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Sony announced its Google TV-powered Internet TV family in New York tonight, as well as a Blu-ray player with Google TV built-in.
The company has four Google TV sets on the way at 24-inches ($599), 32-inches ($799.99), 40-inches ($999), and 46-inches ($1,399). Thankfully, Sony’s official pricing is much more reasonable than the leaked prices revealed last week, which ranged from $1,000 to $1,899. The Google TV-powered Blu-ray player will retail for $399.99.
The 32-inch and up sets will feature LED backlighting, which enables brighter screens and thinner displays than traditional LCDs. While I previously assumed Sony would be charging a premium for its Google TV HDTVs, its official pricing is on-par with LED HDTVs available today. All of the TV sets will feature WiFi, and will come with the typical pre-installed Google TV apps, including Netflix, Pandora, Napster, and more.
Sony will also be packing its monstrous new remote with all of the Google TV sets. Judging from multiple hands-on reports, the remote isn’t a complete nightmare, but it will take some getting used to. Engadget’s Paul Miller writes:
Although both of your thumbs rest naturally on the controls up top, you’re not supposed to use them at the same time — you can either arrow around the UI with the left thumb or control the mouse with the finicky optical pad under your right. The two things are totally separate, so you’re using the arrows and you accidentally click the right button, you end up selecting whatever’s under the mouse cursor and going off in a totally different direction. It’s weird, especially since it’s supposed to feel like a PS3 controller — a controller that generally uses both thumb controls together very effectively.
Miller also confirms that the controller’s overabundance of buttons doesn’t make much sense — something that anyone with a working pair of eyes could tell at first glance.
Sony’s Google TV-powered HDTVs and Blu-ray player will be available at Sony Style stores on October 16 and at Best Buy on October 24. They’re also currently available for pre-order at both the Sony Style and Best Buy websites.