Sony has officially announced its Google TV line-up and offered a glimpse at the products that will be coming to Australia in 2011.
The Sony Bravia NSX-GT1 series, which will inevitably be known as "The Google TV", but Sony calls the "Sony internet TV, the world's first HDTV powered by Google", includes four sizes from 24 through to 46 inches. The estimated selling price of the televisions is from US$599 to US$1399, and will ship starting 16 October in the US. The Blu-ray player is available at the same time for US$399.
While Sony Australia has confirmed to CNET Australia the availability of a set-top box and at least one TV in 2011, pricing and models are still unknown.
The promise of Google TV is to integrate all available video content — regardless of whether it comes from video-on-demand, Freeview, YouTube or a random website — onto one screen that you can search as easily as Google.com searches the web. The Sony TVs and Blu-ray player come with a special remote control with a keyboard, can control other devices in your AV system and even enable you to surf the entire web with a built-in Chrome browser. Aside from actually hooking a PC to your TV, it's the closest you will likely come to converging the two devices.
Sony integrates Google's service and at least one tuner into the LCD TVs, so no additional box is required. One major difference between the two, however, is that Sony's TVs and Blu-ray player will not allow streaming of music and video files over your home network, although Sony says this feature is in the works.
Each TV has four HDMI and four USB inputs, as well as built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi, so you don't need to run an Ethernet cable to your living room to access the internet. Otherwise, aside from Google TV, NSX-GT1 is a relatively basic edge-lit, non-dimming LED-based LCD that's missing step-up features like 100Hz found on the KDL-EX700 models.
How will the service work once it hits Australia? We think the launch of the local TiVo product gives the precedent for this: in the States the TiVo aggregates satellite, cable and free-to-air, while here it's a simple dual-tuner PVR with no cable functionality. It's likely Google TV will work in the same fashion. Possibility of Foxtel/Austar integration? 0.05 per cent.
For a closer look at the system and the QWERTY remote control click on the photo gallery below. Check back soon for full reviews of the products, but in the meantime, let us know what you think in the comments below.