back to article Logitech CEO: Google TV a 'gigantic mistake'

The CEO of Logitech has slammed Google’s TV service and has said his company will not develop hardware for the platform in the future. In a call to analysts and investors, Guerrino De Luca didn’t mince words, calling the launch of the company’s Revue set-top box "a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature" and saying that …

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Foolish

This CEO is a fool for so many reasons.

1. Making the mistake in the first place.

2. Calling out Google just when they are rolling out updates

3. Undermining the product by giving up

4. Sabotaging their position on the ground floor of Google's current TV initiatives

Maybe he should own up to making mistakes because Logitech all they know about is keyboards and mice. No one said it would be easy to get into new markets.

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Anonymous Coward

Google lover much?

It started as a shitty product, Logitech was taken on false promises that it would be better, very soon. One year later it's still shit, even worse actually since it has less content!

No wonder Logitech isn't happy..

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Anonymous Coward

The only foolish thing...

...just might be undermining the sales of the remaining stock by being honest about it.

It would have been hard, though, to pretend it was a success, when it so obviously wasn't. The honesty is refreshing.

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Linux

Google lover?

Can't say anything good or bad about the Revue really. I don't think a lot of people can because it missed a very key element. It wasn't priced right. They released a $300 device when everyone else was releasing sub-$100 devices and a real PC could be had for the same $300.

It might be "a shitty product" or it might not be. Because of the whole pricing problem, I can be fairly certain that you are speaking completely out your arse because you're too cheap to have any actual firsthand experience.

It's an entirely different beast in this regard than a Roku or AppleTV and it has nothing to do with how good the actual tech is.

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Seems like no-one has yet worked out the way to make internet TV mainstream. It still seems a geeky toy.

Having the major networks block their feeds via Google TV seems kill off a lot of mainstream interest. This is a bit odd as the networks make their shows available via their websites. So Google TV at the very least should be able to display those websites on a TV screen. Google TV can't be blocked if it appears to be a desktop or mobile browser to those websites. From then, it's pretty trivial to just re-format those webpages so the video feeds show fullscreen, and the webpage is controlled via the remote.

If a TV show is available on an organisation's website, then it is able to be displayed on any device, anywhere. The TV networks don't need to know what device I'm using.

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Actually, they DO.

It's part of the "right" in copyright. Redistribution rights are part of modern copyrights, so the broadcasters can say who gets to display their show and who can't. It's part of the drive behind DRM, and also one of the reasons modern players work the way they do: to enforce those rights as strictly as they can. The odd users taking clips from their shows for a mashup is small loss and even covered under "Fair Use" provisions, but if Google were to try to glom stuff off the NBC website without NBC's OK, Google can expect to see lawyers at the door.

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Mushroom

Corporate Feudalism

> It's part of the "right" in copyright.

> Redistribution rights are part of

> modern copyrights, so the

> broadcasters can say who gets

> to display their show and who can't.

That is just insane, Feudal nonsense.

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Unhappy

So now Logitech feels when companies abandon users

Logitech, on occasion, has some neat products and one we used with great success for some unusual applications.

We were happy to run it on old computers and old Windows OS but it required Logitech software. This software was, for years, available on their FTP server, then they pulled it and left us in the lurch.

Moral: Caveat Emptor with Logitech products, here today and gone tomorrow.

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Anonymous Coward

"This software was, for years, available on their FTP server, then they pulled it and left us in the lurch.

Moral: Caveat Emptor with Logitech products, here today and gone tomorrow."

Really, if the software was "available for years" then "here today gone tomorrow" hardly applies now does it?

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FAIL

Alternative Moral

Don't rely on 3rd parties supporting their products beyond obligation, keep your own local copy of obsolete old software you need.

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Anonymous Coward

I blame Apple for it, if they had a serious TV product out already Google would have copied it and Logitech would not be having this problem.

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Headmaster

People won't consume if there isn't much choice in what they can consume.

@"Despite all the hype around so-called smart TVs, there appears to be very little consumer demand"

For a start downloadable content is crippled compared with cable/sky content. (Exhibit A, compare BBC iPlayer output with normal BBC output).

Also the TV companies need to start providing more varied content if they want to increase downloadable viewing figures, but then conventional broadcast TV companies haven't worked that out for many years. They all arrogantly think that all we need is ever more reality TV and then they tell us viewing figures are going down, yet they refuse to believe they are to blame.

Reality TV is a dream come true for needy attention seeking histrionic people (which is the behaviour of people with a Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)). These are people who desperately want attention at almost any cost, but for the rest of us its extremely boring watching such endlessly desperate attention seeking on TV. They need help and support not a TV camera in their faces.

