Sony NSX-46GT1 Review

Sony has engineered a valiant attempt at the ultimate vehicle for Internet TV, but Google TV’s persistent potholes provide a bumpy ride.
Sony has engineered a valiant attempt at the ultimate vehicle for Internet TV, but Google TV’s persistent potholes provide a bumpy ride.
Sony has engineered a valiant attempt at the ultimate vehicle for Internet TV, but Google TV’s persistent potholes provide a bumpy ride.

Highs

  • Complete Google TV integration into every aspect of the TV
  • Image quality exceeds spec expectations
  • Modern edge-to-edge glass design
  • Smart, capable controller
  • Reasonably priced

Lows

  • Google TV remains under construction
  • Steep learning curve for controller
  • Wobbly stand

Sony GT1 series information: This review is based on our hands-on experience with the 46-inch NSX-46GT1 TV. However, our observations also apply to the two other sizes in Sony’s GT1 series of Internet TVs, including the 40-inch NSX-40GT1 and 32-inch NSX-32GT1. According to Sony, the three sets have identical specifications (save dimensions and weight) and should offer similar performance.

If every HDMI cable on earth were suddenly shredded to copper threads and you could never connect another device to your TV again, Sony’s Internet TVs would be the ones to own. Simply put, no other connected television packs this much content into one clean, self-contained unit. Though the lack of cables and all-in-one approach eases setup and use, Google TV’s rough edges will still make us warn non-geeks away from this otherwise sharp connected TV for the time being, but patient tech enthusiasts will find a bevy of content and possibilities built right in.

Features

Take an HDTV and a Google TV set-top box, smash them together, and you most likely have a broken TV and a broken set top box. (Not where you thought we were going with that, huh?) No, Sony’s Internet TV goes a level deeper than the Neanderthal mash up you might expect by painstakingly integrating every aspect of a television’s function into the Google TV platform. The glowing logo below the screen might as well read Google.

sony internet tv google nsx 46gt1 review withSony makes the Internet TV in 24-, 32-, 40- and 46-inch display sizes, but fundamentally, they all share the same Google TV core features plastered across a 1080p LCD screen. Like all Google TV devices, that means access to streaming staples like Netflix, Pandora and Pandora, local access to anything available via DLNA or UPnP, and a full Web browser with Flash for just about anything else you can imagine. It also integrates with over-the-air and cable broadcasts, allowing you to watch live TV as you peruse the Web offerings.

Beneath the surface, both Sony’s Internet TVs and Logitech’s Revue are powered by a 1.2GHz Intel Atom processor that’s not far off from what you might find in a netbook. The set offers both Wi-Fi and a standard Ethernet jack for Internet connectivity and network access.

On the more pedestrian side, Sony’s Internet TVs offers the usual array of Sony features including 1080p upscaling, MPEG noise reduction, media playback via USB, and Eco Settings for lower power consumption.

In an apparent concession to the system’s all-in-one, future-leaning design, Sony goes light on traditional connectivity, offering analog RCA, component video, digital optical audio and headphone outputs, but only one of each, and the component and RCA video inputs both share the same audio inputs, so you can use one or the other. Notably, there’s no VGA input for old-school notebooks. However, geeks will be happy to find four HDMI inputs (two rear, two side) and an impressive four USB inputs (all four on the side for easy access).

sony internet tv google nsx 46gt1 review withDesign

Sony’s Internet TV is as much an appliance as television, and Sony gives that self-contained philosophy a nod in the style. It’s one of the few big-screen TVs we’ve ever seen to come in white, an eggshell shade that wouldn’t feel out of place in the kitchen. You’ll have to peek behind the edge-to-edge glass on the front to even see it, though, which has been blacked out around the edges for a play on the same “monolithic” look that appears on high-end Sonys like the NX8 series.

Then there’s that stand. For all the over-engineering put into TV stands, from Samsung’s liquid-inspired teardrops to Sony’s own glass-and-aluminum marvels, the bare metal bar that supports Sony’s Google TV is certainly… a departure. It’s essentially an oversized paperclip. Visually, it jives with the whole “appliance” look, but if an oversized paperclip holding up a TV gives you pause, it should. The 46-pound Internet TV sits on the metal stand like a fat kid on a railing, wobbling with the slightest provocation. We assume the main goal of the stand and overall design is to appeal to a younger, more techie audience. And it scores in that regard.

Despite the fact that it essentially houses a mini computer, Sony has kept the NSX-46GT1 to just 2.25 inches deep, and there’s not a fan to be found. Top and bottom perforations in the plastic chassis seem to radiate the heat away just fine.

Setup

With no cables to connect, setting up Sony’s Internet TV is literally as simple as plugging in the power cord and turning it on. After typing in your Wi-Fi password (or connecting an Ethernet cable) it will automatically download the latest version of Google TV and walk you through setup, which includes simple steps like letting it scan for TV stations. A total of seven steps — and maybe 5 minutes — later, you’re up and ready to roll.

Home Theater

Puro’s kids headphones don’t just sound great, they help prevent hearing damage

Puro Sound Labs' PuroQuiet headphones are a pair of noise-canceling over-ears that are designed for young listeners, allowing them to jam out to their favorite tunes, but limiting volume to avoid long-term hearing damage.
Deals

Take a gander at the best deals on 4K TVs for April 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Trash

Control is within your grasp with one of our favorite universal remotes

Get ready to simplify your home. Our top choices for the best universal remotes let you easily control your Blu-ray player, DVR, TV, A/V receiver, or any other device you may have tucked in your media hub.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Product Review

Now that every speaker has Alexa, don't you want the best? Get the Sonos One

To compete in the smart speaker space, Sonos could have just made a better-sounding Alexa speaker. But the company has a reputation to uphold, and went much further. Our Sonos One Review reveals how Sonos does Alexa better than Amazon.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

Amazon’s free Spotify competitor is here. Just ask Alexa

Just ask Alexa to play your favorite song. Amazon has launched a free, ad-based music streaming service to compete with Spotify's free tier on its popular Echo devices, aiming to bolster subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited.
Deals

Walmart deal drops the price of the 55-inch TCL 4K Roku smart TV to just $338

Was last weekend's Game of Thrones streaming experience lacking? Look no further than this 55-inch TCL TV, which features built-in Roku functionality, and can be had at Walmart for just $338.
Music

YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium. What's changed, and should you subscribe?

Thanks to Google, YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium. We explain what exactly a YouTube Premium subscription gets you, how much it costs, and break down if it's a good choice for you.
Product Review

It sounds like a Sonos, but the Beam pulls one trick none of its siblings can

Sonos makes really good surround sound speakers for home theaters, but they’re expensive. A cheaper model with great sound would be a win. The Sonos Beam is that speaker, but were too many corners cut to make a more affordable product?
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.