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Sony Bravia Internet Video review

Sony's new IPTV platform is a bit hit and miss

Bravia Internet Video: LoveFilm
The LoveFilm interface is excellent, making it easy to browse the movies on offer

Our Verdict

It's a shame that the main bulk of content is subscription based but if you don't mind paying then it's a great platform

For

  • Excellent interface
  • Picture quality
  • Excellent widgets

Against

  • Lack of social media content
  • No iPlayer
  • Some widgets a bit US focused for UK
  • Eurosport service
  • Demand Five instead of BBC iPlayer?

TechRadar Verdict

It's a shame that the main bulk of content is subscription based but if you don't mind paying then it's a great platform

Pros

  • +

    Excellent interface

  • +

    Picture quality

  • +

    Excellent widgets

Cons

  • -

    Lack of social media content

  • -

    No iPlayer

  • -

    Some widgets a bit US focused for UK

  • -

    Eurosport service

  • -

    Demand Five instead of BBC iPlayer?

Sony and FIFA are best buddies. Not only is the Japanese company filming 25 games at the current tournament in 3D in preparation for a 3D Blu-ray disc, but the World Cup and Champions League sponsor has chummed-up with FIFA and is offering World Cup goals galore on its latest 'smart' Bravia LCD TVs.

Present on its new NX803, EX703 and HX703 TV ranges, its success is largely down to presentation – it's based around the Xcross Media Bar found on the PlayStation 3.

The interface is a winner; scroll across to 'video' on the XMB – which floats nicely over the live channel you're watching – and icons for each widget are presented as a list.

The front-end of each and every widget is almost identical, presented in a grid of thumbnail images that makes good use of the screen real estate – and crucially makes it easy to navigate. Each icon either leads straight to the content, or to a further grid of thumbnails beneath.

Content isn't too bad, either. With on-demand programmes from Five, streamed movies from LoveFilm and a special FIFA widget stacked with World Cup goodies, it's a highly attractive proposition for some, though many of the other widgets are lazily US-centric (the whole service is delivered via Sony USA).

The quality is also good; the TV streams from websites dynamically, delivering a lower-resolution picture if the speed of the network slows down, and upping it when it's fast. That helps cut out pauses and on-screen buffering messages, though that's also helped by the TV's seven second video buffer.

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),