Sony's Forecast still 'Cloudy' for some Meatballs

Sony seems to be taking a notorious chapter from the cellphone companies on how not to treat loyal current customers at the expense of new ones they're trying to recruit.

Since Sony also owns a movie studio, and that studio is nearing the Blu-ray and DVD release of its theater hit "Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs," the firm is offering to let new buyers of its online-connected Bravia HD units to download for free the title in any 24-hour window between Dec. 8-Jan. 5 — just before it goes to video discs and is available via rental venues such as Netflix and Blockbuster. In other words, the offer is good for nearly a month prior to its regular release.

But what if you recently purchased an Internet-connected Bravia HD set from Sony? You're flat out of luck, unless, of course, you don't mind shelling out a whopping $25 for the same title download within the same four-week timeframe.

That's about what the film's standard DVD itself will soon cost (and probably close to holiday come-on Blu-ray price points, as well) — not to mention several times what Netflix and Blockbuster customers will pay to rent the same title on DVD and Blu-ray.

Perhaps adding insult to injury, according to a Sony statement the free movie download to new Bravia sets will be 720p — not the higher 1080p quality threshold made available via Blu-ray.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs, indeed.