Sony GoogleTV lineup revealed

October 13, 2010, 12:23 AM UTC

With TVs starting at $599 and a $399 BluRay player available in the next week, Sony is bringing a compelling set of GoogleTVs to the market.

At an event in New York today, Sony (SNE) announced its “Sony Internet TVs with GoogleTV”.  While the products look like a winner, whoever OK’d that brand-by-committee name should be sent back to Branding 101.

The TVs come in 24, 32, 40 and 46-inch varieties and start at $599 and go up to $1399.  The BluRay standalone player, at $399 is a compelling product as well.  Both have the controversial remote control.

I say controversial because almost everyone has panned it.  But I wonder what critics want in a remote.  I loved Boxee’s until I tried to use it.  It looks great but feels uncomfortable to type.

Apple’s (AAPL) remote is useless for anything but navigating menues.  Netflix’s is just a smidgen better functionality-wise but way clunkier…and doesn’t have a Qwerty keyboard.

It is easier to digest Sony’s remote if you break it in half.

The bottom (white)  part is a Qwerty keyboard. It has keys you need to type words just like a smartphone does.

The top black part is a remote for the TV specific functions (channel/volume/input/etc). It fits in your hands like a game controller.  I’m confident that this type of controller will catch on for Internet TVs.

Except that the best controller will be an Android or iOS device.   All GoogleTV users can download an app for their smartphone that will enable control of the TV.

Logitech unveiled its $299 Revue GoogleTV product last week.  One advantage to Logitech’s platform is the $149 video conferencing camera module which Sony doesn’t appear to offer.

One area where Sony is out in front?  “Sony Internet TVs with GoogleTV” are available this week from the Sony Store.  The Logitech Revue is still a few weeks out with early customers receiving word that their units might be a few days later than planned.