Sony NSZ-GS7
The NSZ-GS7 will be priced at $199

Sony and Google have partnered up for a new set-top box that will finally be released late next month.

The set-top box, called the NSZ-GS7, will be made by Sony and run Google TV. It was initially announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and now has a release date of July 22.

The NSZ-GS7 Internet player will allow owners to use Google Chrome browser for Web searches, purchase apps from the Google Play Store, access favorite sites like YouTube and search content available from both broadcast providers and the Internet for custom videos on demand.

The new Internet player will also come with a remote that features a backlit QWERTY keyboard, a three-axis motion sensor for gaming and a touch pad for easy navigation.

"Expanding the reach and interoperability of the powerful Android platform with Sony's smartphones, tablets and renowned Audio & Video products, we are proud to continue our relationship with Google through the introduction of the new Google TV set-top-box," said Phil Molyneux, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics.

For the first time, the U.S. will not be the only country to receive the new Google TV product. The United Kingdom will also receive the NSZ-GS7 in July, with Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and the Netherlands to follow.

In addition to the NSZ-GS7, Sony and Google will also release the NSZ-GP9, which is a Blu-ray disc player with Google TV. This particular player will be available for $299 this fall, and will also be released in the U.S. as well as Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

The NSZ-GS7 will be priced at $199.

This isn't Sony and Google's first shot at Google TV-powered devices. Back in 2010, the two released four Google TV-enabled Sony HDTV flat-screens in 24-inch ($600 USD), 32-inch ($800), 40-inch ($1,000), and 46-inch ($1,400) varieties.

Despite being in the game awhile, some believe Google and Sony still don't have it right. According to Sam Biddle with Gizmodo UK, the NSZ-GS7 is no better than its Sony/Google predecessors. Biddle mentioned issues starting with setup, where he had trouble connecting to a wireless network, looking for byzantine IR codes for the remote, and searching for a new Pioneer receiver. From there, channels had trouble loading, certain commands were not recognized and unexplainable green screens would pop up.

However, Biddle did have a couple of nice things to say. Start up is instant and it doesn't take much to pull up a live list of TV shows to watch. But overall, Biddle said he wouldn't recommend the NSZ-GS7 to anyone.

The Verge didn't seem completely satisfied with the new device either. It gave the NSZ-GS7 a score of 5.8 out of 10, citing problems like a lackluster app selection, the need for more Google TV content and the device becoming really hot. But the review did mention some good, like simple hardware with well-placed ports, great universal search functionality and a faster and more responsive interface.

Source: Sony

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
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