PlayStation Vue is intent on distributing a better option for watching live TV than a cable subscription. It’s a lofty goal, but at the moment they are making great progress. There are several on-demand streaming services, but not nearly as many services offering live TV as a streaming option. PlayStation Vue has worked to differentiate itself by offering a high-quality channel package that was previously only available with a cable contract. Our PlayStation Vue review below will answer all of your questions regarding features, service, cost, and the PlayStation Vue channels list.
What Is PlayStation Vue?
PlayStation Vue was launched in 2015 by Sony to provide an alternative for the growing number of people who were interesting in cutting their cable subscription. Similar to Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW, it is a live streaming service, which provides access to around 45+ channels in its introductory package that starts at $29.99 per month. Some of the PlayStation Vue channels included are CNN, TBS, TNT, NBC, CBS, FOX, and many more. Beyond the entry package, there are Core and Elite options which include about 60+ and 90+ channels, respectively. The service was originally only available on PlayStation consoles, Fire TV, and iPhones/iPads, but now it has expanded to more streaming devices (more on this below).
There are also Standalone PlayStation Vue Channels, which can be added to your subscription. These range from movie channels to sports channels to gaming channels and cost varying prices per month. Some are as low as $3.99 per month.
PlayStation Vue is a month-to-month subscription service, which does not require a contract. It is structured like Netflix and other streaming services and gives you the ability to cancel at any time you like. PlayStation Vue is one of the best cable TV alternatives for anyone looking to cut the cable cord or even for those who already do not have cable. You’ll find our full PlayStation Vue review below.
If you’re curious to try the service out, they currently offer a free 5-day trial.
PlayStation Vue vs. Sling TV: How Does Vue Compare?
When it comes to live streaming your favorite channels, there are really only a few major options available right now — PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and newly-launched DIRECTV NOW. On the surface, Vue and Sling TV are very similar services. Both act as a replacement to cable TV, offering live streaming of popular pay TV channels at a lower cost than cable TV and with no contract required.
However, there are some important differences between PlayStation Vue and Sling TV.
- Both services now work on most devices; only Vue works on PlayStation consoles.
- Both services are non-contract and easy to cancel
- PlayStation Vue has some mobile streaming restrictions for some channels.
- The PlayStation Vue channel lineup is bigger than Sling TV’s, with 45 channels in the basic package vs 25 for Sling TV
- Both offer a free trial – 5 days for Vue, 7 days for Sling TV. Click here for a free trial of Sling TV, or click here for a free trial of PlayStation Vue. If you want, you could potentially sign up for both and test out both of the services!
Both streaming services are excellent overall and are great replacements for cable TV. It comes down to budget and personal preference. You can learn more about Sling TV by reading our full review of the service. We also compared PlayStation Vue vs Sling TV in detail. Also, check out our comparison of the best online streaming services.
Which Devices Are Compatible With PlayStation Vue?
Mr. Cable Cutter Recommends: PlayStation 4
When Sony introduced PlayStation Vue it was only available through your PS3 or PS4. Recently, Sony announced that it would soon be available on other devices. Now, it can be accessed on your iPhone and iPad and on your TV with an Amazon streaming device, Roku, or Google Chromecast. Apple TV device support was just recently added, as well.
Here’s the full list of PlayStation Vue devices you can use to stream the service directly to your television:
- PlayStation 4 (I highly recommend getting a PS4 universal remote if you’re planning on using this to watch Vue)
- PlayStation 3
- Roku TV
- Roku 4
- Roku 3
- Roku 2
- Roku Streaming Stick
- Amazon Fire TV
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- iOS mobile devices
- Android mobile devices
PlayStation Vue has an application on the Apple Store, which can be downloaded and used to watch live TV or on-demand shows wherever you get an internet connection. The Amazon Fire TV stick can access your PlayStation Vue directly on your TV, letting you watch all the TV shows and live sporting events from your couch. Amazon Fire TV also can be used to watch PlayStation Vue by downloading the application on Amazon and signing in with your PlayStation Network account.
What Features Does PlayStation Vue Offer?
One of the goals of Sony’s PS Vue is to bring cable cutters the ability to live stream top-quality channels. Many streaming sites like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Instant Video have grown in popularity due to the ability to stream on-demand content, but are not true replacements for a cable package. They do not appeal to those who want to relax in their living room and watch TV shows as they air or catch live sporting events. With PlayStation Vue, you can stream live TV from the comfort of your own home without the hassle or expense of a cable subscription.
