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Google TV reaches UK

Google TV will launch in the UK next month, two years after it debuted in the US, with Sony the first manufacturer to bring the technology to market in Europe.

Sony Google TV

Sony Google TV

Customers in the UK will be able to buy Sony’s NSZ-GS7 internet player – a set-top box that includes Google TV technology – from next month, with the device to be priced at £200 (US$310).

Sony said it plans to roll out the device next in Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil and Mexico. The player was first introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January.

The electronics firm also aims to launch a Google TV-equipped Blu-ray player in October. The NSZ-GP9 will be priced at £280 and will initially be available in the US, followed by Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

“Expanding the reach and interoperability of the powerful Android platform with Sony’s smartphones, tablets and renowned audio and video products, we are proud to continue our relationship with Google through the introduction of the new Google TV Internet Player,” said Sony’s European head of marketing, Gildas Pelliet.

The UK debut of Google TV comes after Google chairman Eric Schmidt told delegates at the Edinburgh International Television Festival last August that the service would arrive in Europe in early 2012, with the UK one of its “top priorities.”

Speaking at the Le Web conference in Paris in December, Schmidt also predicted that “by the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded in them.”

The latest launch comes after a major Google TV push by the search giant at CES this year, with LG, Sony and Vizio all unveiling new lines of Google TV-powered products, including LG’s first TV sets with Google TV.

The UK launch is also likely to see Google TV roll out in the country before the broadcaster-backed, and much delayed, next-generation Freeview service YouView. This is not now expected to have a full commercial launch until after this autumn.

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