Google TV - telekompyuter $ 100
Google launched Google TV project has been more than a year ago, but since then everything had to be disappointed in the new product, for almost a year the project was in the "test" mode, and very few people interesting. It is because of this delay, many users have time to "turn away" from the project - who needs a regular media player for $ 300?
But at the last conference Google IO finally been shown a new vision for Google TV, but not so long ago in the network leaked beta version of the new firmware based on Android Honeycomb (3.1) for the most popular devices based on Google TV - Logitech Revue.
Also, the price of this device has been reduced to $ 100, which can not but rejoice. I presume to analyze this device and variants of its use in our reality.
The most common question that I get asked about Google TV is: and what channels I can watch it? The answer is: the same as now + all online channels. Most of this "box" resembles a separate computer that is connected to your TV. In fact, connecting the Logitech Revue to your TV, you get the following features:
- view movies and listen to music from any media connected via USB (as on any other media player or modern "smart TVs".
- Do the same on the network (all the same, Wi-Fi or Ethernet), ie, to render the content with your devices that support DLNA format... Now such a device can be any modern computer (Windows 7 has built-in support of this standard for Mac there are dozens of third-party software), or as any network storage device. - And most importantly: play any video (or audio) content from the network. The device has a virtually full-fledged browser Google Chrome, which supports Adobe Flash and HTML5. Accordingly, you can watch any streaming video from the web. And do it in HD-resolution (if it is there).
Many would say that the same thing can make a laptop connected to a TV via HDMI. I agree, but, firstly, it is not always convenient, and secondly - have you ever seen a laptop with HDMI-output for a hundred bucks?
Appearance and Design
As seen in the photograph, the device is present two USB jacks for flash drives or external hard drives, and 2 ports HDMI - one (out) can associate the device with a TV, in the second (in) if desired can plug wire from your satellite HD-receiver ( then you will be able, for example, read twitter, without being distracted by a football match).
There is also a standard Ethernet-input (but there is also Wi-Fi) and audio S / PDIF output for connection to your AV-receiver (if available). In the presence of two slots for IR Blaster (one is included), if you want to operate with Revue technique, which is not in the direct vicinity of the device. Well, the asterisk button will help you to connect your Logitech Revue with other wireless accessories from Logitech. Front as the device has only two svetodioda- the one responsible for the power, the second flashes when receiving IR commands.
important part of the device is also a wireless keyboard - it acts as a remote control. Despite the fact that the keyboard is not small enough, it is very light (340 grams) and comfortable. In this case, it is a full-size keyboard. Believe me, for a set of text (for example, your favorite website addresses) people do better not yet been invented. Almost all competitors (eg Samsung Smart TV) offer you to manage such a remote on the TV, it is really convenient, but only as long as it is not necessary to type text. For those who it is too large, there is an option more compact size keyboard (diNovo Mini), however, for the extra 130 bucks.
Also of optional accessories available for HD-video camera, which is now worth more than the device itself - 150 bucks. It allows to organize video conferences, so far only through Logitech's program.
Android on TV: A detailed review of Honeycomb 3.1 features on Google TV
Originally (and still is) all Google TV devices shipped with Android 2.1 which was a "thing in itself" - the user was not able to install any additional software. Of course, many were quite Chrome and the YouTube, but I still get a full handy device.
Google has in the course of the year promises to release an update, but apparently, it is still "dopilivat". But not so long ago in the network leaked beta version of the new firmware for Logitech Revue based on Honeycomb, which has been successfully installed hundreds of geeks around the world.
Since the firmware side, then I updated using a USB-stick. After downloading the device, a moment's thought, has issued almost standard desktop Android HoneyComb:
Of the applications available on the desktop Android Market, Logitech Media Center, Chrome, and Youtube. The remaining priozheniya can be opened by pressing the button All Aps. Also next to the applications have a separate button for notifications. Here's how they look:
This also removed the last running of the program.
All the rest is a vast space on the TV screen is reserved for widgets. The standard firmware are not many, but the good, you can put virtually any third-party widget. And here is the information on the firmware and the settings menu:
We must pay tribute to that when you first start the application asked what my TV and audio device (AV-receiver), in the future I could manage both, and those using the keyboard Logitech Revue.
To tell the truth, "basic supply" is not excessively pleased with the convenience, so I'm out of habit, I went to configure the device for themselves. As it turned out, despite the presence in the Android Market device applications that are tailored to Google TV, there is practically no.
As can be seen from the screenshot, one of the few applications already available in the Market is LauncherPro, well known to many. They and I hastened to replace the standard desktop.
As it turned out, most of the non-adapted applications from Android Market works fine on Google TV. That's Android-community quickly found an option to download the device side of the program - just install them as apk-file via the web or even through Dropbox. Even went so far as to enthusiasts was created to Dropbox a special account with "proven" programs (email: [email protected], pw: GTV2011). From file managers I advise you to use a traditional Astro.
Looking ahead, I hasten to boast that I came out as a result of:
As you can see, the desktop programs, and put a lot of widgets that I have set up on your own. What sort of applications I use?
Logitech Media Center
This software is preinstalled on the device and allows you to play almost any media content like from USB-devices, and with the networked storage and computers. I can not say that this player is very convenient - the same XBMC in terms of convenience has gone far ahead - but with his task he copes. I hope that soon there will be a decent alternative.
Chrome on Google TV is not much different from the same browser on your computer, it is even able to synchronize bookmarks. That's how it looks like the site hdout.tv, with whom I prefer to watch all the TV shows:
Supports Adobe Flash 10.2, as well as HTML5. You can open many tabs, change the property Useragent.
A separate application to listen to podcasts with a large enough base of add ready.
TV & Movies
A separate application, which should serve as your guide in the world of television and movies. But mostly it is important for people in the US, because they do not know our TV program and movie offers to rent in the Amazon, which is also closed to us. Very convenient built-in search, which is called from anywhere by pressing a key on the keyboard. What is interesting, it is looking for both local applications and the Internet (with a focus on video).
Also, many popular sites have a special interface, adapted to Google TV. They are presented in a special Google Spotlight directory. For example at Youtube there is a special interface for TVs - Leanback:
In the radio responds separate TuneIn site - one of the largest catalogs of radio stations.
And, of course, on my Google TV installed Google Music app. Who have not yet used - strongly I recommend that after you have uploaded once to the music, it will be available to you from anywhere.
The bottom line
I wonder what happens in the release (remember, it - beta), but now the platform is fully operational and is configurable to a specific user. Its main task - HD-video viewing on the big screen of your TV from any source - the prefix to cope with a bang. And then the case for small - waiting for the official opening of the Android Market, where developers will catch up and there will be a large number of programs for your Google TV.