How I Fell in Love with a Sony BluRay Player with Google TV [Opinion]

Over the holiday weekend, I had a small budget to buy a new TV for my bedroom and maybe a cool something else to go with it. (Was thinking PS3?) I was budgeted to spend under $500 and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted but I know I definitely wanted a TV with WIFI and it had to be able to stream Netflix as well as some media off my network. To get the biggest bang for my buck, I was looking at a no frills 37” HDTV with a higher end BluRay player with wifi. As luck would have it, right when I thought I figured it all out, I saw a pile of Sony BluRay Players with Google TV built-in, for $199 each. I dropped the ‘SMART’ player player I had and headed to cash out. All in all, I spent right around $475 for the TV and the unit. Not bad for what has now basically become a smart TV with a WiFi  BluRay player.

When I got home, I unpacked and hooked up my new toys and it took me about ten minutes to set everything up and get it running. The longest part of the setup was the software update to Honeycomb for the player. It came with a qwerty remote, which I love, and the remote also doubles as a true universal remote. Aside from the full keyboard, the remote also has a touch sensitive cursor to fully navigate the screen like a mouse on a desktop. My only complaint with the remote is a lack of backlight. As far as the BluRay player goes, it runs great and I will leave it at that. It is a Sony, it is BluRay (their invention), it plays great. End of review for the BluRay portion.  (more…)

Google Announces Google TV Partners For 2012 CES – Samsung, LG and Vizio Included

Who said Google TV was a dead platform? After launching a major Honeycomb update a few months back, Google is ready to re-launch its TV product again this year at CES by adding on a handful of new and important partners. With more than 150 specific TV apps already available and improvements happening all the time, companies like Samsung, LG and Vizio have jumped on board and will start releasing Google TV products in 2012. Many of them will also have products on display next week at CES, a boost the platform is desperately in need of.

Here is what you can expect to see from these new partners next week and throughout the year:

  • LG – We’re thrilled to welcome global consumer electronics leader LG to the Google TV family. LG will showcase a new line of TVs powered by Google TV running on their own L9 chipset at CES.
  • Marvell – Also new to the Google TV family this year is Marvell, an innovative worldwide leader in chipsets. Marvell will be showcasing a new generation of Google TV solutions which will help bring more products across more price points to consumers.
  • MediaTek – We’re also excited to partner with MediaTek, the leading Taiwanese chipset designer. MediaTek chipsets will power yet another wave of Google TV devices.
  • Samsung – We’re excited to work closely with Samsung to bring Google-TV powered Samsung devices to market in 2012.
  • Sony – We’re happy to build on our partnership with Sony. At CES, Sony will unveil new devices for the US and plans to offer Google TV powered products in several countries around the world in 2012.
  • Vizio – Last year we announced our partnership with Vizio at CES. This year we’re excited to join Vizio as they hold private demos at CES showcasing their new line of Google TV-powered products.

Can Google TV make it this time around? With big time partners like these, I’d say they stand a chance.

Via:  Google TV Blog

Logitech Revue Honeycomb Update Rolling Out This Week

Logitech Revue owners may have a hard time believing this, but according to Logitech’s blog, the Honeycomb update will roll out to units starting this week. After what seems like almost a year of waiting, everyone with some sort of Google TV product will finally have the Android Market, apps, and a completely new experience on a product that got off to a pretty rocky start.

There doesn’t appear to be a way to force the update, but you can check as many times as you’d like in your Settings panel.

To see an overview of what you can expect with this update, check out this highlight post. Then be sure to check out our hands-on walk-through of it here.

Via:  Logitech, Google

Quick Look at the New Youtube and Photos Apps for Google TV, Update Pushed Last Night

Since Google TV was updated to Honeycomb a couple of weeks back, their team promised to continue to produce updates that would enhance the experience. They appear to be living up to that promise as an update popped onto my Sony GTV box last night, bringing with it new YouTube and Photos apps. If the GTV team can produce new and useful features like this on a monthly basis, they’ll have at least one happy customer.   (more…)

Quick Look at the Google Music App for GoogleTV

The Google TV team wasn’t about to let their newly released Honeycomb build for Sony GTV units miss out on all of the Google Music action from yesterday. An official Music app is now available in the Android Market for TVs, rounding out the access to your music collection. If you were looking forward to having Google Music become a part of your home theater system and HD TV, the time has come.

The app itself is just like the version that you all have on your phones now, but matches up more closely to the visual style of Honeycomb. Once you attach your Gmail account to it, you can cruise through all of your albums, jump into playlists, search for favorite artists, “thumbs up” songs, and more.   (more…)

Google TV Honeycomb Update Quick Walk-Through

The Honeycomb update for Google TV started rolling out to Sony TV units on Monday and is just now popping up for Blu-Ray units. Since we have the Blu-Ray version, we are just getting to it and wanted to toss out this quick gallery of some of the first things we noticed. So far, this update looks like it may blow past most of our expectations. In just a couple of minutes with HC for my TV, I can easily say that it has become useful for the first time in months. Things like the “TV and Movies” app and Android Market are essentially game changers in my opinion.

Jump on past the break to see what’s new.  (more…)