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Sony confirms Chromecast TV rival

Sony confirms Chromecast TV rival

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Sony Smart Stick
 
The Smart Stick allows owners to browse the internet and simultaneously watch TV in a sub-window

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The details have emerged two months after Google unveiled its Chromecast dongle.

The device uses an HDMI socket to offer a more limited range of online content and relies on owners using a smartphone or tablet to control it via wi-fi.

However, it has the benefit of a lower price and is not restricted to being used on a specific brand of TV.

“For many consumers this will boil down to the fact that it’s $150 versus $35,” said Ian Maude, a digital media expert at consultants Enders Analysis.

“Sony is offering yet another device without offering anything that different from other internet-enabled set-top boxes.”

“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 also faces competition from others who are also investing in new smart TV facilities.

 

Product image

 

Google’s Chromecast dongle is being sold for $35 (£23)

Samsung – the world’s bestselling television manufacturer – has bought Israeli firm Boxee’s assets. Boxee’s most recent product had let subscribers record TV shows onto its servers and then stream them to TVs, computers and smart devices.

LG has acquired WebOS – the operating system formerly used to power Palm handhelds – to “enhance” its smart TV products.

Microsoft is promoting its forthcoming Xbox One as a way to integrate content from a cable or satellite provider with other online video.

Meanwhile Apple, Sky, Roku and Western Digital are among others to offer more limited net-connected media streamers, while cable providers, including the UK’s Virgin Media, are offering access to increasing numbers of apps via Tivo and other set-top boxes.

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