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goody
2010-05-20, 11:18
Wonder how this will impact SB.

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/1005/7099?WT.ac=gtv|7140|nav_home

Logitech CEO Jerry Quindlen at Google I/O 2010
After months of collaboration between Logitech and Google, the Google TV project will be announced at Google I/O 2010. Logitech CEO Jerry Quindlen is there, ready to discuss the shared collaboration, vision and a few details around the product we’re unveiling this Fall.



Q: When will the product officially be announced?

A: We’ll be providing the full product details for our Google TV companion box later this fall. Feel free to sign up to get all the up-to-the-minute details.

Q: What is it?

A: We’re creating a system that includes a companion box – an external device that connects to your TV through an HDMI port – and an intuitive controller that’s been designed to take full advantage of everything the Google TV platform offers.

Q: What’s the big deal?

A: First of all, it’s Google TV – so you get seamless search and access to content anywhere on the Web, from your satellite or cable provider, even some compatible DVRs. Secondly, our companion box has our Logitech Harmony® technology built in – so you’ll have integration with your home-entertainment system. Third – we’ll be making a variety of options available right away, including video calling and a variety of controllers – even a Logitech smart-phone app -- and even more stuff we can’t talk about.

Q: What will I need to make it work?

A: All you need is a broadband Internet connection and a TV with an HDMI input. To take full advantage of the content search, you’ll need a satellite or cable set-top box with an HDMI output as well. And, for now, you’ll need to reside in the United States.

kdf
2010-05-20, 12:27
And, for now, you’ll need to reside in the United States.

Now that's the most surprising part of the announcement.

-k

mortslim
2010-05-20, 12:47
Well this will incorporate the squeezebox space. It won't replace a squeezebox, it will just be another way to get the squeezebox features. Just look at it as another model in the squeezebox line.

Think of this new device as similar to a squeezebox duet receiver, in other words, a squeezebox without a screen. Since this new device is intended to meld with a TV as a TV set top box, the screen will be the TV itself. On the TV screen you will see all your familiar squeezebox features, from Pandora to Rhapsody to Shoutcast, etc. Just think of the TV as a big screen to view your music choices. On the TV screen you can pick what you want to listen to.

The audio will be pumped out of both analog and digital audio outs on the back of the Logitech TV Box just like on the back of any squeezebox product now existing today. Nothing new here. The only difference is that instead of a screen on the device or on a separate controller, the screen will be the TV.

Now, you may ask, how do I control this? Simple: You'll have three basic choices - you can buy a Logitech Harmony remote, of which there are several models to pick from, and thus use this remote to navigate around the TV screen to make your choices. Or, you can use the included mini remote controller if you don't want to splurge for a separate optional Harmony remote. The included mini remote will be similar to the small remote you get with a squeezebox boom today. It does the trick for getting what you want without the luxury. Finally, you can use your android phone as your controller. There will be a free "app" which Logitech will have available on launch date for the Logitch TV Box which you can download to your android phone and just use the touchscreen of your android phone to control your choices of music.

Oh, you want the launch date? Ok, here it is: September 22, 2010 if all goes according to current plans. This will give enough time for the ecosystem of hardware and software to flow as one and also to get the android 2.2 operating system into the hands of developers and have a lot of apps available on launch date. (At the moment, everyone is using android version 2.1)

What apps you may ask? Well, we are talking about say Rhapsody porting over to the Logitech TV Box their excellent android app now available for android phones. So basically you can see the app on your TV screen instead of on your phone.

Now, you may ask, I like the like the idea of using my android phone to control the Logitech TV box but I want to put it somewhere connected to my great stereo setup but not to a TV. Can I do this? Of course. The android app that will be available for your phone will control the Logitech TV Box even when it is not connected to a TV, but just connected to an amp or stereo receiver or powered speakers.

exile
2010-05-20, 14:12
i currently have my sb2 sitting on top of my mac mini which is right next to my flatscreen and i run boxee for almost all of my tv/internet tv needs.

boxee of course is a very small player in the game compared to logitech/google and currently boxee is just software and not a dedicated box like roku. having said all of that though, i'm quite happy keeping my music experience completely separate from my tv experience. in fact, i think it'd be a pain in the butt to always have to turn on the tv to interact with my squeeze products.

i think the partnership of google and logitech is great for furthering this technology but i'm going to stick with my boxee for awhile until this technology gets a little more grownup.

maggior
2010-05-20, 14:37
Well this will incorporate the squeezebox space. It won't replace a squeezebox, it will just be another way to get the squeezebox features. Just look at it as another model in the squeezebox line.

