Google TV has been in something of a rut, with few products using the modified Android operating system for home entertainment. Sony stood out as one of the first companies to adopt it with its Google TV-equipped HDTV and Blu-ray player, but for over a year it hasn’t offered anything new. That changes July 22, when the company launches the NSZ-GS7 in the U.S. and U.K.
The NSZ-GS7 is a set-top box that uses Google TV to provide multiple online services to your home theater. Like Sony’s other Google TV products, it can access online services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, use Android apps, and browse the Web. It comes with a new Bluetooth remote control that features a touchpad on one side and a QWERTY keyboard on the other. The remote also has a three-axis motion sensor for playing certain Android games. Users can also control the set-top box through their iPhone or Android phone with a free remote app.
This is the first dedicated Google TV product Sony has released that isn’t part of an HDTV or Blu-ray player. It’s billed as an “Internet Player,” and will retail for $199 direct from Sony.
Besides the U.S., the NSZ-GS7 will also go on sale in the U.K. in July, with plans to release it later in Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Mexico. This, along with a handful of other products expected in the home theater market, could see a new opportunity for Google TV to gain acceptance.
Sony is accepting pre-orders for the Internet Player online.
Google TV will likely come up at this week’s Google I/O developer conference. For more, check out What to Expect From Google I/O 2012.
For an alternative to Google TV, read our review of the current Apple TV.