DirectTV CEO: Apple HDTV Not A Threat, Won’t Have Superior User Interface

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DirecTV chairman claims Apple won't deliver a better experience or content for viewers
DirecTV chairman claims Apple won't deliver a better experience or content for viewers.

The entertainment industry may be bracing for further disruption by Apple when the company finally unveils its HDTV and related television plans, but at least one major player in the field is refusing to show any sign of fear.

In a move sure to be followed by other industry executives, DirecTV chairman Michael White downplayed the potential for an Apple television during a conference attended by other cable and satellite company leaders late last week. While other executives were fairly noncommittal about an Apple HDTV and what it could mean for the entertainment industry, White was emphatic in deriding the idea that Apple could deliver a better user experience to viewers.

Speaking at the Sanford Bernstein Strategic Decisions conference, White specifically called out two of the most anticipated features of an Apple television – a superior user interface and a better selection of content – and described them as unrealistic and unimportant to his company’s customers.

First Impressions of Logitech Revue Google TV Box: It’s Way Too Geeky

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This is the controller for Logitech's Revue Google TV box. Minimalist it is not.

SAN FRANCISCO: Google is not to be underestimated, but sitting here watching a demo of the first Google TV, I’m not sure it has mainstream appeal.

Built by Logitech and running Google’s Android software, the Logitech Revue Google TV has definite geek appeal. It does everything: the $299 box connects to satellite and cable TV, compatible DVRs and Web video, as well as other online multimedia. You can search for content using your voice and control it with a smartphone. It has apps, HD videoconferencing, and functions as a universal Harmony remote, controlling all your home theater devices. (For a detailed breakdown of how it compares to Apple TV, see here)

But there’s no way my mother will go for it.

The hardware of Logitech's Revue Google TV box looks good and capable, but search isn't a good UI paradigm for TV. There's too much crap to sift through.

Watch Out Apple: Google Is Launching Its Own TV Box Next Week

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Hot on the heels of the new Apple TV , Google is launching its own set-top box next week.

Made by Logitech, the Android-based will be unveiled next Wednesday October 6 at press events in San Francisco and New York (see the invite below).

Like Apple’s device, the Google TV is black, although it’s quite a bit larger than Apple’s diminutive box (see David’s photos comparing it to the old Apple TV). The Google TV will run on a 1.2-GHz Atom processor with 4 GB memory, 802.11n Wi-Fi, two HDMI-out ports, Dolby 5.1 surround sound and a pair of USB ports. It will also offer video-chat at 720p if you connect a webcam.

It promises an innovative search-based interface. Search for what you want, and it displays content from the Web, cable, satellite and compatible DVRs. Here’s a trailer showing how it works: