Bravia Internet Video might be the last platform in this feature, but it’s certainly not the least. In fact, in terms of video content, at least, it’s the most prolific service around right now. Which is quite something considering how flimsy Sony’s first 'Applicast' online efforts were in 2009.
Press the dedicated Internet Video button on Sony’s latest remote controls and you’re immediately taken to the relevant 'strip' of Sony’s cross-axis onscreen menu system, where you can access everything the service has to offer. Heading up the highlights so far as we’re concerned are two 'catch up TV' platforms: Channel Five’s Demand Five, and the BBC iPlayer (though the latter is only launching in the next few months).
The iPlayer service will doubtless work fine, as the BBC won’t let Sony use it until it does! Demand Five actually works pretty well too, and produces solid, picture quality. It’s not likely to get as much use as the iPlayer due to content (iPlayer offers stuff like the outstanding Sherlock; Demand Five offers Emergency Bikers). But it’s still a very welcome addition to Sony’s offering.
Sony also has LoveFilm onboard, complete with account attachment and downstreaming of full movies to your TV. This service is presented in a very similar way to the Demand Five one, with lots of instant-access icons on screen at once, leading us to presume that this decent front-end is a Sony rather than Channel Five design.
Another major video streaming platform is the Sony Entertainment Television channel. This offers streaming video of archived material from Sony’s TV channel, including full episodes of series such as Rescue Me, Kidnapped;; and, best of all, Diff’rent Strokes' in what’s an eclectic but ultimately very worthwhile addition.
Next on the list is the FIFA World Cup Collection. This is arguably rather out of date now that the World Cup is thankfully over. But actually the vast amount and decent quality of content on there, taking in everything from classic moments to great players and famous World Cup stories, means it’s a really great archive for footie fans the world over that we feel should stay available on Bravia Internet Video for ever!
The sporting theme continues with Eurosport, which features the same Internet video news clips featured by the other brands that carry the online channel on their TVs. YouTube crops up next on Sony’s Internet Video list, followed by blip.tv. Promising 'the best shows on the Web', blip.tv provides a forum for video series created specifically for the Internet. In practice, this means low budget, short, frequently pretentious and often rubbish videos that it’s hard to imagine anyone bothering to delve into it with so much superior material available elsewhere.