Google TV has hit the market and by the initial statistics it surely seems to be a successful addition to the TV market. With the introduction of Google powered TVs from numerous consumer electronics companies, TV devices consumers can choose from a variety of set top pass-through boxes; a few names are: the computer accessory giant Logitech Revue and Sony’s Blu-ray player. Sony recently released its Google software powered TV set called as Sony Internet TV NSX-32GTI and according to many reviewers and tech blogs, now this is the best set-top box in the market with larger array of features.
So here is a detailed review of Sony’s Internet TV with both the hardware and software realms explained in detail:
Sony Internet TV Hardware Features
From the hardware point of view, the first glance on Sony’s internet TV will give you an impression that it is quite different from normal HDTV’s available in the market. It has a curved back of white color and a very unique out of the box stand. Despite all the hardware packed into it including a Google TV-standard 1.2 GHz Intel Processor, the TV is not at all heavy and is almost of the same standards as we come across in a 32-inch LCD that also has a CCFL backlighting. There is no considerable fan noise, and on the display side it has some pretty cool color display with an overall average performance, and its black levels are also very decent. Although, the display is mere 60 Hz as compared to others in the market that have 120 Hz display like many other modern display units, but no considerable motion blurriness is experienced. The Sony internet TV comes equipped with almost four HDMI inputs and a total of four USB ports, 2 x dedicated IR ports (IR Blaster), a high quality integrated Wi-Fi and an optical audio out.
One of the HDMI jacks has a dedicated 1.4 Audio Return Channel so that users will now be able to channel the sound to an integrated device and can have an amazing audio setup. 2x HDMI ports and all the other USB ports are mounted on the side so that consumers can easily access them. There is a hard button as well that is used for syncing the devices through IR and also syncing to a dedicated RF remote. A slot is there for the headphone jack as well.
There are some notable quirks like lack of a consolidated hardware volume tab or the dedicated input buttons. All the display setting applications are very well integrated with the Google TV software and this display settings menu is easily accessible through a dedicated functional key shortcut on the Sony TV control pad.
The control remote is pretty easy to use and can be handled with either one or two hands; it also has an optical trackpad at the top right side of the remote. Overall the control remote that controls the cable box via the dedicated IR blaster is still pretty effective and the buttons are mapped genuinely to the DVR.
Overall the Sony implementation of the search engine giant Google TV is working pretty well with a very easy setup process even a new user can go about seamlessly. Well one of the main readjustments that people will have to go about is that they have to treat this Sony TV as an application on Android. Opening up the internet browser kills your display fully and mostly people are not used to this feature. This is the reason that the software powering the device gives us the Dual view technology that allows a picture-in-picture viewing. This is indeed an amazing feature because mostly TV viewers have a tendency of watching TV without interruption and with the option of Dual view, users now can update their Facebook status plus watch their favorite NBA team playing at the same time.
There is a drawback; as you switch over from one view to another, there is a slight pause like delay, during which you don’t get any audio or video from the TV and in some instances it can disrupt your TV watching experience. One more drawback is that the smaller windows that pop-up like an application or even a game cannot be resized or repositioned. In some cases certain features or game elements therefore may appear on the inaccessible UI areas.
The Sony’s internet TV is exclusive among the Google TV devices available in the market because it has distinctive capacity to receive video over a dedicated module input plus also through the coaxial cable.
Drawing contents from the launch set of the applications is very much same as in any other Google powered TV. Moreover, Sony has included its Qriocity movie service and a additional “Sony Recommends” Tab. The media player that has been built in the TV can play streamed music and videos from the internet seamlessly and also through the shared folder on Windows 7 via DLNA. You can also playback ripped DVDs from a USB stick, the multitasking allows playing music and viewing a picture slideshow simultaneously.
It is without a glitch a proven and consolidated fact that Google TV is the future of the television industry but Sony Internet TV has an aura of more professionalism and user friendly features in it that surely will give it an edge over the other competitors of Google TV in the market. Moreover, if you already a HDTV lover then going for this next generation software powered TV is not a bad deal at all.