Google and Sony launch UK viewing platform

Kasmira Jefford
Follow Kasmira
GOOGLE will make its first foray into UK television next month with the launch of its long-awaited interactive TV service that allows viewers to browse the internet, watch films and play with apps.

The tech giant, in partnership with Sony, announced yesterday its new internet TV set-top box, priced at £200, will be available from 16 July.

The gadget, which is based on Google’s Android software for smartphones, will let Britons watch TV as normal while also letting them download applications and switch to sites such as YouTube and Twitter.

The device will be followed with a Blu-ray version, expected to cost around £300 when it is launched later in the year.

It will also be available in Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico and Netherlands later this year, Sony said in a statement.

Google’s TV platform has been met with a mixed reaction among analysts, who point to poor reviews the machines received two years ago when they first launched in the US.

Logitech, one of Google’s initial partners that developed a set-top box offering the service, said late last year it had lost tens of millions of dollars building set-top boxes for Google devices due to weak sales.

Google’s attempt to capture the living room audience has seen limited success so far due to a lack of web content or support from hardware manufacturers, which it now hopes to change with its new Sony product.

The move by Google and Sony also comes amid speculation that Apple is shortly set to unveil a full-fledged TV product later this year.

Apple already sells a £90 set top box called Apple TV that streams Netflix and other content.