I'm not sure what I was expecting, but overall I'm slightly underwhelmed with Google TV. I was hoping for something like Apple TV but not so, well, Apple. Instead, in its complexity, Google TV is more like a glorified WebTV 2.0 — a web browser with TV content wrapped around it. It just didn't have the unified searchiness I expect from Google.
I'll admit, part of this was the lack of integration with my DVR, but that was only a small part. The whole experience always bordered on clunky, without actually getting to that level of pejorative. To be honest, had Netflix been better integrated, I would have forgiven the DVR issue. But the hassle with Netflix made think that, had I bought this TV, I would have plugged my Apple TV into it just to simplify things. Now that's not right.
The real question remains: Who is this for? At the moment, I can think of several brilliant uses for Google TV, and especially the NSX-32GT1. This would be the ultimate bedroom or kitchen TV. That's not a knock. These are two places where Web access is usually poor or inconvenient. Checking email from bed, or weather, or recipes, or sending a gmail chat to your spouse to pick up more butter on their way home, etc. For this, Google TV is extraordinary, and I could see having a sort of "why haven't we had this all along" moment when using it.
But Google TV isn't there yet as a central hub for content. I can see it getting there. If it can search and have better communication with your DVR, Netflix, and other content, then it will make a more compelling case for itself.
But for me, despite how much I surf the Web while I watch TV, I find Apple TV to be a more convenient way to get streaming content. And while I like the idea of having the Web on a "big" screen, I can always make do with my BlackBerry or touch for that.
What I am reasonably sure of is that Google TV will get better with age, like Android has on phones. And here's where it is brilliant. Whatever updates Google TV undergoes, these 1st-gen Google TV devices will, in theory at least, get them too. So if the idea of Web-on-TV intrigues you, and you think you have a place in your home for it, then there's no reason to wait. For me, Google will have to wait to find out that I record Top Gear on Mondays.
Though, in hindsight, clearly they already know.
Since this review made its way onto the internet, Sony has made some changes to the connected TV. They include the following:
· The Google TV Remote app is now supported through your Android phone
· The Logitech Google TV keyboard is now supported as an optional accessory
· A newly upgraded version of Netflix is available, enabling search and browse
· Dual View – you can now move and resize the window picture
· Video on Demand powered by Qriocity
· Improved keypad responsiveness
· BMP files are now supported in the Media Player application
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