Sony's PlayStation Vue Video Streaming Service to Rival Cable and Satellite Packages

Technological change is rarely smooth. It's often riddled with hurdles, and plenty of trial-and-error. When it comes to shifting the way we watch television, from the conventional pay-TV package to online-based IPTV offerings, it's an ongoing challenge. That said, Sony has become something of a pioneer in trying to forge ahead in the space, suggesting many months ago that it was working on an Internet-delivered television offering that would eventually compete with the cable and satellite packages available now.

That service will be called PlayStation Vue, and more details are seeping out concerning its particulars. Initially, Vue will require a PlayStation console, giving Sony complete control over the user interface and giving users a "personalized, searchable approach to watching live and on-demand television that is delivered over an Internet connection." Testing is expected to begin this month with users in New York City, with other cities to receive it in Q1 2015.

To start, Vue will offer around 75 channels, including CBS, Fox, NBC, Discovery, MTV, Food Network, and a few other Viacom selections. Interestingly, deals with ABC, ESPN, and Time Warner have yet to be ironed out, so early adopters can certainly expect a few obvious content holes. That said, Sony executives are said to be in "active discussions" to ramp up the service with even more material so it can better compete with what's already on the market.

Eventually, Vue will also extend to products beyond the PlayStation, looking to capture the attention of cord cutters who have given up on traditional pay-TV offerings. Price wise, Vue could cost around $60 per month, which is certainly lower than most cable bills, but hardly a bargain considering that ABC, ESPN, and a few other major components are left out. Plus, it won't include access to Netflix and Hulu, so when you add those subscriptions in, you won't end up saving that much cash.

Still, it's a laudable approach. The future of TV is clearly in its formative stages, and pricing/options are bound to iron themselves out in time. Many users were hoping that the dawn of Internet-delivered television would enable more choice, less bundles, and better pricing, but as of now Vue just seems like a conventional cable bundle that's delivered over an Internet connection with a far slicker UI.