GigaOm is reporting that Amazon has been quietly hiring developers with experience in the connected TV industry, including several former Logitech employees who worked on the Revue. Amazon’s secretive R&D firm Lab126 was responsible for the hirings, and has also courted former employees of Netflix, TiVo and Comcast.
Amazon is holding a press conference tomorrow in Los Angeles, and industry analysts are speculating that some kind of TV related announcement could happen. Amazon is no stranger to selling hardware, as evidenced by its great success with the Kindle line, especially the Kindle Fire. Many see the Fire as a bona fide iPad and Android tablet competitor, and an Amazon web-connected TV device could very well be a real competitor for other products like Google TV, Apple TV and Roku.
The bottom line here is that Amazon is certainly looking to make some kind of splash in the TV industry. There may not be any announcement tomorrow, but keep your eyes and ears open for something big from them in the coming months.
A recent study by analyst group Xyologic suggests that less than 1 million homes are using Google TV. In order to determine this, the group used data from the Android Market to analyze the number of app downloads for Google TV products. Though this isn’t an ideal method and won’t provide a perfect picture of user-ship (especially given the low number of apps available), it seems to be the closest we can get without Google releasing numbers themselves (which isn’t likely).
With few current options to purchase a Google TV (the Revue having been discontinued and Sony HDTVs currently not in production), the chances of Google TV truly cracking the living room market are looking dim. Will the number of new Google TV devices hitting shelves later this year be able to compete with the Apple TV, also rumored for release this year? At this rate, perhaps not.
[via TG Daily]
In keeping with their promise to release more frequent Google TV updates, Google introduced Honeycomb 3.2 last week. The new software, currently for Sony devices only with the Revue soon to follow, provides the following improvements:
- It supports hardware acceleration, making apps with animation effects move faster
- It supports HTTP live streaming which will help with HTML5 video and make local media streaming through apps work
- Improvements to the way Google TV identifies channels will make it easier for app developers to use their own EPGs
- Chrome is getting a boost
This update will likely be one of many before the arrival of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is rumored to occur before the end of the year. Stay tuned to see what Google rolls out throughout the next year of Google TV.
If you unwrapped a Revue this holiday season and have hit a snag in setting it up, it may because of corrupted firmware. Users are reporting that set-up of some new Revue units is failing at step seven of eleve, when attempting to contact Logitech’s server. Logitech’s Senior Product Manager Peter McColgan has made the following statement:
There appears to be corrupted firmware on some of the recently manufactured Revues which is causing the Authentication error. There is nothing that you can do to fix this and nothing we can do except to replace your Revue via the RMA process. You always have the option of returning to the retailer and exchanging for another Revue or getting a refund. We believe that only a relatively small % of recently manufactured Revues are affected.
As stated above, there is no fix besides exchanging your box at your local retailer or through Logitech directly. This will likely mean more revenue lost on account of the Revue–nothing like another upset for Logitech, which just keeps paying for it’s Google TV mistakes!
[via The Verge]
It turns out that the Honeycomb update that rolled out to the Logitech Revue a couple weeks ago was incomplete: the updated Revue does not support the full Google TV Version 2.0 enhancements for video and media streaming capabilities. The limited functionality is centered around the Logitech Media Player, which lacks support for transport streams (.ts) and the MPEG-2 codec, both of which where implemented by Sony in the Honeycomb update.
Upon first discovery of this shortcoming, it was thought that perhaps the Revue had a limited chipset that wasn’t capable of supporting the MPEG-2 codec used in traditional DVDs, but deeper probing has revealed that the Revue is not only capable, but that support had been available in the first leaked beta version of Honeycomb and had been specifically removed in later leaks and the official release.
So, why is Logitech barring its users from some features while at the same time blaming Google for the Revue’s lack of success? Furthermore, why are they bothering to push incomplete updates that only serve to highlight the fact that Logitech has got one foot out the door? This is troubling news for customers who have already invested in Revue units, and even more troubling for customers who have just purchased units this holiday season under high expectations of improvement. We will keep our fingers crossed that Logitech pushes another update that offers full functionality. If not, Logitech may have just sent a message that officially sentences the Revue to market death.