PlayStation Vue’s ability to live stream its popular cable channels is the main feature on the service, but it offers several other options to make the experience more enjoyable.
- Watch Live TV – With PS Vue, you can watch live TV as it airs on cable. You’ll get access to 45+ channels, all streaming live, just like if you had a cable subscription – except much cheaper, and no contract required!
- On-Demand Content– PlayStation Vue stores up to 3 days of some of the most popular primetime shows available on select channels. You can then go back and watch anything you might have missed and when viewing a specific show can see all of the previous episodes available on-demand.
- Cloud DVR/My Shows– One of the best features on PlayStation Vue is the ability to tag your favorite TV shows. The future airings of the show will be recorded and saved to the Sony cloud for up to 28 days. You can then go back and retrieve whatever shows you have recorded and watch on your own time. Sony mentions you can record thousands of hours of shows, so there should not be any problems including just about as many as you’d like.
- Timeline– One of the things Sony has planned for is subscribers who are interested in removing a cable subscription, but still keeping up with their favorite TV shows. Therefore, PlayStation Vue’s timeline feature lets users view the last eight shows they watched and what is up next to air. This way you never miss the next installment of your favorite shows and can easily set up your preferred shows to be recorded in the future.
What Are the Different PlayStation Vue Packages?
After learning about what the service is and the features it includes, you should know the PS Vue channels included in its packages. PlayStation Vue has several options to subscribe to its service. You can either subscribe to one of its three multi-channel plans or to one of its standalone channel packages. Sony has been consistently adding and updating its channel offerings, but here is the current slate of offerings included in a subscription:
It’s important to note that while most of these channels are available live, ABC, Fox, NBC and CBS are on-demand online (for now).
*Note—You can sign up for a 5-day free trial for PlayStation Vue and test out any of the below plans.
Access Slim Plan ($29.99/month)
ABC (on demand nationwide), FOX (on demand nationwide), NBC (on demand nationwide), AMC, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CNBC, CNN, E!, Food Network, HGTV, FOX News, TNT, USA, TBS, and several more. In total it amounts to about 45+ channels.
Core Slim Plan ($34.99/month)
The Core channel plan markets itself on the ability to add local sports networks to your list of channels. There are about 60+ channels overall and the list includes additional channels like the Golf Channel and IFC, if you pay the extra $5 per month. One of the constant concerns with cable cutters is the limited options to watch live sports events. PlayStation Vue’s Core package answers these concerns, especially with the ability to watch local sports.
Elite Slim Plan ($44.99/month)
The Elite package features 90+ channels and features PlayStation Vue’s standalone channels. The two standalone services are Epix Hits, which features popular movies, comedy specials and documentaries, and Machinima, which Sony says is the headquarters for all things gaming including original series, news, and high-quality gameplay.
Ultra Slim Plan ($64.99/month)
The Ultra package features all of the channels in the above packages plus premium networks, like HBO and Showtime. This is everything Vue has to offer. See the image below for the full list.
Standalone PlayStation Vue Channels— Sony has three packages, which can be subscribed to on their own. The standalone channels are available nationwide for anyone with a PlayStation Network account and the above devices.
- HBO ($15/month) — HBO can be added to your PlayStation Vue subscription for $15 a month, the same price Sling TV charges and the same cost as the standalone HBO NOW service.
- Machinima ($3.99/month, $1.99/month for PlayStation Plus Members) — As mentioned above Machinima is marketed as the headquarters for all things gaming and fandom. The channel produces original series, streams high-quality gameplay action, featured news, podcast segments, and more. Sony offers a free 30-day trial for this package.
- FOX Soccer Plus ($14.99/month, $12.99/month for PlayStation Plus Members)— Launched in 2010, FOX Soccer Plus is dedicated to covering soccer and rugby around the world. FOX has broadcast rights for popular leagues like UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League and the standalone package would be a useful option for anyone looking to cut cable and still follow as much soccer action as possible throughout the year. There is currently a free 7-day trial on PlayStation Vue for FOX Soccer Plus.
