Sony and Google will launch the Google TV service in the UK for the first time towards the end of July.
Google TV is a smart TV service that lets users access the internet through its Chrome web browser, watch videos from sites such as YouTube and run apps through a TV. It is designed to overlay over existing services and add functionality rather than replace live TV. Read our what is smart TV advice guide for more TVs with internet features.
The service comes to the UK for the first time thanks to the Sony NSZ-GS7, a set-top box that will cost £200 and comes with a double-sided remote featuring a multi-touch trackpad and a full Qwerty keypad to make it easier to browse the internet on your TV. In a poll on Which? Tech Daily, 28% of people said a better remote control would encourage them to use a smart TV and 19% wanted a full web browser, both of which the Sony Google TV box has.
History of Google TV
Google TV is a direct competitor to Apple TV – already available in the UK for £99 – and smart TV functions found on most new TVs. It first appeared in the US in select Sony TVs and the Logitech Revue Google TV box, a similar product to the Sony set-top box coming to the UK. You can watch our first first look video of the Logitech Revue Google TV box from CES 2011, the annual tech industry trade show where major manufacturers demonstrate their new products.
Despite initial interest, Google TV has struggled to gain a foothold in the US – the Logitech Revue was discontinued due to poor sales. But Google is determined to continue developing the Google TV to compete with Apple, Microsoft and TV manufacturers, as this UK launch demonstrates.
Sony and Google also plan to release a Blu-ray player with integrated Google TV to launch later in the summer for £300.
The Sony NSZ-GS7 is available on pre-order for £200 and will go on general sale in the third week of July.
- LED, LCD and plasma TV reviews – see how the latest models performed in our labs
- Buying a new TV – our guide to what to look for when buying a new set
- Live TV buying advice- sign up to our members Q&A on June 28