Sony NSZ-GS7

The Good The Sony NSZ-GS7 has a vastly improved, double-sided remote for Google TV, with a large touch pad and a full keyboard. It's a small, stylish box and the only current set-top box that supports Google TV.

The Bad The Google TV software continues to disappoint. There aren't dedicated apps for major streaming services like Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, and MLB.TV, nor is Google's own movie rental service supported. Major content providers like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Comedy Central, and MTV still block Google TV's software from streaming browser-based video. And the software is still buggy and difficult to use.

The Bottom Line The Sony NSZ-GS7 has sleek hardware and an innovative remote, but it's hampered by the still too-limited and frustrating Google TV software.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Performance 5.0
5.3 Overall

Compare

Sony NSZ-GS7
Sony NSZ-GS7
Amazon Fire TV (2017)
Amazon Fire TV (2017)
TiVo Bolt
TiVo Bolt
Roku Premiere+
Roku Premiere+
Nvidia Shield
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Price $150 Amazon.com $70 Amazon.com $150 Amazon.com $65 Amazon.com $270 Amazon.com
Design
6
8
8
9
7
Features
5
9
8
9
10
Performance
5
9
8
8
9

Review

Sony NSZ-GS7

Google TV has always been an ambitious idea. In its ideal form, you'd be able to access all your home theater content -- including your cable/satellite box, streaming video services and content from the Web -- in a single user interface, powered by Google search. It's a great pitch, but it tends to fall apart in the implementation: it's buggy, true DVR integration really only works for Dish Network subscribers, and it still lacks dedicated apps for services like Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, and MLB.TV.

Sony's NSZ-GS7 ($200 list, available July 22) is the company's second Google TV box, and it's a significant improvement over the Sony NSZ-GT1 Blu-ray player. It's a set-top box (no Blu-ray functionality) that's the spiritual successor to the Logitech Revue. The real star of the NSZ-GS7 is the redesigned, double-sided remote, with a vastly improved touch pad and full keyboard on the back. It's geeky and definitely not for everyone, but it's a worthy competitor to the Revue's full-size keyboard.

But even with the improved controller, the NSZ-GS7 can't overcome Google TV's shortcomings. There are still too many caveats on all its premiere features to be recommendable, save for the most diehard (and patient) tinkerers. The NSZ-GS7 proves that Google TV hardware can improve, but what it really needs is a software overhaul.

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