Sony Network Entertainment has announced a new web-based TV product intended to bypass the need for traditional cable and satellite service. Called PlayStation Vue, the service will provide viewers with live, on-demand, and “catch-up” TV content. Sony’s service will make the last three days of popular television programming available for users via cloud technology, and users will have access even without having recorded them.
According to Sony, it seems one of the core concepts of PlayStation Vue is the ability of viewers to find the content they want much easier, and Sony boasts smart search and exploring technology to this end. Vue will also provide recommendations to viewers based on their viewing habits and preferences.
We’re not talking custom channel lineups, however, which is what consumers really want. Instead, PlayStation Vue will offer a limited channel package (we’re hoping all channels are in HD) for less than most TV service plans. The New York Times predicts the cost will be at least $60 per month.
What the service will bring, however, are the benefits of not being tied down to a one or two year service contract (Vue will be month-to-month), there will be no installation or equipment rental fees, and Sony promises no hidden charges or fees.
As of now there’s an invite-only beta for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 owners, during which time about 75 channels will be packaged for different markets. Networks already signed on with PlayStation Vue include CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks Interactive and Viacom.
As The New York Times pointed out earlier, the starting lineup does not include major network ABC. Other networks missing from the lineup include ESPN, premium networks such as HBO, and Time Warner-owned channels.
During the beta period, the service will first be offered in New York, followed by Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The service is expected to launch in full to a wider market in the first quarter of 2015.
“Everyday TV is about to become extraordinary with our new cloud-based TV service, PlayStation Vue,” said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Although the service is currently only available for PlayStation 3 & 4 consoles, Sony is working on an app for the Apple iPad. And, Sony plans to add support for other devices in the future.
Source: Sony Network Entertainment