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Sony is getting ready to launch its internet-based TV service with a private beta test in New York this month, and is aiming for a commercial launch within the first quarter of 2015.
The service, which is being called PlayStation Vue, will offer live and on demand programming from most but not all major broadcasters as well as a number of cable channels, and aims to win over PlayStation users with traditional cable TV subscriptions through features like a cloud DVR and a modern UI. “PlayStation Vue reinvents the traditional viewing experience so your programming effortlessly finds you, enabling you to watch much more of what you want and search a lot less,” said [company]Sony[/company] Computer Entertainment President and CEO Andrew House.
Vue will offer users programming from CBS, NBC and Fox, as well as cable networks affiliated with these broadcasters, including FX, Fox Sports, USA Network, Syfy and more. As reported earlier, Sony was also able to sign up Viacom to include channels like Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon. Other partners announced Thursday include Scripps (Food Network, HGTV and more) and Discovery Communications (Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC and more).
Notably absent from that list is ABC and any other Disney-owned network, including the sports heavyweight ESPN. Also amiss is HBO, which plans to target cord cutters and other broadband users with its own internet-based service next year.
PlayStation Vue subscribers will initially be able to watch the programming with PS3 and PS4 game consoles, but Sony wants to also launch an iPad app as well as apps for other devices soon. Presumably, some of that will also include Sony smart TVs already out in the market. Subscribers will be able to access any show on demand for three days after it aired without scheduling a recording first. Shows tagged for recording will be available for 28 days.
The service will initially just be available in New York to invited beta testers. The company wants to expand that beta test to Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Sony intends to launch commercially in Q1 of 2015, and we can expect the company to keep mum on final pricing until then. But with the bundle it has already amassed, one shouldn’t expect Vue to be cheap.