Google TV Box to Arrive in Canada in August

by Jordan Richardson on July 2, 2012

Sony’s Google TV will be coming to Canada this summer. Pre-orders will be available on Wednesday online or at Sony’s retail outlets.

The set-top device allows television viewers to stream online content through their home theatre set-ups. Called the NSZ-GS7 internet player with Google TV, the unit opens the door for all sorts of streaming activity from Netflix, YouTube and other similar sources. Users can also stream content from computers and portable storage units like USB sticks.

The box was revealed to the world earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show and will go on sale at around August 13 for a price of $199.99.

The box connects to television units via an HDMI cable and to the Internet using either built-in WiFi or USB ports. It includes a slim box unit and a double-sided remote control that includes both a keyboard and a touchpad.

This will be the first device sold in Canada to feature Google’s Internet television software.

There are competing versions of the Google TV box for sale in Canada, of course, like Apple TV and Roku LT. Unlike those boxes, Google TV features a search function that is very similar to the search engine’s ubiquitous search bar online. It lets users seek out files across all of the available content platforms, eliminating the arduous task of picking through each platform one by one to find the desired material.

Apple TV is considered to be one of its main competitors. Google TV, however, should have the content edge because Apple is mainly limited to stuff in its iTunes store and Netflix. It is cheaper than the Google TV unit.

Reviews of the Google TV box in the United States haven’t exactly been drowning it in praise, though, so Canadians may want to hold off until Sony can work out some of the presumed kinks. And, as is usually the case, American users of the Google TV unit will have access to more content than Canadian users.

Add to that the fact that Google TV users don’t have dedicated apps for the most popular content, like Hulu Plus, MLB.TV and Amazon Instant, and you’ve got a rather incomplete niche product that many users have already learned to circumvent with a laptop and an HDMI cable. It is hard to imagine these boxes gaining much traction given the alternatives, but these gadget-heavy times have produced consumers who simply must have the latest and greatest – no matter the cost or shortcomings.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSSTwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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