One of the most distinct disadvantages of Google TV is how expensive some of the boxes can be. To that end, the Logitech Revue, one of the first devices to run the television-oriented platform, has served as a cheap entry-level set top box for the curious. Now, it's cheaper than ever. Normally $100, you can use a coupon code (TPF73771) to get $20 off a refurbished model up front, plus a $30 rebate to bring it down to a meager $50.
Customers have until October 27th to order the Revue in order to qualify for the rebate. After purchase, you have 30 days to put the rebate in the mail.
For months now, users who wanted to root their Logitech Revue GoogleTV unit were either forced to use hardware modifications or do without. Now, though, Android hacker extraordinaire Dan Rosenberghas found a way to do it completely through software. There's only one problem: it's both extremely difficult and risky. Still, if you're up for a challenge, this one's for you.
This hack uses an exploit called nandpwn, which is explained better on GTVhacker than I could ever do:
A local privilege escalation exploit for the Logitech Revue that leverages the ability to map the hardware registers of the NAND flash controller in conjunction with a Linux kernel information leak to clobber kernel memory in a way that allows gaining privileges.
Google TV is one of those products that Google tends to forget about most of the year. Today, though, the platform is getting some love as Sony Google TV devices are getting a firmware update to version 2.1.1. Included in the update will be the ability play movies rented via Google Play (about time) as well as watching movies via youtube.com/movies.
Logitech's update, on the other hand, is less straightforward. The company has announced via its forums that the Revue will be getting updated to Honeycomb 3.2 beginning a couple of days ago and ending tomorrow, June 7th. Oddly, the company seems to have made no official announcement or change log anywhere else.
If Logitech's price drop on their debut Google TV box this July wasn't enough, those looking to get their hands on the Revue without spending much money now have a pretty nice opportunity thanks to Tiger Direct. The online electronics dealer is offering refurbished units for a paltry $79.99, with free shipping included if you buy this weekend.
For those unaware, the Revue is Logitech's sole Google TV device, meant to bring the Google TV experience to your HDTV by offering easy access to web and television content, as well as a host of specially-developed apps meant for use with Google's television venture (including Netflix).
Logitech may have said that launching the Revue was "a mistake of implementation of gigantic nature" and that it has chosen to ditch Google TV entirely, but it has, thankfully, decided against reneging on its promise of one more software update. And, yes, said software update is exactly the one that was shown to us back at the end of October: the one that brings an updated, usable interface and - drumroll please - Android Market integration.
Indeed, as indicated in the above tweet from the official @GoogleTV Twitter account, the update will be rolling out in the next few weeks, just as promised.
Guerrino De Luca, CEO of Logitech, while speaking at the company’s Analyst and Investor Day yesterday, plainly delivered a statement that many of us could have seen coming, calling Logitech’s 2010 launch of the Revue set top box “a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature.” Further, De Luca made it clear that Logitech had “brought closure to the Logitech Revue saga,” and plans to let inventory run out this quarter, with no sequel in the works for the manufacturer’s first Google TV box.
De Luca confided that “operational miscues in EMEA” cost the company over $100M, and ascribed much of Logitech’s headache to executing “a full scale launch with a beta product,” implying that Google TV, as a product, was not – and perhaps is not – established or complete enough to make a launch on the scale of the Revue reasonable.
About a month and a half ago, Logitech drastically reduced the price of its Google TV unit, the Revue, from $299 to a much more acceptable $99 in order to boost sales. At that time, it was also promised that Android 3.1 would be hitting the set-top box sometime "this summer," which has since been pushed back to the end of September.
While we've already seen one Honeycomb leak for the Revue surface, it was quite buggy and not entirely stable. A new leaked has now been released, however, which looks to be nearly complete.
If you want to give this build a go for yourself, you can find info on how to do so at GTVHacker -- but be be aware that you must be running the previous leak or you will brick your device.
Heads-up, Revue owners! We've got a nice little surprise for you all this morning. A member of the GTVHacker forums has posted about a leaked beta of Android 3.1 for the Google TV device, and the good news is that you can download it right now!
The update looks like is an official one (signed and hosted by Google/Logitech), as you don't need to be rooted to flash this on to your device; you can apply it like you would any other operating system update with no root necessary. However, as this is a beta version it will have some bugs lurking around in it and more importantly you cannot roll back to a previous version once you have updated the software, so do this at your own risk!
The Logitech Revue, originally highly overpriced at $299.99, was recently reported to be going down in price heavily to a sweet spot of $99.99 that it should have shipped with in the first place in my opinion.
As of today, the price drop is in effect, so you can order the Revue for $99.99 with free 2-day shipping directly from Logitech by following this link.
On a separate note, I've heard some rumblings lately of rumors that the original Google TV hardware won't be getting the promised Android 3.1 (some of you pointed out 3.2, but the rep said specifically 3.1) update and want to take this chance to debunk it.
Logitech recently released its Q1 earnings for fiscal year 2012, and lets just say that the company has seen better days. Sales are continuing to decline, and the company is facing a $34 million charge due to an upcoming price reduction of its Google TV box, the Revue. In order to promote interest in the device, Logitech will be dropping the price from an outrageous $249 down to a more reasonable $99, putting it in the same ballpark with Apple TV and Roku TV.
Once this price hits the street, this will be an excellent deal for anyone looking to pick up a Google TV device.