Offering unprecedented content aggregation via a consumer oriented federated search experience, the Google TV (GTV) platform is a fascinating product with incredible promise. Subsequent to its launch amidst high expectations, users have slowly come to terms with the capabilities of the software as well as the underlying hardware platform.

Without doubt, the Logitech Revue was the flagship product for Google TV at launch. However, many of its users are finding it hard to justify a dedicated device for just the functionality provided by Google TV. A detailed review of the Revue will follow in the coming weeks. However, the unanimous opinion amongst the editors at AnandTech is that Google TV could only be justified as a bundled value add-on for already existing CE devices in a HT setup. Consumers would probably be willing to pay for Google TV on devices such as TVs, Blu-Ray players, media streamers, STBs or even AV receivers.

Sony was one of the first companies to jump onto the Google TV bandwagon, and they debuted some TVs and even a Blu-Ray player with Google TV inbuilt around the same time as the launch of the Logitech Revue. Today, we’re evaluating the Sony NSZ-GT1 Blu-ray player as a consumer electronics (CE) device and as an example of the GTV platform.

Specifications of the Sony NSZ-GT1 Blu-Ray Player
Dimensions 13” (W) x 2.3” (H) x 9.8" (D)
Processor Intel CE4100
Network Ethernet (10/100/1000) and 802.11.a/b/g/n (2.4GHz / 5GHz)
Internal Storage 8 GB (3.76 GB available)
Media Player Photo Formats GIF, JPEG, PNG
Media Player Video Formats MKV/MP4 (AVC)
Media Player Audio Formats MP3, M4A (AAC)
Optical Formats Blu-ray (Profile 2.0), DVD, CD
Inputs 4 USB (1 x front, 3 x rear), HDMI (only accepts stereo PCM audio)
Outputs HDMI, S/PDIF (TOSLINK), IR

Our test environment consisted of the following components.

Sony NSZ-GT1 Blu-Ray Player Testbed Setup
Display Panasonic TC-P58VT25
Audio-Video Receiver (AVR) Denon AVR-1909
Cable Set Top Box (STB) Pace RNG110
Unboxing Impressions
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  • Aloonatic - Wednesday, December 01, 2010 - link

    OH, i keep forgetting (as i'm in the UK) that these US prices often don't include taxes, as well as how much PS3s are these days :)

    You gotta really want to use Google TV to bother with one of these things/

    Are those sorts of services used much in the US? Can't see these things catching on in the UK without being freeview/digital TV PVRs as well, such is the importance of the BBC, and cost of broadband with the traffic limits that have crept in over the last few years.
    Reply
  • xype - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Welps, looks like another Google product with Serious Potential™.

    What happened to the tech reviewer that they are always talking about "future updates" with some products/companies. The piece is in stores _now_ and it's making its first impression on the consumers _now_. And God forbid those are people who have a mobile phone running Android 1.x still, because the "future update" never materialized.

    Google doesn't just _not_ get certain aspect of a non-geek's life, they also don't understand that they're only going to get a certain amount of shots at the consumers before they earn a "Always Alpha, not worth the money" badge.
    Reply
  • xype - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Spellink mistake, should be "...to the tech reviewers that..", as I'm not singling out Andrew here. :P Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    So if this goes like Android phones have, in a few years it will really be something to see. That said, early adopters will either have to do things on their own (like rooting old phones) or accept that as early adopters they don't always get a finished product. As always, people should see enough to buy a product based on what it is now and what they know they can do with it, not future hopes.

    That said, as-is does this do ANYTHING as well or better than other CE devices? at least until its rooted it seems like it might be a tough sell even to tech-geeks.
    Reply
  • babgvant - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    LOL :)

    Sony has a good history of updating their BD players, so I'm not too worried that the player will be stuck in the current state forever. For e.g. the BDP-S570 (the better player referenced in the last section) shipped without 3D and Netflix; both were added via firmware updates.
    Reply
  • babgvant - Thursday, December 16, 2010 - link

    There should be an update to both the NSZ-GT1 and Revue coming very soon. Should bring a better Netflix app and DD pass through along with many other updated for the Sony. Reply
  • marvdmartian - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Limited file recognition/playability, a remote that looks like a netbook (without the screen), and the typically atrocious Sony price? Really??

    Personally, I can think of a half dozen other players/systems that I'd rather hook up to my home entertainment system, that won't cost any more, but have much greater capacity/ability.
    Reply
  • cyberpdx - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    I just returned a Jan'2011 purchased Sony NSZ-GT1 to my local Best Buy store. I had uit for about 10days. Here are some comments and reasons for the return......:

    PROS:
    - Nice design of box
    - Easy set up

    CONS:
    - Remote does not control the channel up/down on my Sony Bravia TV (huh?)
    - Remote mouse does not work very well....very slow to move cursor at times.
    - On screen display is very confusing to navigate.
    - Netflix was a key reason for me to buy this, but I could only get in about 50% of the time.
    - USB ports on back of box are not general purpose (is this for "Sony only products"?)
    - Frankly, not very good content. No ABC, CBS, NBC online.
    - No PDF reader on Google TV s/w

    There are many more to list. I thought about keeping the unit until the next s/w upgrade comes out because I expect Sony/Google will fix some of these things, but I did not want to risk it. Besides, there are surely better & cheaper units coming out from different manufacturers within the next 6months and I am content to wait. Until then, I am still packing my note pc from my home office to my Bravia in the living room and watching Netflix and web surfing the easy way.

    Good try Sony, but you fell flat on your face (from a dedicated Sony fan, by the way).

    GRADE: C-
    Reply
  • CraigHerberg - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    My major beef regards dropped frames. Specifically, when watching sporting events in high def, the screen frequently looks jittery, as if it is dropping frames. Also, when playing back home movies in 1080p, the screen frequently pauses, thereby making the movie virtually unwatchable.
    This box has no problem with with 720p home movies. Blu ray discs present no problem.

    Craig Herberg
    Reply
  • tletourneau - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    Perhaps an updated review my be in order seeing that HonyComb has been released for these devices and has made some mojor changes. Reply

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