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Sony Bravia Smart Stick: Google Chromecast at four times the price? UPDATED

Sony is poised to launch an Android-powered compact smart TV stick supplying both Google TV and Bravia apps.

The Bravia Smart Stick will launch for $150 (£95) in the US ahead of Christmas, around the size of a USB memory stick with an HDMI port and universal remote control.

However, it appears the initial reveal date of September 15 has been delayed after a scathing editorial in US entertainment trade mag Variety – finally appearing on September 18.

Sony Bravia Smart Stick: Google Chromecast at four times the price?
The Sony Bravia Smart Stick will only work on Sony’s latest TVs. Fail much?

A September 13 post by Sony Electronics US senior publicist Ray Hartjen has now been pulled, but it’s still available in Bing’s cache.

Hartjen wrote: “The Bravia Smart Stick makes the 2013 BRAVIA line of televisions smart. Oh, the connected Bravia TVs are already grade school smart. The Smart Stick graduates them to PhD-level smarts.”

Unfortunately, the Smart Stick appears to work only with 2013 Sony Bravia TVs, via the Mobile High-definition Link port (it looks like HDMI but it’s not), with power via USB.

According to Engadget, it’s officially known as the Sony NSZ-GU1, and comes with Sony’s standard Google TV mega-remote.

Hartjen’s post promised to deliver the Smart Stick with pre-installed apps including Netflix, HuluPlus, Pandora, Amazon Instant Video (Lovefilm in the UK) and YouTube.

It also supports Sony Bravia apps like the Internet Video Library, and picture-in-picture, and features both WiFi and a micro-HDMI input, with a 8GB of on-board storage.

As you might have gathered, it’s a lot more capable than Google’s own Chromecast, which lets you share from your Android phone or tablet to your TV, and doesn’t have any of its own smarts. On the other hand, Chromecast costs $35 (£22) and works with any TV via HDMI.

As with all of Sony’s previous Google TV devices, there’s no word of a UK launch schedule.

Sony Bravia Smart Stick: Google Chromecast at four times the price?
Imagine if you could use this with non-Sony TVs? Well, you can’t.

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