Logitech CEO: Why We Embrace Google TV

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Logitech is one of the first companies to bring a device based on the newly announced Google TV platform to market, the company said today at Google I/O. The company calls its as-of-yet unnamed product a “companion set-top box,” meaning that you connect it to your TV set as well as your TiVo, your DISH set-top box or whatever else you have on your living-room shelf. Consumers will essentially daisy-chain these devices via HDMI and then use Logitech’s box to control all devices in the chain.

Logitech’s box will be available in the fall. The company hasn’t made any information about pricing available yet, but a spokesperson told me today at a Logitech press event that DISH subscribers will be able to get a subsidized box through the satellite TV provider. Logitech gave members of the press a really short demo of the device, mostly showing off how it plays well with other devices while putting lesser emphasis on the actual Google platform. It also showed off two remote control apps for Android and iPhone OS that will be available at launch time.

The Logitech box prototype shown at the event featured two HDMI ports, as well as two USB ports, an IR blaster and an Ethernet port. It will initially be sold with a compact-sized keyboard, and there will be a camera for video chats available as an add-on.

Logitech’s CEO Jerry Quindlen told me that part of the reason the company embraces Google TV is the option to extend the TV experience, which in turn gives Logitech a chance to sell more peripherals. “People want to access the full web”, he said, and that adds the desire for new devices that people are used from a PC or web experience.

Quindlen also said that it’s not about adding another box to your living room, but about enabling a complete Internet experience, and said he believes people are willing to pay for that. Watch the complete interview below.

Related content on GigaOm Pro: TV Apps: Evolution from Novelty to Mainstream (subscription required)

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