At a press event in New York today, Sony is showing off its lineup of GoogleTV products, including a Blu-ray player and Wi-Fi TVs with the Google software built in.
I’m not there but am watching the live coverage and company releases. The Sony products look nice but they’re expensive — more than double the price of its standard Blu-ray players, which also connect to Internet video services.
Similar to the $299 Logitech Revue set-top box unveiled last week, the Sony products have a Google search tool used to search for shows and content coming through a cable connection, stored on devices in the home and on the Web. The Google software also supports applications, such as the ubiquitous Netflix, YouTube and Twitter apps.
Sony’s Googley Blu-ray player costs $399 and has a striking white case that reminds me of the short-lived Vaio media centers and “hat box” home theater PCs the company sold about six years ago.
New LCD Sony TVs with Google software range from $600 to $1,400 — $600 for a 24-inch screen, $800 for a 32-inch, $1,000 for a 40-inch and $1,400 for a 46-inch. They have a new look for Sony, with curved corners, as opposed to the squared off look of its recent Bravia sets. Its Googleized TVs look more like computer monitors.
The TVs are also roughly double what you might pay for a flat-panel TV without the built-in wireless and Google software.
Also in the box is a wild new remote control with a built-in keypad and a control scheme borrowed from Sony’s PlayStation game console.
Inside the Blu-ray player and the TVs is an Intel Atom processor similar to those used in netbooks. It’s on a chip that also handles video processing; in effect they’re small PCs inside.
The Sony products will be in its “Style” stores this weekend and Best Buy the following weekend.
Sony said the player and TVs will be able to access the Android app store in early 2011, so buyers can add additional apps.