Sony's PlayStation Vue 'just paying for cable over IP,' review says

Launching officially in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia Wednesday, Sony's PlayStation Vue over-the-top pay-TV service was subject to its first press reviews.

The opinions are mixed.

"Compared to Sling TV, the Vue service is both more extensive and more limited," wrote Wired, expressing a duality of viewpoint. "The good news: The base package of channels includes 55 networks and sports channels, including CBS, NBC, Fox, TNT, TBS, Fox Sports 1 and 2, NBC Sports Network, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, MTV and MTV 2, FX and FXX, and Food Network, among others. Sony says AMC programming will also be available in April. Sling TV, by contrast, starts you out at 17 channels, with package upgrades that can fill out your lineup to 47."

The bad news, according to Wired? The $49.99-a-month base price, which the tech pub says renders Vue "not really cable-cutting in terms of price; it's just paying for cable over IP--without all the extra channels."

Users have the ability to add regional sports channels such as YES Network and Comcast SportsNet, upping the price to $60 a month. Sign on to the "Elite" package, which has more than 80 channels, and the price jumps to $70 a month.

Note that this price is still lower than the speculative $80-a-month figure that some media analysts had bantered around in the runup to Vue's launch. But it also comes without access to Walt Disney Company channels, most notably ABC and ESPN.

Conducting its own tire-kicking, CNET came to largely the same conclusions: Vue isn't really cord cutting.

"Paying for Vue in addition to paying an Internet service provider creates a total cost that approaches what a consumer might pay for both video and Internet from a cable company," CNET wrote. "Vue will also indicate how much the PlayStation base of users is interested in entertainment coming all through one source."

For more:
- read this New York Times story
- read this Wired story
- read this Wall Street Journal story
- read this Gizmodo story
- read this CNET story

Related links:
Sony limiting rollout of PlayStation Vue pay-TV service to major cities at launch
Sony unveils pay-TV service PlayStation Vue … sans ESPN
Rumor mill: Sony's new pay-TV service to be priced at around $80 per month
Ergen: Sony's upcoming OTT service is the real disrupter, not Sling TV