Friday, November 11, 2011

Logitech Quitting GoogleTV

It’s been widely accepted that GoogleTV’s launch was premature and much less than successful.  So this latest bit of news won’t surprise many of you – Logitech’s CEO Guerrino De Luca announced his company is dropping GoogleTV for the time being.  Here’s an excerpt from his talk at the Logitech “Analyst and Investor Day”

He begins talking about GoogleTV with the admission that Logitech had extremely high expectations in terms of sales:

“…I would definitely want to have Google establish Google TV, but with a significantly smaller and more prudent approach. It’s always the case people will tend to overestimate the short-term and underestimate the long-term.

More on Logitech’s (and Google’s) over-reaching expectation that Television and the internet integration would be accepted (and work) overnight at launch:

Google TV or a child of Google TV or the grandchild of Google TV will happen. The integration of television in Internet is inevitable. But the idea that it would happen overnight in Christmas 2010 was very misguided and that also caused us dearly. As you know, we dramatically reduced the price of the box to what we thought the consumers valued it and actually doing fine.

Here he goes on to discuss how Logitech misinterpreted consumer behavior.  And how that misinterpretation caused Logitech to make a $100 Million mistake in operating profits on the GoogleTV/Revue:

Our third mistake is actually of a different nature and it’s probably more significant. We had paid much less attention to our product portfolio than we should have. Over the course of the last two or three years we just, we thought that quantity could replace quality and we just did not fully understand what the consumer behavior is at the point of sale, and how to create exciting proposition that made somebody take it and roll up and give us demand. So also because we weren’t focusing on certain things particularly in the living room and Google TV there was an underlying opportunity out there and which we did not focus in other things were happening and we are closer and more real and more existing to when I’ve always been a fan of going to something that already exists, I suppose to completely getting out into the stratosphere of what might happen.”

If you’re wanting to pick up a Logitech Revue watch for even more price drops as Logitech is working to sell the remainder of their inventory by March 2012 (end of their fiscal year 2012) if not sooner:

“We brought contracts to match their preview they mentioned about substantial price drop. The products are selling we believe that we will be out of their inventory by the end of fiscal ’12 and that’s kind of a cautious statement, we may be out of inventory even somewhat sooner than that date. We have no plan to build another box.”

I understand Microsoft and Google not wanting to make the hardware for HTPC/ConnectedTV devices.  The problem is it’s a huge risk for a consumer electronics company to be that hardware maker for an unproven, alpha/beta product.  Google needs only to look at Microsoft’s extender debacle to see what direction they ended up with.  Microsoft’s only extender device is their very own XBox 360.  The first key to making this connectedTV platform succeed and be widely adopted is to produce your own hardware where you control the firmware updates and the hardware.  Make it work extremely well for the consumer and then your platform it’s built on will succeed.  Google can look to their newly purchased SageTV to see the success of this model on a much smaller scale.

via theVerge and SeekingAlpha

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Boxee Adding LiveTV–A DVR Short of Useful

The big HTPC news this week was that Boxee is adding support for an OTA & cable unencrypted USB TV Tuner.  My first reaction was positive as there really aren’t many DVR options remaining for DVR/HTPC fans these days now that BeyondTV and SageTV are out of the game for new entrants.  But then I realized this was only for liveTV and no DVR support.


Sorry but true DVR functionality is a necessity for my HTPC.  And factor in that you can only use this for over-the-air and unencrypted cable TV.  I want fully-functional DVR and the ability to tune those encrypted cable channels.  Otherwise it’s not enough for 99.9% of my TV use.  Yes this is welcome news because it’s better than no DVR support, but not enough in my opinion.  I’m still hoping for something good coming from GoogleTV and AppleTV.  Otherwise HTPC as we know it will die as Microsoft lets their MediaCenter product whither on the vine.

