Last week I told you to go forth and buy yourself a Logitech Revue with Google TV. This week, I’m telling you: Not so fast! Here’s why.
I noticed that the sound is not a straight pass-through from the satellite/cable box to the receiver. Recall that the Revue box sits between the cable/satellite receiver and the AV receiver or preamp, with HDMI connections to both. The problem is that what starts as Dolby Digital 5.1 at the satellite/cable receiver often is output by the Revue as analog multichannel or PCM multichannel 2.1, at least in my case. This is apparently a flaw that has affected enough Revue users to be easily searchable via Google.
If you do the search, once you start reading the results, you’ll see that people have been complaining about this flaw since December 2010, but Logitech has yet to fix it. In fact, they’re not talking about it in public or even acknowledging that it exists. The situation is a mess because different AV receivers seem to do different things with the PCM output. People are suggesting all sorts of workarounds involving using the S/PDIF output to the receiver and the HDMI output to the TV, but avoiding that kind of awkwardness is why I went to an AV receiver with multiple HDMI inputs in the first place. Furthermore, I spent enough money on seven speakers for a home theater that I don’t feel like being told “you can’t do dat”.
As it stands, the Revue will be relegated to duty as an Internet interface for the TV, outputting its signal via an alternate HDMI input directly to the TV so AS can play Scrabble and torment her Facebook buddies without bringing the laptop downstairs. I cannot leave it in-line between the satellite receiver and the AV receiver for much longer without getting pissed off when I have no surround sound for NFL games.
I wonder whether Logitech reduced the price to $99 knowing that this problem existed. Perhaps they are not responding to comments about it because they intend to fix it in Release 2.0 — new hardware, which they might or might not ever put on the market due to the lukewarm response to the original device. So, they piss me off even if they do market the mythical machine.
It has been reported that there is degradation in picture quality, although I haven’t observed any myself, perhaps because of my old eyes.
I know that this issue is not deal killer to many of you, but for those who I led astray with my kudos, I humbly apologize.