Sony firms up details of its Google TV set-top boxes
Billed as the next step in Smart TV evolution, Sony’s new external Google TV set-top boxes are finally set to hit stores from July.
First out of the traps will be the NSZ-GS7. Set to cost £200 and hitting stores on July 16, this startlingly small box of tricks will enable buyers to enjoy both full Google Chrome Internet access through their TV as well as the increasingly polished-looking Google TV service, which features a TV-optimised operating system and a growing array of TV-optimised websites.
Naturally the Android-based box supports Wi-Fi as well as LAN integration into your network, and features an HDMI loop through system so that it can deliver simple switching between online and TV functionality.
Shipping with the main GS7 box is an impressive-looking remote that features a touchpad on its front and a full, tactile QWERTY keyboard on its rear.
If you fancy combining the Google TV system with a 3D Blu-ray player, Sony is also launching the NSZ-GP9. This £300 model features a stylish white finish, and also adds voice recognition technology to the spec of the GS7. This model will set you back £300, but you’ll have to be patient, as it’s not expected to go on sale until October.
Having first seen and not been especially convinced by these boxes at an exclusive Sony ‘unveil’ in Japan in February, we were glad to see at the UK launch for the product last week that Google seems to have improved the interface quite a bit. Plus the world appears to be rapidly warming to the idea of having unfettered online access on their TVs rather than having to work within the ring-fenced content offered by most current smart TVs.
The widespread availability of Smart TV functionality on this year’s TVs still makes us wonder just how much of a market there really is out there for Sony’s Google TV boxes. But this doesn’t alter the fact that the functionality they offer really does feel like a glimpse of the future of TV.
If you want to find out more about the new Google TV boxes – or preorder one – click here.