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Sony internet player with Google TV review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £189
inc VAT

An interesting first outing for Google TV, but we don’t think it’s ready for the big time


If you’ve yet to upgrade to a smart TV or watch broadcasts through a set-top box, you’ll love how the system sits on top of your existing video stream, courtesy of HDMI in and outputs on the back of the box. They’re version 1.4 compliant, so you’ll be able to watch 3D content if you have a compatible TV.

Sony internet player with Google TV

The box itself is fairly small, so you should have no trouble finding a place for it in your A/V rack, and it looks sleek too, although the textured finish is made from plastic rather than metal. It’s devoid of ports from the front and sides, but around the back you get a healthy selection of inputs, including the HDMI in and outputs required to overlay the interface over your set-top box. As well as Ethernet, it also supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, so you won’t need to run a cable from your router to your TV just to get online if you’ve already set up a wireless network.

Sony internet player with Google TV

Because Google TV’s much more reliant on mouse and keyboard interaction, Sony has sensibly redesigned its remote control to make it easier to navigate through the OS. From the front, it’s dominated by a large touchpad, along with cursor and shortcut keys that control playback. The volume and channel select buttons are on the side of the remote, but it’s on the reverse that it becomes most useful.

Sony internet player with Google TV

Turn it over and you’ll find a full QWERTY keyboard built into the remote, meaning there’s no need to use a cumbersome onscreen keyboard. The buttons are very small, so it can be a struggle to type smoothly if you have large hands, and unlike a smartphone touchpad you have to hold the Shift key to insert capital letters, but it’s still an improvement over the average Smart TV. It has a built-in accelerometer that disables whichever side is facing downwards, so you can’t accidentally turn off the system by squeezing too tightly.

As much as we liked Sony’s remote, we can’t help but think Google has missed a trick by not creating a dedicated app so you can use your smartphone instead. There are several unofficial ones on the Play Store, but it would have been nice to have an official one.

Sony internet player with Google TV

Our main concern with Google TV is that it’s not quite as slick or smooth as other Smart TV systems. It lags in certain menus, is slow to respond when loading certain applications and it doesn’t have the same file format support as competing media players. Sony has done a great job with the hardware, but the NSZ-GS7 is let down by its operating system. If you want to watch most of your video content through a web browser, we can see the appeal of Google TV. It’s got one of the best browsers we’ve seen on a Smart TV or set-top box. For everyone else, a Smart TV or Blu-ray player looks like a better investment.

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Price £189
Rating ***


HDMI inputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
Component inputs 0
Component outputs 0
Total SCART sockets 0
SCART socket type 0
S-Video input 0
S-video output 0
Composite inputs 0
Composite outputs 0
Stereo phono inputs 0
Stereo phono outputs 0
Coaxial S/PDIF inputs 0
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 0
Optical S/PDIF inputs 0
Optical S/PDIF outputs 1
Multi-channel input no
Speaker configuration N/A
Main unit end speaker connection type N/A
Speaker end speaker connection type N/A
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11n


Optical drive no
Supported playback disc formats N/A
Audio format support MP3, WAV, FLAC, WMA


Speaker configuration N/A
RMS power output N/A
RMS power centre N/A
RMS power front N/A
RMS power surround N/A
RMS power subwoofer N/A
Wall mountable no
Centre speaker cable length N/A
Front speaker cable length N/A
Surround speaker cable length N/A


Size 204x130x35mmmm
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption on 12W

Buying Information

Price £189
Warranty one year RTB