Early adopters of the first Sony devices to run Google TV may have been feeling pangs of buyer's remorse when the Japanese company announced its revamped lineup at CES this year, but there's no reason to be glum, as Sony's NSZ-GT1 Blu-ray player and NSX-GT1 lineup of HDTVs has been rooted. Unlike earlier Google TV root attempts for the Logitech Revue that required you to open the box and make some hardware modifications, the one released today by Zenofex and the GTV Hacker team is a software-only method. Unfortunately, the root does require four different USB flash drives with at least 512MB of space on them, and whether you're using a PC or Linux machine (Mac users need not apply) you'll need to do a bit of work in the command line. Still, the team says it was extremely difficult to get root access on the device, taking them a full month's worth of time, combined, to get the job done.

What's the payoff for all of the developers' efforts? Well, root access should breathe some new life into the Google TV devices. Most noteworthy is a modified Flash plugin that'll let you stream all of the restricted content you'd like from Hulu, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and others, bypassing the locks those sites have placed on Google TV devices. If you'd like there's even an option that'll make the device support NTFS drives. The unsigned kernel will also gives developers permissions that should lead the way for lots of other tweaks in the future — an adblocker for the browser is already under discussion, though we could imagine themes and much more coming soon.

While the rooted version of the operating system won't update automatically — and will void your warranty — it is based on Sony's latest Android 3.2 release, and the developers say it's easy to bring the system back to stock should you so choose. Check out the source link for full instructions if you feel up to the task, but, of course, remember that when you fiddle with your system there's always the possibility that you'll break something.