Think of this new device as similar to a squeezebox duet receiver, in other words, a squeezebox without a screen. Since this new device is intended to meld with a TV as a TV set top box, the screen will be the TV itself. On the TV screen you will see all your familiar squeezebox features, from Pandora to Rhapsody to Shoutcast, etc. Just think of the TV as a big screen to view your music choices. On the TV screen you can pick what you want to listen to.

The audio will be pumped out of both analog and digital audio outs on the back of the Logitech TV Box just like on the back of any squeezebox product now existing today. Nothing new here. The only difference is that instead of a screen on the device or on a separate controller, the screen will be the TV.

Now, you may ask, how do I control this? Simple: You'll have three basic choices - you can buy a Logitech Harmony remote, of which there are several models to pick from, and thus use this remote to navigate around the TV screen to make your choices. Or, you can use the included mini remote controller if you don't want to splurge for a separate optional Harmony remote. The included mini remote will be similar to the small remote you get with a squeezebox boom today. It does the trick for getting what you want without the luxury. Finally, you can use your android phone as your controller. There will be a free "app" which Logitech will have available on launch date for the Logitch TV Box which you can download to your android phone and just use the touchscreen of your android phone to control your choices of music.

Oh, you want the launch date? Ok, here it is: September 22, 2010 if all goes according to current plans. This will give enough time for the ecosystem of hardware and software to flow as one and also to get the android 2.2 operating system into the hands of developers and have a lot of apps available on launch date. (At the moment, everyone is using android version 2.1)

What apps you may ask? Well, we are talking about say Rhapsody porting over to the Logitech TV Box their excellent android app now available for android phones. So basically you can see the app on your TV screen instead of on your phone.

Now, you may ask, I like the like the idea of using my android phone to control the Logitech TV box but I want to put it somewhere connected to my great stereo setup but not to a TV. Can I do this? Of course. The android app that will be available for your phone will control the Logitech TV Box even when it is not connected to a TV, but just connected to an amp or stereo receiver or powered speakers.


Where did you get this information? I didn't see it anywhere in the link provided above.

goody
2010-05-20, 14:51
Engadget has more info along with a video. (using an iphone to control logitech/google box)

http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/20/logitechs-google-tv-companion-box-includes-smartphone-apps-we/

Also gizmodo's "what is google tv"

http://gizmodo.com/5543822/what-is-google-tv?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gizmodo%2Ffull+%28Gizmodo%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo

mortslim
2010-05-20, 15:11
The big question is whether the entire existing squeezebox code in the squeezeboxes and in the software for the server you install on your computer will all be rewritten in source code applicable to android.

Because Logitech is now betting the farm on Google TV because of the potential market being vastly bigger than that for the audio only kind of market, everything may be rewritten for the android ecosystem.

Part of the announcements today include cloud based sync of music to leapfrog the capabilities of itunes and Logitech will be incorporating this feature into their TV box and their squeezeboxes as well. Logitech is going to focus on Google sync of music rather than the mp3tunes app currently available to squeezebox owners. That being the case, the source code for this also will need compatibility with android.

325xi
2010-05-20, 17:38
What? Android is a client by definition. You sure can port SBS to Android but it wouldn't make any sense.

lrossouw
2010-05-20, 19:01
I think the following uses and conflicts with Squeezebox springs to mind:
- Obviously having an app on Google TV that controls\displays whatever SB is playing would be great. Imagine your squeeze playing in the lounge with playlist details, detailed song info displayed on the TV. Of course you can get there now, but getting their easily would be good.
- Surely Logitech Google TV + squeezeplay is also worth thinking of. You'd be able to use HDMI so it should be digital all the way to your DAC\AV receiver of choice.
- If the Logitech Google TV box is cheap enough I would say the touch has a serious competitor (probably not in audiophile territory though). Most consumers would say why buy a touch if the google tv box can do audio and tv and more?
- Google TV looks to have all features of Boxee (i.e. social/internet features built in) but it also will interact with your cable\ satellite, and of course have a whole plethora of apps. I'd be very worried if I were Boxee.
- I think for me a lot would hinge on how the Google TV handles locally stored music and video files. Would it have the IMDB type integration on local movies? Would it have nice playist\squeeze\itunes like features on the music player for local music.

