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First Look: Sony NSZ-GT1 (Google TV)

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First Look: Sony NSZ-GT1 (Google TV)

2:41 /

The Sony NSZ-GT1 combines Google TV and Blu-ray in a single box, but Sony's frustrating controller, the high price, and Google TV's content issues make it a tough sell.

-Hi, I'm Matthew Moskovciak, senior associate editor at CNET.com and we're here with the Sony NSZ-GT1 with Google TV. This is the first Blu-ray player available with the new Google TV platform which means it searches through your online and offline media, controls your cable box, and handles your Blu-ray and DVD movies from a single box and it's selling for $400. The exterior design is bigger than we were expecting, coming in at a little bit larger than a standard Blu-ray player. The top has a glossy black finish while the rest is white which isn't our favorite color since it doesn't blend in well with other home theater products. Now, controlling the Google TV requires quite a bit of typing so the way you control it is important. Sony's included controller looks a little bit like a PS3 controller with a keypad added and while it feels comfortable in your hands, we didn't really like it for controlling Google TV. The white foam pad is touch sensitive and it's used to control the on-screen cursor, but it's inaccurate and that can be frustrating to use. The controls for the Blu-ray player are also small and sometimes require you to use the function key which makes it harder for tech novices to use. Hardware issues aside, our experience with the Google TV software has been mixed as well. It has a built-in Chrome browser capable of playing back flash and HTML5 video, but major content providers like Hulu, CBS, Fox, NBC, and ABC are blocking Google TV devices from streaming video. It currently has some basic apps like Netflix, Napster, Pandora, and Twitter, but the included Netflix interface is outdated compared to other devices like the Apple TV, Roku XDS, and the PS3. Cable and satellite box control is fully integrated if you have a Dish Network DVR but if you don't, then Google TV can't schedule recordings or season passes. And, while we love that we could bring up the Google search bar at any time to find content, Google currently doesn't find programs on Netflix and we also found that some of the listings info isn't accurate for shows like the Colbert Report and the Daily Show. Altogether, although we love the idea of Google TV and Blu-ray in a single box, right now, we'd recommended the competing Logitech Revue over the Sony for early adopters because we prefer Logitech's excellent wireless keyboard. But for mainstream buyers, we'd pass on both the Revue and the Sony for now until Google TV can iron out its issues. I'm Matthew Moskovciak for CNET and this is the Sony NSX-GT1 with Google TV.

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