Sony’s Cord Cutting Problem

Dave Zatz —  April 21, 2017

Sony serves up one of the very best cord cutting offerings of a small, but growing, gaggle of services that largely replicate cable bundles in aggregating a number pay channels, but served up over the Internet, with more modern interfaces and features (except when they don’t). Unfortunately, by going with “PlayStation” Vue branding, confusion has arisen as, it’s become clear to me, that many folks don’t realize the agnostic service can be accessed from Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, and other non-Sony hardware. So, amidst this backdrop, it appears the company may be rethinking some things.

Sony emailed a small group of PlayStation Vue subscribers a survey called the Vue Naming Survey. Sony asked several questions about naming different areas. One area that was shared with Cord Cutters News was about a new name for the DVR section.

20 responses to Sony’s Cord Cutting Problem

  1. I’ve been a Sling subscriber ever since they launched and have been following the various cord-cutting services as they’ve launched. This is the first I’ve ever heard that Playstation Vue was available on devices other than Playstations (which I don’t own), so I never even gave it a look. The branding is definitely causing a perception problem.

  2. I use PlayStation Vue on a fire stick. I love it but you are right it is confusing.

  3. Alexander Sukhodolsky April 21, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    The only reason I knew the PS Vue service was available for Roku is ’cause I’m a techie (and I read this blog). Now if only they could implement a decent tv guide screen for Roku…

  4. What horrible branding. I never even considered it, assuming its for Playstation game console only. I’m sure the majority of cord cutters think the same thing. Just call it Sony Vue and expand your potential market instantly. Or call it Xbox Vue and really confuse things.

  5. This is not true cord cutting. It is a slim cable package as I would still be paying for channels I don’t watch / want. I refuse to pay packaged channels that I don’t need.

  6. You and I basically agree — just swapping one aggregator and one pipe for another aggregator and another pipe. However, most consider bypassing the traditional pay television providers for Internet delivery to be ‘cord cutting.’ Further, it turns out a la carte pricing isn’t really sustainable or economical. But it’s good to have (more) choices.

  7. Cord cutter for 6 years, Roku w/Netflix, Amazon, VUDU.

    I’ve never confused the service with only being able to work on a PlayStation, though I see how anyone could mistake that.

    The real problem is PlaystationVUE, SlingTV, and DirecTV are relatively expensive. More fractional options are needed, smaller packages, cheaper prices.

  8. I am PlayStation vue subscriber for 3 months now.I have no complain so far.I don’t watch a lot TV or channels. For me I switch just cut down on my expenses. If any others streaming services TV plans go over $35 I will cancel my services. The new generations don’t watch a lot of TV anymore.That’s why I don’t understand why cable services should not cost anyone more than $40/month.Cable company’s and cellphone company’s should think about reducing price cost on these services.Too much profits is bad too for the peoples.

  9. I imagine Sling TV’s base $20 plan hits the sweet spot for many. It has most of what my wife would watch.

  10. “I imagine Sling TV’s base $20 plan hits the sweet spot for many. It has most of what my wife would watch.”

    Sure. But the problem is QoS / UX, in countless many-faceted ways.

    Were it not for my NBA addiction, I could find a skinny bundle streaming package that would easily fit all my needs. But if I did so, I wouldn’t watch nearly as much TV, because the QoS / UX issues would lessen my enjoyment in doing so pretty drastically.

    (Also, I’m lucky enough to live in a location with multiple competing MSO’s, so I can get a good enough price on a multicast bundle that were I to try to semi-replicate it with streaming-only, it’d cost me more money.)

  11. DISH’s Sling TV is in a similar, though smaller, boat, owing to the “Sling” replication. I was just speaking with someone who was confused over Slingbox vs Sling TV.

  12. Vue user for over a year here. Could care less if that makes me a cord cutter or something else. Our TVs are wherever we want without regard to where cable outlets live. And each one has a sound bar mounted above and a small fire TV hooked up.

    I just grew tired of cable boxes and bad interfaces. We watch sports live and everything else off the DVR.

    Comcast internet is great. Not using TV from them has been refreshing.