Read more about the coming Boxee 1.5 Update with LiveTV support at GigaOM

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

My Eyes Are Crying for an e-ink Reader

Since the beginning of e-ink readers and tablet computers, kindles and iPads there has been a debate about whether back-lit LCD screens cause more eye strain than the more paper-like e-ink screens.  When I first reviewed the Kindle 2 I admitted then that the Kindle’s e-ink was “easier on the eyes” than reading on a laptop or tablet.  Then the iPad happened. 

I bought the original iPad to try it out and over time found myself using it more and more.  When the iPad 2 arrived I sold my iPad and moved up to the iPad 2 and over the next several months found myself using that iPad2 more to read everything than the Kindle 2.  Then I began travelling a lot for work and for vacations and in the process began looking for ways to “downsize” the gadgets I carried with me.  In the process I started weaning myself from the Kindle.  Yes it had much better battery life, but I wanted – almost needed that iPad as it many times replaced my laptop AND e-reader on trips.  Finally this summer I gave away my Kindle to my daughter since I was using it so little.

Now many months and books later I’m finding I miss that Kindle’s e-ink screen.  Many days I work on a PC all day with it’s dual-screen LCD and then at home catch up on my reading, researching and even working on my PC and iPad at home.  And you know what I’m finding?  My eyes are really strained – I think from non-stop LCD viewing.  Over the next few weeks I’ll be reviewing the new Kindle Fire tablet and the new Kindle touchscreen e-ink reader.  I’m pretty confident I’ll be going back to using both a e-ink Kindle AND a tablet.  If I can get away with a smaller tablet like the Kindle Fire I might even keep that lighter load goal I’ve been working towards.

What about you?  Do you think there is something to the eyestrain argument against back-lit screens versus paper or e-ink?

Monday, November 07, 2011

Roku Releases $50 Economy Streamer–Roku LT

Roku LT

Not a huge announcement here from Roku, but if you want the best streaming box, but don’t care about HD quality streaming, games or expandable memory, this new Roku LT might make an interesting box for you – especially when the retailers begin discounting it to $40 or less.

Just be sure you’re okay with purple as that’s the visual differentiator they went with on the LT.


I have a Roku 2 XS and it’s pretty nice for a simple streaming device – really the best device out there for simple Netflix & Amazon streaming.

Roku 2 XS

TV This Week-Premieres & Finales 11/08/2011

It’s sweeps month (Official Nielson Dates are October 27 - November 23, 2011) So we’ll continue to see very little in the way of new series and TV Network changes during this time.  There are a few things to note though so read on for the GeekTonic weekly TV update highlighting all the new premieres, finales and specials coming up this week.

NOTE: All Times are Listed for EST – TV schedules subject to change


Tuesday, November 8

Quints by Surprise (10pm on TLC) Season 3 premiere

Prophets of Science Fiction (10pm on Science) New series


Wednesday, November 9

The 45th Annual CMA Awards (8pm on ABC) Country Music Awards with Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and more.


Thursday, November 10

Braxton Family Values (9pm on WE) Season 2 premiere

Bordertown: Laredo (10:30pm on A&E) Season 1 finale


Friday, November 11

Green Lantern: The Animated Series (7pm on Cartoon) New series

24/7 Pacquiao/Marquez (8:30pm on HBO) Series finale

Kitchen Inventors (8:30pm on Food) New series on kitchen gadget inventors

Real Time with Bill Maher (10pm on HBO) Season 9 finale

Metal Evolution (10pm on VH1) New music/documentary series


Saturday, November 12

Primeval (9pm oon BBCA) Season 5 premiere

Pit Bulls and Parolees (10pm on Animal Planet) Season premiere


Sunday, November 13

Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer (8pm on Animal Planet) New series

All-American Muslim (10pm on TLC) New reality series


Monday, November 14

Saved (8pm on Animal Planet) New series

Love & Hip Hop (9pm on VH1) Season 2 premiere


Tuesday, November 15

Knights of Mayhem (9pm on National Geographic) New series


Thursday, November 17

Big Shrimpin’ (10pm on History) New reality series reminds us that the History Channel continues to slide away from its own name…


Saturday, November 19

Tattooed in Detroit (9pm on Animal Planet) New series


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