Sony to launch cloud TV service in the US

January 8, 2014 09.56 Europe/London By Robert Briel

Kazuo HiraiSony plans to launch a cloud TV service in the US later this year, CEO Kazuo Hirai announced at CES in Las Vegas.

“Sony’s new cloud-based live TV and video-on-demand service will redefine the ease and accessibility of live television, video on demand, and PVR viewing experiences,” Hirai said during his keynote.

“Sony’s vision for the future of home entertainment is grounded in giving you the freedom and choice for what you watch when you want to watch it and what you want to watch it on.

“The new cloud-based TV service in the US combines the live TV content people love most about cable with the dynamic experience they’ve come to expect from digital media services.

“The service will give you the most popular live TV programmes, combined with a large library of video-on-demand content so people will have all of their favorite movies, TV shows, and sports programmes available through a single destination.

“The service is distinguished by an intuitive and dynamic interface that gets to know you, as well as personalised channels that cater to your tastes. If a family member enters the room and picks up the controller, they can immediately access their own personalized menu. It also solves one of the greatest hurdles to live TV and digital media services: ease of content access.

“Our offering will enable you to quickly search and discover across live and video-on-demand content using intuitive, dynamic filters without having to use multiple boxes. You’ll also be able to discover new channels by seeing what your friends are watching and recommending, or by your viewing history.

“The service also provides the ability to watch and resume across various connected devices. So you can seamlessly switch viewing live TV or video-on-demand content from a PS4 in the living room to an iPad in another bedroom.”

Hirai said Sony is already well-placed to enter the video market, with over 70 million connected devices in US homes. Based on the number of users streaming videos over its various services, the company would rank in the top 5 cable and satellite providers in the US. The PlayStation 3 also is the number-one device in the world for watching Netflix in the living room.