Teased on the official Sony blog for a short time today before the blog post was removed, the Sony BRAVIA NSZ-GU1 Smart Stick is a new dongle that unlocks the capabilities of Google TV on a standard BRAVIA television. Not attempting to directly compete with the Google Chromecast, users will be able to “throw video” playing within the YouTube application on their smartphone to their television. In addition to accessing the Google Play store through the BRAVIA Smart Stick, users will also have access to the standard array of streaming video applications including Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Redbox Instant and other Bravia apps.
Sony hasn’t indicated if the dongle is compatible with other televisions, but the main connection to the television is not USB or HDMI; it’s MHL. Also different from the Chromecast, the BRAVIA Smart Stick comes with a remote control and users can use the voice search function through the microphone built into the remote control in order to search for content on Google TV. In addition, the BRAVIA Smart Stick offers a dual screen mode that allows users to simultaneously use an application, like the Google Chrome Internet browser, while continuing to keep an eye on the television feed in a resized, smaller window.
While the device does include on-board memory for application storage, Sony hasn’t specified how much memory is included. Sony’s diagram of the device doesn’t include any additional slots for expanding the on-board storage with a Sony branded memory card either. By comparison, the Sony Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player using Google TV comes with 8GB of on-board storage for apps.
On the device, users will find a Connect button to pair the dongle with the remote control, a power indicator light, a Micro USB port to power the device, an IR Blaster to control other devices, a Micro HDMI IN jack and a MHL plug to connect directly to a BRAVIA television. Sony is expected to officially announce details about the BRAVIA Smart Stick on September 15 and will likely offer up pricing information as well as a release date for the device. However, you can view the online manual for the device here as of the time of publication.