Sony Unveils New Smart Stick: Basically a Google TV Dongle

Sony is expected to debut a new streaming media device this week, similar to Google’s Chromecast. Briefly teased on the Sony blog last Friday, the BRAVIA NSZ-GU1 Smart Stick is a small dongle that unlocks Google TV on BRAVIA HDTVs. Users will have access to the Google Play store through the Smart Stick, in addition to streaming video applications such as Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Netflix, Redbox Instant, Vudu, YouTube and other BRAVIA apps.

“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,” reports Digital Trends.

“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,” explains Digital Trends. “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.”

Most media outlets reported that Sony was expected to officially announce the Smart Stick yesterday, but new information has yet to be revealed. The Sony blog post teased late last week has since been removed. We’ll have more on the story as it becomes available.

In the meantime, more technical specifications are available via the online instruction manual. According to the manual, the device will be compatible with 2013 model year (and later) Sony HDTVs.