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Google TV gets new audition with $199 Sony box, due July 22

Sony is taking preorders now for the NSZ-GS7 Internet Player with Google TV. Will the set-top box software fare better in this go-round?

Sony's NSZ-GS7 Google TV set-top box.
Sony's NSZ-GS7 Google TV set-top box.

Sony has finally said when it'll launch its next-generation Google TV set-top box it unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year.

Dubbed the NSZ-GS7 Internet Player with Google TV, the device will launch nationwide on July 22 for $199. Sony has already opened up preorders on the device on its online marketplace. In addition, the company has unveiled the NSZ-GP9, which adds Blu-ray support to the Google TV integration. That device will hit store shelves "in time for the holiday season," and will go on sale for $299.

Google TV has been somewhat of a disappointment for customers who had been hoping for more from the platform. The service was initially designed to expand users' ability in the living room by bringing all of a person's home theater content into a single platform. But Google TV has been dogged by sub-par support from third-parties and DVR integration that really only works for Dish Network subscribers, pushing it to niche status.

Whether the NSZ-GS7 will help Google TV change that remains to be seen. However, in CNET's review of the device, posted yesterday, reviewer Matthew Moskovciak said that the "Google TV software continues to disappoint," adding that the platform doesn't support "apps for major streaming services like Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, and MLB.TV, nor is Google's own movie rental service supported." And as before, "ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Comedy Central, and MTV still block Google TV's software from streaming browser-based video," according to Moskovciak.

Aside from that, the NSZ-GS7 does earn some points from CNET for its "small, stylish" design, and its double-sided remote featuring a touch pad and full keyboard prove useful.

All told, Sony's set-top box earned 2.5 stars out of 5, earning an "OK" rating.