Your cable company is about to get some competition.
PlayStation Vue, Sony's live, online streaming TV service that it introduced in only a few areas last year, is now going nationwide, so anyone who has a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 (or a device from Amazon) and an internet connection will be able to sign up for it and get their TV from Sony.
Previously, the service was only available in a handful of cities.
The lease expensive, "Access Slim" package comes with more than 55 channels, including AMC, Disney, and ESPN. It costs $29.99/month.
Like Sling TV, the live TV streaming service from Dish, PlayStation Vue doesn't have service contracts or added on fees. Vue also comes with a cloud-based DVR service, enabling you to save shows for later viewing without paying for extra equipment.
The big thing holding back the service, at least for now, are that you cannot get live local programming throughout the country. Programming from NBC, ABC, and Fox, however, will be available on demand within 24 hours after it airs live, and Sony says that "CBS live and on-demand programming will be added to select TV markets at a later date."
Also, you must sign up through a PS3, PS4, Amazon Fire TV or Amazon Fire TV Stick; once you're subscribed, you can access it through other devices, like an iPad or an iPhone.
Sony's announcement comes as the options to get TV without paying an actual cable or satellite company continue to balloon. You can now get HBO, Showtime, not to mention great programming on Netflix and Hulu, without paying for a TV subscription. According to the media consulting firm Leichtman Research Group, the 13 largest TV providers in the US lost about nearly 400,000 pay TV subscribers last year. In 2014, they lost 150,000, and in 2013, they lost about 100,000.
Here's the full announcement from Sony:
SAN MATEO, Calif., March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- PlayStation™Vue, the pioneering cloud-based TV service from Sony Network Entertainment International LLC (SNEI), is expanding nationwide today, extending the service to an additional 203 TV designated market areas (DMAs) to cover the entire U.S. Consumers in the newly launched TV markets will have access to PlayStation Vue's Slim multi-channel plans starting at $29.99 per month, with no hidden fees or long-term contracts. This expansion makes PlayStation Vue the first pay-TV service to be available nationwide that offers more than 100 top live sports, movie, and TV channels, with unique features such as simultaneous streaming and an unmatched cloud DVR.
"Since launching a year ago, our priority with PlayStation Vue has been to secure the best TV content for our audience and make it available to consumers nationwide; today, we're delivering on that promise," said Eric Lempel, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Head of PlayStation Network Americas, SNEI. "PlayStation Vue has been an ambitious project from the start, and national expansion demonstrates our ability to innovate in an industry that's overdue for a reinvented experience. Thanks to the strong network relationships we've forged and technology we've built, consumers nationwide can enjoy a better way to watch TV."
PlayStation Vue's Slim multi-channel plans in the 203 newly launched markets will include live and on-demand content from the most popular channels, such as AMC, Disney, ESPN and more. Content from ABC, FOX and NBC will be available only as on-demand content in the Slim multi-channel plans. Most on-demand content will be available within 24 hours after airing. CBS live and on-demand programming will be added to select TV markets at a later date.
SNEI is working to add live local broadcast stations across all networks to each of the new TV markets. Updated information on networks available in each TV market will be posted on http://www.psvue.com
Consumers in the newly launched TV markets can choose from one of three multi-channel plans starting at $29.99 per month. All plans include a seven-day free trial for first time subscribers.
Access Slim: 55+ channels, including live cable TV, movies and sports channels for $29.99 per month.
Core Slim: 70+ channels, including all the channels from Access Slim with the addition of live national and regional sports networks for $34.99 per month.
Elite Slim: 100+ channels, featuring all the channels from Core Slim with the addition of top movie and entertainment channels for $44.99 per month.
With an Internet connection and a PlayStation Vue TV-connected device, there are no additional fees, such as monthly set-top box fees, or long term contracts for PlayStation Vue.
The nationwide expansion gives more consumers a better option to watch popular live and on-demand TV content using PlayStation Vue's innovative streaming features – putting the audience in control of their viewing experience.
Cloud DVR – With an unmatched cloud DVR, users can record hundreds of shows at once with conflict-free recording. Thousands of hours of content can be stored on PlayStation Vue's cloud DVR, offering 10 times more storage than any DVR in the market today.
Simultaneous Streaming – With a single PlayStation Vue subscription, users can simultaneously stream content across different devices.
Powerful Interface – The intuitive interface seamlessly blends live and on-demand content and puts top programming front and center. It also offers powerful search and discovery tools, as well as the ability to "catch up" on popular programming within the past three days from a show's first live airing.
PlayStation Vue initially launched in March 2015 and offers its standard multi-channel plans in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco and Miami. The service is accessible through PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, as well as iPad® and iPhone® through the PlayStation Vue mobile app. Google Chromecast is also supported via compatible iOS devices.
Current network programmers include AMC Networks, CBS, Discovery Communications, Disney/ABC Television Group, ESPN, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks Interactive, Turner Broadcasting and Viacom. Standalone network channels, including SHOWTIME, Machinima and Fox Soccer Plus, are also available to users nationwide as a la carte offerings.
With a PlayStation Vue subscription, users can access programming from more than 60 network mobile apps or websites, simply by logging in with their PlayStation™Network email address and password. The mobile apps and websites are developed by network programmers and are a separate offering from PlayStation Vue, but can be used at no additional cost.