Google TV Review

17 Dec Google TV Review

Expectations are the devil:

There was a boat-load of excitement on my part when this came out.  So much so that I took the Best Buy gift cards that had been in my drawer for over a year and without thinking twice marched to Best Buy to get one.  I had messed around prior and created my own HTPC using many of the methods you can find online but they just never got it right.  I was thrilled to think Google had tackled this challenge.

Positives:

Initially, I wasn’t entirely let down.  I was scared of the Sony controller so I went with the LogitechRevue (and I already had a TV).  The keyboard had some great features like a dedicated search button with which you can search the internet or TV shows currently playing or playing in the future.  There is a nice trackpad in the upper right which allows for easy mousing about.  The keyboard is super light as well which is not the reason I am so tempted to toss it out the window…

Track This, Pad!

Although I just listed the trackpad as a positive it has some major shortcomings.  The first, is that the trackpad doesn’t click itself.  It’s not a button.  Ok that’s fine.  There is a button under it.  But only one button.  There is no right-click button.  If you’re only going to have one button, make the track-pad itself the button.  Furthermore, right next to the mouse-click button is the ‘Back’ button.  Easily 75% of the time I’m trying to click the mouse button I click the ‘Back’ button.  What’s more, there is no forward button in sight to quickly reverse the mayhem.  Enough on that.

Wire…less Refresh

The wireless on the revue device seems pretty horrible.  I barely get any wireless reception.  Yes, I have it on the shelf of a TV stand (so wood on all sides but one) but…they should have planned for that.  So while browsing, really enjoying surfing the web mid-TED talk and the internet gets lost.  Let me hit the refresh button.  That’s right, to compound the problem there isn’t a refresh button (unlike their new notebook).  I know that I can hit Ctrl-R but I’ve gone one hand on the control and the other wrapped around a Super Burrito.  Give me a friggin refresh key.

Au Reviour Alt

Onwards.  I mentioned the awesome search button but, alas, it replaced my favorite ‘alt’ key.  That’s right my favorite ‘alt’ key.  I do not care for the ‘alt’ key whatsoever on the right side of the keyboard.  I only use the one on the left.  Now it’s gone.  So to restart the revue, I now have to press Ctrl with one hand and alt and delete with the other hand.  I feel the carpal tunnel creeping up already.

TV Integration

So I don’t pay for cable.  I don’t steal it…but I plug my TV into the wall (or my wall into the TV) and I get channels.  This doesn’t Jive with GoogleTV so I don’t reap most of the benefits that it offers like searching your show directory, live TV, and PIP.  Those things will be sweet one day… For now though, they aren’t sweet.  What’s also not sweet is that the keyboard control doesn’t allow you to switch inputs on your tv.  It does act as a universal remote and I can set up hotkeys but come on.  Their is an input key (FN-TV) but all that does is take me from any other input on my TV to GoogleTV.  It doesn’t take me back.  Sad faic.

So although I eagerly await HuluPlus (or Hulu hack) and the Google TV App Store to make this purchase worthy of my nearly free purchase (remember the gift cards).  Overall, I say give this another 6 months before you think about buying yours.  If you have a cable box and want to be able to search that directory it may be worth it.  For me, right now, it’s not and it may see the old Customer Service/Returns desk at Best Buy real soon.

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have.  Happy Travels.

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