Universal remotes are finally getting touchscreens. Logitech (LOGI) said on Wednesday its new Harmony Touch remote will come complete with a built-in 2.4-inch touchscreen. The Harmony Touch is the successor to the Harmony One and is designed to bring intuitive touch screen gestures to the living room experience. Just like on many smartphone or tablet remote apps, users can swipe left and right on the touchscreen to trigger rewind/fast forward controls and can tap the screen for play/pause. The gestures are also programmable to fit a user’s needs.
Certain customers who recently purchased the Logitech Revue Google TV set top box with the hope of transforming their normal TV into a web-ready smart TV have been left with nothing but disappointment. Logitech has confirmed that a small percentage of recently manufactured Revue devices were shipped with “corrupted firmware,” preventing select customers from activating their new devices. The box would drop its connection when attempting to access the company’s license agreement, leading many to originally believe it was a mere server error. Logitech has stated that there is no fix besides physically swapping an affected Revue box with a working one, however. The symptoms are fairly obvious, but users can determine whether or not they own and problematic unit conclusively by checking the unit’s MAC address. If the MAC address begins with 1C6F657, it’s likely to be affected by EULA-gate. Logitech hasn’t had a good run with Google’s first entrance into the TV market, and CEO Guerrino De Luca said recently that the failed product was a mistake that cost the company dearly. De Luca also confirmed that the company currently has no plans to follow up with a second Google TV device. More →
Logitech on Wednesday announced that it’s rolling out the latest Google TV software to its Revue Google TV product. “Some of the key developments include more entertainment choices such as access to Android Market; faster and more comprehensive search and browse capabilities; a simplified user interface, and improvements to the Logitech Media Player,” Logitech’s vice president and general manager of the digital home group, Ashish Arora explained. The Revue has largely been considered a failure for Logitech. The company’s CEO Guerrino De Luca recently remarked that the product was a “mistake” that “cost [Logitech] dearly” and that his company will not introduce a follow-up device until it is clear that Google has worked out all of the kinks in its product. More →
Speaking during the company’s Analyst and Investor Day recently, Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca admitted the failure of the Logitech Revue Google TV set top box. De Luca said that Logitech has “no plans to introduce another box to replace Revue” after realizing that the launch of a “beta product” was “a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature.” Like Apple and Sony, Logitech had dreams of breathing fresh life into the television market, but combined with “miscues in EMEA” the launch ended up costing the company more than $100 million in operating profits and, despite advertising efforts with Kevin Bacon, did little to attract consumer interest. Read on for more. More →
The original Google TV products were met by lukewarm reviews at best, and according to Geek.com, the search giant is hard at work on its new Google TV 2.0 product. Developers have been joining Google’s new “Fishtank” program to get early access to tools that will allow them to create compelling new content for Google’s next attempt at entering our living rooms. Google TV 2.0 runs a barebones version of Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) and there are reportedly only 50 developers partaking in the initial Fishtank program. Fishtank includes an Intel CE4100 reference platform with a beta version of Google TV 2.0 preloaded, and a wireless keyboard. Intel’s Sodaville SoC, part of the CE4100 reference platform, also includes support for 3D gaming and Flash. Geek.com noticed a new “dual-view” feature that allows users to watch TV and use the OS at the same time; and the user interface has the same glowing-blue Tron-like effects as the tablet version of Honeycomb. Developers are said to be up in arms over the “Live TV” application on Google TV 2.0 — many want to interact with the TV interface directly, but Google isn’t allowing that just yet. Will it be enough for Google to tackle Apple TV? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, another shot of the box and a couple of UI images can be seen after the break. More →
There’s nothing like free gear to help greet one of the biggest consumer electronics shows of the year, and Logitech has just what the doctor ordered this year at CES 2011. The company is giving away 360 Logitech Revue units this week. The Revue is Logitech’s new set top box featuring Google TV, and it definitely is not in the midst of a production halt. It’s a great little box and for the low, low price of free-fifty, it can’t be beat. The first 50 units will be given away on January 5th, and another 100 will be given away each day from January 6th through the 8th. Winners will have to watch Logitech’s Twitter account for instructions on how to hunt down a chance to win at the show. The winners of the boxes mentioned above will be CES attendees but 10 more boxes will be given away on January 9th, and can be had by anyone in the United States. To find out how you can enter to win, just follow Logitech on Twitter at the link below. More →
Logitech has responded to rumors that it had been asked to halt production of its Google TV-enabled Logitech Revue while Google addresses bugs and other usability issues. In a statement delivered via email to Barron’s, Logitech spokesperson Nancy Morrison denied the reports, saying Google made no such request.