- SHOWTIME ($10.99/month, $8.99/month for PlayStation Plus Members)— You can subscribe to receive all of SHOWTIME’s original programming available as a live stream on any of the approved devices. The one hang up is there is no announcement on when SHOWTIME Anytime will be available for PlayStation Vue subscribers to watch all of SHOWTIME’s programming on-demand. For an extra $1.50/month you can also add EPIX to the SHOWTIME description to watch even more movies and other features. For this package, Sony offers a free 30-day trial.
- CINEMAX ($15.00/month) – CINEMAX provides premium movies and TV content, with a focus on new-release and hard-to-find films.
- Polaris ($2.99/month, $1.99/month for PlayStation Plus members) – Polaris is a gaming network created by Maker Network. It offers tons of interesting coverage for fans of video gaming.
So, now you have a better picture of the channels on PlayStation Vue. It’s a good selection, but unfortunately Vue has actually been shrinking lately, while its competitors are growing. In November 2016, Vue dropped all Viacom-owned channels, including Comedy Central, Spike and MTV. This was an unfortunate development, and leaves us a little concerned for the future of this service.
What About PlayStation Vue Local Channels?
Most PS Vue channels are available nationwide, but some channels on PlayStation Vue are only available in certain areas. Below, find more info on the PS Vue local channels:
- FOX – FOX is available live in select markets, including:
- Atlanta; Austin; Charlotte; Chicago; Dallas; Detroit; Gainesville; Houston; Los Angeles ; Miami; Minneapolis; New York; Orlando; Philadelphia; Phoenix; San Francisco; Tampa; and Washington, D.C.
- FOX is available on-demand nationwide (but only live in the above areas)
- NBC – NBC is available live in select markets, including:
- Chicago; Dallas; Detroit; Hartford/New Haven; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Philadelphia; San Diego; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C.
- NBC is available on-demand nationwide (but only live in the above areas)
- ABC – ABC is available live in select markets, including:
- Chicago; Fresno; Houston; Los Angeles; New York; Philadelphia; Raleigh Durham; and San Francisco.
- ABC is available on-demand nationwide (but only live in the above areas)
- CBS – Vue now offers CBS in a number of markets around the country. See details below:
PlayStation Vue CBS Local Markets
CBS has been a bit more difficult to get live on major streaming services (likely because CBS has its own streaming service, CBS All Access), PlayStation has quietly been building an impressive roster of cities in which is offers the CBS local affiliate. See below for the current list of PlayStation Vue CBS local markets with live streams.
Albany, Ga – WSWG
Albany-Schenectady-Troy – CBS 6
Alexandria, La – CBS Channel 2
Amarillo – News Channel 10
Atlanta – CBS46
Augusta-Aiken – WRDW 12
Baton Rouge – WAFB 9 News
Biloxi-Gulfport – WLOX CBS 13
Burlington-Plattsburgh – WCAX
Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City-Dubuque – CBS 2
Charleston, Sc – Live 5 WCSC
Charlottesville – WCAV TV
Cheyenne-Scottsbluff – CBS Newschannel 5
Colorado Springs-Pueblo – KKTV 11
Columbus, OH – WBNS 10TV
Dayton – WHIO TV
Des Moines-Ames – KCCI
Dothan – WTVY-TV
El Paso (Las Cruces) – CBS 4
Elmira (Corning) – WENY CBS
Erie – WSEE
Fargo-Valley City – Valley News Live
Flint-Saginaw-Bay City – WNEM TV 5
Ft. Myers-Naples – WINK-TV
Harlingen-Wslco-Brnsvl-Mca – CBS 4
Harrisonburg – The V
Hartford & New Haven – WFSB Channel 3
Honolulu – Hawaii News Now: KGMB
Idaho Falls-Pocatello-Jackson – KIDK 3
Jackson, Tn – WBBJ CBS 7
Jacksonville – CBS47
Kansas City – KCTV5
Knoxville – Local 8 News
Laredo – CBS Laredo
Lexington – Mountain News WYMT
Lexington – WKYT
Lincoln & Hastings-Krny – 10/11 Now
Louisville – CBS Louisville
Milwaukee — CBS 58
Minneapolis – CBS4
Monroe-El Dorado – KNOE 8 News
Monterey-Salinas – KION News Channel 5
Montgomery-Selma – CBS 8
North Platte – KNPL
Odessa-Midland – CBS 7
Oklahoma City – News 9
Paducah-Cape Girard-Harsbg – KFVS12
Palm Springs – CBS Local 2
Panama City – Local 18 News
Parkersburg – The Newscenter
Phoenix (Prescott) – CBS5AZ
Portland-Auburn – CBS 13
Presque Isle – WAGM
Reno – KTVN
Roanoke-Lynchburg – WDBJ 7
Rockford – 23 WIFR
Sacramento – CBS13
Salisbury – WBOC 16
Salt Lake City-KUTV2
San Francisco – CBS 5
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria – San Luis Obispo – KCOY 12
Savannah – WTOC 11
Seattle – KIRO 7
Sherman-Ada – CBS 12
Shreveport – KSLA News 12
South Bend-Elkhart – WSBT 22
Springfield-Holyoke – WSHM CBS 3
St. Louis – KMOV 4
Tallahassee-Thomasville – WCTV
Toledo – WTOL
Topeka – 13 WIBW
Traverse City-Cadillac – 9&10 News
Tucson (Sierra Vista) – CBS 13
Tulsa – News On 6
Twin Falls – KMVT 11
Waco-Temple-Bryan – KBTX News
Waco-Temple-Bryan – KWTX News 10
Wausau-Rhinelander – WSAW
West Palm Beach-CBS12
Wichita Falls & Lawton – Newschannel 6
Wichita-Hutchinson Plus – KWCH 12
How Much Does PlayStation Vue Cost?
