Hoping to make Google's TV-wrapped-in-the-Web technology less intimidating, Best Buy is offering free installation and setup through the holiday-shopping season to customers who purchase a Sony Internet TV or Blu-ray player powered by Google TV.
The electronics retailer's Geek Squad Agents will deliver, install and connect the new gear, and also provide tips and a tutorial to enable consumers to take advantage of Google TV features. Best Buy expects the free Geek Squad setup/consultation promotion to run through the holidays, according to spokeswoman Paula Baldwin. After that, getting Google TV hooked up through the Geek Squad will cost $129.
"We know that consumers are hungry for the type of connected TV experiences that Sony and Google are bringing to the table," Michael Vitelli, Best Buy president of the Americas, said in announcing the promotion.
Google TV's proposition is to combine conventional TV with Web content, YouTube clips and other video, games and applications into "a single, seamless entertainment experience." The Internet search giant is working with media companies to let their content be access via Google TV -- including Turner Broadcasting System, HBO, CNBC, Netflix, Amazon.com and the National Basketball Association -- and also is in talks with broadcasters about enabling their content on the platform as well.
As one of Google TV's launch partners, Best Buy is carrying the Sony products and Logitech's Revue set-top, which are available in stores across the U.S. and online.
Sony's Internet TVs are available with 24-inch screens ($600) up to a 46-inch screens ($1,400), which are priced $200 to $400 more than its HDTVs without the Google code. Its Blu-ray Disc player with Google TV built-in is $400.
The Logitech's $300 Revue controller, meanwhile, provides an integrated keyboard, remote and touchpad. Dish Network is selling the set-top for a subsidized price of $179, plus a $4 monthly connection fee.
Best Buy, which generates more than $49 billion in annual revenue across all its brands, has approximately 180,000 employees.