'Sony Stick' Streams Internet Video to Your TV


Staff member
Mar 24, 2011
by John Lister on 20130920 @ 08:37AM EST |

Sony is launching its own version of the Google Chromecast plug-in stick for televisions. But Sony's 'Smart Stick' will be substantially more expensive than Google's device and may only work with some TVs.

Google's Chromecast launched this past July. It plugs into an HDMI port on a TV set and lets users play virtually any online videos using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. The Chromecast uses WiFi to connect to the Internet and stream the video.

Ironically, Sony's device actually uses Google technology -- in this case, features taken from Google TV, a range of set-top boxes that aimed to bring together cable, satellite, and Internet video services into a single, searchable electronic program guide.

Sony's Smart Stick will allow users access to video services such as Netflix and YouTube, as well as web browsing via Chrome.

Stick Comes With High-Tech Remote Control

Unlike Chromecast, you don't need to use a separate device to control Smart Stick. Instead, it comes with a remote control that includes buttons, a touch pad, and a microphone for remote control. (Source: bbc.co.uk)

Also different: installation. The Chromecast requires an HDMI port, which can be found on virtually every TV set made in the past few years. A separate cable then connects to a power outlet.

The Smart Stick, meanwhile, plugs into a Mobile High-Definition Link port. This allows users to plug gadgets into a TV set, with the port not only transferring data to the TV, but also powering the accessory.

The problem is that not only are these ports somewhat rare, but it appears the device may have software that means it only works on Sony's own 'Bravia' range of TV sets. (Source: variety.com)

$150 Price Tag May Deter Buyers

Price will also be an issue, with the Smart Stick expected to cost $150, which is more than four times the price of Chromecast. That's led analysts to predict far more success for the Google device, which people will be willing to give a try, knowing it won't be a disaster if the device proves disappointing.

Experts suggest that if Smart Stick sells poorly but gets positive reviews from the few people who use it, there's a good chance the technology will simply find its way into future Sony televisions.
What is a Mobile High-Definition Link port? I purchased a new Sony 'Bravia' TV last October. So, do I have one? And, when will they be available in my country.