Apple is rumored to launch a TV service later this year, but it will have to compete with Sony’s PlayStation Vue, which is now online in three cities; New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, starting at $50. It is available on PS3, PS4, and soon iPad.
A better TV experience
PlayStation Vue offers a total of 85 TV channels with most of the key channels included. The only notable network missing is ABC, which also means no ESPN and no Disney channels. The “Access” tier costs $50 per month. The “Core” tier with extra sports channels will cost $60 and the “Elite” tier $70.
Besides the missing ABC channels, this could look like a cord-cutters dream – at least if you still want to wait around for TV channels to broadcast the stuff you like. It is not fundamentally different than your typical TV subscription; it is not an on-demand catalogue like Netflix. But because everything is streamed over the internet, including live events, it will give you flexibility and more options compared to your typical TV set-top box.
First of all, you will have access to all shows broadcast within the last three days. You can also press record on any show and the “cloud DVR” will give you access to all episodes of the show broadcast in the last 28 days. You can “record” (by pressing R1) as many shows as you like. This is a cloud-based solution so you are not actually recording but just telling a server that you want access.
The interface is much nicer than what we are used to from most set-top boxes. A row of thumbnails will give you an overview of what you have watched, what you are watching and “Up Next” or recommendations based on your viewing patterns. It is a smarter TV experience, but you obviously need to turn on your device and load the app first. This is not an instant-on experience.
PlayStation Vue is Sony’s vision for the future of TV and it starts now. It is available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, and later iPad (and possibly Sony’s TVs?). If you live in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia you can sign up and try it for free for one week. No dates on other regions. Start “Vueing” here.