Sony plugs its TVs into the web

[intro] Sony's announced a nifty box for its new Bravia TVs that allows them to stream high-def videos from the web. Unfortunately, it's only 'selec

Sony's announced a nifty box for its new Bravia TVs that allows them to stream high-def videos from the web.

The Internet Video Link (IVL) is a box that looks similar to LocationFree (i.e very unexciting), and will make its debut on the new S-Series displays from this summer in the US (Sony couldn't tell us about UK availability). It connects via Ethernet to your broadband connection, and will be included with most of this year's Sony's Bravia range.

The bonus with the IVL is that, unlike Apple's iTV, it works without a computer, but it's a very limited experience at the moment. You can't browse the web to pick your favourite videos – instead the early content is some slim pickings from Sony's launch partners AOL, Yahoo and Grouper.

Still, as you can see above, it's got a nice X-Cross menu system, which is basically a glammed up version of the one seen on the PSP. Another nice touch is the the RSS feed channel, which brings together info like weather and traffic updates according to your zip code (yes, the yanks will be getting it first). The first telly to support it will be the S-Series 720.

Dotted around Sony's stand were a few other intriguing products: some prototype OLED displays (including a mighty impressive 27in model), a new wireless digital music streamer called the WA1, and the VAIO TP1, an attractive oval-shaped media center. We'll have more on these in later posts.