Logitech has taken a few minutes out of today to formally announce, and unveil, their brand new Revue set-top box. The new gadget is the first set-top box to feature Google's Google TV, and obviously while the idea is to bring the Internet to your TV, the Revue's main competition comes out of Cupertino, and it's called Apple TV. After the break, we'll take a look at the comparisons and differences between the two devices, all the way down to what comes in the box, giving you the details regarding the two devices, so you can figure out which box you'll be spending your money on.
Considering Logitech's Revue is the new kid on the block, we'll go ahead and start with this one. The box itself doesn't look to be too big, but unfortunately we can't get into specifics regarding size because Logitech's site doesn't have that much information on it quite yet. However, it's not as big as, say, a video game console, but it's obviously not as small as the new Apple TV. As far as input and output goes, you'll find two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a 10/100 Base-T Ethernet port. There's also an audio optical out (S/PDIF). And that does it for the input output ports.
Compare those to what's available on the new Apple TV. The new black box features one HDMI port, one optical audio (S/PDIF) port, and one 10/100 Base-T Ethernet port. You'll also find a micro USB port, instead of the standard USB port. So, the Revue features two USB 2.0 ports, while the Apple TV has only one micro USB port. Other than that, the input/ouput is the same for both set-top boxes.
And, as a quick reminder, both boxes support 802.11 a/b/g/n
What's in the Box
The box for the Logitech Revue is probably going to be pretty big. Why? Because the company decided to throw quite a bit in there for your initial unboxing. You'll find the set-top box itself, the keyboard with integrated remote, one IR mini blaster, one HDMI cable, the standard power supply, two AA-batteries (which are already in the controller), and your user documentation. Basically, it looks like Logitech wanted to cover the bases, and have done that accordingly.
As for the Apple TV, the box there is small. What you'll find in there, is the Apple TV, one power cable, the aluminum Apple remote, and your user documentation. Obviously Apple wanted to keep to their own company theme, keeping it simple, and decided not to throw the kitchen sink into the box. However, that may not be a bad thing.
Logitech's Revue set-top box has the power of Android underneath the hood, and Logitech plans on utilizing that to its fullest extent. While it won't be available right at launch, Logitech did confirm that the Android Market would be available for use on the Revue, and therefore on your TV. Applications like Napster, Twitter, and an app for CNBC were all showcased at today's event, and there are certainly more coming.
The new Apple TV is iOS-based, but the only way you can get your favorite iOS-based applications on the device, and onto your TV, is through a little jailbreaking. You can access the iTunes Store to download entertainment in the vein of movies, TV shows, and the like, but it looks like the application front has been won by Logitch, just by the upcoming availability of the Android Market.
Price wise, the Apple TV comes in at a whopping $99. Take that and put it up agianst Logitech's $299.99 price tag for the Revue, and the war on pricing probably isn't much of a war. However, one could look at it and say that the higher price tag for Logitech's set-top box has everything to do with the features ingrained into the box itself, as well as everything that they include in the box. For some, that just won't matter, and the $99 and access to the iTunes store for instant streaming of entertainment will win out, versus the upcoming ability to access the Android Market or surf the Internet from your TV.
Right now, you can pick up the Apple TV. While Logitech on the other hand wouldn't come right out and say it, but it looks like the Revue will be available for purchase starting by the end of October, so anywhere in the next two to three weeks. If you're looking for your set-top box option right now, then obviously the Revue won't cut it for you. But, if you can be a little patient, then the pay-out may be worth it.
In the End
As it stands right now, Apple TV's availability and pricing may be enough to cause some out there to just jump the gun and buy it, and feel that the $299 price tag for the Revue isn't worth waiting for. Of course, if you're a Dish Network subscriber, you can pick up the new Revue set-top box for $179. In the end, it's just up to your personal preference: do you want the Internet on your TV, along with Android for the ride? Or do you just want instant, streaming entertainment delivered to your little box? Let us know in the comments.