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CNET First Look
Sony Internet TV with Google TVSony's NSX-GT1 series of LCD TVs is the first of its kind to build the Google TV service into a television.
Hi, I'm David Katzmaier from CNET here with the Sony Internet TV with Google TV. It's the first product of its kind. It's a television that builds in Google TV service right into the TV so there's no need for any external settop box or anything like that to get you Google TV functionality. This is a standard edge lit TV with not too many bells and whistles, no 120 Hz or anything like that. The main feature on this thing is Google TV. Google TV, for the uninitiated, allows you to basically search internet video sources as well as your own TV sources from cable, settop, or antenna, right from the same search window so you can just go in, type in a search for a show title, up will come results from the CNET, from the various TV services, as well as from your own cable or satellite, so it's the first of its kind to incorporate all of those sources into one easy-to-search window. The Sony TV comes with this remote here that's kind of a little handheld unit, little reminiscent of the PS3 controller. It's got a built-in QWERTY keyboard so you can type in whatever you wanted in the search results screen. It's also got what I consider a pretty cool little touch sensitive mouse that allows you to drive your cursor around on the screen and select items. There's also a standard up/down/left/right arrows that allow you to select items a little more easily so, all things considered, it's a pretty slick remote although it is a little bulkier than your standard TV remote and it will probably take a little bit of getting used to. The remote incorporates RF technology so you don't need line of sight between the remote and the television. The TV can also control your other devices including the cable box and a couple of other AV devices via IR blasters. It allows it to incorporate, for example, search results from the TV itself including an EPG. You don't get full integration, however, unless you hook up this thing to a dish DVR which allows you to search the DVR and also incorporate a couple of other control features including control over IP as opposed to infrared. The Sony NSX-GT1 series is available in four screen sizes. I'm with the 46-inch here. There's also a 40, a 32, and a little 24-incher. All of them have that LED edge-lit backlighting except for the 24 which is a standard CCFL display. Price points range from $599 for the 24 up to $1399 for the 46-inch so prices are actually pretty good and in line with a lot of the other well-featured HDTVs on the market today. Sony is also announcing a Blu-ray player at the $399 price point. It's the NSZ-GT1. It incorporates all of those Google TV features and, of course, it doesn't have a screen but it does have a built-in Blu-ray so you can get all of your Google TV goodness, including the remote, from a separate standalone Blu-ray player. That's for people who already own a TV and wanna get the Google TV experience. We'll walk through a couple of the features on Google TV. It does include Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, Twitter, and a few other apps right out of the box. We expect more apps to come in the feature such as Facebook, but the real killer app with Google TV is its access to the internet so you can actually go out using its built-in Chrome browser and search a variety of internet video websites. For example, the comedycentral.com, pbs.org, and a lot of other places that have internet video that aren't easily available on a lot of the other internet-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players out there. One big missing link right now, however, is hulu.com. You cannot search the hulu.com website or play any of its videos right now on this device. We're expecting Google to announce compatibility with Hulu Plus in the future but they're still in talks at the moment. On the other hand, you do have Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, and the ability to search Sony's Curiosity VOD service. That's a proprietary feature of this TV. Sony also offers a few other content options familiar with its Bravia Internet Link service including Howcast, blip.tv, and a few other niche video websites so that's a content offering a step above the Logitech Revue which is the only other Google TV box on the market right now. One other big difference between the Sony and the Logitech box is the Sony, at the moment, does not allow you to stream video and audio over a DLNA connection so you can't use the Sony TV to go out and play streaming video directly over your home network. Speaking of apps, in 2011, Google says it will allow access for Google TV products to go out and use the Android market which has thousands of apps designed for smartphones. It will be interesting to see how those apps apply to the big screen but it is potentially unlimited content development for the Google TV products. That's a quick look at the Sony Internet TV with Google TV functionality. I'm David Katzmaier from CNET.