Anybody know if they will release the Google TV for instalation on your own device. I'd love to try it out on my little home theatre ASRock to see how it works. I see that it is Android OS based.

peterw
2010-05-20, 21:07
Logitech is now betting the farm on Google TV because of the potential market being vastly bigger than that for the audio only kind of market, everything may be rewritten for the android ecosystem.

That's not obvious to me at all. It's a new market for Logitech, and they'll stay in as long as it's profitable. They'll keep making Squeezeboxes as long as they make money off Squeezeboxes (and think they wouldn't make more money diverting staff/resources to Android/Google TV).

I looked at some of the Google TV info -- Google's PR, Logitech's, Google's developer info. I'm not impressed. Windows Media Center and Linux/MythTV have offered the core Google TV features for years. The Google developer info is sloppy. It looks like a dull category, and the free licensing model of Android means it's likely to be a commodity market (unlike the Squeezebox market where Logitech has been able to see the same gear/design for years without lowering the prices).

I can easily see Google TV flopping just as Apple TV has seemed to. And I can easily see Logitech (and more easily see Sony, whose commitment to other companies' platforms has always been very tentative) pulling out if this turns out not to be a big money maker.

But maybe this will be good for Squeezebox. Maybe Logitech will surprise us. Maybe they'll use an Android NDK to add Squeezebox client capabilities to their Google TV devices to differentiate them from other vendors' Google TV boxes, much as Motorola and HTC have added software to their Android phones in hopes of avoiding an Android commodity ghetto.

bluegaspode
2010-05-20, 23:50
http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/20/logitechs-google-tv-companion-box-includes-smartphone-apps-we/

Haha - the marketing guy on the video clicks on 'watch TV' to turn on the TV and switch to the correct input connection, but the input connection stays on the XBox.
"So I do it one more time to see you what happens" *g* ... now he's got the right channel ;)

flyingdoherty
2010-05-21, 00:48
Familiar behaviour... "harmony features embedded" they say...
(ok, off....)

dave77
2010-05-21, 01:58
What it is exactly, Internet on your TV? Not really ground-breaking. Don't know about the US but we already have TV's with built-in Internet over here.

I presume this will be aimed at the less tech-savvy who don't want to setup a HTPC to plug into their TV.

robroe
2010-05-21, 03:20
Well this will incorporate the squeezebox space. It won't replace a squeezebox, it will just be another way to get the squeezebox features. Just look at it as another model in the squeezebox line.

Think of this new device as similar to a squeezebox duet receiver, in other words, a squeezebox without a screen.

Is this just conjecture or is this the Steve Jobs-esque inside line ;)

I certainly hope that the various sections of Logitech do talk to each other and squeezecenter functionality is squeezed (sorry) into the Google TV boxes. I've been toying with the idea of getting a receiver to go with my home cinema setup but this would be a better solution (to my mind).

toby10
2010-05-21, 03:34
What it is exactly, Internet on your TV? Not really ground-breaking. Don't know about the US but we already have TV's with built-in Internet over here.

I presume this will be aimed at the less tech-savvy who don't want to setup a HTPC to plug into their TV.

We have internet capable TV's here as well. My guess is they are going after the Roku video box (and like) market.

exile
2010-05-21, 09:40
my assumption is that internet tv's are very limited in their capabilities-much like a tivo box.

so I see google/logitech tapping into the future of television. i think their product will not go down the same path as the appletv. appletv is a failed product because it is quite limited in it's cpu power and it is trapped by the apple proprietary software.

the future of tv is complete freedom of choice made possible by connecting to online video streaming portals like Hulu, etc.

pski
2010-05-21, 18:12
my assumption is that internet tv's are very limited in their capabilities-much like a tivo box.

so I see google/logitech tapping into the future of television. i think their product will not go down the same path as the appletv. appletv is a failed product because it is quite limited in it's cpu power and it is trapped by the apple proprietary software.

the future of tv is complete freedom of choice made possible by connecting to online video streaming portals like Hulu, etc.

