As you’ve probably heard, Logitech is giving up on Google TV. Fortunately, it seems they won’t forget about it until they give it one last update to Google TV 2.0, which should certainly make the current owners of the Revue set top box happy. But what about those still wanting to get their hands on some Revue boxes before they are gone for good?
I don’t think buying a Revue would be such a smart decision right now. The reason for that is that I think starting next year we should see a lot of other set top boxes that come directly with Google TV 2.0 or even Google TV 3.0 (or whatever the ICS version will be called). But more importantly we should see them coming out with high-end ARM chips on board, like Tegra 3 or other very powerful dual-core ARM chips.
What’s the benefit of that? Well for one, you’ll have set top boxes just as cheap. Sure, the Revue is $99 now, but more because it’s a fire-sale. It was originally $300, and that was a big, if not the biggest mistake that Logitech could do to make it fail in the market. And it did. Perhaps the reason why they didn’t understand the set top box market, is because Logitech is mainly an accessories company making stuff like keyboards, speakers, webcams and so on. Perhaps a better suited company for this would be a company like Motorola, which is in the process of being bought by Google.
Another benefit would be the graphics performance of these new ARM chips. Atom still uses PowerVR SGX535, which is much slower, so you won’t be very future-proofed when it comes to playing the latest Android games on your Google TV. I believe Google TV has a bright future when it comes to games. Once it gets these Tegra 3-like powerful ARM chips, that can give you close to console quality graphics, for a small price, it will be an interesting buy for a lot of people.
Logitech may be quitting Google TV, but this is just the beginning of Google TV, and Google will push it hard to win part of the TV advertising business and make sure they dominate the rising “smart TV” market, because that’s where the next wave of growth will be for them, after smartphones and tablets (which haven’t even gotten close to saturation, either).
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Sad, but once again this highlights the problems with Android & Google TV. Google is NOT in charge of updates but manufacturers of the hardware are.
There will be a point in time where these types of “sorry but we aren’t going to bother with software updates any more” will bite the entire Android OS in the ass and make the road easy for MS to step in–since MS seems to get that the OS vendor needs to maintain updates not the hardware manufacturer.
But that’s the cost of having an OS that any OEM can skin and customize to make it their own proprietary OS = dependency on the hardware manufacturer for OS updates.
ICS and cutting edge hardware on Google TV is going to be a game changer. But don’t look for it to arrive until holiday season 2012…and you will probably play hell getting one. For $99…the current Revue is disposable. Move it to the bedroom. Take it to the office. Hell, give to your kids. And if you haven’t bought a Roku….don’t be an idiot…for the same price you get web surfing (adequate) and Youtube (fantastic) on your big screen.
I guess I’ll start saving now for next years Google TV boxes, and for now I’ll just stick with the Revue.
Google TV is another example of Google getting themselves involved in something and not following thru. I purchase both Apple and Google products, and always end up regretting the Google ones.
We have so many gadgets…Time to focus on consolidation and convergence: technology maturity, affordable price, many product availability, and better support.