Conde, Blip Join Sony’s Crippled Web TV Service

Conde Nast’s CondeNet, Time Warner’s Sports Illustrated, Sony Pictures and have all signed on to Sony’s Bravia Internet Video Link service. So what does that mean?

It means all four companies will make some video available via Sony’s odd attempt to match Microsoft, Apple and everyone else at the convergence play. Sony is selling a $300 box that attaches to the back of its popular Bravia TV sets and lets consumers watch a limited menu of Internet video content on their sets. In addition to the four providers announced today, Sony has struck deals to port Web content from AOL, Yahoo and Sony/BMG.

We were at the Consumer Electronic Show this year when Sony unveiled the box/service, and while it received respectful nods from our fellow tech scribes, we were baffled by the concept then and remain confused. If you’re going to watch Internet video on your fancy TV, don’t you want access to whatever bounty the Web has to offer?

Of course you do. But Hollywood doesn’t like that, because it wants to protect the value of the TV shows and movies it makes. And Sony, of course, is both a gadget and content-maker, so its devices are often more hamstrung then most when it comes to this kind of channel conflict. Which makes for interesting stories, but crippled products. Add this one to the list. Release