Logitech Revue with Google TV Review

Logitech comes close to delivering the power of a PC in a set-top box with the Revue, but has a long way to go in making it palatable for mainstream TV fiends.
Logitech comes close to delivering the power of a PC in a set-top box with the Revue, but has a long way to go in making it palatable for mainstream TV fiends.
Logitech comes close to delivering the power of a PC in a set-top box with the Revue, but has a long way to go in making it palatable for mainstream TV fiends.


  • Full Flash-enabled Web browser on the TV
  • Ties together cable, Web, network content
  • QWERTY keyboard with built-in touchpad
  • Acts as universal remote for TV, cable box, AVR


  • “Universal” search leaves out major sources of content
  • Content fragmented across many dissimilar channels
  • Heavy reliance on touchpad interface
  • Spotty integration with different cable and satellite services
  • Steep price tag
  • No support for a TV’s built-in OTA tuner

DT Editors' Rating

logitech revue with google tv review“Internet on your television” is probably right up there with jetpacks, flying cars and the white iPhone 4 in terms of consumer disappointment; many companies have claimed to pull it off, none have actually delivered. Logitech wants to change that with the Revue, the first set-top box powered by Google TV.

The Revue brings elements of the Web to your screen, from YouTube, Flickr and Twitter to everyday browsing, plus local music, video and photos from your home network, and even content from an attached cable box. Unless you want to cobble together a home theater PC from scratch and deal with the many issues of dragging a box meant for a desk into your living room, the Revue promises to be the next best thing – in theory, anyway. But is it easy enough for casual users to adopt? Will home theater diehards be satisfied enough to give up their omnipotent computers? Google and Logitech may have a ways to go in satisfying both ends of the consumer spectrum.


The biggest feature distinguishing the Revue from the myriad of other set-top streamers out there, from Apple TV to the WD TV Live Plus HD, is its integration with your existing home theater. The Revue is not just another component, it’s one component to rule them all, controlling your television, audio-video receiver, and set-top cable box.

Type in “basketball,” see a game on ESPN, and the Revue will command your cable box to turn to it and switch your TV to the cable box input. Turn up the volume, and the Revue will crank up the knob on your receiver. When you’re done, you can power off all three from the included keyboard.

This functionality alone makes the Revue distinct from the other set-top boxes that have come before it, but it includes the more standard selection of Web content too. You’ll find Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video on Demand, but also a full browser with Flash capability that can load – and play from – any of the sites you would typically visit on a computer, from the Onion News Network to South Park. Google TV also includes applications that can open up non-video capabilities in the box, like photo browsing on Picasa and staying updated with Twitter.


The box for the Revue includes a black “companion box” that serve as the brains of the operation, a lap keyboard-mouse controller, and wired IR blasters (one included), which retransmit infrared signals to your A/V equipment to prevent line-of-sight issues. Logitech even includes an HDMI cable – a rare luxury among home theater accessories but a necessary one, since you’ll need both one to connect to the TV and one to connect to your cable box.

logitech revue with google tv reviewThe companion box itself won’t draw much attention; it’s just a rounded blob of black plastic that you can either highlight by placing below your TV, or choose to hide entirely. Since the included keyboard controller operates by radio frequency, there’s no need for a direct line of sight between viewer and companion box.

Perhaps that’s wise, considering how many wires will run in and out of it. The back has both an HDMI input (for your cable box) and output (for your TV), a digital optical audio connector, two USB ports for accessories, an Ethernet jack, laptop-style power connector and two jacks for wiring up IR blasters.

logitech revue with google tv reviewIf Logitech’s choice to include a full-size keyboard with the Revue didn’t have you skeptical enough, the quality of said keyboard will certainly raise an eyebrow. We had high expectations considering the top-notch quality of some of the Logitech’s desktop accessories, but the keyboard included with the Revue screams “accessory” — supernaturally light, cheap feeling, and easy to flex. The white base makes an odd choice for a home theater accessory, too.


While it might not look quite at home with your $3,000 leather sofa and cut-glass coffee table, you’ll be happy to have the full-sized keyboard as soon as setup gets underway. It’s nowhere near as plug-and-play as the Apple TV, but setup for such a complicated device is actually surprisingly easy thanks to a dead-simple, step-by-step walkthrough as soon as you power on the device. We never even had to glance at a paper manual.

The Revue takes you through everything from maximizing your screen area with an easy-to-use scaling wizard, to entering your TV type so it can automatically dig up the right IR codes to control it. Endless hours of tweaking and idiot-proofing show up in the tiny details here. When it prompts you for a TV model, for instance, a graphic shows where you should look on your TV to find it, and after you select a manufacturer, it displays an example model number true to the way that company formats them (ex. LC-42SB45U) to let you know what the string of numbers and letters should look like. It’s here and other text-entry scenarios like setting up Wi-Fi that make you instantly grateful for the keyboard, which cuts out the obnoxious process of choosing one letter at a time on screen with a keyboard. After no more than five minutes, pending no major snags, you’re ready to roll.


The Google TV home screen breaks down into six reasonably intuitive options: bookmarks, applications, most visited, queue, what’s on TV, and YouTube. Applications became our go-to category out of the gate, but as you visit sites and uncover more content, most visited automatically begin to fill in with useful options, similar to the “new tab” screen Chrome.

Google TV draws its lineage back to Android, and while the home screen has little in common with the mobile OS, leftovers seem to creep in all over the place. The dotted loading circle. The typefaces. The look of icons when you press ‘menu.’ While they don’t look particularly bad, these little remnants of Android seem to cheapen the interface a bit wherever they crop up, making it feel more like a modification than a fresh bit of original design. Though it’s functional, it doesn’t feel nearly as fluid and slick as Apple TV, or even the Xbox 360.

Product Review

Hisense’s new H8E 4K TV serves up a pretty picture at a very nice price

Budget TVs continue to get more attractive and that includes the latest from Chinese TV maker Hisense. The company’s new H8E, which offers 4K resolution, HDR, and a slick design for well under $500.

Here are the best 4K TV deals for November 2018

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.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Movies & TV

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

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 November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

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: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

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!
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics 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.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

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

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Detective Pikachu,’ 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 new trailers for cyberpunk adventure Alita: Battle Angel, game adaptation Pokémon Detective Pikachu…

All the best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.