3 Ways to Control Your Google TV

3 Ways to Control Your Google TV

Vivian Kim
Dec 7, 2010

Despite high price, lackluster reviews, and blocked network content, I decided to take the plunge and purchased a Logitech Revue (Google TV) to add to my home theater setup. I wasn't interested in having a keyboard on my lap while watching TV, so I also decided to pick up Logitech's Mini Controller. While on my quest to find the perfect controller for my HTPC setup, I also gave Logitech's Harmony iPhone App a try. With all the options available, each controller has its pros and cons. So which one is the perfect fit for your Logitech Revue?

Before getting Google TV, my HTPC set up was basically just a Mac Mini running Boxee with Remote Buddy software. I was controlling it with an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, Magic Track Pad and a Logitech Harmony One. On occasion I'd even use my iPhone running the Hippo Remote app. All of these needed to be used in conjunction with each other in order to perform simple tasks. I'd switch the input on my remote to my Mac Mini, then grab my keyboard and track pad to navigate (or I'd use Hippo Remote). While the setup worked, it still felt very makeshift and roughly assembled, like it didn't really belong in the living room. That being said, although each of the following controllers aren't perfect, any of them work better than my previous setup.

Logitech Mini Controller

Pros:
- Back lit
- Compact
- Long battery life
- Auto on/off (powers off when you close the lid)
- Fits nicely in the hand

Cons:
- Buttons have multiple uses (some buttons have 3 different actions)
- Need to use a modifier button (need to press function or shift)
- Finicky track pad (track pad is tiny and sometimes hard to use)
- Need two hands to use (again, having to use modifiers requires you to use two hands)

Logitech Harmony iPhone App

Pros:
- One hand usage
- Ability to use in the dark
- Always on you/easy to find
- No need for modifier buttons
- Intuitive layout
- Connects quickly

Cons:
- Too bright at night (wish it had auto brightness control)
- Cumbersome (with no tactile feel, you need to look down at it frequently)

Logitech Keyboard Controller

Pros:
- Ergonomic
- Well laid out (dedicated keys for navigation)
- Can control by feel (easy to figure out what buttons you're pressing, don't need to look down at keyboard as frequently as iPhone App or Mini Controller)

Cons:
- Too big for the living room
- No back light
- No auto off

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