Sony to Launch PlayStation Vue Streaming Service in 3 Markets
Sony's PlayStation Vue service, now in beta, is set to launch in New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia within two weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported. This will be the first real challenge for the recently launched Sling TV service from Dish Network, and a test of whether or not cord-cutters prefer a smaller or larger bundle of channels.
While details are scarce, Sony PlayStation Vue will only be available through PlayStation 3 and 4 consoles at launch, and will at some point in the near future expand with an iOS app. The service will offer around 75 channels in each network. On the plus side, it will include features Sling TV lacks, such as a live linear CBS feed (although it won't have live linear feeds for the other broadcast networks), a cloud DVR, and an elegant interface. On the negative side, though, it's expected to cost between $50 and $80, it won't include ESPN, and won't support a range of devices at launch.
When Sony announced the service in November 2014, it said subscribers would get channels from Discovery Communications, Fox Networks, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks, and Viacom. Subscribers won't need to commit to a contract. Sony plans to launch the service nationwide by the end of the year, and has plans to grow it internationally.
The company cited the expense of network contracts as a key reason it will shut down the four-year-old subscription service in January 2020.
Sony also launches 4K HDR certification for Bravia TVs, and announces a new line of 4K LCD Bravia sets with heightened color displays.
Can an online service without ABC and ESPN succeed? Does the $50 per month price offer enough of a savings? Sony tempts people to cut the cord.
When will viewers finally take notice of the benefits of 4K video? When they can stream a live football or baseball game in glorious ultra-high definition.
At 0.2-inches, some of Sony's latest 4K models are thinner than a smartphone. Bravia sets gain the Android TV OS, with Google Play support.
Partnering with Level 3, Sony offers a vision for the future of live broadcast production, one that saves money and builds in flexibility.