This Saturday, Sony will begin selling its first HDTV sets based on the new Google TV platform. The Sony Internet TV sets will range in size from 24" to 46" and will cost $600 to $1,400. Sony also announced a Google TV-based Blu-ray player.
The first Sony Google TVs can be preordered now on the Sony Style website, and retailers such as Best Buy will begin carrying the sets in the coming weeks. There are three models, and all of them have pretty impressive specs. At the low end is a $600 model with a 24" 1080p display, built-in Wi-Fi, and four HDMI ports. Move up to the $800 model, and you get a 32" 1080p display, or for $1,000 you can get a 40" model. At the high end is a 46" model. All but the low-end version have Edge LED backlighting, as well.
"Sony Internet TV is the world's first HDTV that combines the big-screen impact of television and full Internet search to deliver an unrivaled entertainment experience," says Sony Senior Vice President Mike Abary. "Finally, you can seamlessly search your favorite TV programs and websites on the same screen, at the same time."
Google TV is built on Google's Android platform, and over time Google will be adding an apps marketplace specifically designed for Google TV, as well as interactivity via Android smartphones. (Some apps are available immediately, including CNBC, Napster, NBA, Netflix, Pandora, Twitter, and YouTube.) Google TV also includes the Android web browser, allowing users to browse the full web from their TVs.
The big pull with Google TV, however, is its TV-like capabilities, which provide access to web-based video sources, as well as traditional TV programming. Google also provides a Dual View functionality so that users can watch TV while performing other tasks, such as posting to Twitter or searching the web.
In addition to the TVs, Sony will also soon sell its Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player for $400. This device provides a way to add Google TV functionality (and Blu-ray disc playback) to an existing HDTV. And Sony isn't the only Google TV provider, of course. Logitech has also announced a line of Google TV products and accessories that will become available in time for the holidays.