Google TV gains traction PDF Print E-mail

The company's Revue system will allow users to view TV and stream Web content.

Logitech International SA showed off on Wednesday its $300 set-top box for the soon-to-be-released Google TV, the first glimpse of what the Web search giant`s holiday-season television-streaming product will look like.

The $299.99 Revue is touted as a way for users to watch both television programmes and Web content – Google has already landed deals with the likes of Time Warner`s HBO and News Corporation – on a TV that Japan`s Sony will build and sell.

But Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners, said consumers might balk at the price tag.

"That`s a piece of change," Gillis said. "The price point, as Apple has pointed out, for a device like this is about $99. So, it`s expensive and yet another box you`ve got to plug in."

Apple last month unveiled a Web-to-TV device for $99 called Apple TV, which is expected to battle Google TV as well as cable companies for control of the digital living room.

Gillis expects sales of the Logitech Revue to largely be confined to consumers of "cutting edge technology”.

Logitech on Wednesday also unveiled other peripheral products for Google TV, including a keyboard controller and a video calling device.

Google has signed content partnership deals with a range of media and Internet companies, including NBC/Universal for CNBC programming and Amazon.com for video-on-demand movie and TV show titles.

Devices powered by Google TV will be released this month.

Web search king Google is chasing the $70 billion TV advertising market, but the world`s most creative and deep-pocketed technology companies such as Microsoft and Apple have struggled to crack the market.

Google TV presents a new outlet for the company`s trove of video at social networking Web site YouTube.com. But the company also faces resistance from media companies, which are concerned that Web-enabled TV could harm their traditional TV business with numerous cable carriers.

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