Sony Debuts The First Google TV

Sony Corp is making its largest push yet into so-called connected televisions, unveiling a line of Google-enhanced sets that aim to fuse TV and Web content mutually in the living room.

The electronics giant announced high-definition TVs that also permit users to surf the Internet, use apps, stream online content and better organize and search programming.

Sony's Internet TVs, which come Wi-Fi-ready to connect to broadband networks, are built on Google's Android platform and trait Intel's Atom chip.

They start at $600 for a 24-inch model and range up to $1,400 for a 46-inch. Sony is also introducing a $400 set-top box that has the same functionality as the TVs, and also includes a Blu-ray player.

The products go on sale Saturday at Sony retail outlets, and will be sold at Best Buy stores soon after. Until after the holiday season, the Internet TVs will be accessible only in the United States.

The TVs and set-top box come with a new hybrid remote control, a two-hand device that features an optical mouse and a QWERTY keyboard.

The key facet of Google TV is a search box that accesses Google's search engine to scan live programs, DVR recordings and the Web, delivering a easy list of results that can be accessed with a push of the button.

Users can toggle between live TV, Web content or apps from common names like Pandora, YouTube, Twitter and the NBA. The TV feed can be locked in a corner of the screen, so viewers can surf and watch at the same time.

Apps from the Google's Android Marketplace, optimized to run on TVs, are predictable to be available early next year.

Google is partnering with Sony and others as it aims to enlarge its ad search business beyond its Internet stronghold into the $70 billion TV advertising market. Bookmark and Share