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Sony Introduces Google-Powered Internet TV

The new HDTVs allow viewers to watch shows and send tweets at the same time, among other online activities.

At a media event in New York on Tuesday, Sony launched its new line of Google-powered Internet TVs, along with a Google TV-enabled Blu-ray disc player.

 Sony Internet TV
(click image for larger view)
Sony Internet TV

The Sony Internet TV is a Google TV, which is to say that it is built on the Google TV platform, an Android-based system for software and hardware that provides access to TV content, Internet content, and Android apps through a single search-oriented interface.

Google introduced its Google TV platform in May, 2010. Logitech and Sony were present at the announcement as initial hardware partners. Logitech introduced the first Google TV hardware last week, its Logitech Revue set-top box.

This week, it's Sony's turn.

"Sony Internet TV is the world’s first HDTV that combines the big-screen impact of television and full Internet search to deliver an unrivaled entertainment experience," said Mike Abary, senior vice president of Sony's Home Division, in a statement. "Finally, you can seamlessly search your favorite TV programs and Web sites on the same screen, at the same time."

For Sony, this is an opportunity to recapture some of its Walkman-era glory. Having been overshadowed by Apple and its iOS empire for years, Google TV and Android offer Sony a chance to define the emerging market for devices that bring TV, the Internet, and apps together in one place.

"It really is a very big deal, I can't stress that enough," said Sir Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, at the Google TV launch announcement in May.

The Sony Internet TV line includes the 24-inch NSX-24GT1 ($599.99), the 32-inch NSX-32GT1 ($799.99), the 40-inch NSX-40GT1 ($999.99), and the 46-inch NSX-46GT1 ($1,399.99). These HDTV models rely on an Intel Atom processor, run atop the Android platform, and include Google's Chrome Web browser.

The Sony Internet TV Blu-ray Disc player, NSZ-GT1 ($399.99), brings Google TV service to any compatible HDTV.

The devices allow users to watch TV while surfing the Web through a feature called Dual View. They come with a keypad remote, which includes a built-in optical mouse for easier navigation. They also include built-in WiFi networking.

Sony's devices will be available via the Sony Style Web site on October 16 and at Best Buy shortly thereafter.

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