Sony’s new PlayStation Vue is an internet TV service which the company is positioning as an alternative to traditional cable. Customers will get access to about 70 channels of live and on-demand content, a digital program guide, and personalized channels based on the content you like.

PlayStation Vue will be available in limited beta in New York this month, before rolling out in additional markets in early 2015. It’ll also be available only on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles at launch, but Sony plans to bring Vue to iPads and other devices soon.

sony playstation vue

Sony has worked out deals with big names including CBS, NBC, Fox, and Viacom so there’ll be around 70 channels available initially, including Discovery, MTV, Nickelodeon, SyFy, USA, HGTV, and Comedy Central.

But Bloomberg Businessweek points out ABC, ESPN, AMC, History, and other big name channels won’t be available unless Sony reaches deals with those networks in the future.

All told, Sony seems to be using its clout to provide one of the strongest internet-based alternatives to traditional cable, satellite, and FiOS plans… but PlayStation Vue is very much in the same class as those services. It’s not a Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Vudu-style service and it probably won’t be priced like one.

Users will be able to watch programs within 3 days of their original air date even without recording them in advance, but if you do “record” a program by saving it to the cloud, you’ll have to watch it within 28 days. You don’t get access to entire seasons of programming.

While some folks are suggesting the PlayStation Vue is aimed at so-called “cord cutters,” the truth is you’ll still need a relatively speedy internet connection actually use the service. Since many internet service providers offer discounts when you bundle TV and internet service, there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually end up paying less by switching to a service like PlayStation Vue… and it’s not clear that Sony is positioning Vue as a cheaper alternative to regular cable packages.

Sony hasn’t announced pricing yet, but the company is hoping it’ll stand out due to its convenience, personalization, and other technology-driven differences from traditional cable… not necessarily the price.

via The Verge

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6 replies on “Sony hopes to replace your cable TV service with PlayStation Vue”

  1. One thing we can hope for is industry pressure to unbundle Internet service from TV, which an offering like this needs to thrive. As things stand now you can’t really save more than pennies by chopping the TV service from your account, whether your provider is cable, DSL, or whatever. This will be tough, since the sports mafia makes a ton of money by forcing all customer to subsidize their “content for cave men” channels.

    1. I absolutely agree; I hate that the “Discovery Channel” and “History Channel” are, for whatever reason, trashed full of crap, ranging from fake auctions of the contents of storage units to hill-billies hunting alligators or searching for mythical creatures.

      1. Having to choose between watching people running around in the woods at night with a camera looking for Bigfoot and a bunch of people throwing a ball back and forth is not a position you want to put me in as a potential customer.

  2. It is Sony. The remote will not be compatible with anything else. It will cost more than the competition. It will try to install a rootkit on your smart TV. After buying it Sony will remove features.

    1. Yeah, and about a year from the release date, Sony will be disappointed in the device sales, discontinue the service, and leave you with an expensive paperweight.

      My cable is bundled with my phone and internet, but the internet bundle discount is only about $5. The cable portion of the bill is about $80, so I could save a lot by cutting the cord. I would be more excited about this if it was someone besides Sony. I would rather it be from a company with some tenacity.

  3. Minus any discussion of missing channels price might not be the only issue. Three days to watch seems pretty reasonable. That frees up time/hassle of actually selecting what to record. Not to mention my cable box is about 10 or 20 seconds off actual time. I think it is probably the processing time as if you play a channel on the box and on a TV directly at the same time you can hear the timing is skewed later on the box.
    The upshot of this is that you end up missing the final punch line of a lot of shows. The only way to fix it is to add an extra minute to the record time. That messes up recording anything following depending on how many shows you are trying to record because there are only so many tuners.
    The fact I’m still futzing with setting up record times in 2014 is insane. This idea that the show releases on a given date/time and I can watch it any time after that – and in its entirety – makes much more sense. Of course there are an impressive number of ‘on demand’ shows on the cable box too. Most of them gimped you can’t fast forward. That’s asinine and annoying. It makes the on-demand service all but useless to me.
    If Sony or Dish or whomever can bring a service which streams well, is intelligent about paused shows restarting, can FF, has a decent interface, and provides the channels I want – then I don’t care if it doesn’t cost less. It might even be OK if it costs more.
    Given Hulu+ showing ads on top of charging plus the fact that my cable box on-demand is gimped up at the behest of content owners and not the cable company (I would guess) – I don’t have a lot of hope that Sony’s service won’t be gimped.
    Well – at least pending the final outcome of the Aereo case as it relates to non-live replay. Also pending the outcome of new noise about over-the-top operators being given the same status as cable companies.

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