Tech journalists were treated to their first glimpse of the first Google TV set top box in San Francisco and New York last night.
Google TV is designed to bring the web and television together, and this box – called the Logitech Revue – will simply be connected to your TV and your broadband connection to bring a new experience to the TV viewer. The Revue will be shipped with a wireless keyboard controller. American shoppers will be able to buy it – at a price of $299.99 – by the end of October.
The Revue lets viewers organise, search and watch broadcast TV, along with content stored on other home devices and across the internet.
The Revue uses Logitech’s Harmony Link hardware to connect to the TV, PCs, smartphone and entertainment devices. It also features a Chrome browser with a built-in Adobe Flash 10.2 plug-in, and offers applications (including apps from Napster, Netflix and Amazon) that allow access to web content. The Revue will offer access to the Android Market next year.
Along with the included keyboard controller (which can be bought separately and used with a Google-enabled TV), another $129.99 will buy a handset-sized mini remote called the Logitech Mini Controller. There will also be remote control apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.
A video camera will sell for $149.99 and enable users to make video calls over the TV screen. It features a wide-angle lens, stereo microphones, a digital zoom, and lighting controls that will compensate for the low light conditions found in the average living room.
Logitech’s announcement beats Japanese giant Sony to the pass, which is still to officially announce its Internet TVs with built-in Google TV functionality.
In the UK, we’ll have to wait until next year before we get the chance to see the delights of internet-enabled TV for ourselves, but with Apple’s Apple TV service announced in the US last month, it looks like the contest to control the future of television has only just started…