Sony brings internet TV to PlayStation

Sony has become the first company to offer an online television package designed to fully replace a cable subscription, Bloomberg reported. The product, first announced at CES back in January, is called PlayStation Vue. The company had solved a number of problems people had been hoping internet TV would address, but failed to address others.

A number of attempts at streaming-TV services, most notably Intel's OnCue system, had foundered due to failure to strike deals with content companies.

Sony already had a deal with Viacom for the supply of 22 channels, including Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central. Sony was now adding CBS, Discovery, Fox, NBCUniversal, and Scripps to its lineup, taking the total number to about 70. However, then list does not include many popular channels like ESPN, ABC, Disney, AMC, and the History Channel.

Andrew House, the chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, acknowledged that sports were a must-have and while Vue would not exclude live sporting events, like CBS's streaming service, it also would not be carrying many of the most important channels for sports fans.

The service would launch on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, and Sony was working on a version for iPads. The debut would come in limited beta available in the New York area later this year, with a commercial launch in the first quarter of 2015.

According to product comparisone website expertreviews.co.uk, Sony was taking on the likes of Netflix and Hulu with PlayStation Vue, a new cloud-based TV service. Vue would include both live and on-demand content without the need for a cable or satellite service and would launch in the US in the first quarter of 2015.

Vue would be available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 when it launches in New York, before it is offered in Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

The company first announced its intentions for a cloud-based TV service back at CES 2014, as rumours circulated for some months before that. Sony did not reveal details of how much PlayStation Vue would cost, but the service would be available on a monthly subscription. The service would be initially launched in New York by invite only.

In addition to live TV there would also be on-demand and catch-up TV with the previous three days of popular programmes available at all times.

Users would also be able to share their favourite shows to the cloud and watch them at a later date. Files stored in the cloud would be kept for 28 days, according to Sony.