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Sony SideView hands-on (video)

Brian Heater

It wasn't exactly a spotlight announcement at today's Sony CES press event, but it's a cool feature nonetheless. As we mentioned in our liveblog of the event, the feature brings to mind Microsoft's SmartGlass, and after playing around with it for a bit, our minds haven't really changed on that front. Essentially, it's a method for turning your tablet or handset into a supplementary content and control device as you're watching your TV. It's got a program guide, information on cast and crew, a remote and apps all built-in.

It's an extremely intuitive system -- we were able to pick it up as soon as we picked up the device. Click Program Guide and you get a list of shows. Click on one of those and you get a synopsis and information on cast members. You can click through from there and find full bios of the featured actors. And if the show is on now, you can choose it directly from there. If you're a bit more old-fashioned, you can also choose a remote control from the side. The Sony rep we spoke with told us that the system interacts with your set-top box to pull TV content.

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There are a number of applications loaded into SideView, including YouTube, HuluPlus, Netflix and a number of Sony proprietary apps. Sadly, none were available at the time of our demo.

Billy Steele contributed to this report.

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