Sony has briefly taken the covers off an earlier rumored Chromecast competitor and the results might be quite disappointing for some. Turns out that the device, now called the Sony BRAVIA Smart Stick, has little to do with Google's Internet video streaming dongle and more about Google TV and Sony's own TVs.
The device that we caught a glimpse of in an FCC filing was a weird-looking contraption that loosely resembled the Chromecast, especially in the way it connects to the TV. Apparently, that might have been the only similarity between the two devices. Sony's Smart Stick is indeed a TV accessory, but is only compatible with a number of Sony's BRAVIA sets. It is, however, a Google TV device so users will have access to Android apps and additional functionality accessible via a paired remote control sporting a QWERTY keyboard.
The Smart Stick can connect to a BRAVIA not only through an MHL or HDMI plug, but also via infrared. Owners will also be able to pass through their cable or satellite box connection. Connected this way, users gain picture-in-picture functionality, allowing them to browse the web in full screen while a video plays in a smaller window in the right-hand corner of the TV.
Sony has curiously pulled out the blog post that announced the BRAVIA Smart Stick. But the cat is already out of the bag anyway, and those that were eagerly anticipating a Chromecast competitor will unlikely be swayed by this BRAVIA-exclusive device.