Sony Unveils First Google TV Sets, Blu-Ray Player – Will Consumers Accept Extra Expense?

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Sony Google TV SetSony has unveiled its new Google TV products – a range of television sets of all sizes and a Blu-ray player. But they’re not cheap and I’m not convinced consumers will accept the extra expense at this stage in time.

Maybe in time…

Google TV

After months of rumors, Google finally unveiled its effort to bring online video in to the living room in May 2010. Simply called Google TV, the product is an Android-powered platform which the search giant hopes everyone will use in years to come.

Using a simple user interface, Google TV allows users to watch the full range of video the Web has to offer. Content will delivered both via dedicated apps for specific services and the Chrome Web browser.

The first Google TV devices are now arriving, and Google has started promoting its new baby on the Web. Naturally.

Sony Unveils Google TV Products

Sony unveiled its new range of Google TV-powered devices on Tuesday (Oct. 12). Television sets ranging in size and price from 24-inches ($600), 32-inches ($800), 40-inches ($1,000), 46-inches ($1,400). And a Blu-ray player costing $399. These follow on from the Logitech Revue Google set-top box unveiled last week costing $299.99.

The prices are pegged at around $100 more than Sony’s current range of Bravia Internet-enabled sets, and between $200 and $400 more than big-screen HDTVs with no Internet connectivity. The Logitech Revue is a whopping $200 more than either the Roku box or the new Apple TV, and $100 more than the Boxee Box.

The remote control which comes with the Sony Google TV sets needs commenting on, because it’s a behemoth. Sporting a full QWERTY keyboard, a mouse controller, and directional pads, Sony has clearly taken a button-for-everything approach, far different than Apple’s minimalist sensibilities.


I think Google TV will eventually do well, with the Google name helping it become a big player in the online video living room sector. But the pricing seems all wrong at this stage, with the Logitech set-top box and the Sony products being too expensive to fly off shelves.

Another couple of years should bring hardware and software updates, some aggressive price cuts, and more acceptance of Internet-enabled TVs amongst mainstream consumers. And then Google TV will soar.

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