Hulu is fine on the PC. This is because it is free. The problem is that every(one) business wants to make money.

TV is now a device.

It's connected to the computer world by technical folks.

The "best" current response is a ROKU type solution.

Access to "free" (read internet) content cannot stay free for long (unless it's a browsing experience.)

P

exile
2010-05-22, 10:48
The free aspect of online video is a nice anamoly currently but eventually all content will have gatekeepers. I'm not opposed to paying for my television content. I am opposed to paying for content that I don't want or watch- i.e.- the present cable tv model.

erland
2010-05-23, 01:59
I'm very skeptical about this. From the videos it looks like a HTPC solution that's very scattered, it feels like another one of those boxes that tries to do too much and don't unite the needs into a simple solution.

As long as broadcasting companies exists and want to get payed and payed by commercials, a TV solution aren't going to work unless you find a way to include them in the deal. The current model broadcasting companies are using are of course a dead end, people don't want to pay for 100% content when they only are able to view 5% because the rest is sent when they don't have the time to see it or they aren't basically interested in most of the stuff on a specific channel. Yes, I know you have Tivo in US, but here in Euorope we have to make our own Tivo box with MythTV or similar if we what that kind of functionality. IMHO opinion it will work to pay with a monthly subscription fee as we do today but we really need to be able to choose when and where we want to view the TV. I like to be able to view it in my iPhone when I'm outside or view it in the evening even if it was broadcast during the day and I want to view old shows whenever I like.

To me, GoogleTV looks like a HTPC solution for less tech-savvy people, but the problem is that from the demonstration video it looked pretty complex. I'm very sure my parents would get very confused by it. I wonder what target audience GoogleTV really have. People interested in technology are going to setup a much better HTPC solution and GoogleTV seems to be too complex for less technical people. Young people are going to want an iPad or something similar which is more interactive and mobile. From the videos it looked very focus on Internet content, do people really want to view that on a stationary TV with a simple remote control when there are things like the iPad and iPhone ?

If they would limit GoogleTV to just be a Youtube viewer or a viewer for very few video sites with a united simplified user interface I think it might have some potential. However, this doesn't really seem to be the case from the announcement and posted videos.

I'm going to continue using my MythTV box, someone have to do something that makes recording/scheduling better before they get my interest. At the moment I'm skeptical if anyone is going to unite the TV solution into something that's usable, Microsoft has tried and failed IMHO. Apple did also try but skipped the recording part which makes AppleTV useless to me as long as I can't purchase individual shows easily instead. It probably works a little bit better in US where the possibility to rent contents is possible if I've understood it correctly. That way it can at least work good for movies. Google isn't going to unite anyone, they want to do too much and don't have a clear strategy and the ability to limit themselves to the important parts. For now, I really believe that Apple making a second try is our only hope, they don't seem to be into stationary devices any more which probably is a good thing since a good TV solution really shouldn't be stationary. I want to be able to view TV where ever I am, there is no reason I should be limited to viewing it in the living room.

It should be said that I'm not against Android, with the current amount of development resources, it's going to be hard to move the Squeezebox products to the next level with a platform like SqueezeOS where Logitech have to do everything themselves. Maybe even their GoogleTV development will help in this area, it might be an opportunity to add more developers to Squeezebox platform to move it over to a standard platform to ease the integration with GoogleTV.

I wonder if Logitech's GoogleTV box is where all the disappeared Squeezebox developers went, doesn't seem that unlikely.

And finally, as exile indicates, we are going to pay for premium content, if anyone believes that it will be free just because the box can use Internet you are definitely wrong. Hobby broadcasters with lower quality on their material are probably going to be free, so a box like this could make that kind of content more accessible. However, for premium content they need to unite the commercial broadcast companies, which seems like a very hard or even impossible task.

