In my opinion, the Bravia Internet Video Link will go down in Sony’s history as a forward-looking item that lacked the practicality and differentiation of services it needed to truly be successful in the market. In the world of Tivo, DVR’s (onDEMAND and DirecTV), AppleTV, and so forth, the device simply has an awkward sense of being in comparison. However, with a few simple tweaks, Sony Insider feels that Sony may actually have the framework for an optimal home entertainment device. Think with me here for a moment, and maybe with your comments and ideas we can inspire Sony accordingly.
The Bravia Internet Video Link needs a hard drive – at least 80gb – and a small form factor. Make it more HD centric in terms of features. In fact, give it the XMB interface and include the Playstation Video Store (and Netflix if you really wanted to kick the market’s butt). Retain Amazon Video on Demand, Youtube, and Slacker Radio but throw in Sirius/XM Internet streaming capability (which is available to subscribers for free) if people have subscriptions. A wild card, but totally possible if you could throw in some of the PlayTV DVR abilities with TV would be mint. This would be a killer device and could stand on better ground with the real market, but it all depended in one thing: you would have to maintain the $200ish price point. It can’t be priced higher than the PS3. Also get rid of that akward name – make it more unified and simple sounding, like Sony Video.
Integrating more of the Playstation XMB into a device like this would make the Bravia and Playstation people work closer together. Isn’t that what Sony is trying to achieve these days?