Sony NSZ-GS7 with Google TV – five things you need to know [Video]
What is Google TV?
Sony and Google have teamed up to bring Google TV to the UK for the first time through the Sony NSZ-GS7 set-top box, a box of tricks that’ll cost £200 when it goes on sale on 16 July.
Google TV is a smart TV service that lets users browse the web, watch online video through sites such as YouTube and run apps through a TV. It will work over the top of current live TV services rather than replacing them.
5 things we like about the Sony NSZ-GS7
- It comes with a ‘smart remote’
To make it easier to use the web browser and interface, there’s a ‘smart remote’ that has a full Qwerty keyboard on one side and a multi-touch trackpad on the the other. This means you can control a cursor and type in text easily, and the keyboard is backlit to make it easier to use in the dark. Sensors detect which way up you’re holding the remote to avoid accidental presses.
- It’s got a full web browser and wi-fi built-in
In a recent poll we conducted, readers said the two most important features of a smart TV are that it had wi-fi built-in and that there was a full web browser. Sony’s Google TV box has both and the web browser is Google’s own Chrome browser, so if you use it on your PC you’ll have access to all your bookmarks.
- You can download apps from Google Play
As well as browsing the web, the big draw of Google TV is the ability to download apps from the Google Play store. At launch they’ll be 150 apps optimised for the big screen, including BBC iPlayer and Netflix.
- It’s small and stylish
When choosing something that has to stay in your living room you want something that’s not going to take up too much space and isn’t going to stick out like a sore thumb. Thankfully the NSZ-GS7 looks slick and is a modest size, so it should fit nicely in any front room.
- You can watch TV while you surf
One of the best parts of the service is you can carry on watching TV in a small window that you can then move around the screen while you do other things such as surf the web. This means you don’t have to interrupt a show to do a quick web search, such as what other programs that actor was in or quickly checking your email.
Tim’s impressions of Google TV on the Sony NSZ-GS9
The Sony NSZ-SG9 looks like a quality bit of kit and does address a lot of the problems with current smart TV services, but at £200 this should be the bare minimum.
While its great to see Google TV arrive in the UK, one of the major problems that has held it back in America is cost – and the NSZ-GS9 does nothing to address this. Costing twice as much as Apple TV, and only £15 less than a 22-inch Samsung smart TV – it’ll be a tough sell to convince people to give Google TV a shot.
That said, while Google TV itself isn’t ground-breaking it makes what it does have simple to use, combatting one of the common problems with smart TV services – in a recent poll about smart TV 28% of people told us better ease of use would encourage them to use services more.
Access to the Google Play store and 150 apps optimised for a TV screen is an interesting selling point and as more apps are made available will make the service more compelling. Whether it’s worth shelling out quite so much money right now is debatable, but we’ll be sending the Sony NSZ-GS9 to the lab soon to find out.
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