But have you heard about PlayStation Vue? It’s another option to consider — and you don’t need a PlayStation console to use it.
4 things to know about PlayStation Vue’s live TV streaming service
A PlayStation Vue subscription starts at $44.99 per month and comes with about 45 channels, including Disney, ESPN, TNT and Bravo. You don’t need a cable box and there are no long-term contracts.
I signed up for a free trial of PlayStation Vue to experience the cable/satellite alternative for myself! Here’s what I learned…
PlayStation Vue review: Table of contents
What channels do you get with PlayStation Vue?
Available nationwide, PlayStation Vue has four bundles to choose from: Access, Core, Elite and Ultra. They range in price from $44.99 per month to $79.99 per month.
Here are the channels that you get with Access and Core, the two cheapest plans:
PlayStation Vue "Access" and "Core" channel lineups
|PlayStation Vue “Access” plan:|
|PlayStation Vue “Core” plan:
|Animal Planet||Animal Planet|
|BBC America||BBC America|
|Big Ten Network (BTN)|
|Cartoon Network||Cartoon Network|
|CBS Sports Network|
|Cheddar Business||Cheddar Business|
|Cozi TV||Cozi TV|
|Destination America||Destination America|
|Discovery Channel||Discovery Channel|
|Disney Channel||Disney Channel|
|Disney Junior||Disney Junior|
|Disney XD||Disney XD|
|ESPN College Extra|
|Food Network||Food Network|
|Fox Business Network||Fox Business Network|
|Fox News Channel||Fox News Channel|
|Fox Sports 1 (FS1)||Fox Sports 1 (FS1)|
|Fox Sports 2 (FS2)||Fox Sports 2 (FS2)|
|Investigation Discovery (ID)||Investigation Discovery (ID)|
|Law & Crime Network
|National Geographic||National Geographic|
|Nat Geo Wild|
|Science Channel||Science Channel|
|Start TV||Start TV|
|TCM (Turner Classic Movies)|
|Travel Channel||Travel Channel|
|WE tv||WE tv|
What about local stations? According to its FAQ page, live broadcast feeds for ABC, CBS, FOX and/or NBC may not be available in some zip codes, but that shouldn’t be a deal breaker if you have a digital TV antenna already.
You can check which broadcast channels and regional sports networks are available in your area on PlayStation’s website.
In addition to the four bundles, HBO, Showtime and Cinemax are among the standalone channels that PlayStation Vue offers for an additional monthly fee.
Does PlayStation Vue include DVR?
Competitor Sling TV charges an extra $5 per month for DVR, but that feature comes included with PlayStation Vue.
When you add your favorite shows to My Shows (see the picture below), upcoming airings of episodes for that show will be saved for up to 28 days. You can save unlimited episodes on up to 500 programs — a very high capacity.
DVR content can be watched in and out of your home network, and you can fast forward through commercials.
What equipment do I need to get started?
I used Google Chromecast to stream shows on my TV. Here’s a list of supported devices:
- PlayStation 4 consoles
- PlayStation 3 consoles
- Roku Players and TVs (firmware 7.7 and up)
- Amazon Fire TV (all gens)
- Apple TV (4th gen running tvOS 10.0 and up)
- Android TV (all gens)
- On the web at psvue.com/watch
- Mobile and tablet devices
- iOS devices: iOS 9 or higher
- Android: Android phones and tablets running Android OS version 5.0 or higher
- Amazon: Fire HD6 tablets and above
- Google Chromecast (1st gen and up)
Can I watch PlayStation Vue on multiple devices at the same time?
Simultaneous streaming is one of the things PlayStation Vue has going for it. You can stream on up to five devices at the same time so that everyone in the house can watch what they want.
You can also create up to 10 different profiles on your account with personalized DVR and recommendations.
A few thoughts about PlayStation Vue…
PlayStation Vue’s performance was the strongest of the bunch — there was absolutely no buffering while watching live TV.
Its cheapest bundle costs $44.99, which is nearly double the price of Sling TV’s $25 package, but PlayStation Vue comes with more channels, an easy-to-use DVR and streaming on up to five devices at once.
PS Vue has plans from $45 to $80 per month, so you should stay on the lower end if cutting costs is your primary goal.
Still not sure which live TV streaming service to try? Call a family meeting and have everyone write down the channels that are most important to them. Our channel comparison chart can help!
All streaming TV services offer free trials, so you can keep trying them out until you find one that you really like.
PlayStation Vue: Pros and cons
|Up to 5 devices at the same time||Base plan is more expensive than some competitors|
|Cloud DVR included||DVR recordings only saved for 28 days|
|Many supported devices||Free trial is only 5 days (others are 7)|
Not ready to switch? Call your cable or satellite provider!
Before you make any moves with your pay TV service, shop around and give your current cable or satellite provider a call to see if they offer a skinny bundle at a lower rate.