Sony will bring a Google TV product line to Europe in September, according to a report by Les Echos in France. The article carries comments from Stephane Labrousse, marketing director at Sony France, saying that the company will have two devices, a standalone Google TV set-top box for €200 (£166) and a version combined with a Blu-ray Disc player for €300 (£250).
Les Echos believes the products are likely to launch in Spain, Germany and the UK at the same time.
The new products will have a Google Play button on the remote control for quick access to the online app and media store. Sony claims there will be between 120 and 200 global apps for its Google TV products as well as special local additions per country. Speech recognition will reportedly be built in too.
Being Sony, the devices will, rather confusingly, also feature that company’s online media platforms such as Music Unlimited.
Second generation Google TV devices are also due this year from Samsung, LG and Vizio, and may be based on ARM chips instead of Intel’s in order to reduce prices.
Sony produced a Google TV set and Blu-ray player for the US market in 2010, and Logitech has a set-top box. Cost was one of the reasons cited for lacklustre sales of Google TV hardware in America in 2010-11, along with cluttered remote controls and a lack of co-operation from major broadcasters.
However, if the European pricing cited by Les Echos is accurate, it still looks like Google TV will come at a premium compared to similar media boxes from Western Digital, Roku, Boxee, Apple TV and various others.
The market is also crowded with games consoles and set-top boxes that can stream or download on-demand films and recently shown TV programmes, such as the Virgin Media TiVo in the UK, Sky Anytime+, the soon-to-launch YouView and the next generation of Freesat receivers.