Have you heard of PSVue? If you haven’t, now is as good of a time as any — especially if you have been trying to “cut the cord” and get rid of cable.
In March, Fortune reported that the rate of customers dropping their cable and satellite TV providers had reached an all-time high. At the same time, internet TV subscribership has grown.
While 79 percent of households still pay for cable, subscribership has steadily decreased since the “cord-cutting” trend began in 2010. Analysts at MoffettNathanson Research report that 3.4 percent of cable customers dropped their service in 2017.
This is compared to 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, and just one percent in 2015. Approximately 13.5 million households do not currently pay for traditional cable. Analysts expect that number to rise to 15 million by 2020.
If you want to “break up” with your cable company, you have a lot of available options from which to choose. Of course, you’ll still need internet. But today is a brave new world where TV entertainment is concerned.
Hulu, Netflix, Crackle, Amazon Prime, PlayStation Vue, and many other streaming services all offer you a wide selection of entertainment options, but PSVue aims to be ‘more than any of the rest.
What is PS Vue?
Playstation Vue is one of many options “cord cutters” have as a replacement for traditional cable. While Playstation is already a household name because of its gaming empire, you may not realize that the company also offers a way for you to ditch cable and still watch everything you love.
PSVue features a wide selection of live TV channels, on-demand video, and even an included cloud-based unlimited DVR.
PSVue emerged onto the scene in 2015 but lagged behind rivals like Sling TV and DirecTV Now. Recently, Playstation’s streaming TV service began making some changes and improvements. This has helped PSVue match or even beat its competition in numerous areas.
Earlier this year, Sony announced that you can now use PSVue without a television. The inability to do so was a significant problem that was holding the service back, so this news was well-received by the public.
The Vue works on numerous platforms — the Playstation 3 and 4, Roku streaming devices, Google Chromecast, Android devices, Apple products, Amazon products, and more. But if you have a Microsoft Xbox 360 or Xbox One, you’re out of luck. You can’t use Sony’s streaming service on those devices. The console wars have progressed to downright hilarious (and petty) levels, with Sony recently blurring a Microsoft controller in a Destiny commercial, after all.
Outside the service’s expected lack of compatibility with Sony’s main competitor’s systems, you can watch PS Vue almost anywhere.
Playstation Vue has four plans to choose from, as well as a good number of add-ons. With the streaming service’s overall affordability, you can probably afford to slide in some extras.
One major drawback is that you won’t find Viacom channels like MTV and Comedy Central on PS Vue. Presumably, this is by design as a means of controlling subscription costs. But if that doesn’t matter to you, you’ll find the PS Vue’s offerings to be like a somewhat less expensive version of the cable.
Local channels are also available.
Access is the base package. It offers customers more than 45 channels, including CNN, SyFy, Disney, ESPN, and many others favorites.
PSVue Core has an impressive 60-plus channel lineup. It’s only a few dollars more per month than Access. It’s also required for some of the add-ons like the Sports Pack.
Core adds regional Fox Sports channels, NFL Network, and others sports channel.
Elite adds Epix Hits, BBC World News, and numerous sports options to your lineup.
Ultra is Vue’s most substantial package. You get everything Vue offers, including Showtime and HBO.
Playstation Vue has numerous extras available. While spending extra money on add-ons is always a decision one must make carefully, you’ll find them to be surprisingly affordable.
Epix Hits adds a new channel and a sizeable on-demand library of movies.
The Español Pack gives Spanish speakers more entertainment options, adding nine Spanish language channels.
Playstation Vue already has robust sports offerings, but the Sports Pack dramatically expands those. This includes NFL RedZone, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Fox College Sports, and other favorites. If you’re a sports fan, this is the ultimate package for you.
HBO is included in Vue’s top-tier package, but if you want to add it at a lower level, you can do so.
Showtime is also included in the Ultra package, but it can be added to a lower tier.
Cinemax is not included in any package, but you can add it. You can also bundle it with HBO.
Fox Soccer Plus
It offers an incredibly comprehensive soccer experience you’re not going to find anywhere else. If you love soccer and rugby, this is something you’ll want.
Hi-Yah! features the best Asian Action cinema has to offer. If you love martial arts action, this is one channel you can’t afford to pass up.
PS Vue Features
PS Vue has some pretty good perks. You can have up to five simultaneous streams and unlimited DVR. Yet there are some important caveats for you to consider.
Playstation Vue’s DVR
Playstation Vue has a slightly different take on video recording than some other services like Dish Network. While Dish Network’s DVR is limited by space, Vue records all the shows you want no matter how much space it takes.
However, the recordings only stick around for about 28 days. In other words, you’re placing a time limit on yourself. While the number of episodes you can record is unlimited, you can only record up to 500 individual programs.
Also, some programs don’t let you watch them while you’re recording them. This makes it hard to use the DVR to skip commercials during a live broadcast.
PS Vue is great for large families, as you can have up to five streams going at once. However, you can’t stream your service on your parents’ account from your dorm room three states away. All streams must connect to a home network at a single address.
Sony’s mobile apps make a lot of the features you normally enjoy available to you, but some channels don’t support mobile viewing. Some programs only support DVR viewing at home as well, which can be frustrating. At the same time, Comcast also has limits on shows that can be watched outside your home network, so this is not without precedent in the industry.
You can also only have a single Playstation 3 or 4 streaming at a time.
What Are Some Alternatives to PS Vue?
Playstation Vue is not the only beast in the jungle for cord-cutters to consider. Sling TV, DIRECTV Now, YouTube TV, and even Hulu have strong offerings for people who want to cut the cord.
Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV includes 50+ channels and access to the base Hulu product. Unfortunately, you are limited to two screens at once. Though you can watch on Android, iOS, AppleTV, Chromecast, and Microsoft Xbox One, device availability is extremely limited.
Sling TV has Playstation Vue beaten.
Sling’s a-la-carte model is great if you want a “skinny” experience without paying for features you don’t want. But if you want a full experience, you could wind up nickel and diming yourself to death.
DirecTV Now offers an insane amount of channels. Its most expensive package gives you 120+ channels with more premium options available. The satellite giant’s base package gives you more for your money than does
By default, DirecTV Now offers two simultaneous streams. By default, you get 20 hours of recorded shows per month, and content will be deleted after 30 days.
YouTube is already a household name. The sole package includes 60+ channels. At the moment, YouTube TV is only available in select locations. YouTube TV also lacks add-on options.
It does have a very generous cloud-based DVR feature, however. You will be able to record unlimited shows. You also get six accounts per household, each with its own login.
If you’re looking to “cut the cord” and combine all your TV into one place, YouTube TV may be a decent option, but other options are better.
How does PlayStation Vue Match Up?
Each streaming live TV service has its perks and drawbacks, including PS Vue. This doesn’t mean that you should just blindly subscribe to Sony’s service. Most if not all of these streaming TV providers offer free trials of some sort.
When these services are considered holistically, however, you will probably get the best overall value and experience from Playstation Vue.