Adam Turner June 24, 2012
Sony BDPS390, $179.
Despite all the talk of smart TVs, you don't need to buy a new television to tap into the world of online entertainment. Upgrading to a new Blu-ray player is the easiest way to watch online video from the couch. You'll need to hook up your Blu-ray player to your broadband connection - many new players make this easy thanks to built-in wi-fi capabilities.
Sony's Bravia Internet Video service lets you watch recent programs from the ABC, SBS, Seven and Ten. You'll also find a range of specialist video channels, such as Billabong, Wired and Livestrong. The icing on the cake is access to the Sony Entertainment Network and Quickflix, which allows you to rent movies and television shows. Music lovers can tap into Sony's Music Unlimited subscription service.
While Sony builds Bravia Internet Video into all its televisions and Blu-ray players, features from other vendors vary between models. For example, Samsung doesn't include full internet-video features in its basic BD-E5300 Blu-ray player - you need to look to the more expensive BD-E5500 and above.
Samsung lets you watch catch-up TV from the ABC and Seven, plus you can hire movies and shows from Quickflix or Telstra's BigPond Movies. There is also access to BigPond TV sport and news, with dedicated AFL, NRL and V8 Supercars channels. BigPond Music and the Samsung Music Hub cater to music fans.
It's worth noting that BigPond content doesn't count towards your monthly download limit if Telstra is your internet service provider.
If you're a BigPond customer and/or footy fan, you might lean towards the Samsung Blu-ray player, although you should also consider BigPond's T-Box media player. Otherwise, Sony's broader catch-up TV offerings might catch your eye.