Sony is gearing up for the commercial launch of PlayStation Vue, a cloud-based TV service that will be available on the first quarter of 2015. The service will allow users to gain live TV and on-demand content access without having to subscribe to a satellite or cable service.

The streaming service will cater to PlayStation gamers. When it launches, users can begin with the activation by downloading an app on their PS3 or PS4 to get a free trial.

iPad users are also getting the service once the app becomes available on the Apple device.

PlayStation Vue, which was initially announced at CES in January, will start as an invite-only beta preview in November to certain owners of the PS3 and PS4 devices. A phased rollout will start in New York and will be followed by Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles.

"This is an opportunity, in my view, to fulfill a longer goal of transforming what was in the past a dedicated game device into a proper entertainment hub," said Andrew House, chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment. "There is nothing in entertainment as broad as the mass-market live-TV space."

One of the issues faced by most companies that offer streaming-TV services is the failure to strike deals with content providers. Sony on its part has initially been successful in striking a deal with Viacom which has agreed to supply 22 channels. These would include Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon. Now, Sony adds more companies to its lineup which brings the number of channels to around 75. The major programmers would include Viacom, Scripps Networks Interactive, NBCUniversal, Fox, Discovery Communications, and CBS. However, there is no indication if the company will soon be adding the History Channel, AMC, Disney, ABC and ESPN.

Sony is aware that it's entering an industry that is becoming increasingly crowded. With this in mind, the company has placed an emphasis on providing a service that has Web-like features and comes with a better interface compared to what is offered on cable television. The channels are not number-assigned but are arranged in groups. The service is designed to learn what the viewers like to watch and uses the information to offer a personalized channel. This way, the user can easily view shows based on a past activity.

Pricing and packaging details are yet to be announced when the product commercially launches. There are at least three things that users can be assured of when they get the service. These would be: no contracts, no equipment or installation charges, and no hidden fees or charges.

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