Sony Bravia Internet Video Link (DMX-NV1)

The Good Slim module can be mounted out-of-sight on back of the television; reliable, hiccup-free video streaming; works seamlessly with Sony's XMB interface; supports Amazon Video On Demand; a lot of free content.

The Bad Only compatible with select Sony televisions; sluggish interface and poorly designed menus; most of the content can be freely accessed from the Internet; free content is mostly lackluster; video quality is poor in many instances; doesn't stream media from a PC; superior alternatives available.

The Bottom Line The Sony Bravia Internet Video Link (DMX-NV1) will stream Web video and Amazon Video On Demand to your Bravia HDTV, but its slow interface and limited content options will have you looking at alternatives.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Performance 6.0
5.6 Overall

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Sony Bravia Internet Video Link (DMX-NV1)
Sony Bravia Internet Video Link (DMX-NV1)
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Price $200 Amazon Marketplace $198 Amazon.com $80 Amazon.com $130 Amazon Marketplace $559 Amazon Marketplace
Design
6
8
7
7
10
Features
5
9
8
9
6
Performance
6
8
9
8
9

Review

Sony Bravia Internet Video Link (DMX-NV1)

Editors' note: Sony has announced that Netflix streaming will be coming to the Sony Bravia Internet Video Link this fall.

The moment Sony's Bravia Internet Video Link (also known as the BIVL or DMX-NV1) was announced last year, we knew the product would face an uphill battle. What could Sony's proprietary video streamer offer that you can't already get from Apple TV, Xbox 360, Sony PS3, Vudu, or the Netflix Player from Roku? Well, Sony's main answer is free content. While most network media streamers focus on movie rentals or subscription services, the BIVL's backbone is bringing content freely available on the Web--from places such as YouTube, Blip.TV, CBS, and Sports illustrated--and putting it on your HDTV. Recently Sony announced the addition of Amazon's Video On Demand service, giving you the option of renting in addition to the free content.

That might sound good on paper, but using the device is a whole different story. First off, most of the free content is lackluster--the video quality is poor, many of the clips are short, and most of the content just isn't compelling. Secondly, finding the content is difficult as the interface is sluggish and much of the content is haphazardly categorized and out-of-date. If the BIVL still sounds enticing, you may be disappointed to find that it only works with recent Sony Bravia LCDs--you can't just add it to any old HDTV. That leaves a pretty small audience of people who would still be interested in BIVL. Granted, the addition of Amazon's Video On Demand has made the product more compelling, but with superior alternatives such as the Apple TV, Netflix player, TiVo HD, and the SlingCatcher, it's hard to recommend. If you really want to watch YouTube videos, Web video clips, and rent movies from Amazon on your new Bravia HDTV with minimal effort--and don't mind a sluggish interface--the Bravia Internet Video Link gets the job done. But regardless of whether you have a compatible Bravia, almost any of those alternatives will be a better choice.

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