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On The Fence About Keeping Google TV
I was really excited about the Revue and have been anxiously awaiting its release. In fact, I pre-ordered two: one for my family room from Amazon and one for my bedroom from Dish. Both were set to replace my two Apple TVs (both hacked and running Boxee and XBMC). After two days using the one from Amazon, I'm really thinking of returning it and canceling the Dish order. Here are my main concerns right now:
1) Picture quality. As discussed elsewhere here, the HDMI pass-through is really degrading the picture. I've dropped my sat box down to 720p and that has helped somewhat, but it is not an acceptable long-term solution. It mystifies me as to how this problem could get past the testing phase.
2) No actual support for any media formats. The Revue was advertised to handle .avi, mpeg and .wmv. Support for .wmv was pulled, apparently at the last minute. Moreover, I've thrown a bunch of .avi and mpeg files at it and none would play. And browsing the web, the lack of support for quicktime because quickly evident. This is such a step backward from Boxee and XBMC. It even pales in comparison to my game consoles.
3) Network content blocking. Again, how Google didn't see this one coming is beyond me.
4) Poor app selection/quality. There really is very little to play with right now on GTV, and the apps which are available are bareboned at best. The Twitter client is a joke compared to the one on Boxee, the Netflix app is antiquated, and the HBO app works if you subscribe to the network from one of only two cable providers. if you have services with Dish Network, DirectTV, Time Warner, etc. . . . the HBO app is worthless. The streaming quality of the Netflix app is also subpar compared to that of my PS3.
5) Terrible networking abilities. My Apple TVs could find my Wireless N network immediately and reported back full signal strength. Furthermore, all of the laptops in our household have no problem getting on my N network. The Revue doesn't even find my N network at all, so I had to alter my plans and go ethernet. When I do a speed test using the GTV browser, it reports that I am downloading at 12-14mb, yet when I try to stream video from Amazon, I get downgraded to the lowest quality because Amazon reports that I have insufficient bandwidth. I am also completely unable to play HD content, as the stuttering is unbearable.
6) Harmony support. The Harmony app on my Evo works ok (took a while to get it going), but my Harmony One remote will not control the Revue at all. This despite having been told by Logitech that it would work.
Now I fully realize that I'm an early adopter and bugs are to be expected. But some of the problems are inexcusable. The key factor for me will be how quickly Google and Logitech push out updates. I hate to keep going back to Apple for comparison, but the new Macbook Air models hit the stores Thur/Fri and Apple already release an update to fix a few fairly insignificant (in comparison to GTV) bugs. Will we see an update from Google/Logitech this week?