Sony Google TV

Sony adds voice input to their internet player line of Google TV devices, new model available in July for $199

Sony announced a new Google TV set top box today, the NSZ-GS8. (Samsung Galaxy S 2, Sprint Epic 4G Touch doesn't sound so bad now, does it?) The GS8 is identical to the GS7, which is reviewed here and one I've been using for a while, with the exception of one thing -- voice capabilities via the remote. 

Sony simply calls it voice search, but with the right software -- like the Google TV app PrimeTime, for instance -- voice input is pretty damn handy to have on your remote. It's a great addition to one of the few Google TV units of 2012 that had its act together. In fact, voice input is the reason I recently "upgraded" from my NSZ-GS7 to the new ASUS Cube.

The new GS8 will be available starting in July online and at the usual big box retailers for $199. If you're a Google TV fan, and just aren't feeling the custom UI on the Cube, this would be an excellent buy.  If you already have the GS7, and want to save a few dollars you can pick up the equivalent voice capable remote for the original from Sony for $50 here, and make sure you have the latest version of the software that enables it.

Source: Sony

There are 13 comments

commonplace says:

So, Jerry: ASUS Cube or the GS8?

S-Doo-1965 says:

I have the same question.

well, both have similar specs...
armada 1500 cpus...
intricate remotes...
wifi/ ethernet connectivity...

so the last thing is price...
cube is cheaper so it wins...
oh and asus cube already has a root method... not sure about gs8 though...

I like the Cube UI. I can get to my apps by memory using the up/down/left/right buttons. A lot of people hate the Cube UI.

Other than that, providing Sony gets their voice input working as well as ASUS did (and I'm pretty confident they will) there's really not a lot of difference. 

Some anecdotes:

  • I had to change cable boxes to get the Sony GS7 to work, because it needed to support a newer HDMI standard. Not an issue, but it took a call to tech support to figure it out. To their credit, they did a lot of legwork on their own to solve the issue.
  • Some folks say they have trouble with the IR Blaster on the Cube, but mine works fine.
  • The Cube is ~$50 cheaper
  • The Sony is easier to fit into a crowded TV/entertainment stand.
  • The Cube seems to have stronger Wifi, but in the end I use an Ethernet cable anyway. 
  • The Sony has a built-in FTP server, which is really handy.
  • The Cube has a better keyboard on the remote. Dedicated number row, separate fn and shift keys, but the Sony is backlit.

Yes, it's really a toss-up.

S-Doo-1965 says:

Thanks Jerry. I'm ordering a Cube and spend the $50 in the play store for movies

commonplace says:

Thanks! Great comparison.

Simonwatts87 says:

So Jerry, the new Sony remote with the mic also has backlit keys, is that right? I have the GS7 and its keys aren't.

amnigo says:

The one with the GS7 is. You need to turn it on in the system settings. It is off by default.

crazace says:

Looks like I need a new remote! GS7 has been good to me!

John-Smith says:

Can't wait to get a Google TV receiver that actually gets good reviews. They all seem to suck.

The Asus Cube has more 1 star reviews on Amazon, than 5 star reviews.

Hopefully the GS8 isn't the same old crap.

Can anyone compare this to the Roku 3? I am debating on either GTv or Roku, I like this model for Gtv, but it is pricey. I like the "look" of this much better than the Roku 3 but have seen some reviews that say that GTv is somewhat limited.

commonplace says:

Alright, I got the ASUS Cube. It arrived today and I set it up. I didn't realize that I'd only be able to control one IR device with the remote. So... I hooked the IR blaster to my cable box/DVR, because obviously I HAVE to be able to change channels. But now I can't control my TV volume... so I have to keep my TV remote on hand just to change the volume.

I can control the Cube's volume, and that's what I'm going to do, I guess, but man, I didn't realize how nice it was that my Revue could do both. :( Considering returning the Cube because of this. Gonna have to read up on the Sony one and see how it handles IR.

This sure does sound really interesting. Can't wait till I check it out.