Go TV Google-eyed

The Google TV de­vice can trans­form any screen in your home, writes Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Ni­chol­son

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

and im­presses im­me­di­ately.

One side fea­tures a touch­pad that lets users guide a mouse icon around the screen — a great im­prove­ment over ar­rows. The other side fea­tures a five-row QWERTY key­board that makes text en­try eas­ier than most con­trols.

These thought­ful ad­di­tions are sur­rounded by a smat­ter­ing of typ­i­cal but­tons (power, TV, guide) and some that will be fa­mil­iar to An­droid smart­phone users (home, back, set­tings). That is be­cause the In­ter­net Player uses An­droid Hon­ey­comb soft­ware and, as such, de­liv­ers Google’s Play Store apps on the big screen.

Some apps are bet­ter than oth­ers, how­ever, and only a short list has been op­ti­mised for the big­gest screen in the house. To Sony’s credit, that in­cludes its Video and Mu­sic Un­lim­ited ser­vices.

The for­mer re­ally comes into its own with Google TV be­cause it lets users rent and stream new-re­lease movies from $5.99. Users can also watch trail­ers be­fore in­vest­ing.

Other apps in­clud­ing Crackle, YouTube and even Google’s own TV and movie app will de­liver con­tent to the screen, though Aus­tralia’s of­fer­ing is not as rich as that seen in the US. Hope­fully there is more on the way.

This Google TV also ar­rives with a full Chrome web browser for gi­ant web surf­ing. Users can scroll around the page by drag­ging two fin­gers down that touch­pad. Al­ter­na­tively, you can hook up a Blue­tooth mouse or key­board to this de­vice.

Pho­tos can also be shown from on­line sources, apps such as Twit­ter are big-screen­ready, and, if your TV comes with a built-in cam­era, Skype calls can be made through this box.

Google TV con­nects to the screen with an HDMI cord but ad­vanced users can also hook it up to a dig­i­tal video recorder or even a pay-TV box.

Rerout­ing our Fox­tel iQ2 through this de­vice seemed un­ortho­dox, but it worked with­out much ef­fort. The iQ2 could still be con­trolled with its orig­i­nal re­mote, yet the Google TV re­mote could de­liver its pic­ture-in-pic­ture fea­ture where Fox­tel’s out­put shrunk into a cor­ner while web con­tent screened large.

Ul­ti­mately, Sony’s Google TV de­vice is a wor­thy up­grade for ‘‘ dumb’’ TVs and a great way to see web con­tent mag­ni­fied.

Smart TV own­ers, how­ever, may find it harder to jus­tify its price tag.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.