Google TV is making its way to Britain’s goggle boxes with a Sony set-top box – but would you shell out £200 to search the internet on your big screen?
Google TV is a smart TV service that allows users to browse the internet through the company’s Chrome web browser, watch videos from sites like YouTube and play apps on your TV. The software looks great, it’s easy to use and presents what could be the best way to watch YouTube on a big screen.
The Sony NSZ-GS7 hardware, which will go on sale on 16 July, is also impressive. It’s a small and stylish black box with built-in wi-fi and a double-sided remote control that has a trackpad, full Qwerty keyboard and sensors meaning you can control apps by tilting it.
In fact, it looks like a great bit of kit and includes the top three features people were looking for in a smart TV, according to a recent poll run on our Which? Tech Daily blog (built-in wi-fi, a better remote control and a better web browser).
Search: How much is Google TV?
So what’s the downside? The price. It’ll set you back a whopping £200. That’s twice the price of Apple’s TV, and when you’re more expensive than Apple you know you’re charging a lot of money. For just an extra £15 you’d be able to buy a 22-inch Samsung smart TV – and that actually comes with a screen.
Google TV has struggled in the States since its 2010 launch and that’s partly due to price. The fact that it will set you back £200 in the UK seems like Google hasn’t learnt its lesson.
I do think it’s definitely a step in the right direction for a smart TV, but if you’ve got a spare £200 to spend on a TV accessory, you probably already own a smart TV and a subscription service like Sky or Virgin Media that offers access to online content.
What’s wrong with a mobile or tablet?
Plus, who actually wants to search for things on their TV? I can understand people wanting to quickly look up something while watching telly, but surely using your smartphone or tablet is much easier than actually using your TV?
Watching videos on a big screen obviously has its advantages and, with more services offering better quality videos, it’s definitely an area that’s going to grow. But games consoles, smart TVs and much cheaper set-top boxes already cover most of this. Is anyone really going to spend £200 on a Google TV?