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 $39.99 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…
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 $39.99 per month to $74.99 per month.
Here are the channels that you get with Access, the cheapest plan:
AMC, Animal Planet, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CNBC, CNN, Destination America, Discovery, Discovery Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, diy Network, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, Fox Business, Fox News Channel, FREEFORM, FX, FXX, HGTV, HLN, Investigation Discovery, msnbc, National Geographic, NBCSN, OWN, oxygen, Pop, SCI, Syfy, tbs, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, truTV, USA, WE
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.
However, you can check which broadcast channels are available in your area by visiting psvue.com/plans.
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.
Programming saved to your DVR 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?
Like the other streaming services, PlayStation Vue requires a high-speed internet connection. However, as I mentioned earlier, a PlayStation console is NOT required to watch.
I used Google Chromecast to stream shows on my TV. Here are some of the other supported devices:
- PlayStation 4 consoles
- PlayStation 3 consoles
- Roku players (firmware 7.7 and up)
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV (4th gen running tvOS 10.0 and up)
- Android TV (Android OS 4.4 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…
Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to test out DirecTV Now, Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV and now PlayStation Vue. PS Vue and YouTube TV are my two favorites.
PlayStation Vue’s performance was the strongest of the bunch — there was absolutely no buffering while watching live TV.
Its cheapest bundle costs $39.99, which is double the price of Sling TV’s $20 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 $40 to $75 per month, so you should stay on the lower end if cutting costs is your primary goal.
If you’ve narrowed it down to PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV, take a closer look at the channel lineup. YouTube TV is a few bucks cheaper per month, but it doesn’t include Turner networks like CNN, TBS and TNT.
Not ready to switch? Call your cable or satellite provider!
Before you make any moves with your pay TV service, comparison-shop and give your current cable or satellite provider a call to see if they offer a skinny bundle at a lower rate.
If that’s the case, you may be able to get more of the channels you want for less than you’re paying right now!
More Clark.com stories you may like:
- 4 things to know about Hulu's live TV streaming service
- Should you sign up for YouTube TV?
- Clark's take: Here's why I canceled DirecTV Now
- 5 things to know before you sign up for Sling TV