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Sony Bravia Internet Video Link lacks luster

CNET reviews the Sony Bravia Internet Video Link, which offers lots of free Internet video, but still pales to its competition.

Matthew Moskovciak Senior Associate Editor / Reviews - Home theater
Covering home audio and video, Matthew Moskovciak helps CNET readers find the best sights and sounds for their home theaters. E-mail Matthew or follow him on Twitter @cnetmoskovciak.
Matthew Moskovciak

The video-streaming product category is getting crowded. There's the Apple TV, Vudu, Xbox 360, Netflix Player, and PlayStation 3, not to mention the traditional video on-demand services from cable and satellite providers. Sony's Bravia Internet Video Link (also known as the BIVL) is fighting in the same space, but it starts out with one significant handicap--it only works with newer Sony Bravia LCDs.

If you don't already have a Sony Bravia LCD and don't want to buy one, don't worry about it, as you're not missing much with the BIVL. While it does differentiate itself significantly from its competition by offering lots of free content, we felt like we got what we paid for--most of the content was lackluster. More annoying was the sluggish interface, which was only made worse by haphazard organization of the program material. It wasn't all bad news, as the BIVL did reliably stream the video clips we selected, and the recent addition of Amazon's Video On-Demand service makes it more appealing. But, at the end of the day, almost everyone will be better off with one of the aforementioned alternatives, all of which offer better user experiences.

Read the full Sony Bravia Internet Video Link review.