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Sony is exploring how to expand its existing IPTV efforts into a fully-fledged service to compete with cable and satellite TV.

The Japanese firm has approached various media companies about gaining the rights to stream Sony's TV channels, as well as other already-established ones, over the web in the US, According to people "familiar with the situation" cited by The Wall Street Journal.

The company reportedly plans to stream programmes to Sony devices such as PlayStation consoles, phones, tablets, TVs and Blu-ray Disc players.

Sony already offers movies and some TV shows through its net-connected TVs and the PS3. Right now, the model is a 'buy or rent' one, but it wouldn't take too much effort to convert this into a subscription-based IPTV service along the lines of US cable channels like HBO or even broader services like the UK's Sky and Virgin.

Last week, Sony CEO Howard Stringer spoke of a new kind of television set, a challenger for Apple TV, which the firm had been working on for the past five years. ®

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