Sony Electronics (NYSE:SNE) is set to announce the Smart Stick (NSZ-GU1) next Sunday, a Google TV device similar to the Chromecast that has partially been revealed in filings with the FCC. The Smart Stick will not be officially announced by Sony until Sunday, but the product’s manual is currently available online, showing off a device with HDMI pass-through, an IR blaster and touchscreen remote control.
The Google Chromecast – which is back in stock at the U.S. Google Play Store, BestBuy.com and Amazon.com as of this writing – quickly sold out online after it was announced by Google in July. The Chromecast is a $35 HDMI dongle that pairs with Android smartphones and iPhones to stream Netflix, YouTube and other apps over WiFi to an HD TV.
The Bravia Smart Stick is reportedly launching later this year with a suggested retail price of $150, a number more in line with previous Google TV products than the Chromecast. The Smart Stick uses WiFi to stream video, audio, photos and Web content onto HD TVs like the Chromecast, although Engadget reports that the device will only work with this year’s lineup of Sony televisions.
The Smart Stick is capable of streaming from more apps than the Chromecast, which still only works with Netflix, YouTube and Google Play content, along with an experimental feature that allows owners to “cast” tabs from a Web browser to their televisions. The Smart Stick will have a similar feature, capable of “throwing content” such as YouTube on-screen.
The International Business Times reviewed the Chromecast following its release, giving it a mostly positive review.
The Smart Stick will launch with video app support from YouTube and Netflix, in addition to Amazon Video, Redbox Instant, Vudu, Video Unlimited, Crackle, Google Play Movies and AOL On. Music can be streamed from Pandora, SiriusXM, Music Unlimited, Qello and Google Play Music. Sony has not officially unveiled the release date or price for the Smart Stick, and as of this writing an email requesting comment has not been returned.
Thomas Halleck is a tech reporter for the International Business Times, covering Google, wearables, product reviews and mobile news....