Apple TV gets PlayStation Vue as questions linger about Viacom channels


Apple TV among latest streaming devices to get PlayStation Vue app

PlayStation Vue expanded to Apple TV on Thursday, so now the live streaming platform is available on nearly every major streaming device.

apple-tv-playstation-vueThe announcement was made in a blog post by Dan Myers, head of product for PlayStation Vue.

Apple TV users will be glad to know that they will be able to take advantage of some primo features on PS Vue like cloud DVR and simultaneous streaming. Hopefully, the user interface for PS Vue will also allow users to access on-demand content, which you can’t do on a Roku.

PlayStation Vue will work Apple TV (4th generation), and its Siri remote. You can check out their plans at the PlayStation Vue page, which will give you a channel lineup based on your IP address.

It’s been a tumultuous couple of months for Sony, and its PS Vue service. Scratch that. It’s been a tumultuous year for PlayStation Vue and there’s likely more changes to come before the close of 2016.

The latest blip came a week ago with the surprise announcement by Sony that all Viacom channels were being dropped in an apparent contract dispute.  

It was a serious blow to Vue’s channel lineup. Comedy Central, BET, MTV, MTV Live and Nickelodeon channels were among the causalities.

The channel blowout comes at a bad time for Sony. DirecTV Now is expected to launch a 100+ channel lineup for $35 a month by the end of 2016. Hulu and YouTube are poised to bring their own live streaming TV platforms in 2017. All three companies have built-in audiences from their existing businesses. The hope of these competitors is that they can attract millions of consumers. Drawing some disenfranchised Vue customers would be a bonus.

To Sony’s credit, the company has spent much of 2016 building out its availability to many streaming devices. Roku joined PS Vue’s ranks in June. Android TV devices like the popular NVIDIA Shield TV got their own app last month. And web streaming became possible for PCs and Macs earlier this month. Making PlayStation Vue available on Apple TV this week was a smart move.

Will Viacom channels come back to PlayStation Vue?

Sony has tried to address the Viacom fallout by adding BBC America and NBA TV. But the reception from customers has been lukewarm at best.

psvue-apple-tvBBC America isn’t a much of a value-add in terms of programming. There’s only so many episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation you can stomach. And BBC America is unable to fill holes in programming lost in Sony’s dispute with Viacom. There’s no Later…with Jools Holland – a BBC produced show that broadcasts in the U.S. on MTV Live. The movies being shown on BBC America are old and easily found elsewhere. Nobody needs a new channel so they can watch Braveheart. Even the Dr. Who content is sparse and lame.

More discouraging is that addition of Solaris, a channel also carried by Sling TV that feels like a YouTube channel operated out of somebody’s basement. Scratch that. There are YouTube channels run out of basements that are much better than Solaris. And they’re free.

I’m hoping choosing Solaris is a short-lived misstep, a channel I also dissed in my comparison guide of Sling TV vs PlayStation Vue.

Vue promises to bring the Vice channel, which is … promising. But I’m not holding my breath.

Another promising sign of hope comes from the channel grid of PS Vue. The Viacom channels have not been completely removed, signaling a hopeful resolution by year’s end.

Thomas E. Dooley, Viacom’s outgoing interim chief, was quoted in The New York Times saying the rift with Sony was “an ongoing negotiation.” For all we know, Sony’s deal may simply be some form of collateral damage from Viacom’s own struggles outlines in the Times piece.

Will Playstation Vue’s price go up?

With all the competition lurking on the horizon, PlayStation Vue needs to do something soon. And it needs to be exceptionally cool. Raising its prices (a rumor that’s been flying about) is an unlikely course of action. That said, companies can sometimes make spectacularly poor decisions. So far, Sony hasn’t been one of them.

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Apple TV gets PlayStation Vue as questions linger about Viacom channels
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Apple TV gets PlayStation Vue as questions linger about Viacom channels
PlayStation Vue expanded to Apple TV on Thursday, but questions remain about Sony's rift with Viacom
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Cord Cutting Report
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