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Sony surprises with cloud-based PlayStation Vue TV

Subscrption TV service will provide live and on-demand content through the cloud, with major US networks available at launch

Sony is taking on the likes of Netflix and Hulu with PlayStation Vue, a new cloud-based TV service. Vue will include both live and on-demand content without the need for a cable or satellite service and will launch in the USA in the first quarter of 2015.

Vue will be available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 when it launches in New York, before being available in Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Sony will make the service available on iPad shortly afterwards before bringing it to other Sony and non-Sony devices when it launches fully later next year.

Sony first announced its intentions for a cloud-based TV service back at CES 2014, with rumours circulating for some months before that. Sony has revealed no details of how much PlayStation Vue will cost, but the service will be available on a month-to-month subscription. The initial launch in New York will be invite only.

Deals have been struck with a number of major US TV networks including CBS, Discovery, Fox, NBCUNiversal, Scripps and Viacom. Vue will launch with around 75 channels with the selection varying in different parts of the USA. According to Sony the breakdown of channels will be as follows:

CBS – At launch, PlayStation 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.

Discovery Communications – Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Family Channel and 11 more brands.

Fox – Fox Networks Group’s portfolio of national entertainment programming services, including – FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD. Additionally FOX Sports’ national and regional programming services – FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, BTN, Fox’s regional sports networks, including YES Network and Prime Ticket. The agreement also covers Fox’s owned and operated television stations.

NBCUniversal – All local offerings from NBC, Telemundo and regional sports networks as well as Bravo, CNBC, E!, NBCSN, Oxygen, Sprout, Syfy, USA Network and more.

Scripps Networks Interactive – HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network and Cooking Channel.

Viacom – BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, PALLADIA, Spike, VH1 and more. Transparent Pricing with No Commitments

As well as live TV there will also be on-demand and catch-up TV with the previous three days of popular programmes available at all times. Users will also be able to share their favourite shows to the cloud and watch them at a later date. Files stored in the cloud will be kept for 28 days, Sony said.

Sony Vue will let users search for programmes and filter through live and on-demand content by genre, popularity, length and other options. The service will be launched fully in the USA during the first quarter of 2015 but there’s no word yet of a launch in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.

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