Meanwhile the vast majority of comedy the TV companies wish to show on TV these days is hitting down at disadvantaged rather than hitting up at injustice and lying authority figures and the vast majority are greatly lacking in intelligent writing. They all too often go for the easy targets with the basic mentality of an inane sneering bully type which is the behaviour of a Narcissist (which is the behaviour of people who have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Clever comedians with good writing on TV seem to be a dying breed.

Meanwhile Sitcoms and Documentaries are also dying breeds on TV these days. Both are all too often dumbed down to ridiculously low levels these days. Yet in decades gone past both were highly prized for clever well thought out writing that was enthralling viewing.

TV in almost every genre of writing is turning into banal mediocrity. Also even the few things that are interesting that get made, end up suffering being killed off far too quickly to (yet again) make way for yet more reality TV.

So is it any wonder TV viewing figures are struggling and yet the vast majority of TV executives absolutely (and frankly arrogantly) steadfast refuse to believe their single minded pursuit of reality TV is to blame. They do not want to hear they are to blame, so they will not learn they are to blame, therefore they will not change their current course of action.

The irony is the TV executives are behaving with a Narcissistic arrogance so its hardly surprising that they only support people like them. TV has been taken over by the Narcissistic and attention seeking people and that is all they want to create TV programs for these days, yet these loud and arrogant people are just a small minority of the whole population.

So is it any wonder viewing figures are struggling! … but the TV executives will continue to refuse to listen to anyone who doesn't agree with them.

Streaming video and Smart TV could be wonderful if only the people running the companies were smart in how they used and ran TV, but they won't change any time soon. The technology isn't the problem, its the people running the TV companies.

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Anonymous Coward

You posts shows that you may be too consumed with assigning disorders to others, which may itself be a disorder.

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Reality TV.

Seems to me that what's happening is that, with so many specialist channels, it becomes awfully hard to stand out. People are picking favourites. These days, most people watch TV to escape, not out of any intellectual pursuit (you wanna learn, surf the web).

BTW, if boring or simple shows are showing on TV and good stuff isn't, consider that television is a business just like any other business. The shows ride on the real moneymakers (the ads--I refer to most TV but not premium channels or subsidised content like the BBC), and ads get the most money when the most viewers watch. Why does reality TV get so much attention? It's not just because it's cheap, but also because people watch it--AT LENGTH.

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Devil

Cost of making programs

> "Reality TV is a dream come true for needy attention seeking histrionic people (which is the behaviour of people with a Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD))."

It's also a dream come true for accountants.

Even with all that flashy studio/theatre shite it's a LOT cheaper to make than any other form of programming.

Which means as soon as an organisation is cash-strapped they'll fall back to it as a way of saving money - which starts the death spiral.

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Meh

Don't forget about the money to be made from the public via phone voting too..

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$149 for a camera to make video calls!! commonly called a webcam which can be picked up for about $10 and plugs into the USB port on a PC. Which is what the Google TV boxes essentially are.

No wonder it failed if they were doing mark ups like this

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Pint

$149 for 1080p (so 60Hz) videoconferencing ain't bad. Well....

It's the 2.5-meter diameter warm-white ring light and gobos, plus peri lens, shotgun mics, and software to make corner shots look like structured spaces that made the product.

Logitech managed to make the universal-remote-wot-has-a-screen hover at $100-250 for a decade, but to credit their wits I hear it works great (and doesn't chime or drunk-dial.) They've definitely fallen under the rollers Samsung, ASUS, store brand et al have on market (counterexamples?) in timorous introductions of pool-cue, brainwave, nunchuk, and 6-DOF cue shuttle controllers. Given the scale of the company, the $300 box is a giant mistake in the manner that an Economist reader tossing $30 instead of $5 on lotto is. Obviously they did not lose (gain) a toehold on set-top-boxes in China.

They should, of course. As it is it looks like conferencing envy is split between Dick + Ribs Software Holdings Premium customers, and people with RED cameras and something Sony's demoing among comers whose studio and H.364 self-noise is under 7dB; so it's not like there isn't room in the $29.00-3900 gap, user-made content hype machines revving or not.

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Somewhat related

Watched 'Top Boy' on 4OD this week, a heavily advertised show, there's even billboards up for it, but all the in show advertising was for channel 4 shows.

This seems quite common in my experience, and I'd suggest it indicates that advertisers don't perceive On Demand audiences as something worth paying for, so it doesn't surprise me that content owners aren't falling over themselves to put everything they own on these services.

