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Christopher

SI: Sony’s Qriocity Video On Demand Service Now Available

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Qriocity is a streaming video on demand service (e.g. no download) partially introduced by Sony earlier this year during CES, and was set to debut on 2010 Sony BRAVIA TV’s, Blu-ray players, and several home theater systems in February. The service wasn’t activated until yesterday for the aforementioned devices and the related website is now live. It’s significance is so strong that it is a main icon on the XMB and as a button on many 2010 Sony remote controls that belong to networked TV’s and Blu-ray players.

Qriocity has hundreds of HD ($5.99) and SD ($3.99) movies initially available, with titles from 20th Century 20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, The Weinstein Company, Lionsgate, Warner Brothers, Universal, MGM, and of course Sony Pictures. You can view on the Qriocity website which movie titles are available.

According to several of my sources, the catalog will receive consistent, healthy updates to make it attractive to consumers. The interface was very quick, and is aesthetically pleasing – miles beyond what the traditional consumer is probably using with cable or satellite on-demand services. Every movie has a trailer.

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I’ve already watched a HD movie trailer on Qriocity, and with the wireless connection the TV was using (an EX series BRAVIA with the included UWA-BR100 Wi-Fi adapter on a 802.11g connection) the results were pretty good – somewhere around 720p-1080i. Qriocity judges your Internet connection and plays a bandwidth optimized version. With higher bandwidth connections (very easy in many markets), it could be that kind of solid 720p/1080i that leaves you satisfied. I would definitely love to see what the picture quality looks like in a 802.11n environment, or hardwired through ethernet.

What’s also interesting is that the PlayStation Network Terms of Service was altered yesterday with specific mention of Qriocity, which basically reveals that Qriocity is also coming to the PS3 (and possibly PSP):

To access Sony Online Services, you must create an appropriate Sony Online Service account (either a PSN account or Qriocity account). Through Qriocity’s Video on Demand service (“VOD”), you may purchase and view content using selected BRAVIA televisions or Sony Blu-ray Disc players (“VOD Devices”). Through PSN, you may purchase content and services offered on either PSN or Qriocity, such as new levels for your favorite games, comics, movies, television shows or original programs. You may view your content using SCEA-authorized devices, including a PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, PSP (PlayStation Portable) systems, personal computers and VOD Devices. You will also be able to participate in SCEA’s online community in PSN and PlayStation Home, (including chatting via voice and video with your friends) and play games online. Existing PSN accounts will not have to create a separate Qriocity account to enjoy the benefits of Qriocity. If you’ve created a Qriocity account, you may transition that account to a PSN account. Sony Online Services may not be available, or may not be supported, in some countries and some languages.

How to enable Qriocity now -

Connect your BRAVIA, Blu-ray Disc Player or home theater system to the Internet.

Use your remote control to navigate to the Qriocity icon on the XMB (XrossMediaBar) and select ‘Link an Account’. Here you will find your device activation code needed. Go to the Qriocity website and sign into your account (you can use your PSN ID, or create a new account). Select your device and click the “Activate” button. Follow the instructions. It’s very easy, and after trading a few letters around I was watching a trailer quickly.

* – If you already purchased a 2010 BRAVIA TV, Blu-ray Player or home theater system and the Qriocity service is not active, go to Settings > Network > Refresh Internet Content. Run the update, and then return to the XMB – several new Qriocity options should be available on the far right.

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