, DISH is charging $4 per month for a ‘DVR Integration Fee’. That effectively pays for the pairing protocol that enables a Google TV search that simultaneously covers content on the satellite DVR, DISH Network VOD and the Internet. Consumers can also schedule recordings and buy on-demand movies directly from the search bar.
Any DISH Network customer buying a Logitech Revue (effectively a Google TV set-top box) or Sony Internet TV powered by Google TV from retail outlets can take advantage of the DVR integration (with the $4 fee). However, the satellite operator is offering the Logitech Revue to its subscribers directly for $179, a significant discount on the quoted $299 recommended retail price. The new package will work with DISH Network ViP series HD DVRs including the ViP 622, ViP 722 and ViP 722k.
Speaking of the Logitech Revue, I had a Geek Squad installer come on Saturday to fully configure the Logitech Revenue product. As I had mentioned in a previous post
, I think that installation issues are going to be a significant challenge for these so-called "smart-TV adapters," particularly those of us who already have an AV receiver and are trying to route the Google TV's audio through the existing home theater/surround sound speakers. The Geek Squad installer requested a fiber-optic cable upon his arrival, and fortunately there were some leftovers from the 2008 full installation of the HDTV and home theater system. He tinkered with set-up for about 45 minutes, and even managed to connect the camera for the Logitech Vid
videoconferencing system. The one drawback to this videoconferencing solution is that it is currently not compatible with Skype, which my family already uses for video chatting. I'm hoping that they overcome this hurdle.
Once properly connected, I did see much greater utility out of the whole Google TV experience, and had fun pulling up some YouTube videos and using the picture-in-picture feature to simultaneously watch an NFL game yesterday while tracking my fantasy football team. I'm not sure how pleased my wife was, however!
Another nice find was ESPN3's availability, one of few major networks that has not blocked playback
. The U.S. women were playing on Friday, attempting to qualify for the World Cup. The only place to watch the game live was ESPN3. The game pulled up pretty easily, and the quality was pretty good.
The best feature so far, however, has got to be the ability to play my favorite Internet radio station on the whole-home speakers. This has been something I have been trying to accomplish for years with different media adapters
, etc. That was a really pleasant feature.
So, Google TV does have some nice capabilities, but I have not recommended it to people who have asked because of 1) the installation challenges; and 2) the current problems that Google is having convincing the broadcast networks NOT to block access to streaming TV shows
and other content. Because of this, the Web-surfing-on-TV features are definitely "geek chic," but they are not mainstream applications for the regular Joe who is looking to enhance his/her television viewing experience.
Labels: communications and entertainment services, consumer electronics and mobile devices, DISH Network, Geek Squad, Google TV, Logitech Revue