Thursday, March 19, 2015

Viewing With a Vue

PlayStation Vue is out! Sony has been working on the TV service for PlayStation owners for quite some time, and yesterday they released the application, which is available for PS3 and PS4 systems. Vue is a cloud-based TV service brining in live TV, sports, and movies without the need for a cable or satellite subscription.

Yep. No cable company required, except for your internet hook-up. Here's the catch: It's currently only available in New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Damn. I'm not in a tester market. But Sony is willing to give this a shot in the areas of dense population to really put the app through it's paces. If it can work in NYC, it can work anywhere.

There is a fee for the service and it is not "à la carte" as many were hoping for. Frankly, all of us were hoping for that. We're getting a bit tired of having 0 choices in our television channels, and no service out there offers people in the U.S. the option to choose what channels they wish to pay for. Still, the pricing for the service is fairly reasonable. For $49.99 a month you'll receive 50 channels, the most popular ones according to Nielson ratings. This would be Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TNT, TBS, NBC, CBS, and Cartoon Network. AMC will arrive next month. Given that selection I'd be willing to drop my current TV service for this. I really only swap between CC, TBS, CN, and ABC these days. For $59.99 you'll receive a bundle of sports channels and for $69.99 there are an additional 24 channels.

Here's the other downside: ABC isn't on the list, nor is ESPN or anything from Disney. Sony is in talks with the networks and hopes to have them available soon. The same with movie channels. So if you're looking to stay up to date with Game of Thrones, you'll have to look for an alternate method.

Vue looks a bit like the new PS menu screens, or XBox One, or Netflix - pick your poison. They are title slides that scroll across and allow you a better visual access to content. There are DVR options, though you can only save shows for up to 28 days, and because it's a cloud service they never actually store on your system so your hard drive can be utilized for other things (like video games). The service is month to month, no contracts. You can cancel as you wish. There are no set-top boxes. No set-up fees. No additional costs. You pay for the plan that you want, download the app, and go.

I can't wait for Vue to hit my market. It'd give me a reason to really consider giving up cable and vie for the cheaper internet packages.

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