Sony unveils new PlayStation cloud-based online TV service
Joseph O'Halloran
| 13 November 2014
Claiming no less than to have 'reinvented' the TV experience, Sony has unveiled a cloud-based TV service enabling access to live TV and on-demand content without cable or satellite.

SOnyCEThe fruits of a collaboration between Sony Network Entertainment International and Sony Computer Entertainment, the new PlayStation Vue combines live, on-demand and catch-up TV content to offer viewers what the CE giant calls 'unprecedented' personalisation and simplicity.

At the heart of the new service, which makes the past three days of popular programming available without the need to schedule recordings, is advanced recommendation and smart search facilities. An explore function allows viewers to filter the entire catalogue of live and on-demand content by type of programme, genre, ratings, popularity, length and other key criteria.

With content availability being the ultimate factor in such services, Sony has secured licensing deals with studios and content providers including CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Network Interactive and Viacom.
During an invite-only beta preview, PlayStation Vue will initially offer around 75 channels per market from the major programmers, including local broadcast stations, so that viewers can enjoy their favourite movies, TV shows and sports programmes. At launch Vue will offer the live linear signal from CBS Television Network's owned and operated TV stations in select leading markets in addition to on-demand prime time programming.

The Fox agreement also covers the studio's portfolio of national entertainment programming services and its owned and operated television stations, crucially including sports channels. NBCUniversal will offer NBC, Telemundo and regional sports networks, while Discovery will bring the flagship Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Family Channel and 11 more brands. Scripps will add among others HGTV, Food Network and the Travel Channel, and Viacom will see the addition of Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and more.

"Everyday TV is about to become extraordinary with our new cloud-based TV service, PlayStation Vue," commented Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment and group executive in charge of its network entertainment business. "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. PlayStation Vue brings the best of live TV and a robust catalogue of the latest content, always keeping you connected to what's popular, new and trending. Today's announcement builds on the historic success of PlayStation 4 and demonstrates what our company is capable of when we embrace disruption and stay true to gamers."

Vue is slated for commercial launch in the US during the first quarter of 2015 and will begin an invite only beta preview during November 2015 for select PlayStation4 and PlayStation3 owners, with a phased roll-out starting in New York followed later by Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The online TV service will also become available on iPad shortly thereafter, and later on more Sony and non-Sony devices.