Roku vs. Sony Bravia Internet Video

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Roku vs. Sony Bravia Internet Video

Postby keithshields » Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:11 pm

Does anyone have any experience with the Sony Bravia Internet Video feature that's available on some of their TVs? I can't find a lot of details about it, but it looks like it supports Netflix streaming, Amazon VOD, and Pandora like Roku, plus something called "Crackle" that I've never heard of before. They also have something they call "widgets", which sounds like plugins for weather, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

I kinda suspect Roku is "better" overall and probably has a stronger community that will cause it to continue to improve at a faster rate, but I'd be interested in other folks' experiences/opinions.

The reason I'm asking is because the Bravias I'm looking at have a build in ethernet port but wireless support requires the purchase of a dongle that runs about $80 (and I'll be putting the TV in a room where wireless will be needed if I want to connect it to the internet). For that price, I could just add another Roku box to my collection unless the Bravia Internet Video has something particularly compelling about it.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Roku vs. Sony Bravia Internet Video

Postby jcmolet » Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:43 pm

keithshields wrote:Does anyone have any experience with the Sony Bravia Internet Video feature that's available on some of their TVs? I can't find a lot of details about it, but it looks like it supports Netflix streaming, Amazon VOD, and Pandora like Roku, plus something called "Crackle" that I've never heard of before. They also have something they call "widgets", which sounds like plugins for weather, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

I kinda suspect Roku is "better" overall and probably has a stronger community that will cause it to continue to improve at a faster rate, but I'd be interested in other folks' experiences/opinions.

The reason I'm asking is because the Bravias I'm looking at have a build in ethernet port but wireless support requires the purchase of a dongle that runs about $80 (and I'll be putting the TV in a room where wireless will be needed if I want to connect it to the internet). For that price, I could just add another Roku box to my collection unless the Bravia Internet Video has something particularly compelling about it.

Thanks in advance!


I can't speak about the Sony Bravia Internet features; however, I do have Samsung TVs and BD players and their service - Internet@TV - with channels such as Netflix, Pandora, Blockbuster VoD, Amazon VoD, Vudu; and widgets for finance, news, etc. While the services and playback are fine, the UI is sluggish and the service just doesn't offer as much as Roku overall. I tried the various channels/widgets when I got my most recent TV and all worked as advertised, the overall service just was not compelling enough to use over my Rokus.
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Re: Roku vs. Sony Bravia Internet Video

Postby ThePhantom » Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:00 pm

I have a Roku, as well as a Bravia internet TV. The Bravia is fine -- not sluggish at all. However, like many other "connected" devices, the Netflix app limits you to access to your instant queue (no searching, browsing, etc.) If it weren't for my Roku on the other TV, using Netflix would be cumbersome at best... Amazon is a little better, but certainly not as flexible as the Roku channel.

Conversely, my Bravia set has not spontaneously rebooted, or exhibited any other vagaries, when streaming -- unlike my Roku...
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Re: Roku vs. Sony Bravia Internet Video

Postby CalvinMcGowan » Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:20 pm

keithshields wrote:Does anyone have any experience with the Sony Bravia Internet Video feature that's available on some of their TVs? I can't find a lot of details about it, but it looks like it supports Netflix streaming, Amazon VOD, and Pandora like Roku, plus something called "Crackle" that I've never heard of before. They also have something they call "widgets", which sounds like plugins for weather, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

I kinda suspect Roku is "better" overall and probably has a stronger community that will cause it to continue to improve at a faster rate, but I'd be interested in other folks' experiences/opinions.

The reason I'm asking is because the Bravias I'm looking at have a build in ethernet port but wireless support requires the purchase of a dongle that runs about $80 (and I'll be putting the TV in a room where wireless will be needed if I want to connect it to the internet). For that price, I could just add another Roku box to my collection unless the Bravia Internet Video has something particularly compelling about it.

Thanks in advance!

In my opinion, the content available via the Roku unit is greater in both quality and quantity than what Sony's Bravia Internet Video offers. Roku and Sony both offer access to Netflix, but Roku's Netflix interface is far superior to Sony's; Sony only provides access to your queue, which you'll have to configure via Netflix's web site, whereas Roku allows you to access and configure your queue directly via your Roku unit. Roku also allows you to search or select and then immediately watch a video from Netflix without using your queue, Sony does not. Roku and Sony provide relatively the same access to Amazon VOD. Roku and Sony provide identical access to Pandora. Sony provides access to Qriocity VOD, the Roku does not. Sony supports DLNA, the Roku does not. Roku's "channels" and Sony's "widgets" can pretty much be considered synonymous, and an attempt of comparing the content availability differences between the two would require writing a short essay. I own both, Roku and Sony, and in my opinion, Sony's Bravia televisions are a great product and I would recommend purchasing one, and then I would recommend also purchasing a Roku unit to compliment it. Have I emptied your wallet yet? And are you the Keith Shields that used to live in Polk County, Florida?
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Re: Roku vs. Sony Bravia Internet Video

Postby BoloMKXXVIII » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:10 am

The Sony HDTV has the same problem that all of these connected TVs have, the hardware is very expensive to upgrade. Sure they can update the software/firmware, if they choose to do so but who knows if they ever will? Basically what you purchase is what you will have for the life of the HDTV. Think about how fast the IPTV industry is changing. I would prefer to pay for a quality "dumb display" and have a inexpensive box that feeds it so in a year or so when something new and hot comes out it only costs $60 - $150 to upgrade. Sure you can use the Bravia the way it is now and add a box later, but just about every month Roku adds more channels. Why pay for a STB inside your HDTV that is already obsolete by the time you get it home?
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Re: Roku vs. Sony Bravia Internet Video

Postby keithshields » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:42 pm

Thanks to everyone for their feedback. Pretty much aligns with my thinking as well - Roku will likely be more agile in the future, etc. I do think the Bravia's support for DLNA might be interesting to explore in the near term (until Roku's finally get that support).

@Calvin - I'm sure I've been through Polk County a few times, but never lived there. Lived in Sanford (outside of Orlando) in the mid 70's and then Pensacola through the late 80's.
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Re: Roku vs. Sony Bravia Internet Video

Postby Arwen » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:30 am

keithshields wrote:Thanks to everyone for their feedback. Pretty much aligns with my thinking as well - Roku will likely be more agile in the future, etc. I do think the Bravia's support for DLNA might be interesting to explore in the near term (until Roku's finally get that support).
...


From looking at DLNA specifications briefly, (see the
2010/12/09 Tekzilla show 173 on Revision3, 6 minutes
into it), DLNA seems to require very little. Lots of
features are optional, like MP3 audio for home devices.

Their have been several discussions here in the forums
about DLNA as the drop dead must have feature for
the Roku streaming player. Do a search. Seems like
the Roku streaming player as it exists now, may never
get DLNA.

One thing to remind people in general, never buy
a product for an un-advertised feature. Roku has
never stated that the current Roku streaming
players will get DLNA.
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