  13. “Could care less if that makes me a cord cutter or something else.”

    Huh. How much more could you care less? A lot? Frankly, I think you shouldn’t be so damn troubled about the semantics of your setup.

    “I just grew tired of cable boxes and bad interfaces.”

    It’s just too bad you weren’t exposed to a blog extolling the glories of TiVo, and its superb UX for your multicast/OTT experience. You could have had it all, if only you’d been aware.

    Now you’re stuck with a lousy UX, and you don’t even know it, all because you weren’t aware something better existed. Oh well, such are the indignities of this vale of tears.

  14. Really, how primitive can humans get? Does anyone do any research? Hello?? I knew this from day one, and in two seconds.

  15. Is this really “cord cutting”?

    I would call it anything but

    It’s pay TV, delivered digitally. And most of the major MVPDs will be delivering a similar product soon.

  16. Chucky, to answer how much I could care less, a fair amount. I’m not that emotionally invested in any of these platforms.

    But I could care less, so I skipped the usually couldn’t care less statement.

    What I do care greatly about is the lack of equipment on the wall and the absence of visible wires, and a universal remote (thanks Harmony).

    Because happy wife, happy life.

    Seriously though TiVo has a great interface. But Fire TV is a better input 1 device for us. Better Netflix and Amazon client, more choice in cable replacements, no need for an antenna as I get 3 of 4 networks live in Miami, ABC and CW via on demand at no extra cost so I’m pretty content.

  17. Speaking of could or could not care less, looks like my move is on for next month. Former resident had an HDMI switch box coming off the family room wall mount conduit controlling a Fire TV and a FiOS set-top. As a short term, simple solution I’m thinking a new Roku TV (TCL C Series, 55″ maybe) and a single HDMI cable to TiVo or Mini, so I skip the switch box but give up Fire TV in the family room. No audio on the short term too, other than built-in speakers. Have about a year of projects/expenses, including a radon remediation system, fence, and new office furniture that take precedence.

  18. “What I do care greatly about is the lack of equipment on the wall and the absence of visible wires, and a universal remote”

    I hear ‘ya. But if you wanted to do so, you could run TiVo Minis via WiFi with a bit of infrastructure. The only extra equipment blighting your environment would be a small WiFi -> Ethernet device at each TV.

    And, of course, a decent TiVo remote, while not “universal”, would at least control your TV power and volume.

    But it’s all about tradeoffs. I’m not MRV, but if I had 8 TV’s in a suburban home, I value the TiVo UX enough to easily make the decision to use WiFi -> Ethernet device. YMMV, of course.

  19. I’m not unfamiliar with TiVo. We had Roamio two Minis in our prior house using MOCA adapters. And perhaps it’s greatly improved with current gen equipment, but we are rapidly shifting our viewing towards Prime and Netflix. Their clients were slow. Although their Season Pass capability for stuff like that was top notch.

    Current house we would need WiFi adapters which weren’t great back in the day with TiVo. But the plus with my setup is I can switch tomorrow to Sling, DirecTV Now, Hulu when it launches, YouTube when it hits my area, back to Vue, or take a month off. And I can go from Fire TV to Apple TV to Android TV to Roku and back whenever I choose.

    If I purely rated things based on UIX, TiVo would be way up on my list.

  20. “If I purely rated things based on UIX, TiVo would be way up on my list.”

    Yeah, like I said, YMMV. For me, UX trumps most things.

    I’m an NBA junkie, and subscribe to League Pass. Now, if you’re an NBA junkie, HD really changed the whole game. You can see things on the far side of the court that literally were invisible watching SD. A lot happens on the far side of the court.

    And League Pass on the multicast only has 1 channel among 10 in HD. In other words, 90% of the games, give or take, are in SD on the multicast.

    So, you’d assume I’d watch League Pass via an OTT client, right? Everything is in HD, after all. Wrong. At the beginning of each season, I do try, and the UX of the OTT client is so utterly appalling compared to the UX I get via multicast/TiVo that I give up after a week, and watch the games in goddamn SD.

    But yet again, YMMV. We all have different priorities, and different things which most matter to us.