This morning I received a blurb from Amazon stating the the Logitech Revue Companion Box With Google TV was available for ordering. I haven’t paid much attention to this unit, since I personally think that $300 is expensive. I am getting the Roku HD unit for my birthday — which is this Sunday — and believe that $80 is enough to pay for streaming video. I did take a look at the Google TV box and I was surprised that the reviews for the device were less than stellar. In fact the unit was rated only 3 stars out of a possible 5 by 46 reviewers.

Here are some of the less favorable comments being made:

First things first I want to save time for those readers who have a dial-up or don’t have a cable box or if you have your PC connected to a TV and using it as a DVR or in a similar fashion, you can stop reading now; this thing is not for you.

First, you should know that I’m a gadget/tech hound. I’ve had everything there is out there, from Amiga to Zenith. Remember the WebTV? I had one some 15 years ago. I bring that up because, frankly, I don’t see much difference between that failed attempt at bringing the “web” (as it was called then) to TV and Google’s latest try.

The concept of Google TV is very neat and I’m excited to see where it goes, but the only place my Logitech Revue is going is back to Best Buy.

Interesting. But are these reviews fair? I went over to Best Buy to see what was being said:

First and foremost, before purchasing this product, I knew it was not ready for public consumption, but I had to try it out.

The software itself is really in beta. Lots of quirks, bugs, slowdowns… similar to how Android initially was, however it has the potential to be what Android is like today. In 6-12 months this could truly be a great platform.

Similar to another review I read, I am very tech savvy and have been installing home theaters for years. I’m sorry I have to write this negative review because I was so excited about this product. If you have an A/V receiver (I have a flagship Onkyo, not a piece of junk receiver) everything will go fine until the screen comes up that says you should see your tv picture showing. The picture appeared for a sec, then disappeared, and the sound would continue to flutter on and off. I then hooked the unit directly to my TV and it did work, but I no longer could get 5.1 audio out of my FiOS, no matter what I tried I was stuck with 2.0 stereo. I bought a $1000 receiver for the convenience of A/V switching for 5 HDMI inputs. I bought it Sat night and returned it Sun night.

Not going to go into the details covered by others, but I just want to point out that currently, Google TV does *not* fully integrate with DirecTV DVRs, only Dish Network. What this means is that, aside from controlling basic functions with the remote, you won’t get what this product is meant to do with an attached DVR — the ability to search for TV content from your DirecTV service and DVR and access it through the Google TV Interface.

On the Best Buy site the device was rated at 3.7 stars our of 5 stars by 20 reviewers.

To be fair there were also many positive reviews from both Amazon and Best Buy Web sites. Some people had no issues hooking up the device and were able to stream without flutters or stutters. I think this one statement says it all:

The software itself is really in beta. Lots of quirks, bugs, slowdowns… similar to how Android initially was, however it has the potential to be what Android is like today. In 6-12 months this could truly be a great platform.

This is not earth shattering news. It usually takes any company about a year to fix the bugs, add features and get any product fully functioning for mass consummation. I believe this is going to be a super device in about a year or so, PLUS, it will be cheaper. LOL

Next week I will let you know how the Roku works. I am still practicing my surprise look when I open the box.

Comments welcome.

Source – Logitech Revue Companion Box with Google TV and Keyboard Controller