By the way, isn't it interesting to see how a hardware company like Logitech focus many new investments in software related development ?
I wonder if that's an intentional strategy or if they just jumped on the GoogleTV train without knowing what it really meant ?

copperstate
2010-05-23, 04:12
...
As long as broadcasting companies exists and want to get payed and payed by commercials, a TV solution aren't going to work unless you find a way to include them in the deal. The current model broadcasting companies are using are of course a dead end, people don't want to pay for 100% content when they only are able to view 5% because the rest is sent when they don't have the time to see it or they aren't basically interested in most of the stuff on a specific channel. Yes, I know you have Tivo in US, but here in Euorope we have to make our own Tivo box with MythTV or similar if we what that kind of functionality. IMHO opinion it will work to pay with a monthly subscription fee as we do today but we really need to be able to choose when and where we want to view the TV. I like to be able to view it in my iPhone when I'm outside or view it in the evening even if it was broadcast during the day and I want to view old shows whenever I like.
...

I agree with you. Here in Germany dvb-t is still freely available but most digital HD content is already encrypted and broadcasters are trying to limit both recording (to 90 min in the past) and fast forwarding (so that one has to watch all the ads) of digital HD content. The media companies are also trying to charge big bucks for this crippled system. I sure hope they will fail, but considering how gullible many people are (and that these large high res LCD TVs are getting more and more commonplace) they might even succeed. :(

tamanaco
2010-05-24, 11:17
I believe the main issue preventing the do-all video boxes from being developed has more to do with restrictions put in place by the content owners (studios) than with technology or broadcasting companies. In the US there are "some" restrictions put in placed by the broadcasting companies (content distributors/aggregators), but the most annoying restrictions are there in order to honor their contract with the content owners. Also remember that in the US or anywhere both will be in the mix to make money and not to facilitate free content or for unlicensed content to be recorded. Video content is a lot more expensive to produce than music. Having unauthorized copies of the content compromises returns on large investments which can easily become multi-million dollar loses. Some of the restriction have to do with timing of the release of studio owned content, restrictions on time allowed for "rented" content, restrictions related to having some content being easily displayed on TV and hardware restrictions as to where the content can be stored (recorded) and played.

Studios have a strict schedule and "exclusive" timed deals for the release of movies to theaters, DVDs/Blu-ray, cable companies, on-demand online/Cable services and to regular TV stations. You will rarely, if ever, see HBO having the same movie(s) as Showtime at around the same time. Studios stipulate where, how and for how long their content can be stored to be distributed for rental by any particular rental/on-demand service and for how long it can be available for play by the end users (usually 24-48 hours). If laws of some foreign countries prevent them from enforcing their licensing restriction... studios might opt to walk away rather than giving up the goose that lays the golden eggs. Television studio's content (produced by them or licensed from other studios) is mostly paid by "TV" commercials and by Cable re-broadcasting fees so the TV stations (broadcasters) do not want to cannibalize their advertisement and cable revenue by having their content available commercial-free on TV via 3rd parties unless strict rules of use are in effect. Remember what happened to Hulu on Boxee? Hulu has contracts with TV studios that allow Hulu subscribers to use their content on end user computers, but not "directly" on a TV. The Boxee box connects "directly" to the TV. When it comes to recording content the cable DVR boxes have an chip with a unique id to encrypt the content and "rarely" do these boxes have their USB or SATA ports enabled. Technically these boxes are capable of having external storage attached to them locally and remotely, but the studios stipulate that such connections be disabled unless the content recorded to the external storage is also encrypted. In other words, you can not take the hard drive of a cable owned DVR and played in a different DVR even if it is the same model DVR and from the same cable company.

