The Wall Street Journal reported that Sony Corp. plans to commercially launch its video streaming service, PlayStation Vue, in Chicago, New York and Philadelphia within the next two weeks. Entry into the video streaming service will be by invitation only, and more than a thousand residents in these three markets are expected to participate. PlayStation Vue is scheduled to go live across the nation by the end of the year.
Sony revealed its intent to launch a video streaming service back in November 2014. The invite-only service consists of around 75 channels per market and includes channels from CBS Corp., Discovery Communications, Fox Network Group, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks Interactive and Viacom Inc. Additional content partners are expected to be revealed at a later date.
"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 Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment. "PlayStation Vue brings the best of live TV and a robust catalog of the latest content, always keeping you connected to what's popular, new and trending."
During a recent interview, House said that the new streaming service will help redefine the PlayStation brand. He also admitted that the company is still in negotiations with other media partners, but he is confident that these talks are "moving forward positively." So far, Sony has yet to land a deal with ESPN parent company Walt Disney. However, he assured the press that PlayStation Vue will provide loads of sports entertainment even if ESPN never joins the lineup.
Currently, potential viewers can only watch PlayStation Vue on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. Console owners can take advantage of the service's "catch-up" feature that stores the viewer's favorite shows for three days without the need for recording. PlayStation Vue will also have on-demand content so that viewers can sit and relax with their favorite shows on their own time. Even more, TV shows can be recorded and stored in the cloud for 28 days.
News of the upcoming streaming service arrives after Sony launched PlayStation TV in late 2014. The set-top-box consists of a PlayStation Vita card slot, a memory card slot, one USB port and an HDMI output. The device also provides an Ethernet port for wired networking and Wi-Fi connectivity. Owners can stream games from the PlayStation 4 to their PlayStation TV unit, or play games that can be installed locally.
The device made its debut with a $99.99 price tag, but now it sells for $79.99 at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Gamestop and Sony's online store.
PlayStation TV owners may see the video streaming service offered on their devices by the end of the year. If Sony wants to compete with other video streaming services, it will need to break away from the Sony consoles and be made available on tablets, smartphones, Roku set-top-boxes and so on. The Wall Street Journal reported that PlayStation Vue will also be made available on the iPad, so that should be good news for Apple customers wanting a cord-cutting solution.
With competitors like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Sling TV on the market, Sony has a long uphill battle to face. Cord cutting seems to be a growing trend, and it's one that Sony may have needed to enter back when the PlayStation 4 was launched.
So far, Sony hasn't released pricing for PlayStation Vue, but we expect the service to cost a bit more than Sling TV's $20 per month price tag.
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How many people even have the bandwidth to handle that?
Sony needs a unique angle to really stand out in an already saturated market. I don't see it yet.
HEVC and H.265 used by netflix and amazon only requires 15-18mbs - and the forthcoming Google 4K service using VP9 is similar.
Why do you think 4K is so bandwidth hungry?
Because it is, to get decent regular HD streaming on Netflix, it can take as low as 3-5Mbps....4k is a huge jump and as more people get stuck with bandwidth/data caps, it will be even less practical, not to mention hardly anyone has a 4K TV, my friend just got one and can watch almost nothing on it right now. But once Comcast rolls out their country wide data caps (they are already running it in certain areas) most people will be stuck with it costing a lot of money to stream 4K to anything.
I already have data caps and pay double what I did a year and a half ago so I can get enough bandwidth to cover my cord cutting ways, with all the downloads I do for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Xbox and Steam, I'm lucky to stay under my monthly limit, there is no way I could even think about adding 4K streaming or something like Sling TV even to my already clogged up data usage and this will become the norm sooner than later and all of these streaming services will start flopping because people are going to have to pay a ton more to now use their internet to access TV, the more people cut the cord, the more the cable providers will charge you for your internet access to circumvent their TV services ;)