Googling yielded a number of techniques to stream media from linux over the home network. Some that did suit Bravia and some that did not. The easiest one to work with was minidlna server. Snappy install and my Bravia recognised it like any other streaming website. I am running the minidlna server for my music and photos and all the content that is in DVD/mpeg2 format.(How to install on linux)
I do have some videos that came to me as avi and minidlna does not support transcoding. (There are some that describe how to do it with Windows but no out of the box solution with linux yet.) Google for PS3 Media servers I stumbled upon a PS3 Media Server for Linux - which is a java application that streams and transcodes nicely.
To get the video to be non-jittery and avoid ffmpeg/tsmuxer crashing I had to tone the transcoding down to Lowest Quality. Even with that the video is pleasing albeit a bit grainy in some cases. Documentation suggests allocating more memory or CPU might help.
To support all this I also installed a bunch of libraries described by many to help transcode,mux and display thumbnails.. The instructions are for mediatomb but these libraries work with other dlna servers.
Next stop Getting mediatomb to work on linux and bravia