Sony's PlayStation Vue just became an even better cable TV killer

Technology Editor
Yahoo Finance

Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation Vue is one of the best deals in over-the-top cable services, the term used to describe offerings that compete directly with traditional in-home cable TV. It’s got more than 100 channels, a nearly limitless DVR and the ability to watch TV on up to five devices in the home. And now the company is looking to make its offering more appealing by allowing for mobile sign up, access to regional sports networks and local broadcast channels outside of the home.

Despite its name, Sony’s PlayStation Vue isn’t limited to use on PlayStation consoles. In fact, the service is available on the Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku players as well as the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

Mobile users can also stream the service on Amazon (AMZN) tablets, Android and Apple’s (AAPL) iOS devices and Google’s Chromecast, not to mention laptop and desktop computers. For its latest update, Sony says Vue will now allow users to sign up and begin watching the service from their mobile devices and PCs instantly. Previously, you could sign up from your mobile devices, but you then had to return to your home network to begin watching on your mobile device.

You can now watch your home sports teams when you’re on the road with Vue.
You can now watch your home sports teams when you’re on the road with Vue.

As far as regional sports networks, Sony says users will now have access to networks like Fox Sports or NBC Sports even if you’re in another city. That’s a big benefit for sports fans especially with the NBA and NHL seasons running at full stream and the MLB season about to start.

Currently, if you’re out of your home area, you can’t view your local sports channel on your mobile device, which means if you’re a Mets fan, like me, you can’t watch your favorite team lose when you’re on the road. Now, though, you’ll have the chance to have your heartbroken wherever you are.

The addition of out-of-home broadcast stations will allow viewers who travel out of town to see local broadcasts rather than their own local channels. So rather than seeing your version of ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC, you’d see the affiliate for the area you’re in.

Sony’s PlayStation Vue offers more than 90 channels including HBO and Showtime in its top-of-the-line Ultra package which costs $74 per month. The base Access plan costs $39 per month and gets you 47 channels. You can also opt for add-ons like the 12-channel Sports Pack, the 8-channel Espanol Pack. Epix, and standalone channels like Cinemax, HBO, Epix and Fox Soccer Plus. The Vue, however, also includes a nearly limitless DVR and three-picture viewing, so you can watch 3 different shows at once.

That’s certainly more than Hulu Live TV, which, gets you 57 channels for $39 per month and offers add-ons for a cloud DVR and unlimited screens to view on. You can also select Cinemax, HBO or Showtime as premium channel add-ons. Google’s (GOOG, GOOGL) YouTube TV, meanwhile, offers 59 channels and 4 add-ons for $35 per month.

Dish’s (DISH) Sling TV offers two packages. The $20 Sling Orange option includes 30 channels for $20, while the Sling Blue package includes 45 channels for $25. Sling also gives you the option to select from a variety of add-on packages for $5 a piece including categories like Comedy Extra, Kids Extra and News Extra. Add it all together and you have 145 channels, though prices can go relatively high at that point. You also have to pay $5 for cloud DVR access.

Sony’s new Vue update will begin rolling out in the coming days.

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Email Daniel Howley at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.

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