Sony have announced the Sony BRAVIA Smart Stick, a device that plugs in to bring Google TV and BRAVIA TV apps to their line of ordinary BRAVIA televisions.
With everything from watches to phones and even eyewear receiving ‘smart’, upgrades, devices now are often found offering some sort of extra function that gives them interactive features. One of these gadgets that’s bucked the smart trend, albeit perhaps not taking off quite as much as smartphones, is the smart TV, with a whole host apps coming to our telly boxes making them more than just channel flickers and more like big screen versions of the computer tablet. But with increased interactivity comes and increased price so now, Sony have announced the Sony BRAVIA Smart Stick bringing smart TV apps and features to those who want (but maybe can’t afford) an actual smart TV.
The main feature of the Sony BRAVIA Smart Stick is that it brings smart TV apps to normal TVs, and these apps include those offered on Google TVs as well as those offered on Sony’s smart BRAVIA TVs. In the press release for the device, listed Google TV apps include Netflix, Pandora, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play and YouTube while the only BRAVIA TV app mentioned is “the “Internet Video Library”. While this small number of announced apps may not give many a reason to go out and buy a Sony BRAVIA Smart Stick, Sony also say that users can download “video, music, games, social networking and news apps from the Google Play Store.™” onto the gadget’s 8GB of storage. The Picture-and-Picture feature that the Sony BRAVIA Smart Stick will also let users browse the web whilst watching a TV show, and they can navigate using the touchpad and QWERTY keyboard that comes with the remote, really showing that Sony have developed this device for TV watchers who want to be connected.
Unfortunately, the Sony BRAVIA Smart Stick only works by plugging it into a Sony BRAVIA TV that has launched this year, including the XBR, W, R and S models (you can see those here) meaning that you’d have to own one of these TVs in order to use the device. There’s also the price of the gadget, which is $149.99, far more than the $35 of the Google Chromecast device which brings media streaming to televisions. Even though it is rather pricey, the Sony BRAVIA Smart Stick could still prove popular as some smart TVs retail for over $1000 (by contrast, the cheapest compatible Sony BRAVIA TV is listed on their site as $649.99) and Sony could, perhaps, bring this technology to more televisions.
We’ll keep you posted once we know more.
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