Internet in television

Sony-40NX700Television has its limitations, but it still remains unsurpassable as the big screen, social media for the living room. Television is also changing. It is perfectly possible to use your computer (even mobile phone) to sample video content from the internet, and the variety and quality of internet video is evolving all the time. Yet, combining lean-forward interactivity and lean-backward broadcast media experiences is not completely without its problems. It was interesting to notice that the first televisions with integrated internet video services have started to enter the market. Our choice was Sony KDL-40NX700 model. It is not one of the latest 3D models (Sony brought also some of those out during the summer), but it has rather decent image quality and I really like the way Sony has implemented the user interface. The best improvement to older televisions has proved to be Bravia Internet Video, which is Sony’s implementation of internet video into television. It provides Youtube and a load of other video sources (even one key Finnish one, YLE Areena) in an easily browsable, unified interface. Even HD video works fine, but a full HD video stream might lag and stutter for a moment if not paused for a moment for buffering the download. (We have a 8/2MB DSL connection, and television is connected using Wi-Fi, n+ standard modem.) Otherwise, with lower quality bitstreams, the video works surprisingly well.

Sony BDP-S470The television was bundled with a blu-ray player, BDP-S470 model. These things have improved as well. Unsurprisingly, KDL-40NX700 and BDP-S470 work together excellently. Also, the player upscales DVD disks so fine that the difference to blu-ray is not so great. Happy for that. Shame though that it was impossible to get all key features in one device. For example, Sony has omitted a “presence sensor” system from NX line, even while you can find it from the EX models. Weird choice.

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the University of Tampere, Finland.

One thought on “Internet in television”

  1. The possibility to look up the children programs from Yle Areena service have been the real hit with the new telly so far. Not so much need to keep neurotically programming stuff for hard disk storage. Not having your favourite shows vanishing from the online archive would be even better though. But the direction towards internet integrated with television is definitely clear. I heard from somewhere that Netflix is expanding beyond the US, and there is surely more market for quality streaming media services. The key issue nevertheless is close enough integration with your main device (in livingroom, the television), otherwise those services will remain in the margin.

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