Released within a firmware update earlier today for Europe and Asia, Sony added widgets that enable Bravia TV owners to check updates on Twitter and Facebook as well as improve the quality of YouTube videos. With the new Facebook widget, Bravia owners can log into an active Facebook account and pull up a feed similar to the design of Facebook Mobile on a smartphone or other mobile device. Besides scrolling through various status updates from friends, users can view photos and videos in high definition in addition to opening URL links, posting status updates and sending messages to friends.
Bravia owners also have access to the Twitter Ticker in the new update. Similar to a ticker on a national news network like CNN, Twitter updates from followed users scroll across the bottom of the screen while watching television. The widget also ties into the Track ID function built into Bravia televisions. When a user hears a song they would like to identify and press the Track ID button on the remote control, the track title and artist is identified and the user has the option of sharing the track with Twitter followers.
The YouTube improvement allows Bravia owners to watch the high definition version of YouTube videos and Sony claims to have included image-enhancing technology to clean up the video quality. Another addition includes a program called “Remote Keyboard Lite” that allows users to enable a PC to control actions on the television screen. For instance, a Bravia owner could use a laptop to type out a Facebook status update while watching a movie. While no date has been announced for these new features to reach all Bravia owners in the United States, customers in Europe and Asia can download the update through an Internet connection on the television or download the update on a USB drive to load manually onto the Bravia television.