Recently, Google had launched a new gadget called Chromecast that allows user to view live streaming media. The reason why several companies are jumping into produce such type of gadget is that the prices of cable packages are going up day by day. Google had released the Chromecast device for $35. However, it has got a new competitor in the name of BRAVIA Smart Stick.
The Sony BRAVIA Smart Stick only works with Bravia television sets from Sony that were manufactured in 2013 and later. Once you plug the new Smart Stick to the Bravia TV, it will automatically turn into Google TV. So, it means without buying a Google TV, your TV function like a Google TV. The new Smart Stick is all set to get announced officially next Sunday. The details of the device were revealed at FCC filings.
Sony had first posted an official blog post about the Smart Stick but without any warning the post is not available on the blog. Still, the user manual of the Bravia Smart Stick is available on the internet. It is an MHL dongle which is going to launched later in this year for a price of $150. It makes use of Wi-Fi connectivity to stream media content like audio, video, photos and web content to aforementioned Bravia TVs.
The Google TV concept was first developed by Google, Sony, Intel and Logitech. However, it did not achieve any popularity. The concept of Google TV has come back to life again. The Google TV brings to you Android interface which can be seen on the television screen. This allows you to even access Android apps on your TV.
The Bravia Smart Stick from Sony also provides a cable passthrough which allow you to view your regular cable TV. It offers a picture-in-picture feature that will let you view Google TV as well as regular TV beside each other. Since you have to connect the Smart Stick on to the television, you also get a remote control along with it.
By the way, you will be accessing the web on your television. Hence, the manufacturer of the device has provided you with QWERTY layout. If you think typing through a remote control is not easy, you can rely on the voice search feature.
Compared to Chromecast, the Sony Bravia Smart Stick appears to be even more powerful product as it lets you access apps like Netflix, Amazon Video, AOL On, Crackle, Redbox Instant, Vudu, Video Unlimited, Qello, and Google Play Music. As of now, Hulu is not available in the list.
The arrival of Smart Stick comes just one week after Sony’s announcement about the PS Vita TV. The PS Vita TV allows you to access Vita on your television as well as access to media content. The PS Vita TV is currently limited to Japanese markets. With PS Vita TV and the Smart Stick clearly indicates that Sony is making efforts on offering convenient media streaming devices.