Hey everyone, remember a few weeks back when we speculated that Logitech may be pulling out of Google TV? Well, as it turns out, it looks like we were right. As stated by Logitech’s CEO Guerrino De Luca, Logitech is done with Google TV:
To make the long story short, we thought we had invented [sliced] bread and we just made them. [We made a commitment to] just build a lot because we expected everybody to line up for Christmas and buy these boxes [at] $300 [...] that was a big mistake.
While Logitech still undoubtedly hopes to unload their remaining stock of Revues with what may be a renewed wave of interest with the Honeycomb update, their work on Google TV is done. De Luca noted that while Google TV may have marketplace success in the future, he believed any notable success is still a long way off, and that Logitech will not be involved if and when that success occurs.
Logitech, which “executed a full scale launch with a beta product” (De Luca), lost $100 million dollars when consumer demand failed to (even remotely) meet expectations. It really must have hurt if they are swearing off Google TV forever, despite acknowledging that it may still have a significant future. If Logitech is out, should Google worry about losing Sony, which has also suffered significant losses as a result of low Google TV interest? Stay tuned to find out.
Sony Google TV devices got the Honeycomb update this week, and though us GTV Hub-ers are still waiting on the Revue to come around, TechCrunch is already talking 2.0. In summary, they are dubbing it beautiful but not brilliant– a definite improvement but still with vasst short fallings. As more and more reviews surface it will be interesting to see if this is the general consensus: did Google miss their mark again? Hopefully Logitech will jump on the 2.0 bandwagon in a hurry, so I can find out for myself! Stay tuned folks, the GTV Hub Google TV 2.0 Official Review is soon to come!
Yep, it’s finally happening: Honeycomb, the Android Market, and what look like many other pretty sweet improvements for functionality and navigability are all finally coming to Google TV in round two, and they are less than a week away. Starting with Sony Google TV’s and with the Logitech Revue to follow “shortly thereafter”, Google is releasing the long awaited Honeycomb Android 3.1 update “early next week”, and catapulting Google TV into it’s next phase. From the official announcement as well as the flashy overview (*drool*), it appears that Google has really taken the past year of setbacks to really focus on improving the Google TV experience by responding to user feedback. The new and improved Google TV is set apart in four major ways, which you can read about after the break.
It looks like we may have spoken a bit too soon, as it would appear that Logitech is still very much in the game. Or is it just a game? Updated Logitech Revue packages are now sporting a sticker that boasts, “New & Improved: Google TV now with Android 3.1 and Android Market”, but the boxes don’t actually contain Revues that will be running Honeycomb. A Logitech rep stated the following:
We’d like to clarify that these products do not include the next version of Google TV software. The boxes were prematurely updated with the stickers in anticipation of the next release of the Google TV software, which, once available, will be a free and automatic update pushed to all Logitech Revue boxes that are installed and connected to the Internet.
So, Logitech has made it clear that the software hasn’t yet been updated, but could they be implying that at least the hardware has? Or, are they simply suggesting that we are at last extraordinarily close to the hack-free Honeycomb release?
Either way, the quarterly earnings that Logitech released overnight may be enough to disprove our prior suggestion that Logitech may be pulling out of Google TV: $7.9 million in sales from the Revue and it’s accessories since the price drop doesn’t seem like an awful sales figure for a product that seemed like a financial failure. It might be time to contribute to those numbers further: if you don’t have one yet, it’s probably best to get your hands on a Google TV so you can be front row when Honeycomb hits.
Update: Perhaps they read our post, but the folks at Logitech’s PR firm got back to us, although their lips are remaining sealed at this point. This post is obviously speculation, but we believe it is still very much warranted. Stay tuned.
We all know that Google TV hasn’t proven quite the cash cow that it’s creators and contributors had hoped, and as everything slows down further with the delayed release of Honeycomb and Google TV 2.0, we are starting to wonder if Logitech could be cutting their losses and pulling out of the Google TV game. We recently reached out to some Logitech Revue reps in regards to snagging some giveaway goodies for our readers and instead we were greeted with silence. That, paired with the price slashes that the Revue experienced this past year and the lack of Revue-focused hype for Google TV 2.0, has us wondering where the Logitech love is at. We’ve seen some software update leaks for the Revue, but haven’t heard any buzz about new and improved hardware, and while Sony shows off what’s soon to come, Logitech seems to be slinking into the background. Could it be that Logitech is no longer factoring Google TV into it’s future?
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