Which Cordcutting Service is Better, Comes Down to What you Value the Most!
When Sling TV first launched in 2015, they were the only kids on the block that allowed you to live stream dozens of television channels without a cable subscription. It was great because there were no contracts, no commitments, and at $20 a month it was dirt cheap compared to the cable alternative.
Not to mention Sling TV gave us ESPN without cable, which is a huge boon to people that love watching sports but hate paying for cable.
But with the launch of PlayStation Vue, Sling TV is no longer the only player in town and now the upstart service is hoping to give Sling TV a run for its money. The question for cord cutters now is which service should they go with, and today we’re going to take a look at each one to see how they compare against one another.
Let’s get started!
Over the last several months, Sling TV has moved away from single package price model in favor of a three tiered system; dubbed Orange, Blue, and a combined package. Each package comes with its own pluses and minuses, but wrapped in each plan is something that’s bound to interest everyone.
The Orange subscription plan is the one that cord cutters will most likely recognize. At $20 a month, it’s the plan that’s most similar to Sling’s original package and if you don’t like spending a lot of money on television, it’s great. Orange will give you 28 channels to choose from, including ESPN.
For $5 more ($25) you can upgrade to the Blue Package which gives you 43 channels. But the flip-side is that you don’t get every channel that comes with Orange, most notably ESPN. However, they do make this up by including Fox Sports 1 & 2 and NBC Sports; which is great for those of you that enjoy sports like NASCAR, Golf and many others.
Now if you are a heavy consumer and don’t want to miss out on anything, you might be mostly interested in the $40 a month combined package, dubbed “All Channels”. As the name implies, this one will give all of the channels from Orange and Blue; saving you $5 in the long run. This is great for people who want to build their cord cutting experience around Sling TV, but not so much if you like to use other streaming services.
Sling TV Add-on Packages
Then there are the add on packages; and there are a lot of them. For times’s sake I will focus on just one, the most popular one: Sports. With the Orange Package + Sports Package you get ESPNU, Bein Sports, ESPN Bases Loaded, Campus Insiders, Motors TV North AM, ESPN News, PAC 12 Network, Outside Television, SEC ESPN Network, and many more.
With the Blue Package + Sports Package add-on you get NFL RedZone, PAC 12 Networks, Golf Channel, Bein Sports, and many more…
To add the Sports Extra on to your subscription you will need to pay an extra $10 a month. So for example, if you love Golf and Football (like me), you may go with the Blue Package + the Sports Add-on. That will give you the Golf Channel, NFL RedZone, FS1, FS2, FOX, NBC Sports Network, and (coming soon) CSN… plus 30 or so more channels I wont list here.
Now let’s take a look at PlayStation Vue.
Just like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue has a three tiered system; Access, Core, and Elite. With these plans, you’ll find yourself paying a little more but you do get more channels. Let’s take a look at each one.
The cheapest plan, Access, will run you $39 a month and gives you access to 58 television channels; which is far more than Sling TV provides at their base rate; but it is $19 more a month. On a positive note, you’ll find that there’s no trade off between ESPN/Fox Sports/NBC Sports in this package; they’re all included in this package.
Also worth mentioning – you get ABC, NBC, and Fox on-demand with the Access package.
The Core Plan is a little more expensive at $45 a month, but you get 70 channels this time. Golf Fans will salivate at the fact that you get the highly sought after Golf channel (just like with Sling TV) and non-sports fans will appreciate the inclusion of the FX networks (also on Sling TV) as well as a slew of Disney owned channels.
If you want to go all out, the PlayStation Vue’s Elite subscription package is where you might want to be. With 100+ channels, you’ll hardly miss any of your favorite shows, sports, or news broadcasts. Included in this package is everything from the previous plans plus networks like BET, MTV, and the SEC Network (just in time for College Football!).
Only problem is that now your looking at $55 a month, so if your goal was to kill the cable bill, all you really have done is replaced it with a different bill; vs with Sling, you can actually save a substantial amount of money if you stick to a slimmed down package.
It’s quite a bit more expensive that Sling TV, but you do get more.
Which is better, Sling TV or PlayStation Vue?
The question of which service is better is a difficult one to answer. One the one hand, PlayStation Vue soundly beats out Sling TV in terms of channel selection.
But on the other hand, the huge appeal behind Sling TV was the idea of having a stripped down streaming package for a low rate and having add-ons supplement any gaps in a quasi ala-carte style subscription plan. The fact that you don’t get as much as PlayStation Vue is almost the entire point.
Plus, when you get up to the $45 a month range, you’re dangerously close to just having a different version of that cable bill that you’ve been trying to get rid of.
PS Vue offers a cloud DVR on all PS Vue devices. Sling TV is also working on a DVR and has released it on Fire TV – Press Release as of March 2017. Within a few months we expect the Sling TV DVR to be accessible across all supported devices.
Here is a recent post from one of my Twitter friends about their experiences using both the Sling and PSVue DVR
In the end, which service is better all boils down to what you like and what you’re willing to spend. Both service are equally valid options, so at all that matters is that you are satisfied with what you.
If your still on the fence, I suggest signing up for their free trials (Vue Free trial | Sling Free Trial). Spend some time playing around with the interfaces, test them out by watching a few shows, and then fire the service that does not provide enough value for your buck.
Which service do you prefer? Sling TV or PlayStation Vue? Let us know in the comments below or sound off on social media!