Is Sling TV or PlayStation Vue a Better Option for Cord Cutters?
For years cable consumers have been clamoring for an ala carte style cable subscription package; and for years the cable companies have been ignoring them. The reason why is that it’s much more profitable to rope people into lengthy contracts and expensive subscriptions that it is to give the people what they want; but that’s slowly changing.
*** New Sling vs Vue Review Article published Oct. 2016. For the latest pricing details see our latest content.
The cord cutting revolution has left people looking for a proper cable TV alternative, and consequently many services have sprouted up to meet that demand. Aside from Netflix, the one of the most notable contenders in the cord cutting market these days is the Dish Network-owned Sling TV; which offers live streaming of over 20 television channels for $20 a month.
Not familiar with Sling TV? Read “WHAT IS SLING TV? Flexibility, Premium Content, Live TV at a Price we Can Afford.
Introducing PlayStation Vue
Things have been going pretty well for Sling TV since it was launched in February 2015; but now it looks like there’s a new kid on the block already waiting for an opportunity to unhorse the rising star of the cord cutting community, and that new challenger is the streaming service PlayStation Vue.
PlayStation Vue Cost
Like Sling TV, Vue is a streaming service that allows live streams of television channels with no yearly contracts. For $50 a month you get access to 60 live channels, with an option to purchase more channels if you so desire. Unlike Sling TV, Vue is not available nationwide and is only open to those living in Los Angelas, San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Don’t worry, Vue still has plans to go nationwide.
“We’re pleased to expand PlayStation Vue’s packages to two additional major TV markets, representing the first time consumers on the West Coast will have access to their favorite live and catch-up TV content, as well as cloud DVR with unlimited capacity,” said Dwayne Benefield, vice president, head of PlayStation Vue at SNEI. PlayStation™Vue Launches In The Greater Los Angeles And San Francisco Bay Area TV Markets; Announces a-la-carte Offerings Nationwide
March 2016 Update: PlayStation Vue Goes Nationwide, Starting at $29.99 in New Markets
“We’re expanding the service to the rest of the U.S. to give our fans a better way to watch popular live and on-demand TV from top networks like AMC, ESPN, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, and more, using PlayStation Vue’s unique streaming features.”
PlayStation Vue Channels
The reason why they aren’t already widely available is that Vue also carries network television channels like NBC and CBS (sorry, no ABC though). Because of the way network television is structured, the folks at Sony have to negotiate one station and location at a time. Not only is this time-consuming, but it’s also very expensive.
PlayStation Vue DVR
A really cool feature of Vue is its quasi DVR-like features where you can pause, record, and rewind live television. You can record almost an unlimited amount of television, but worth noting the recording only lasts for 28 days.
Early reviews have praised the user interface as easy to use and aesthetically appealing. There have also been comments on the quality of its recommended viewing feature; which can sometimes go awry with other streaming services.
PlayStation Vue Devices
PlayStation Vue can follow you into every room of your house for no additional cost. The following devices are streaming compatible: PS4, PS3, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Chromecast and iPad or iPhone.
Is PlayStation Vue a Cable TV Alternative?
Another advantage that Vue has over Sling TV is that it can be used on multiple devices simultaneously (Update 4.21.16 – Sling now offers a Multi-Stream option). However, with that being said, Vue is far from ideal.
For starters, Vue offers little incentive for people to switch from cable. The lack of hidden fees is a plus; but when you can get 140 channels from Comcast at around the same price, you have to ask why bother making the switch. After all, you may not want 140 television channels, but when it’s the same price as 60 channels why not? The short of it is, $50 per month is just too much.
Another thing to take away from Vue limited lineup is the fact that you have several broadcast networks that could easily be accessed with an antenna, like the Mohu Leaf, for $0 a month. So not only are you paying more for less, but you’re also paying for something that’s already free. Not to mention the fact that Vue is only available on the PS3 and PS4 with little word on expanding device support.
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All in all, Vue is a great idea but poorly executed.
Sling TV is the Obvious Winner
What makes Sling TV shine is that it’s cheap, stripped down, and offers inexpensive upgrades that everyone can afford (now with a cloud DVR). The point of cutting the cord is to get away from bloated bills and hefty channels subscriptions; and Vue accomplishes none of these things. This hurts a little to write because I am a huge fan of Sony, but if you’re looking for a cord cutting solution to your cable bill woes, check out Sling TV because Playstation Vue is not what you’re looking for.