Sony Intros Google TV Sets from $599 to $1,399
Oct. 12 introduced a new Blu-Ray player and four Sony Internet TVs powered by
Google TV, ranging from $599 to $1,399, as the company became the first to
deliver Google's new service on a TV set.
Based on Google's Android operating system and powered by an Intel Atom processor, Google TV combines TV content and Web content, allowing users to access both via the Chrome Web browser.
The service comes a few ways. Logitech is now offering for preorder Google TV on its Revue companion box and controller for $299 from Logitech.com, BestBuy.com and Amazon.com. The box and controller should be ready to ship later this month.
Sony is offering the Google TV-loaded Sony Internet TV Blu-Ray player for $399 and four new Internet TVs loaded with Google TV.
The Sony Internet TV line includes the 24-inch NSX-24GT1 for $599.99, the 32-inch NSX-32GT1 at $799.99, the 40-inch NSX-40GT1 for $999.99 and the 46-inch NSX-46GT1 for $1,399.99. See full specs here and images here.
The Blu-Ray player and TVs are available for presale now at SonyStyle.com and from Best Buy.
The hardware will be available for purchase at Sony Style on Oct. 16 and at Best Buy shortly thereafter, confirmed Mike Abary, senior vice president of Sony's Home Division, who introduced the hardware at an event here.
During the event, Sony Senior Product Manager Matt Seymour used a special new Sony RF QWERTY keypad remote to easily switch between live television programming and Web applications on a demonstration unit of the 46-inch Sony Internet TV.
Seymour switched to Dual View, which allowed him to watch a show about Katz' Deli in New York City and then look up more information on it on Wikipedia, find the deli's location of Google Maps and then access Twitter to tweet to his friends that he was headed there.
Users can also bookmark content in the Chrome Web browser just as they can on a computer, and access several applications Sony preloaded on its boxes and Blu-Ray player.
These include Sony's Qriocity video-on-demand service and apps such as CNBC, Napster, NBA, Netflix, Pandora, Twitter and YouTube. Sony anticipates many more apps will be available in 2011, once Google opens Google TV to developers.
Also in the fall, Sony plans to offer an app that lets users control Sony Internet TVs from an Android-based smartphone. Logitech already offers two such apps that communicate with its Revue companion box, one for Android and one for Apple's iPhone.
The event made it clear that Sony is betting heavily on the marriage of TV and Web content, picking Google's platform on which to hang its hat.
Bob Ishida, senior vice president, corporate executive and president of Home Entertainment Business Group at Sony, noted that people spend as much time online as they do watching television.
Sony promised a major marketing push to promote the new hardware, though company officials declined to say how much it would spend.
However, it remains to be seen whether consumers will spend money on TVs that cost $200 to $400 more than the average LCD or plasma sets already on the market from Sony, Toshiba and myriad others.