Sony Internet TVs and Blu-ray Player: Hands On with Google TV

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by Jacqueline Emigh

The Internet. Television. Two great tastes that taste great together? Sony seems to think so. The Japanese juggernaut has unveiled the industry’s first crop of Google-powered Internet TVs, and we were there at the NYC launch for a hands-on look.  

Sony Internet TV

Sony’s new Android-enabled Internet TV line-up consists of four TV models – a 24-inch (about $599), 32-inch ($799), 40-inch ($999), and 46-inch unit ($1,399), plus the new Sony Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player NSZ-GT1 (about $399).

The Google TV-powered NSZ-GT1 Blu-ray player will let pre-existing HDMI-equipped HDTVs, Sony or not, take part in Sony’s Internet TV fun.

The Blu-ray player and crop of Internet TVs each come with a handheld remote unit aimed at letting you control on-screen navigation while you switch between Web surfing, TV watching, and Dual View (split-screen) modes.

 Sony Internet TV Sony Internet TV

In a formal presentation at the event, Bob Ishida, president of Sony’s Home Entertainment Business Group, cited a Nielsen study showing that the numbers of people performing both activities simultaneously has stepped up 10 percent over the past year.

It’s possible that those numbers could climb much higher if Google-driven Internet TV really takes off. Sony plans to deliver an affordable first generation of products well in time for the holiday shopping season. Free access to the tens of thousands of software applications in Google’s Android Market is set for early 2011. 

Sony Internet TV

Pre-orders have already begun on Sony’s site. The products will actually go on sale this weekend at Sony Style showrooms, and starting October 24th at Best Buy stores.

The TVs support streaming of both HDTV and standard video. An Intel Atom processor and Chrome browser are both on board. The 24-inch TV is a CCFL unit, but the three bigger models all provide edge-lit LED LCD screens.

Each TV has four HDMI and four USB inputs for assorted connected devices. The Blu-ray player offers one HDMI input, one HDMI output, and four USB inputs. Each of the five products is enabled straight out of the box for WiFi, with a “link to select mobile phones” scheduled for later this fall. 

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