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

 

Reader comments

Sony adds voice search and a new model number to their Google TV set top box

16 Comments

well, both have similar specs...
armada 1500 cpus...
microphones...
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.

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.

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

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.

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.

DO NOT buy this device. Sony and Google are abandoning support for it. The browser feature is useless as it is now almost four years out of date (and was three years out of date when they released this model!) This device loaded with gadgets like the voice command and touchscreen remote but it is only a pretty shell for what is a mostly outdated collection of apps that are forever frozen in time. Shame on you, Sony, for leaving this pile of junk on your shelves at firesale prices to lure in unsuspecting dupes.

You know I agree with you 100% a large multi national company such Sony is scamming people in this ugly manner. I believe everyone who has one of these boxes should express their dissatisfaction with Sony's behaviour and get them exposed.

My suggestion to you is to don't buy Sony Google TV, I have one, and I have been waiting for an update to android 4 for ever. So without the android 4 you can't do much, basically you can't install most of the apps. I think without good support, Sony should stay out of Google TV business. It was just waste of my money.