Logitech has not been asked by Google to suspend production of its Google TV products. As those familiar with the product know, it is not necessary for Logitech to make changes to the Logitech Revue with Google TV companion box to accommodate future enhancements to Google TV. Every Logitech Revue companion box will receive free over-the-air updates whenever Google and Logitech release software enhancements.
Logitech is currently meeting the inventory needs of its retail customers, continuing to ship products on schedule to meet their holiday and post-holiday demand.
Logitech does not discuss the specific production plans for any of its products. As high-volume manufacturer of electronic products, Logitech’s use of its own factories as well as those of its manufacturing partners, provides the company with flexibility in how and when it produces products to accommodate customer demand.
According to a report in The New York Times Monday morning, Google TV might not be ready for primetime. Google TV is Google’s attempt at a next-generation WebTV service — a combination of television and the Web meant to expand and enhance the viewing experience. But the initial iteration of Google’s service seems just as half-baked as WebTV was in the mid-1990s. Google reportedly wants more time to refine the software, which has not been well received by reviewers or early adopters. Sony and Logitech both have products out to market already, but Toshiba, LG and Sharp were all set to show off new Google TV products at the Consumer Electronics Show next month. Google has apparently asked the companies to hold off so it can “refine the software.” The report does not address whether or not the companies agreed to hold their Google TV offerings, though changing plans would be anything but easy at this point. CES kicks off in less than three weeks on January 6th. More →
Combining the web and TV in an orgy of awesome, today at I/O 2010, Google announced Google TV. With the goal of mashing together the web and TV without accepting compromise, Google is hoping to let people take advantage of the biggest and best screen in their house. Check out all of the features after the jump! We promise it’s awesome. More →
Google is looking to leverage its foothold in the online video realm by partnering with Sony on a new television service to be called Google TV. The new service will be an Android-based solution that will hook into online video repositories like YouTube and Hulu and serve up online content either through a set-top box or directly by embedding the software into your flashy new Sony HDTV. With Android at its core and Chrome as the browser, the service will provide access to online websites such as Twitter and Picasa and will open up a new arena for television-based application development. Google and Sony have also reached out to Logitech who will be developing a line of peripherals to control your new Google TV. Last but not least, a fourth heavy hitter known as Intel may also be joining this venture as the new TV media platform will reportedly run on the Intel Atom chipset. More than just a concept, the set-top box is reportedly at an advanced stage of development and is being tested by Dish Network. With four major players involved with this new Google TV service, should Roku, Boxee, and everyone else be a bit nervous? More →
High tech couch potatoes take note as Logitech has added two new Harmony remotes to its already robust remote lineup. The latest additions offer one click activity buttons and have enough functionality to replace five individual remotes. The Harmony 600 is an entry level model and features a black & white screen with support for device commands. The Harmony 650 offers a color screen, has icons for your favorite channels, and supports device commands. You might be familiar with Logitech’s lineup, but here is the kicker: The Logitech Harmony 600 will retail for a mere $79.99 while the Harmony 650 comes in at a slightly higher, but still affordable $99.99. Both remotes are expected to touch down in the US and Europe in late March. More →