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Sony Launches PlayStation Vue as Internet TV Service

Sony has set a launch for the cloud-based TV service that it pitched at CES earlier this year.

Named PlayStation Vue, the web service will be accessible via PlayStation gaming consoles and given a soft invitation-only beta launch from this month in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. A wider commercial launch is anticipated in the first quarter of 2015.

The Sony Network Entertainment International-operated service will allow users to forego their cable or satellite services and access live TV and on-demand content.

Functionality includes catch-up TV and on-demand TV, with the past three days of broadcasting available without the need for users to make recordings.

In the beta phase it will start with some 75 channels including channels from CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Network and Viacom. Currently absent are channels from Disney, including notably ESPN, and Time Warner, as well as Netflix, Hulu or YouTube.

There are some 35 million Internet-enabled PlayStation consoles in the U.S.

Other devices including Apple’s iPads, Sony devices and others will be included later.

The price of the new services was not revealed, though Sony said that it would be “fair and competitive,” and not require long-term contracts.

CBS and HBO have both announced new ‘over-the-top’ subscription services that enable Internet users to bypass cable and satellite bundles.

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