“The world’s first Google TV sets” will become available on October 16 from the Sony Style shop and at Best Buy shortly after. At a press conference in New York, manufacturer Sony announced details of its first Google TV sets and Blu-ray player.
The models also feature Dual View, allowing users to watch television while tweeting about what they’re watching, checking their fantasy football scores, or finding related content on the web. They also offer the ability to bookmark content and add applications from the Android Market (coming in early 2011). The models feature Sony’s premium streaming service Video On Demand powered by Qriocity as well as pre-installed apps including CNBC, Napster, NBA, Netflix, Pandora, Twitter, and YouTube.
Each set comes with a QWERTY keypad remote. Additionally, select mobile devices such as an Android phone, can control the TV with an app that will be available for download from the mobile Android Market later this autumn. Each TV features four HDMI ports, four USB ports and built-in Wi-Fi to connect to access web content via the home broadband network. Sony Internet TV also connects to select HD DVR devices from Dish Network to include previously recorded content in the search results and control DVR functionality from the set’s user interface.
The four LCD HDTVs with Google TV built-in are the Sony Internet TV line 24-inch NSX-24GT1 ($599.99), the 32-inch class NSX-32GT1 ($799.99/€429.65), the 40-inch NSX-40GT1 ($999.99), and the 46-inch NSX-46GT1 ($1,399.99). The Sony Internet TV Blu-ray Disc player with Google TV built-in is the NSZ-GT1 ($399.99). The prices for the Google TV sets are between $200 and $400 more expensive than Sony sets without the software. For the Blu-ray player this means a doubling of the price.
Sony’s pricing means a hefty premium for the added Google TV experience. For consumers, the lowest price to enter the world of Google TV is the Logitech STB, unveiled last week, that costs just under $300. This will make the service available on any TV set and is a box that is in direct competition with cheaper set-tops such as the Apple TV or Roku. Sony will launch a big marketing campaign for the Christmas season with a focus on demonstrating the new service in order to sell the concept of watching web content on the regular TV set.