Google TV (Logitech Revue) vs. Boxee vs. Roku vs. Apple TV - Internet-TV Device Comparison

Google TV (Logitech Revue) vs. Boxee vs. Roku vs. Apple TV   Internet TV Device Comparison

While off at CES 2011 with Mark I picked up a piece of propaganda literature from Logitech about the Revue and all it had to offer so I thought I would scan it. Well my scanner is on the fritz, so I was going to have to hand type it. I figured if I was going to do that, then I might as well do some in-depth research into what the real situation is. So here's a fully unbiased comparison of the Logitech Revue (Google TV) vs. Boxee vs. Roku XD|S vs. Apple TV (2nd Generation).

Now I'm serious when I say unbiased. I researched all of this based on the available literature, forum discussions, respective app stores and best available information to date. Some of it is rumor but from fairly reliable sources (and labeled as such when applicable).

Internet TV Devices

Logitech Revue (Google TV)

Boxee

Roku XD/S

Apple TV

Resolution108010801080720
Cable/satellite integrationY---
DVR searchY
(DiSH)
Y
(if using a PC-based media server)
--
Wireless networkYYYY
Wired networkYYYY
ControllersQWERTY, touchpad, remote, mini controllerQWERTY remote, widget, iPhone app, Windows Apps, Kinect (hack)D-pad RemoteD-Pad remote, Remote app for iOS (touch)
Smartphone/device integrationiPhone, iPad, iPod touch, AndroidiPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Blackberry, iPad, Windows Phone 7, AndroidAndroid, iPhone (via i.TV and DVPRemote), web-based (Remoku)iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, iPad

Streaming Content

Logitech Revue (Google TV)

Boxee

Roku XD/S

Apple TV

Hulu PlusPendingPendingY-
Amazon VODYYYY
(via PC streaming)
NetflixYYYY
iTunes-N
(lacks DRM support)
Y
(via an app/channel like Chaneru)
Y
YouTubeYYY
(via private channel in beta)
Y
MusicPandora, standard music streaming servicePandora, standard music streaming servicePandora, standard music streaming serviceiTunes Library

Internet Content

Logitech Revue (Google TV)

Boxee

Roku XD/S

Apple TV

Full Web BrowserYYN
(Roku openly stated "...we have no interest, in the short term or long term, to add web browsing to the product..." in their forums)
Y
(via pay app aTV Flash about $40!)
SearchIntegrated online searchLocal sources and online TV showsN
(no cross-channel integration)
-
AppsAndroid Market
(hacked currently, expected Spring 2011 officially)
Boxee app listAvid development community
(3rdparty, channel store)
App Store

Social Networking

Logitech Revue (Google TV)

Boxee

Roku XD/S

Apple TV

Video CallingRequired Logitech TV CamNNFaceTime looks to be headed that way
FacebookYYJust Photos
(and no web browser)
Via App?
TwitterYY (Bitter app)3rd party Twitter screensaveraTVitter app
EmailYNNN

Other Content

Logitech Revue (Google TV)

Boxee

Roku XD/S

Apple TV

Picture viewingY
(Picasa compatible)
Y
(Picasa compatible, Flickr)
Y
(via Photobridge)
Y
(via iTunes)
GamesY
(via browser and Android Apps – still via hack) Logitech CEO openly stated gaming could be major factor
Y
(via FuzztheD's Launcher app)
Y
(still rudimentary but moving along. Minesweeper, Sudoku, Tic Tac Toe, etc)
Maybe? It has the A4 chip and should run Apps soon...so why not games?

Pricing

Logitech Revue (Google TV)

Boxee

Roku XD/S

Apple TV

$249-300$199 & DIY$99.99 (XD|S)$99

All data obtained from manufacturer sites, forums and online sources. Basis of comparison was Logitech handout obtained at CES 2011. That was then expanded upon to make it less biased. If I missed something let me know in comments, preferably in a polite and level-headed manner, thankyouverymuch.

Notes on video chat:

In order to use the Logitech Revue for video chat you must have a specific Logitech camera, the Logitech TV Cam (sold separately for $149.99). On top of that you must sign up for a Logitech Vid specific account and anyone you want to talk with must have the same equipment and account. Hugely limiting factors which make the Logitech Revue all but useless in regards to video chat.

Apple has not confirmed 100% that FaceTime is coming to Apple TV. There are rumors that it will thanks to some code found on the Apple TV which may or may not be remnants of iOS for the other platforms that already have cameras on them. Again, other users will need to have FaceTime but this could allow for cross-platform iOS video chat in the end.

Closing Thoughts

Now, if one were to ask me which I thought was best. I might say none. I might say use your PC with TVersity or something like that. I might offer you the software TechnoDad (my father, who has done loads of research on the matter) swears by, which is My Movies. I would certainly ask you what you really wanted to be able to do and then work from there. If you have a wide variety of content from a vast array of sources, I would not suggest Apple TV, nor would I suggest Roku. Both of those are made to work with specific kinds of online services for the most part, not for home content (except for what fits into iTunes for Apple TV). No, what I might suggest would be a PC media server (Linux, Windows 7, whatever) and maybe, a Sony Playstation 3, by far one of the easiest systems to set up for streaming (plus it does loads of other things).

Then again, with the new round of connected-TV's you might not even need that PS3 to access your media server. I would however suggest either Ethernet connections (100Mb or perhaps 1Gb), or 802.11 N (if you abso need wireless) for that ultra 1080p stuff. That might be what I would suggest, if one were to ask me about such things. I might even suggest a Samsung connected TV because to me, they really have a plan with that and I think they are going to lead the way this year with their connected TVs and other devices. Mark and I even played a game against each other where I was on a Samsung TV and he was on a Galaxy Tab, it was cool. They have this thing called All Share you might look into. Oh, and they have Skype too.

UPDATES February 15th, 2011

Boxee has announced both VUDU and Netflix apps in the last week or so. There was some problem with Netflix security but that has been resolved.

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About the Author -
Christophor Rick is a freelance writer specializing in technology, new media, video games, IPTV, online video advertising and consumer electronics. His past work has included press releases, copy-writing, travel writing and journalism. He also writes novel-length and short fiction as part of Three-Faced Media . View All Posts By -

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