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Sony LCDs build in Google TV

Today Sony announced full details on its NSX-GT1 line of LCD TVs and its NSZ-GT1 Blu-ray player, the first products of their kind equipped with the Google TV service.

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Content directly from the Web

No other current Internet-connected TV features a built-in Web browser. Google's browser should allow virtually the entire world of video on the Web, including video from sites like ComedyCentral.com and PBS.org, to show up on your HDTV.

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Google search for all your content

The basic pitch for Google TV is the capability to search all of your TV content through a search bar similar to Google.com. The bar overlays whatever screen you're on and combs through online video sources as well as live TV from your cable/satellite box--or antenna in the case of the TVs--to find content.

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User interface, most visited

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User interface, bookmarks

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Netflix interface

For launch, the Google TV software has support for several streaming-media services, including YouTube, Amazon VOD, Netflix, Pandora, and Napster.

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Netflix interface with Google search overlaid

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Touch-sensitive buttons on the front

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Controller

The Sony remote included with the TV was first leaked by ABC News and spotted by Engadget, among others. It's held just like one of Sony's PS3 game controllers, and the full QWERTY keyboard and touch pad are designed for thumbs-only operation. The remote commands your other gear as well, so you need only one remote control. It also interfaces with the TV by radio frequency so you don't need line-of-sight.

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Controller, side view

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Controller, top view

In a brief hands-on, I found the remote to be ergonomic enough, the "shoulder" keys for scroll and zoom a thoughtful touch, and the responsiveness of the thumbpad a pleasant surprise--it worked like any laptop touch pad for shoving a cursor around the screen, albeit more sensitive (sensitivity is adjustable). The sheer number of buttons and shortcut keys was a bit intimidating, although I'm sure I'd get used to it in time.

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Controller, hands-on

On the downside, the clicker was bulky and the large keypad was a stretch even for my big hands. At first blush I prefer Logitech's minikeyboard option ($139) or a full-size keyboard, especially for heavy searching. Of course, like the Revue, the Sony will work with any Android or iPhone as the controller via forthcoming apps, and Sony says you can plug standard PC keyboards (wireless or otherwise) into the TV, too.

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Sony NSZ-GT1 Blu-ray player with Google TV

The Blu-ray player is available at the same time for $399.

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Blu-ray player, front view

The NSZ-GT1 Blu-ray player operates just like the TVs, includes the same remote and capability to command other gear, and features a slot-loading Blu-ray drive that's similar to the one on the PS3.

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Blu-ray player, rear view

It has one HDMI input (for your cable box, to enable the Google TV overlay) and one output, with connectivity otherwise identical to that of the TVs.

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Blu-ray player, from an angle

Sony also says the NSZ-GT1 is technically capable of being upgraded for 3D Blu-ray playback, but wouldn't elaborate on whether that was actually in the works.

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Metal stand

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Sony LCD with Google TV, side view

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Sony LCD with Google TV, side inputs

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Sony LCD with Google TV, rear inputs

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