I own a Vudu box which I believe provides the best video quality (near-blu-ray quality with HDX) and Vudu does not require a subscription. It is a pay-as-you-go service. It has a fairly large video library available for rent and/or purchase at different price levels depending on resolution quality (HDX, HD or SD). I have not bought or plan to buy any content from Vudu. I rather rent it. Setting up the box was a breeze. Even my older sister was able to setup her box without my help. The Vudu box guides you with voice and/or video with the setup of the box. If the sound output is not connected correctly you get graphic video instruction if the video is not connected right... you get voice instructions. If both are connected wrong... you get a big pull out poster with graphical instructions. Vudu no longer makes the Vudu box and it's now concentrating on having their software embedded in other systems (Blu-ray players and TVs). Others should learn from their video setup example. The original Vudu concept was to deliver content based on the P2P model. About 15-30 minutes of each movie in their catalog is always store in the end user box. So you get the movie to start instantly even if you have low bandwidth. When you first set it up it will take about 48 hours to get the beginning of all the movies of their catalog stored in your box. You also get other aggregated "streamed" services like Pandora, myplay, youtube, on demand TV, flickr, picasa and some games from the box. But like any other box that plays studio licensed video content... they're restrictions. You do not get all the movies in HDX quality, you only have 24 hours to finish watching a rental and they don't have licensing agreements with all the studios. Now the Vudu service is moving away from the P2P model to direct streams which requires more bandwidth and they were recently acquired by Walmart... which I hate. Because of their family-values and bible pushing policies WalMart has already removed the Adult content from Vudu... Not important to me... but I don't need anyone telling me what I can or can not watch. Oh yeah, they fear that your kids at home might get a peek at some indecent adult content that might affect them, but they have no issues with a kid getting a hole in the head with one of the guns they sell over the counter... Topic for another forum

Back to the Logitech box... from what I can see from the video demo I posted in this thread http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=79006 The Logitech box besides having Google TV (A Google Experience that allows search for media content with a customized browser for TV), the Logitech box will also incorporate the Harmony remote engine that can be controlled via a Smarphone or any mobile device using Android and WiFi. The Logitech box is also IR Blaster which will allow you to send IR commands to the rest of your AV System components. In essence giving you the Harmony activity-centric way of controlling your AV components. Google's approach appears more open to other content sources than Apple TV because of its search engine and browser, but believe me, Google TV will prioritize Gooogle's content so that it generates revenue for Google. The one thing that "might" become attractive about the Google TV solution is the strong possibility of Google TV for mobile devices. Google is all about cloud-computing and the content that it owns is already in the cloud. In the US making deals with studios that will allow their content be use via Google Youtube Private and Secured Channels does not sound that far out. Porting SBS to Android and making it a component of the Logitech box along with Google TV might be a little farther out.

I also believe that Google has pockets deep enough to make something positive/negative happen. Small and independent companies like Vudu that can only license content, do not own internet content (youtube) or have the influence that only $oo$le has... have little or no chance to make a difference.

amcluesent
2010-05-24, 11:50
So, some thoughts -

1) IPTV in England will be dominated by Project Canvas which will get loads of free advertising from the BBC. Massive barrier to entry for Google TV.

2) Google and Logitech appear, IMHO, to be interested in completely different market segments. With the Nexus phone, Google want to appeal to hackers and tweakers, Logitech is main stream.

3) At the end of the day, once next-gen Atom CPU appear in devices like Asus netbook with Windows 7 Media Centre, these 'walled garden' IPTV boxes will dead in the water

tamanaco
2010-05-25, 11:18
It "appears" that Boxee will be working on an Android app for Google TV. Another small player falls under the Google cloud.

http://androidcommunity.com/boxee-and-googletv-20100525/

robroe
2010-05-26, 04:08
So, some thoughts -

1) IPTV in England will be dominated by Project Canvas which will get loads of free advertising from the BBC. Massive barrier to entry for Google TV.

2) Google and Logitech appear, IMHO, to be interested in completely different market segments. With the Nexus phone, Google want to appeal to hackers and tweakers, Logitech is main stream.

3) At the end of the day, once next-gen Atom CPU appear in devices like Asus netbook with Windows 7 Media Centre, these 'walled garden' IPTV boxes will dead in the water

1) I'm interested in how Google TV and Project Canvas progress and whether there would be any chance of convergence. That would be the ideal for me at the moment although I know Project Canvas is very prescriptive over every area of content and UI. Hopefully the Google platform will be relatively open and allow plugins which could provide this functionality and hopefully boxes with PVR functionality. The BBC are pretty good/have to be good about supporting different platforms for iPlayer so I'm hopeful they would do something with this.

2) I'm not 100% sold on the Google for hackers/Logitech main stream argument. Android phones are pretty mainstream, and pretty much everyone uses a number of Google products. Squeezebox is not really that mainstream, or even Harmony etc. Sure people have their peripherals but I don't know that makes them that mainstream. I expect to be proven wrong ;)

3) Lets hope so, but MS can be pretty restrictive too.