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Sony's Google TV Remote: Worst Controller Ever

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Cupertino's revamp of the Apple TV may be available in stores, but many folks are saving their cash and waiting to see what Google TV products have in store. Some are hoping the set-top boxes and software-equipped HDTVs will improve upon the features and missteps taken with the Apple TV. And considering Google, Intel, Sony and Logitech are working together on several projects, the public has many chances to see a decent product.

But judging from a recent report on ABC Nightline, Sony needs to work a little harder.

Sony's 46-inch LCD model will be the first all-in-one HD set that features Google TV. It was shown off in a Best Buy press event last month in New York, but pictures of the controller weren't released. With a sneak peek at Sony's ad for the HD set, ABC Nightline premiered what the remote actually looks like.

Take a look:

Between the dual dials, the disconcerting space between volume and channel toggles, the necessity to use two hands, and... Sweet Jesus, what in the world is CTRL doing on a TV remote? I mean, I understand the keyboard, but separate keys for TAB and ESC? Why not include a USB mouse while we're at it?!

This multi-button monstrosity is an incredible misfire. Who's going to be able to control this thing while half-asleep in bed? How pleasing will it be to switch from live TV to a streaming Netflix movie if you have to squint and change your grip five times to do it? It'll be easier to just walk up to the TV.

In fact, this device might give the Atari Jaguar a run for the worst controller of all time.

Apple kept its remote simple -- a chewing gum pack-sized device with few buttons that didn't increase much in size with the revamp. Sure, controls are limited and it was a pain to hunt and click letters on screen, but at least you knew what you were pressing without having to look at it. If Sony aimed to improve remote functionality in its controller, perhaps it should've taken a cue from Boxee's upcoming device.

The front face is similar to Apple's remote, but puts a sleek QWERTY keyboard on the back. There's no button disarray and puts everything you need at your fingertips. It's a fantastic display of form and function.

In comparison, Sony's remote is a tangible headache.

As a saving grace, Google TV will also work in conjunction with smartphone apps, allowing you to use your Android to control the on-screen menus. Unfortunately, no existing app can remotely detonate Sony's controls and serve walking papers to its entire R&D department.
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