Many of Sony's 2009 HDTVs include built-in Internet Video. Here's a peek at how it works.
Sony Bravia Internet Video, Amazon VOD
Sony's higher-end HDTVs basically offer all of the functionality of the Bravia Internet Video Link built-in--there is no need to buy the actual $199 box. The most compelling such functionality so far is access to Amazon Video On Demand, including high-definition videos.
Amazon VOD worked well in our tests, once we waited the 20 or so seconds for the store to load (on more than one occasion, the load screen actually gave us a "timed-out" message before it finally appeared), although we missed being able to watch previews--the service on Panasonic's VieraCast TVs and Roku enables previews, while on BIVL and TiVo, for example, it does not.
The free videos from CBS offer generally solid video quality in most cases, but despite the "Watch full episodes free" tagline next to the CBS logo in the menu, don't expect anything close to TV.com, the network's official Web portal for full TV episodes. (Note: CNET is a division of CBS Interactive.)
The worst experience came when we selected "Harper's Island" and found 23 separate two-minute clips that together may have comprised the whole episode--but we didn't have the patience to find out since each clip incorporated a CBS promo we couldn't skip.
Video playback is conveniently controllable via the keys on the remote control. In most cases, such as this video from howcast.com, the picture quality was generally bad, especially on the big screen--it was designed for the Web, after all.