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

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The platform's headline-grabber is this stunning collection of clips and archive footage that's structured into three distinct groups; Classic Moments, World Cup Stories and World Cup Reviews.

Classic Moments

A 52-minute Top 20 FIFA World Cup Moments documentary is joined by a further 100 short clips that last around a minute.

They're arranged in A-Z format, with titles such as 'B is for Beckham', 'P is for Pele' and more generic shorts including 'R is for Referees' (a fairly pointless montage of refs sending off players, pointing to the penalty spot and getting pushed around by Maradona et al) and the dreaded 'P is for Penalty Shootout' (England feature a little too much in that one).

Sony bravia internet video: fifa

There's no commentary on any of these montages – instead just one sample of dance music plays repetitively as the clips play on a roll. They're a far cry from the BBC's wistful, tear-inducing efforts that traditionally follow England's exit.

World Cup Stories

The main content here are six excellent 30-minute documentaries entitled African Odyssey, Golden Boot Legends, Holland's Quest, Penalty Shoot-Out, World Cup Shocks and Young Shooting Stars, which rather than a youth version of Vic and Bob's game show is a celebration of the World Cup debuts of Pele, Maradona, Ronaldo and Owen.

There are also 15 six-minute shorts on specific players. Pele, Eusebio, Fritz Walter, Garrincha, Muller, Cruyff, Charlton, Beckenbauer, Maradona, Kempes, Platini, Milla, Rossi, Puskas and Zoff are all lauded in these engaging short films that benefit from good statistic-filled commentary.

But where's 1986's Golden Boot boy Gary Lineker? And Ronaldo, the all-time World Cup leading scorer? Our hunch is that these films were made a decade or so ago.

World Cup Reviews

This is perhaps the best section, with FIFA's archive of 10-minute Mini FIFA World Cups (currently being broadcast on the ESPN Classic channel) for every tournament stretching back to 1966.

Better still is the archive of FIFA's official World Cup Film Collection; you'll find 14 minutes of footage from the inaugural 1930 World Cup and the official films for every World Cup since 1958 – around 15 hours of films – though strangely the 1934, 1938, 1950, 1954 and 2006 tournaments are not covered.

Sony bravia internet video: world cup collection

They're hit and miss, but do include two classic films, 1982's G'Ole and 1986's Hero. Narrated by Sean Connery and Michael Caine respectively, both feature dated though atmospheric Rick Wakeman scores and unusual touchline camera footage, and close-ups instead of TV camera angles.

These two 35mm (though presented in here as 4:3 video transfers) films in particular convey the drama and emotions of the tournaments superbly well, though they do concentrate on the biggest matches and moments; completists would undoubtedly prefer an archive of every goal from every tournament.

Picture quality on some of these clips can only be described as fair, though it's often very good. The material is downloaded and streamed quickly, but mostly in the 4:3 shape – no surprise since World Cups until 1998 were filmed in 4:3. And although the 1998 event was shot in widescreen, it's presented here in its native resolution and doesn't fill the entire screen.

Jamie Carter

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 He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),