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Sony NSZ-GT1 Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player - Product Review

Blu-ray, DVD, CD, and Google TV

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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Sony NSZ-GT1 Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player - Photo - Front View with Included Accessories

Sony NSZ-GT1 Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player - Photo - Front View with Included Accessories

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
12/25/11

The convergence of the internet and home theater has been a major story. An increasing number of TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, and Home Theater receivers now incorporate network and internet content streaming functions. However, along with this rapid development, is the increasing problem of how to access streaming content you want easily.

In an effort to address this problem, Sony has partnered with Google to incorporate its Google TV platform into a new line of products, such as the NSZ-GT1 Internet TV Blu-ray Disc player. For more details, keep reading this review. After reading this review, also be sure to check out my supplementary Photo Profile and Video Performance Tests.

UPDATE 2/2/12: New Firmware Update Adds 3D Blu-ray Disc Playback Capability and Performance Enhancements to Google Chrome Browser

Sony NSZ-GT1 Product Overview

1. The NSZ-GT1 features Profile 2.0 (BD-Live) functionality with 1080p/60 or 1080p/24 Resolution output.

2. The NSZ-GT1 can play the following disc formats: Blu-ray Disc/BD-ROM/BD-R/BD-RE/DVD-Video/DVD-R/DVD-RW/DVD+R/RW/CD/CD-R/CD-RW/SACD.

3. The NSZ-GT1 also provides DVD video upscaling to 720p, 1080i, 1080p.

4. Video Output: HDMI, DVI-HDCP video output compatibility with adapter.

5. Besides audio output via HDMI connection, audio can also be accessed by Digital Optical connection. Note: When using DVI connection option for video, the Digital Optical output must also be connected to a home theater receiver to access the audio portion of the signal.

6. Video/Audio input: HDMI - The HDMI input is for connection of the HDMI output on a cable, satellite, or set-top box in order to access program information from the box. In addition, the audio and video information that goes through this port is passed through the NSZ-GT1 to its HDMI output so that the audio and video signals are passed to the rest of your home theater system.

7. Four USB 2.0 ports for access to digital photo, video, music content via flash drive or iPod, as well as connection of additional compatible components, such as the USB receiver for the Logitech Wireless Keyboard.

8. Built-in Ethernet and WiFi Connectivity.

9. Incorporation of Google TV platform that includes built-in Google Chrome Browser and Quick Search Box. Access to Apps and content via Android Market.

10. Preloaded Internet Content Providers include: CNBC Real Time, Napster, Netflix, Pandora, Twitter, YouTube.

11. Gracenote metadata function for access to supplementary information associated with TV, music, and movie content.

12. DLNA Certified for access to digital media files stored on PCs, Media Servers, and other compatible network-connected devices.

13. 8 Gigabytes of built-in memory for BD-Live functionality and internet App storage.

14. 1.6GHz Intel Atom Processor.

15. A Wireless Infrared Remote Control and full color high definition onscreen GUI (Graphical User Interface) is provided for setup and function access.

For an additional look at the features, connections, and menu functions of the NSZ-GT1, check out my supplementary Photo Profile.

Hardware Used

Sony NSZ-GT1 Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player - Photo - HDMI, Digital Audio, and Network Connections

Sony NSZ-GT1 Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player - Photo - HDMI, Digital Audio, and Network Connections

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The additional home theater hardware used in this review included:

Blu-ray Disc Player: OPPO BDP-93

DVD Player: OPPO DV-980H.

Home Theater Receivers: Onkyo TX-SR705 and Sony STR-DN1020 (on review loan).

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 1 (7.1 channels): 2 Klipsch F-2's, 2 Klipsch B-3s, Klipsch C-2 Center , 2 Polk R300s, Klipsch Synergy Sub10.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 2 (5.1 channels): EMP Tek E5Ci center channel speaker, four E5Bi compact bookshelf speakers for left and right main and surrounds, and an ES10i 100 watt powered subwoofer.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 3 (5.1 Channels): Paradigm Cinema 100 CT (on review loan).

TV: Toshiba 47TL515 47-inch 3D LED/LCD TV (on review loan)

Video Scaler: DVDO EDGE used for baseline video upscaling comparisons.

Audio/Video connections made with Accell, Interconnect cables. 16 Gauge Speaker Wire used. High Speed HDMI Cables provided by Atlona for this review.

Software Used

Blu-ray Discs: Art of Flight, Ben Hur, Hairspray, Inception, Iron Man 1&2, Jurassic Park Trilogy, Shakira - Oral Fixation Tour, The Dark Knight, The Incredibles, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Standard DVDs: The Cave, House of the Flying Daggers, Kill Bill - Vol 1/2, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), Lord of Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, Outlander, U571, and V For Vendetta.

CDs: Al Stewart - Sparks of Ancient Light, Beatles - LOVE, Blue Man Group - The Complex, Joshua Bell - Bernstein - West Side Story Suite, Eric Kunzel - 1812 Overture, HEART - Dreamboat Annie, Nora Jones - Come Away With Me, Sade - Soldier of Love.

SACD discs used included: Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon, Steely Dan - Gaucho, The Who - Tommy.

Setup and Installation

Sony NSZ-GT1 Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player - Photo - Rear USB Connections

Sony NSZ-GT1 Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player - Photo - Rear USB Connections

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Getting started with the NSZ-GT1 is a little different than most Blu-ray Disc players. In addition to connecting the player to your TV, home theater receiver, and your home network (both Ethernet and WiFi options are built-in), if you also have a cable or satellite box, and it has an HDMI output, you need to take that output and connect it to the provided HDMI input connection on the NSZ-GT1.

Now, you are probably wondering not only why you need to do this, but why does the NSZ-GT1 have an HDMI input in the first place? - as no other Blu-ray Disc player has one. No, the NSZ-GT1 does not have recording capability (although it can command, via IR blaster, to start and stop recordings on a Dish Network DVR).

The reason for the inclusion of an HDMI input, and the desirability of connecting your cable/satellite box to the NSZ-GT1, is so that the Google TV platform can access all the program information that is coming from your cable/satellite box through the HDMI signal. This allows the Google Chrome browser and Quick Search functions to include your cable/satellite program information into their search results, making it easier to find the programs you want to watch. Also, if you have a Dish Network DVR, the GT1 will be able to search, access, and play recorded content that is stored on the DVR.

Also, with either a Dish Satellite Box/DVR or other satellite or cable box, the audio and video signals from your box will also pass through the GT1 and on to your home theater receiver and TV. In addition, to control the functions of a cable/satellite box, connect the provided IR blaster from the GT1 and place it over the remote control sensor of the cable/satellite box.

Once you have completed the desired connection setup, it is time to turn on the GT1. However, don't make the mistake of using the remote control to turn the unit on for the first time. You must press the GT1's front panel ON button the first time you start up the unit. Once the unit is on, it will synch itself to the remote control (make sure you are holding the remote close to the GT1). After the remote is synched (you can check this by pressing the on/off functions of the remote and see if player responds), the remote and player are now both ready for use.

Proceed to Page 2: Audio/Video Performance, Internet Streaming, Media Player, Google TV, Final Take

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