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Sony's Google TV Set-Top Box Now Available for Pre-Order

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The NSZ-GS7 Internet Player with Google TV was first announced at CES in January, and now it's available for pre-order in the United States and Europe. That's the name of Sony's latest set-top box, and it could be a crucial indicator of the future of Google TV. It will ship and be available in retail stores on July 22.

The NSZ-GSZ's marquee feature is Google TV, which lets viewers search broadcast and online content, includes a web browser, and works as a Dish satellite TV DVR. The box also includes access to the Sony Entertainment Network of premium movies and shows, and includes 8GB of storage for downloadable apps. It offers wired or Wi-Fi connectivity, works with Android and iPhone remote control apps, and updates its software automatically. It works with Netflix, Pandora, and YouTube, but Hulu is missing from the product description. The sleek and attractive remote includes a touchpad and a backlit keyboard.

Judging from the NSZ-GS7's web page, Sony is only doing a fair job of explaining the benefits of Google TV to customers who don't already know, so it remains to be seen whether or not the NSZ-GS7 ($199 USD) will help the struggling platform grow its audience. Customers will need a clear purchase incentive, as this device lists for twice the price of the Apple TV, and Roku boxes go for even less.

Sony is also releasing the NSZ-GP9 Internet Blu-ray Disc Player with Google TV. This combines Google TV and Blu-ray playback, and offers voice search functionality. It will be available this holiday season for $299 USD.

These releases mark the first time that Google TV devices are available outside the United States. The NSZ-GS7 will launch in the U.K. in July, followed at some point by Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Mexico. The NSZ-GP9 will be sold in Canada, Australia, the U.K., France, Germany, and the Netherlands following the U.S. release.

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