The problem with these products isn't just that they don't make anyone any money, they also depress earnings on the existing revenue streams.

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Band width

Lets say Internet TV did replace regular TV. You would see people hitting their monthly cap unless you want crappy resolution.

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Yes and no. True IPTV using multicast does help. When you are using unicast streams, it really adds up.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Band width [sic]

Longer term, you'd also see some sort of bittorrent-like scheme where downloaders became uploaders to some degree, since it seems that even multicast (even where it's available and feasible) can't handle +N timeshifting when N is not just in {0,1} hour.

Just an observation, but a true one, I think.

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Go

"You would see people hitting their monthly cap unless you want crappy resolution."

Yes, quite possibly. Doesn't change that regular TV is dying a slow death. Cable bills area luxury and Internet isn't, and thanks to crappy digital broadcast standards, broadcast TV isn't working consistently anymore. Why that wasn't made into an actual resilient network I have no idea *other than cost)... The paradigm shift is coming soon where all TV is "IPTV" and monthly caps have to be taken into consideration on that. I bumped up my internet speed to the max, which bumped my cap sufficiently, and we're hitting Amazon VoD, Hulu and Netflix a lot nowadays without worrying on resolution.

My concern is that the Logitech CEO is shortsighted, and being indicative that Logitech may not have good vision long term. Yeah, they had a "failure", so what. It isn't exactly a failure *yet* unless they give up on it. Logitech failed to grasp what people will pay for such a device. I don't know why that was, since Western Digital has the WD Live Plus which is $99 and sells like hotcakes. It even has the WD Live Hub which I think is selling well at $200. Logitech just didn't look at the market and what it was willing to bear. At $100 the Revue's would have sold a lot. I know I'd have 2 of them instead of my WD Live+ and LiveHub. (both of which I'm still waiting on firmware upgrades to support Amazon VoD). This isn't the time to go slink off. Google's got new firmware out and the reviews are good, they've got the pricing fixed to be something reasonable. Now is the time to do a mea culpa on the previous one, and go on a full on marketing attack for the new one.

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Thumb Up

Logitech is still in

They're just not going to go bat-crazy with the launch quantities like they did last time. Got stuck with a lot of rev-0 inventory and took a $100M hit to profits. Google TV will do well eventually if they keep at it. Certainly I would buy one if it came with full Android and the kind of experience I get from my Asus Transformer - maybe even an app I could use an Android phone or tablet to be the remote and user interface and save the cost of manufacturing those bits.

Now that Intel's out of the TV box hunt maybe they can get some Kal-El goodness up in this business and rock our world not only as a set-top box but also a game engine. That would be very nice. Bluetooth or some other wireless game controllers, keyboards, headphones? All fun in the family room. But it's too late for this Christmas. CES introduction maybe for Sony and Samsung maybe? Sammy's certainly got reason to give Android and Google a little slack, considering how that saved their bacon the last couple quarters.

I like Samsung gear. Not going to buy the Sony one, ever. Too long a history of stuff that's deliberately incompatible with other stuff.

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FAIL

What Google TV needs...

...is Apple to enter the market in a big way, like what happened for mobile phones.

As it is we're stuck in the same situation that we were in with smartphones five years ago. The operators (cable and satellite companies) hold all the cards and don't want potential competitors like Google making them into just unprofitable dumb pipes for the streaming of content over IP.

OK maybe not "only Apple can save us" but Apple-like tactics are certainly required, and Google with their "release early buggy versions, release often" product development strategy don't have the cool factor that could persuade the content providers to play ball.

I really want GoogleTV to succeed, but I see it going the way of Google Wave. When the going gets tough, Google get going.

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Linux

Fanboy silliness

> ...is Apple to enter the market in a big way, like what happened for mobile phones.

You mean like they already have done and have been doing for quite some time now? They've been at it long enough for them to go through a 68K -> PPC style architecture change already.

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FAIL

Uhhh, the key here is "in a big way"

Saint Steve always said that appleTV was a hobby of his.

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Linux

Hobby is just a codeword for failure.

Hobby is just a codeword for failure.

It's what they tell people instead of fessing up and saying that they managed to stumble at something. They don't want to do anything to undermine the myth of Apple. Of course the faithful eat it right up.

If anyone has a handle on this "problem" it's probably Tivo. They just have the same problem with the entrenched network monopolies that everyone else has.

It's that whole "we have a right to exclude anyone" mentality...

It doesn't just hurt Google.

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