Sony is stepping big into the Internet player space with their new device powered by Google TV. From the pre-release material we’ve been given (we’re getting demo units later in the month—I’m calling dibs now) this looks like it could be a worthy competitor to Apple TV.
From the early info on Sony Canada’s site here are some of the key features:
- Google TV
- Connect over WiFi (or hard wire, your call)
- Android-power apps through Google Play. And we’ve learned that a lot of app creators are updating their apps to match a TV aspect ratio. Angry Birds on TV? Yes please!
- Remote that is touchscreen on one side, but a keyboard on the other
- Netflix (need I say more)
- Surf the web on your TV, but with picture in picture…so watch a movie and look up details on Wikipedia and IMDb while watching!
- Use your smartphone as the remote (they demoed an Android device, I hope it come to iOS too)
- 8 GB of storage for movies and apps
What do you think?
Sony is playing up two features, beyond streaming entertainment, that set them apart (I think): surfing the Net with Chrome and installing apps from Google play. Which, is pretty different than Apple’s position with their “hobby” in Apple TV (no apps and not able to surf the web). Personally I think apps are probably the coolest of the two. Sure surfing is awesome, but like Apple TV you can surf on your phone or tablet then send the content to the Sony Internet Player, so I don’t see reading websites on your TV a big thing.
In the larger scheme this is giving another (and compelling I think) option for the truly connected living room. Oh sure game consoles can do a lot of this, but not everyone is a gamer. Nor do people always want to fire up a console to watch movies. Like Apple TV, which made this space interesting again, the Sony Internet Player is tapping into the fundamental shift in how we’re enjoying entertainment—we’re pulling more and more from the Internet and I don’t see that abating any time soon.
Since we don’t have a unit to play around with yet (more info on pre-order and such is coming soon), all we have to go on is what Sony is offering. Is this device ready to take on the Apple TV? I think so. The Apple TV has always struck me as a one trick pony. It’s why I have resisted getting one. I’m not going to sign up for Netflix again, I don’t buy movies and such from the App store, the rest of the capabilities are cool, but…
I think this device offers more.
More to come.
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