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Logitech Revue drops to $99. Is this good or bad for Google TV?

Consumer Reports News: July 29, 2011 01:08 PM

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Amid poor financial performance news, Logitech announced on Wednesday a significant price drop—from $250 to $99—for its Revue, a set-top box designed to stream Google TV, among other online video offerings. The move is the company’s second price cut; earlier this year it shaved $50 off its early $300 price tag.

Perhaps more disturbing, according to some reports: Customer returns of Logitech Revue units were outpacing new sales. Is this an ominous sign for Google's efforts in streaming online video?

When the Logitech Revue set-top box (then $300) was unveiled last October, it seemed like a good first step for Google's entry into "Smart TVs." But with resistance from TV networks and other major suppliers of content as well as a competition from lower-cost set-top boxes, Google TV is still seen as a service struggling to win the hearts and minds of couch potatoes.

Still, as we previously reported in What's going on with Google TV, there are still plenty of signs that the search engine giant's foray into online streaming is far from over. Aside from Logitech, other manufacturers such as Sony and Vizio have displayed Google TV-enabled products. As recently as last month, Vizio told Consumer Reports that its flagship line of 3D TVs, slated for this fall, would offer access to Google TV.

Google is also reportedly working on an update to Google TV's interface. A spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal:

It's still early days for smart TVs and we're investing to continue to bring innovation and progress for our partners and users.

One possible "innovation" Google could bring to its TV service: The recent acquisition of Sage TV. That company's software—and content-licensing deals—could enable a "Google TV 2.0" that functions as a remote DVR that records and plays TV shows on devices.

The company is slated to launch its updated software—which includes support for the Android market as well as Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) at the end of the summer.

Logitech Announces First Quarter Results for FY 2012, Takes $34M Q1 Charge for Planned Price Reduction on Logitech Revue [Logitech]
Logitech Sheds Unflattering Light On Google TV Effort [Wall St. Journal]
Loigtechdropping Google TV price after returns [Washington Post]
Google TV continues to flop, announces $99 price drop [CBS News]
How Google TV Can Be Saved [Time]

Paul Eng

   

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