Sony's Web-Based PlayStation Vue Designed to Replace Cable Boxes

Nov 13, 2014 07:07 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

Sony Network Entertainment International LLC, a unit of Sony Corp of America, introduced a new cloud-based TV service this week called PlayStation Vue, which is expected to be commercially launched sometime during the first quarter of 2015.

The web-based TV service will allow users to access live TV and on-demand content without a cable or satellite service, the company said to Reuters.

The service provides on-demand and catch-up TV, and makes the last three days worth of television programming available without the need to schedule recordings.

PlayStation Vue will allow users to earmark their favorite shows and networks, access personalized recommendations and look for programming in a way that is similar to using the web instead of a traditional television guide.

"We're hearing from these consumers that they are heavy consumers of entertainment, but in some senses, I think that they are most at risk of cord-cutting based on a frustration of not being able to really access and surface the content that they really want to see,"  said Andrew House, group chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, according to The New York Times.

PlayStation Vue will begin an invite-only beta preview during November for select PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 owners.

A phased rollout is expected to start in New York, followed by Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

"It looks very similar to your cable and satellite subscription, but they are innovating on the user experience," said Rebecca Glashow, senior vice president for digital distribution and partnerships at Discovery Communications, one of Sony's network partners, according to The New York Times. "It's more Internet-like in the way that you navigate, search and discover content."

PlayStation Vue will initially offer around 75 channels per market from major programmers, such as CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBC Universal, Scripps Networks Interactive and Viacom, during the invite-only beta test.

The service will also be available for iPad users soon, and later on more Sony and non-Sony devices, according to the company. 

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