Last month the Sony NSZ-GU1 was spotted over at the FCC and was described then as a Google TV plus Chromecast device. Today, Sony has officially introduced the device which is called the Bravia Smart Stick. While the company is not calling it a Google TV device it does have access to Google Search and the Play Store.
According to Jamie Marsh, TV marketing manager for Sony Electronics Home Entertainment & Sound Division, “The BRAVIA Smart Stick answers the question, ‘What’s on TV,’ with ‘whatever you want to watch. It brings the full power of Google services to your TV. From the apps in the Google Play store to the power of Google search, the BRAVIA Smart Stick integrates seamlessly with Sony’s own BRAVIA apps and navigation to deliver an amazing connected TV viewing experience.”
One drawback of the Bravia Smart Stick is that it seems to be only compatible with 2013 Sony Bravia TVs as what the company announced. The device connects to the MHL port of the TV and uses a USB port for its power requirements.
The device has a slim form factor and has 8 GB of internal storage space. It comes bundled with a voice-activated remote control and is now available at all Sony Stores and selected retailers in the United States for $149.99. This is a significantly higher price than the Google Chromecast but then Sony says that their device provides much more features.
The Bravia Smart Stick allows users to do a live Google search on by either speaking or typing on the included remote. It comes pre-installed with several apps which include Netflix, Pandora, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, and YouTube among others. Users can further customize this by adding videos, music, apps, and games all of which can be selected from the Google Play store.
There’s also a Picture-and-Picture feature that allows users to simultaneously watch a video while surfing the web. This is made possible since two separate windows will be displayed on the TV screen. This makes it easier to watch your favorite sports channel while updating your social networks.