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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  • vshah - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    is it nsx-gt1, or nsz-gt1? it varies in the title/article. Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    Editorial mistake :) Fixed, thanks! Reply
  • piroroadkill - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    I'm not entirely sure who this is aimed at: the setup process looked pretty long-winded for most people who sit infront of a TV, being spoonfed content while drooling. I mean, seriously, a question whether you want the thing to boot slowly or quickly? It should make the best guess for defaults in the majority of cases, and give you the option to fuck with it later: look at how the Windows installation process has been streamlined over the years.

    Then the tech savvy guys? They already have an htpc and are more than willing to play around to get it right, using xbmc or some such...
    Reply
  • bji - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    Sony consistently makes the worst remote controls of any major consumer electronics manufacturer. It's likey they don't employ even a single user interface person to help design these devices, they just either rely on out-of-touch engineers or dumb marketing people to design their remotes.

    The ultimate example was the Playstation 2 remote. It was a grid of buttons with the DVD controls (ffwd, play, rewind, etc) placed fairly randomly and with no tactile distinction whatsoever between the keys. So totally lame.

    Ever since the Playstation 2 remote I've been paying attention to Sony's designs and every time I see a Sony remote I am reminded that they still have the suckiest remote designers.
    Reply
  • nutmac - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    I would love expand HQV 2.0 benchmark comparison against popular players, such as PS3. Reply
  • babgvant - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    That's a great point; I've never seen a media centric review of the PS3. As hard as it gets pushed as the ultimate BD player, it would be really interesting to actually test that. Reply
  • Voldenuit - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Andrew,

    while I found your review well-written and informative, I can't help but feel that you were a little too lenient with it in your final thoughts.

    A google device that has no universal search? Fail.
    A media streamer that has no worthwhile codec and container support? Fail.
    A remote that is unusable by anyone without an IT degree? Fail.
    A consumer device that you have to press Ctrl-Alt-Del to reboot when it hangs? WTF?

    At the $300 asking price with the level of functionality and robustness out-of-the-box, the NSZGT1 deserves to be publicly lambasted, if not downright ridiculed.

    Even Apple's RDF wouldn't be able to disguise this Thanksgiving turkey.

    Also, any chance AT will revisit the Boxee Box with the revised firmware?
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Andy will respond to your comments on his leniency towards the NSZ-GT1 :)

    We will take a look at Boxee Box again as soon as TrueHD bitstreaming is enabled or December 15th, whichever is earlier.
    Reply
  • babgvant - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    GTV is a CE device targeted at mainstream users, so the abysmal container support is forgivable; otherwise, those are all valid points. That said, I think the platform's potential outweighs the teething issues; so while the current implementation is clearly unfinished, and I worry that Google doesn't understand the difference b/w the TV and mobile user experience, it is still too early to get out the pitchforks and torches. Six months from now will be another story.

    IMO the current MSRP for this player is too high (Sony even dropped the price $100 a few days ago, so they must also recognize this); it's crazy that we can buy a better BD player (faster, quieter, more power efficient and has 3D) from Sony for $140 less. Between us, unless the apps platform gets exponentially better real soon I think they will need to knock another $100 off the top to be competitive in the mainstream. I could have made that clearer in the FT.
    Reply
  • Aloonatic - Wednesday, December 01, 2010 - link

    Grrr, lost my comment with FireFox crashing, so my reply in brief...

    Re: $300 - This is a BluRay player too, let's not forget.

    Then the rest of my rambling comment was mostly a complaint about Sony controllers, when they will invest in people to sort out this problem? They haven't produced a good controller/remote since the original PS controller, and that was a less than subtle copy of the SNES controller (and they are just copying Nintendo again with Move) which was OK at the time, but now is very old and tired but still they persist with it with the PS3?!?! Sort it out Sony! It's not like you are a corner/cost cutting budget brand for Jebus' sake!
    Reply

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