Ladies and gentlemen, this is history in the making. Someone finally got internet TV right. OK, so technically Google TV got internet TV right, and the experience mirrors the Logitech Revue almost identically (more on that later), but when you package it in some beautiful Sony hardware it’s enough to make a grown man turn into a comatosed drool machine. That is what will set Sony’s offering apart from the likes of the Revue, right on down to the beautifully designed, PS3-inspired remote.
You may have already read Rob’s boyish gushing over the remote controller, and hopefully this isn’t the last time we see Google TV and PS3 associated, because a next-gen console with the Android-based service would probably be so awesome it would create a blackhole and suck the universe we know directly into it. But enough of my incessant rambling, we want demos!
So, like I said, you can see what you are getting inside the box is pretty much the same Google TV we saw hashed out from Logitech. But let’s talk a bit more about Sony’s hardware. For starters, Sony’s line of Google TV-enabled devices all feature 8GB of internal flash storage. From what we gathered, this space is reserved for apps, bookmarks, and other OS-related functions rather than media, but that doesn’t mean you can’t access stored files from a network drive. The media player lets you get your pictures, images, and videos right on a beautifully crafted HD screen.
And speaking of that screen, the Sony Internet TV will be available in four sizes: 24 inches at $599, 32 inches at $799, 40 inches at $999, and 46 inches at $1399. No monster 50+ inch set, but still a serviceable range for almost any use. Need one for a bedroom? The 24 inch and 32 inch couldn’t be better. The 40 and 46 inch sets are perfect for the living room. All but the smallest iteration feature LED backlighting bringing out the gorgeous picture on their LCD screens. And believe me, Sony didn’t cut any corners in terms of build quality and picture reproduction. Just because the focus is on the “Internet” part doesn’t mean Sony overlooked the “TV” part. These sets will rank right up there with other high-end HDTVs from the company.
But what if you just bought a new HDTV? No problem, that’s where the Blu Ray player comes in, though at $399 if you already own a PS3 or BRD player, you are probably better off grabbing the Logitech Revue to score the exact same functionality for a hundred bucks less, though I am almost tempted to justify an extra BRD player in the living room and an additional portrait of Benjamin Franklin simply to secure Sony’s remote, which will only be compatible with Sony’s devices. Still, aside from some stylish looks and the ability to play HD discs, the Blu Ray option doesn’t offer much in the way of unique features.
If I was in the market this would be my next HDTV. Hell, I might jump into the market just to pick one of these up. The 32-incher would look perfect in my room. If somehow Google TV flops I will be surprised, because the hardware and software are just too darn well-executed for this thing not to be a success. Check out a little walkthrough and hands-on below.