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Sony Smart Stick launching as Google Chromecast rival

Sony has confirmed it will be launching a smart TV dongle called the Sony Smart Stick to compete directly with the Google Chromecast.

Offering access to smart TV features such as the video streaming services, music and games, the Sony Smart Stick will go head to head with Google’s Chromecast dongle.

The Sony Smart Stick will be officially launched later this week, but it will be a lot more expensive than the currently US-exclusive Google Chromecast.

According to Sony, the Smart Stick will cost $150 (£94), which is quite a jump in comparison to the $35 Chromecast.

“For many consumers this will boil down to the fact that it’s $150 versus $35,” said Ian Maude, a digital media expert at Enders Analysis. “Sony is offering get another device without offering anything that different from other internet-enabled set-top boxes.”

Using the Sony Smart Stick, users will be able to download apps and games via the Google Play Store to use on their TV. The dongle plugs straight into the MHL socket, which makes for one less cable protruding from the TV.

“There is clearly demand to watch internet video via the TV set, but there’s a whole new price point for these devices and at $150 I don’t think the Smart Stick will fly.”

Sony’s Smart Stick allows users to access Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube and the Chrome web brower, all of which will come pre-installed. It comes with a remote that packs a microphone for voice control, touch pad and traditional buttons.

The Google Chromecast’s content access is far more limited than the Smart Stick, and relies on smartphones and tablets to control it via Wi-Fi.

Next, read our pick of the best TVs of 2013.


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