-picture feature make multi-tasking simple. Sending a Facebook note about how your college team is smashing your buddy’s team in the last three seconds is pretty much a no brainer, right on the TV.

logitech revue google tv hands on impressions keyboard

Final Impressions

When you get right down to it, this thing has infinite possibilities, many of which are not unique to this product alone. But let’s face it: You don’t buy a Swiss Army knife because it has a corkscrew. You buy it because it has everything, and a few of those things just can’t be found in most other places.

The cloud revolution is well under way, people. And if you’re not in it, you’re probably still scratching your head, staring into the sky, watching it float by.

So put away your Motorola Razor with the big clicky buttons, and catch up, because (at least for the moment) Google is king, we are its subjects, and the Logitech Revue has just put the best damn roadmap to its kingdom in our hands.

Update 9/3/2010: Shows are recorded to the DVR you have the Revue plugged into, not the “Cloud” like I first thought.

Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?
Smart Home

Walmart slashes prices on Google Home during its Presidents’ Day sale

Walmart slashes prices on Google Home during its Presidents' Day sale. Whether you're taking your first step in configuring a smart home or expanding to every room, Walmart has excellent sale prices for all the key components.
Product Review

Asus Zephyrus S is a laptop for gamers. Everyone else need not apply

RTX graphics have finally made it to gaming laptops, and the first we've tested is the new Zephyrus S. Now with a 17-inch display and those new graphics inside, the Zephyrus' unique design boasts some additional power.

Spice up the look of Google Chrome with one of 14 official new themes

Looking to apply a fresh coat of paint in Chrome? For the first time ever, the Google Chrome team has published 14 official themes, with color choices that aim to spice up your browsing experience.  
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Take a gander at the best deals on 4K TVs for February 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best movies you’ll find on Hulu right now (February 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Home Theater

They were robbed! From Crowe to Pacino, 10 times Oscar voters got it wrong

With the 91st Oscars rapidly approaching, now is a fine time to look back at several Oscar-worthy performances that were completely ignored by the Academy, as well as others that were nominated and astoundingly denied the little naked…
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: Yesterday, Tolkien, Triple Frontier, and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's trailers for Yesterday, Tolkien, Aladdin, Frozen 2, and Triple Frontier.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.