Logitech Revue with Google TV full review - Page 2

Here in the UK, however, we have the BBC – which “due to the unique way it is funded” doesn’t really care for the difference between broadcast and digital economics. The BBC has committed to bringing iPlayer to as wide an audience as possible, and other networks like Channel 4 (4oD) and ITV (ITV Player) have been pretty much forced to come along, rather than let the BBC dominate broadcasting.

All three major IPTV services are now available on the PlayStation 3 platform, so there’s a precedent for IPTV on your home television in the UK. We doubt very much if any of the IPTV services in the UK will follow the US route of blocking content.

You also access full HD services from the BBC via Google TV, which includes a fairly stunning range of programs including the start of The Human Planet series. The version of iPlayer on the PS3 does not have high definition, and this is currently one of the few ways to get high definition IPTV in the world.

So, we get some a lot of services the Americans don’t like fully functioning IPTV from our domestic networks; but we don’t get some services they do, like Netflix and Amazon Video on demand. We don’t get the interaction with cable and the DVRs – although this will almost certainly change with a UK launch, whether our US model here can be upgraded with UK software remains to be seen though.

On the whole we think we’re slightly up on the deal here, which given that the device is designed for the US market, and a good two-thirds of its purpose doesn’t work over here in the UK, could go some way towards explaining the apathy towards it on the other side of the Atlantic. It should also bode well for a UK release, should it happen later on in the year.

So the idea behind Google TV is a good one, how is the implementation? Just as you can tell much about a man by his shoes, it appears you can tell a lot about a television set-top box by its remote.

The inescapable fact is that adding a computer operating system and keyboard to a TV is bound to complicate matters. And there is a big question mark over how complicated you want your television to be.

Google hasn’t helped matters with some odd design decisions. For example, when watching TV you press the Home button (far right) to open the main menu, or the Search button (bottom-left) to open a search bar; to return to TV you press the TV button (top-left) which is not to be confused with the other TV button (top right) which turns your television on or off. Effectively two on buttons, and two off buttons – located at four opposite ends of the keyboard. And what kind of madman places two different buttons marked ‘TV’ on a remote control for a TV?

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