Sony Launching New $199 Google TV Box

Subject: General Tech | June 29, 2012 - 10:17 AM |
Tagged: sony, smart tv, htpc, google tv, google, Android

Yes, it does appear that Google TV is still a “thing” – though I am only reminded because Sony has not stoppsed releasing new boxes running Android. The NSZ-GS7 is a small box designed to sit between your TV and cable box to add additional smart TV-like functionality. It is running a dual core Marvell ARM processor, and has 8GB of storage space, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth radios. Rear IO on the device includes two HDMI ports (for HDMI passthrough of your cable box or other media device), optical audio output, an IR blaster port, Ethernet, two USB ports, and a power input port.

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The interesting thing about these Google TV products has always been the remotes. There have been some strange designs in the past, but the Sony NSZ-GS7’s remote actually looks nice and comfortable. The front of the remote resembles any standard TV remote with a track pad added to it while the back of the remote features a full QWERTY keyboard. It also has an accelerometer and is allegedly capable of detecting which side of the remote you are using – and will turn off the buttons on the underside to avoid accidental key-presses.

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I really like this remote. Image credit goes to Tom's Hardware.

Beyond the hardware itself, the Google TV box is running Android 3.2 Honeycomb. It is able to acts as an enhanced TV guide as well as providing web access and Google App functionality (for the few apps that have been modified to work specifically with Google TVs anyway). One of the cool apps available is one that can control a Parrot AR.Drone on the big screen with the TV remote, which sounds like fun (my dog would go nuts!). It is also capable of doing picture-in-picture where users can browse the web while also watching the TV in a smaller window.

Tom’s Hardware managed to gets a hands-on demo with the new device courtesy of Sony Canada. They managed to snag several good photos of the hardware and interface. They note that the NSZ-GS7 Google TV box will be coming out next month for those in the US and UK – a Canadian launch is following in August – for $199. You can find more photos at the link above.

Especially with the release of the Nexus Q, I have to wonder if Google is even aware that Google TV is still around, because it really feels like they launched it and then walked away from it. Now that they are focusing on “the cloud” for media playback, the Google TV has even less relevance to the company. On the other hand, I could see an perspective where both devices are able to coexist and flesh out total living room media functionality with the Nexus Q handling the social and cloud media playback and Google TV acting as a better cable box for “offline” media. I am curious though, what you think of Google TV. Do you like it, or would you rather have a beefier HTPC running Windows or Linux on x86/64 hardware? Where do you think the Google TV fits into the living room?

Other Google I/O News:


June 29, 2012 | 11:58 AM - Posted by Branthog

They absolutely need to focus on making these attachable external devices, because no sensible person is going to base their purchase decision on "it has a google interface" rather than the quality, size, clarity of the image, quality of support and warranty, low input lag, high contrast, etc. It absolutely must be something that you can simply and cheaply (as in, for the price of a Roku) attach to *any* display that you've chosen to purchase.

Otherwise, they're only going to benefit from the guy who walks into Best Buy with his wallet open like a moron ready to buy whatever catches his eye without having done even the most minuscule amount of consumer research before his purchase.

That said, I really want something besides a Roku. It's a very nice and convenient little low-powered device, but the interface is atrocious as is the lag in using it and the very limited availability of good content (I basically use it for nothing but Netflix and MOG).

July 3, 2012 | 02:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you plug a bluetooth wireless keyboard dongle into a Sony SMP-N200, you get a keyboard interface and don't have to use the on-screen remote widget to type...

May 21, 2013 | 05:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Here you can get various of Android Tv Box

February 25, 2014 | 01:25 AM - Posted by LizaJenifer (not verified)

Yes, If you plug a bluetooth wireless keyboard in Sony Products and some other company Products then you can not type on screen. You can say that On screen typing off when wireless keyboard is ON. Here I'm Also looking an article about TV Box which i have found very helpful for me.

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