Google TV Finally Comes To Australia... (Bundled With Sony TVs, For Now)

Why hello there, Google TV. We've been wondering when you'd show up on our sunburnt shores. Sony has announced that it will now be bundling the web giant's TV box in with some of its TVs from this week.

When you purchase a Sony HX-750 or HX-850 TV from Wednesday, you'll get a Google TV thrown in.

It'll come with Sony's new remote -- a nifty little device that's almost as clever as the box it controls.

The remote on one side features a slew of home and input switching keys, as well as a large multi-touch trackpad. On the other, it features an edge-to-edge, backlit keyboard complete with dedicated search hotkeys. To make sure you don't click out of your own text box while typing, Sony has configured the remote to only activate the input device that's facing upwards.

The remote can also be used as a universal remote for your home entertainment setup. The remote hooks into the Google TV box via Bluetooth and the box has two infrared blasters on its top left and right sides which send commands to your other devices. Nifty.

That in-built gyro can also be used for gaming, which you can do thanks to access to the Google Play store from the Google TV. That means you can buy yourself apps that will let you control the box with your Android smartphone and work with the iPad's AirPlay functionality.

The box itself runs on Honeycomb and as a result, it has Chrome built-in. That makes the device a contender to replace your existing HTPC setup (sorry Mac Mini owners) completely.

The device isn't for sale separately just yet, you'll only get it when you buy a Sony TV from June 28. Sony won't say when it will be sold separately, nor will the company price it, but we know that the Google TV box itself is valued at $350. That's not what it'll cost if and when it goes on sale separately, but it's an indication of what you might expect to pay locally.

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    Curious as to how they'll manage that - how does it overlay its menu etc over the live TV stream if it's external to the TV? In the US they use external cable boxes with the HDMI-in port, but that's much less common here.

    $350 is a lot when you look at the competition. Might as well get a PS3 or AppleTV that has most of those features, but seems like better value. But it would be great if they incorporate it in a future PS3 update or the PS4.

      RRP is $199, at least in the US/UK.

      Don't expect a PS3 version (far too much effort to port, for very little return). PS4, who knows?

    "The box itself runs on Honeycomb and as a result, it has Chrome built-in." last I checked Chrome was only on ICS?

    The remote is ridiculously full-on. It's practically a smartphone with slightly different packaging. Can anyone honestly tell me how they would type on that QWERTY keyboard? Only way I can imagine is by holding it like a game pad and two-thumb-punching. No way is that effective. Ludicrous. First there was a the iPon without a keyboard, Surface will kill that. Now there's this. Something better will no doubt come along. In fact the old Logitech option was heaps better. That failed as much because of the GTV package's failure as any issues with it's own design acceptance. Don't throw baby out with bathwater hardware devs! Bring back the large-enough-to-sit-across-my-lap with a trackpad and shuttle-disc on the right hand side.

      Mate, it's not as if your gonna write an essay on it, just web addresses etc. no need for a proper keyboard.

    I have a Logitech Revue with Google TV and it has Chrome built in. It's not bad but a lot of American content is blocked due to me being in Australia. I wonder how Sony will get around this issue ???

      Sony wont allow you to access US content but if you use a US VPN or change it a US DNS, google: unblock-us or strongvpn

    I remember seeing a while back a planned version of this box that had bluray built in.

    Include bluray drive and I am all over it

      If they do that you get ciniva to, no one wants that.

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