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Sony’s BRAVIA Internet Video Link or "BIVL" for Short

by Team Sony 11/09/2007

One thing I can say about Sony with a touch of humility is that while we sure do create some truly outstanding and innovative products, we could use a little help in naming them.

The most recent example is the new BRAVIA Internet Video Link.  In its first incarnation, this device comes in the form of a roughly $300 hardware module that clips on to the back of our 2007 line of BRAVIA high-definition televisions.  It allows you to access streaming Internet videos for free from a variety of content providers right on the TV set without the need for a personal computer.

Among them are videos from AOL, Yahoo!, Crackle (the former Grouper now owned by Sony Pictures), Conde Nast, Sports Illustrated and blip.tv, which was recently rated No. 1 in a PC World reader survey of the best user-generated content sites.  In addition, Sony Pictures is now offering new Internet channels through the service.  And in the near future, we expect many other famous and not-so-famous (yet) providers to contribute content for the service, which internally we fondly refer to as "BIVL" because the full name is such a mouthful.  

  

Based on the selections and capabilities of the content providers, BIVL can also stream high-definition content, which I believe is an industry first. 

In another touch of Sony integration, content from the Internet service can be navigated through very easily on a BRAVIA television set with Sony’s Xross Media Bar (XMB) user interface, which received a Technical Emmy award and was adapted from work originally done by engineers from Sony’s Playstation development team. Despite the long name, the BRAVIA Internet Video Link represents a unique, "PC free" approach – and just the beginning of one – to the whole concept of IPTV. That said, at the outset, you need to have a broadband Ethernet connection in your home where your BRAVIA TV is set up.

This clever interface lets you switch channels smoothly and quickly regardless of whether the content is coming from broadcast, cable, satellite, BIVL internet content providers or RSS sources.  (Speaking of which, getting the latest RSS feed with local news – while not the sexiest – is probably one of the most used and one of my favorite BIVL services.)

But what’s so cool is that if you have a flat-panel set and hang it on the wall, you don’t even notice the module is there since it’s so sleek and thin.

If you have one of the new flat-pannel BRAVIA LCDtelevisions you may notice that they already have two sets of slots on the back panels, so in the future you will be able to add yet another module.  Within Sony, our engineers are already working on future modules that will offer a variety of services that will add value to a BRAVIA HDTV.  Just imagine, for example, clip-on modules that are wireless, feature hard drives for storage and recordability, offer Blu-ray Disc capability, are powerful AV receivers, provide direct Internet download capability (sans a PC), and more.  These are a few of the many possibilities, so stay tuned.

I invite you to visit one of the 40 Sony Style stores around the country or any of our retail partners who are carrying the Bravia Internet Video Link module and check it out for yourself.  Hopefully, you won’t let it’s long name stop you from giving it a test drive. My colleagues and I would greatly welcome your feedback.

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  1. guest_user wrote: November 9, 2007 4:38pm

    Yes, I agree quite a name! How about designing a Bravia with a built in wireless Internet Video Link? It’d be nice to have a network port as well on the back of the TV! Also how about adding some storage capacity, let’s say 500 GB? That would be some nice TV! I sort of have that set up right now with PS3, but would not mind to have an all-in-one bundle. IPTV seems to be the near future experience for many viewers, some of them are already enjoying it with FIOS. I do not have the BIVL, and was wondering if the those providers are streaming HD or SD content?

    Reply
  2. guest_user wrote: November 12, 2007 3:39pm

    To Stan M.,

    There is no streaming HD content through the BRAVIA Video Internet Link yet, but there will be as soon as the content providers decide to offer up HD.

    Reply
  3. guest_user wrote: December 10, 2007 10:34am

    BIVL is really an innovation, it would be great if they add a wireless keyboard that communicate with BIVL box which should allow you to go to any website,
    then it will be awesome. 50% of the desktop market will be down.

    It may be hard to provide an ethernet connection next to the TV, if BIVL comes with wireless adapter then all re-wiring can be avoided.

    Reply
  4. guest_user wrote: December 10, 2007 7:37pm

    Thanks for your input Senthil,

    Wireless is certainly on the radar screen, along with a variety of other new applications for this technology. Please stay tuned for more news to come in the months ahead.

    Reply
  5. guest_user wrote: December 28, 2007 9:05am

    Will it work with other TV’s or just a SONY? Not that I don’t like SONY but the TV’s that I have now are made by others.

    One other question, theres no cost now but will there be for the videos and how would they audit the charges?

    Reply
  6. guest_user wrote: December 28, 2007 8:27pm

    Hi Grant,

    The BRAVIA Internet Video Link and other modules to come (stay tuned at CES) are specifically designed to add value and differentiate BRAVIA TV sets,
    so they only work with the latest Sony televisions.

    As for the content, all is free for now. Of course, it is up to the content providers to determine what content to offer and how to do so. Thus, it is possible that certain providers might decide to offer premium content in the future, which they decide to charge for.

    Reply
  7. guest_user wrote: December 29, 2007 12:38am

    Hey Grant,
    The Bravia Internet Video Link module will only work with Sony Bravia models introduced in 2007, those TVs have a special DMeX port to accommodate it.
    As for the future charges for the video content (I guess you meant something like Pay-per-View, again no such plans were announced), a credit card would be required.
    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  8. guest_user wrote: March 11, 2008 5:25am

    I like it, & want it for my newly acquired 46V3000, but I need wireless.

    I cannot see this taking off at all without wireless, which must be easy to
    add ?

    Can’t understand how this was launched without wireless capability

    Reply
  9. guest_user wrote: September 27, 2008 1:17pm

    I have a KDL-40V2500. Any way to make the BVIL work with this model?

    Reply
  10. guest_user wrote: September 29, 2008 6:01pm

    Gary,

    BVIL is not compatible with the KDL-40V2500 model.

    Reply
  11. guest_user wrote: January 12, 2009 6:37pm

    How do I redeem the free Amazon video rentals that came with my KDL-
    52WL140 television I purchased last December?

    Reply
  12. guest_user wrote: January 13, 2009 2:02pm

    Mike,

    Thank you for your question. This promotion was conducted through Amazon,
    not Sony. You will need to contact Amazon for details on this.

    Reply
  13. guest_user wrote: January 21, 2009 7:52pm

    Some Content Providers like Amazon.com, CBS or Showtime don’t appear on
    my menu bar. Are there some restrictions regarding my location? I’m using the
    BIVL outside the US.

    Reply
  14. guest_user wrote: July 18, 2009 6:05pm

    BVIL is not working with the KDL-46V5100 model. need help

    Reply
  15. guest_user wrote: August 18, 2009 11:14am

    i just purchased a kdl 46vl160 bravia. does it connect directly to the internet or do i need to purchase the video link unit? also, do i need a wired internet connection or will wireless work? dave

    Reply
  16. guest_user wrote: August 19, 2009 2:19pm

    Hi Dave- The kdl 46vl160 BRAVIA is not compatible with the BRAVIA Internet Video Link. You can check out all of our compatible models here:

    http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&categoryId=558&N=4294966130

    Reply

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