Earlier this year at CES 2017, Google announced that its Google Assistant voice command feature would find its way into smart TVs. Today, Sony confirmed that its upcoming 2017 lineup of Bravia 4K televisions, which already have Android TV installed, will be the first to incorporate Google Assistant.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that if you buy one of the new 2017 Sony Bravia televisions right away, you won’t get access to Google Assistant out of the box. Wired reports that it will be added, via a firmware update, sometime “later this year”. Once it is enabled, you can start using Google Assistant by pressing on a special button on your TV remote. If you also own a Google Home connected speaker, you can issue voice commands to your Sony Android TV through that method as well.
Google Assistant will have a few specific additions for its use on Sony’s new TVs. For example, you can tell it to change your source inputs in case you want to switch from using your cable TV box to your Xbox One console. You can also launch apps on the TV like Netflix and Hulu with your voice, along with adjusting the volume. You can ask it to start playing a specific TV show, or simply to change the channel.
All of this sounds great on the surface, but it’s too bad that we will have to wait an unknown amount of time before Sony updates its TVs with Google Assistant. It will also have to compete with a lineup of smart TVs due out this year that will have Amazon’s Fire OS, all of which will come with their own voice remote to issue commands to the company’s Alexa digital assistant.
Would you want to wait until your next smart TV has voice command features to buy it? Let us know what you think in the comments!