News came over the weekend that the Logitech Revue – the first Google TV device – would get a price cut from $299 to $99. That’s a pretty dramatic drop for any device. But this spells good news for the Revue, not bad. Because at $99 I would definitely recommend it.
Since the Revue’s debut back in October I’ve noticed some small but important changes and updates to Google TV. The Netflix app, for instance, is far better than at launch. Now users can explore new content as well as watch what’s in the Instant Queue. Having easy access to Netflix on my TV made switching to a streaming-only account much easier. I haven’t watched a DVD in months.
Even though there’s still no Hulu Plus for Google TV and NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox continue to block the browser, Amazon Video on Demand filled those gaps for me in terms of paid content. I can scoop up the latest episodes of most of my favorite shows to watch at my leisure the next day.
For those of you who use (ahem) alternate means to obtain your favorite shows (and shame on you for doing so), the Revue can still be useful. If you have a Windows Vista or 7 PC, you can stream videos from your computer to the box via Windows Media Player 11 or above.
YouTube Leanback has proved a surprisingly awesome addition to my entertainment selection. And recently I discovered the joy of watching video podcasts, all subscriptions handled by Google TV.
The browser is more useful than I thought it would be at first thanks to its ability to access and display Google Docs well. I check and update Google Plus from time to time as well. Having a full keyboard for this purpose is more useful than I gave Logitech credit for in the beginning.
All of this is great, but not quite enough to tempt most consumers to spend $299. The new $99 price hits the Goldilocks zone, especially considering the competition.
Bottom Line: now that the Revue is the same price as Apple TV, it’s a much more compelling product. Plus, Google promised a Honeycomb update for all Google TV devices this year. And judging from the standing room only, line out the door crowd at the Google I/O session on creating apps for this platform, I suspect the Android Market is going to bring even more goodies to the party very soon.