With cable prices rising steadily, more and more people are moving away from traditional cable providers and seeking out streaming services. One of the leading streaming services today is Sling TV, an online service run by Dish Network. But recently, Sony has expanded their newly released service, PlayStation Vue, in an effort to compete with bigger players like Sling TV and Netflix. If you’re wondering which service would win in a match up of Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue, we’ve got the guide for you below!
Before we get into the nitty gritty details, let’s make this clear: BOTH Sling TV and PlayStation Vue are awesome services that are much, much more affordable than traditional cable packages. With that being said, each service offers their own unique benefits. Let’s dive right in and explore the benefits of Sling TV vs Vue.
What is Sling TV?
Sling TV is one of the most popular online streaming services. If you’re unfamiliar with Sling TV, here’s the basic rundown:
- Online streaming service – no cable required
- Provides 30+ TV channels for LIVE access
- Offers select library of on-demand content (rotating)
- Lets you watch LIVE TV on a variety of devices
- Starts at $20 per month
- No contract required
- Free 7 day trial available
For the full scoop on this service, read our Sling TV review. Next, we’ll compare Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue to give you an idea of which service will work best for you.
What is PlayStation Vue?
PlayStation Vue is another online streaming service, that is actually pretty similar to Sling TV. Here are the basics:
- Online streaming service – no cable needed
- Provides 45+ channels for LIVE access
- Cloud based DVR feature to record shows
- Lets you watch LIVE TV on several devices
- Starts at $30 per month
- No contract required
- Free 7 day trial available
For more info, read through our detailed PlayStation Vue review. As you can see, the two services are fairly similar when you compare Vue vs Sling TV.
Sling TV vs. Playstation Vue: Channels
Now that we’re all familiar with the basics of these two services, let’s take a closer look at how the two stack up. Below, you’ll find the key categories that we will use to compare the two competing streaming services.
First and foremost, you may be wondering about the channels offered by each service. In this category, Vue offers significantly more channels in its basic package, but Sling TV is more affordable and remains the cheapest way to get key channels like ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, TBS, TNT, HGTV, and others.
Here are the PlayStation Vue channels:
*Note* Only the channels highlighted in color are available in the basic package. The icons that are not in color are available in the upper-level packages of Vue (which go up to $65 a month). All channels available for live streaming except for ABC, Fox, and NBC (which are on-demand only)
And here are the Sling TV channels:
*Note* Like with Vue, the channels that are highlighted on this list are available in the basic package for $20 a month, while the rest are only available in upper level packages (which go up to $40 per month).
As you can see, PlayStation Vue offers more channels than Sling TV, with about 45 to 30 in the basic packages of each service, respectively. With that being said, Vue is also 50% more expensive than Sling, so for those looking for a true budget option, Sling provides the best value in most cases. Also, keep in mind that while Sling TV is continually expanding and adding channels, Vue actually appears to be shrinking. In late 2016, Sony announced that PlayStation Vue would no longer carry any Viacom-owned channels, which include very popular options like Comedy Central, Spike, MTV and more.
It’s also important to keep in mind that both of the channel lists above are only the basic packages. Vue and Sling TV both offer add-on packages so that you can increase your channel selection.
Vue offers 3 packages ranging from $30 a month for 45 channels to $65 a month for 100+ channels. Sling TV offers their basic package of 30+ channels for $20 a month, and then offers genre/category-specific channel packages for additional fees. For instance, there’s a Sports Extra package via Sling TV that adds several key sports channels, which costs an additional $5 a month.
As for premium channels, Sling TV offers HBO live streaming and Cinemax for an additional monthly fee, while PlayStation Vue offers HBO, Showtime, Machinima, Fox Soccer Plus, and Epix Hits for additional monthly fees.
Here’s the key takeaway: yes, PlayStation Vue offers more channels. But unless you’re actually going to watch those channels on a regular basis, Sling TV provides a better value. Not only that, if you try to stream Vue away from your home network, you won’t be able to access most channels. We also prefer Sling TV because you can add specific packages that you want, for just $5 a month – instead of adding large packages of channels that you may or may not ever watch, like with PS Vue. Additionally, Vue has recently cut several key channels from their channel selection, while Sling TV still carries these popular channels.
Sling TV vs. Vue: Devices
Since these streaming services work over the internet, you’ll need to use a compatible device in order to watch. Here is a list of the devices that are compatible with these two competing services:
Sling TV Devices
- Streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV and more.
- Mobile devices including iOS devices, Android, and Amazon Fire
- Gaming consoles, including Xbox One
- Laptops and computers, including Mac and PC.
- You can get a FREE Roku streaming device or a discounted Apple TV with 3 months of Sling TV.
PlayStation Vue Devices
- Streaming devices including Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Chromecast
- Mobile devices, including iOS and Android. Note that there are severe mobile restrictions for accessing Vue off your home network
- Gaming consoles, including PS3 and PS4
The clear winner in this case is Sling TV. Sling offers many more options when it comes to compatible devices. Vue is a fairly new service, so expect Sony to add more devices as things move forward. For now, though, Sling TV is the clear front runner in this race.
Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue: Features
Now that we’ve reviewed the channels available and which devices these services are compatible with, let’s talk about features.
In essence, both services are fairly similar in how they operate and what their key features are. Both Sling TV and PlayStation Vue are live streaming services, first and foremost. The way they function during live streaming is pretty much identical, although Sling is compatible with more devices than Vue.
The big difference lies in on-demand viewing. Sling TV offers a rotating library of shows on-demand, usually containing episodes from the last week or so, and only for select shows. PlayStation Vue does not have an on-demand feature, but they do have a cloud-based DVR feature. This is a big bonus for Vue, as it lets you record the shows you want to watch later and store them online.
Another way that Vue outperforms Sling TV in this category is that Vue can be used on up to 5 devices at once, which means you can share it with the whole family. Sling TV is limited to one device at a time for the basic package, or 3 devices at a time for Sling Orange and above.
However, Vue is a new service, which means there are bound to be some issues with it. We’re interested to see how well it stands up to high-demand events, such as big sporting events. Sling TV has been around for more than a year, so it’s been thoroughly tested and improved over time, and overall runs more smoothly than Vue. With that being said, Sony seems to be investing heavily in Vue, so we’ll likely see some rapid improvement in this service.
Sling TV vs. Vue: Bottom Line
Overall, Sling TV is a clear winner, in our opinion. It’s cheaper, generally easier to use, works on more devices, offers generous sign-up bonuses, and is continually adding channels. Vue is still a great service, but it’s 50% more expensive, and they have actually recently reduced there channel selection, which is not a good sign.
With that being said, both of these services provide tremendous value for customers, and are a great alternative to cable TV. When comparing Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue, keep in mind your own needs and wants when making a decision.
For those looking for a budget option, Sling TV is $10 cheaper (50% cheaper) than PlayStation Vue, which is notable. Sling is also better as a base package, which you can add category-specific channels to.
For sports fans, Sling TV is also the best option. Sling has ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, FS1, NBCSN, and even FOX Sports in some areas. Vue has some of these channels, but is more restrictive.
Vue offers significantly more channels, and the cloud-based DVR is a nice feature. It is more expensive, and being a newer service, it’s more prone to technical difficulties.
In the end, both services are great options. Depending on your needs, wants and budget, you’ll need to make an educated decision for yourself.
Can I Try These Services for Free?
Luckily, you don’t need to necessarily make a decision right away – both Vue and Sling TV let you “try before you buy”.
Click here to try a FREE 7-day trial of Sling TV.
Click here to try a FREE 7-day trial of PlayStation Vue.
If you want, you could easily try both out at once, and see which you prefer!