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Google Assistant now built-in to 2016-2017 Sony Android TVs

08 Nov 2017 | Rasmus Larsen |

Google’s voice assistant is now available on 2017 and select 2016 Sony Android TVs. You can use it to quickly find content to watch or get answers to spoken questions.

A voice assistant on your TV

The software update is available today and is part of Sony’s “smart home” efforts. With Google Assistant you can “discover and access content, as well as control other smart home devices” through your TV’s remote control.

- “Sony’s goal is to provide our customers the Smart Home functionality they desire in the manner they choose. With the Google Assistant, Sony TV owners get all the answers and tasks they need done, just by using their voice,” said Mike Fasulo, President and COO of Sony Electronics. ”This software update is available today for those that already own, or plan to buy, a supported Sony 4K HDR television with Android TV – bringing new innovative technologies to our customers.”

Google says that Assistant works with more than 1000 smart devices, ranging from thermostats to speakers, from over 150 brands. It is supported by services such as Netflix and YouTube.

- “For example, you can ask the Google Assistant for Netflix titles directly: “Play Stranger Things” and the Google Assistant will respond. On YouTube, users will be able to seamlessly look for new, popular, or highly rated content by simply asking the Google Assistant, and then using voice commands to play the selection. Users can stay engaged by asking the Google Assistant questions about the content being played.”

The software update is available in the US and compatible with all 2017 Sony Android TVs as well as select 2016 models (Sony Z9D, X800D, X750D, and X700D). It will roll out in Europe at a later date.

Coming to more TVs

The initiative was announced at CES 2017 in January. At that time, Google said that Assistant can run on Android TV version 6.0 and onwards.

Google Assistant is already active on the Nvidia Shield and is coming to Philips Android TVs later this year. Nvidia offers hands-free control, whereas Sony’s implementation requires that you push a button on the remote control. To add hands-free “OK Google” control you can add a Google Home speaker to your setup.

Sony’s Android TVs are also compatible with Amazon Alexa.

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