We just laid our unworthy eyes on the new Sony Internet TV powered by Google TV (boy is that a mouthful) and it looks exactly the right sort of modern. We got a quick chance to play with the remote and it definitely appeals to the nerd within us — it’s nice to hold and use, although the optical mouse pad in the upper right corner was pretty wonky on the units we tried. (Sony chalked it up to RF interference, but we’ll have to investigate further.) We’ll be updating you with some video so stay tuned!Update: The video is up. Plus we’ve got some thoughts for you to double your pleasure:
- It’s interesting how UI scales between the different TV sizes — the search bar looks comically large on the larger TV sizes, and just about right on the medium sizes.
- While you don’t have to switch inputs, as Sony and Google are so proud to point out, there is a distinct resolution switch that the TV is undergoing between live TV and the Google TV app UI — 1080i to 720p would be our guess.
- Something that could be a real issue for Google TV is the lack of UI consistency. You’re dealing with your DVR’s UI, the Google TV search and record experience, the Chrome browsing experience, and then whatever UI a particular media browsing app might have (all the ones we tried were vastly different from each other). You can also browse your recorded shows from the Google TV UI or your own DVR’s UI, which among other overlapping functionality might prove confusing when it’s not being convenient.
- The picture-in-picture function, which is a simple right click on the right d-pad, is probably going to be a well worn option for Google TV users — keeping a show going live while looking something up in the browser or in an app is sort of this machine’s bread and butter, and it’s nicely convenient to access.
- The Sony keyboard remote feels nice in the hand, but it’s pretty unintuitive. Although both of your thumbs rest naturally on the controls up top, you’re not supposed to use them at the same time — you can either arrow around the UI with the left thumb or control the mouse with the finicky optical pad under your right. The two things are totally separate, so you’re using the arrows and you accidentally click the right button, you end up selecting whatever’s under the mouse cursor and going off in a totally different direction. It’s weird, especially since it’s supposed to feel like a PS3 controller — a controller that generally uses both thumb controls together very effectively.
- Oh, and there are a million tiny buttons for everything, not all of which make a ton of sense in every configuration, and some of which are just totally mysterious — there’s no way you’re going to get what the star and Fn buttons do on the first go.