As you can see above PlayStation Vue has many packages and different variations on how much it will cost for its subscriptions. If you compare it to other services its basic package of $29.99 per month is a great deal. It’s main competitor, Sling TV, has a basic plan for $20 per month, but it has fewer channels.
PlayStation Vue can surely be seen as a competitive option against a cable subscription. It is cheaper than many cable packages and Sony may be focusing more on providing a similar channel selection as cable for a cheaper option that can easily be streamed from home.
One of the best aspects is the ability to have the same price without any contracts. You pay month-to-month and Sony does not try to entice you into a long contract to pay a lower rate. You’ll never be locked into one of the expensive cable subscriptions again and you can decide how you’ll stream live TV on your own terms.
There is a free 5 day trial of PlayStation Vue available for new customers.
What is the PlayStation Vue Video Quality?
PlayStation Vue offers full HD video quality for most content. It of course depends on the show/program itself. But if the program is broadcast in HD, you should get full HD streaming quality. PlayStation Vue 4k support is not yet available.
Additionally, the video quality on PlayStation Vue will depend on your internet service provider. Vue uses adaptive bitrate streaming, which essentially means that you will get the highest resolution that your ISP allows. As long as you have a good internet service provider, that should be full 1080 HD!
What Internet Speed Do You Need for PlayStation Vue?
Since PlayStation Vue functions over the internet, the speed of your internet will have an affect on the video streaming quality and overall functionality of this service. Vue officially recommends a 10mbps connection, plus 5mbps for each additional stream (simultaneous streams).
How Does PlayStation Vue Work?
We often are asked by our readers, how does PlayStation Vue work? If you’re coming over from cable TV, you may be wondering how exactly these online services work. Well, basically, they function in a fairly similar way to cable TV, except for that they work over the internet.
When you sign up for PlayStation Vue, you’re paying for the rights to watch all the channels included in the package you select. Sony (the company behind Vue) has negotiated to secure broadcasting rights for these networks, just like your old cable provider did.
When you use Vue, or another online streaming service, there is no cable box, so you’ll need to use a streaming device. See the PlayStation Vue devices section for more info on this. Basically, you’ll just need a compatible device and an internet connection – that’s it! There’s also a PlayStation Vue free trial that you can use to try the service out.
Can I Try PlayStation Vue Free?
Yes, there is a PlayStation Vue free trial (5-days) for all of its multi-channel packages! There are also free trials, either 5-days or 30-days, for all of its standalone packages. This gives you a great chance to test PlayStation Vue’s features and offerings and find out if it is the right option for you. All the PlayStation Vue plans offer free trial periods. We highly recommend trying a free trial before you subscribe!
How Can I Cancel PlayStation Vue?
If you for whatever reason would like to cancel PlayStation Vue subscription, it’s a fairly easy process. PlayStation Vue is non-contract, so you can cancel at any time. Simply go to this link, sign in to your account, and look for the “cancel subscription” button. From there, follow the instructions to continue cancelling PlayStation Vue. See this link for more information.
If you’re cancelling PlayStation Vue to try a new service, check out our guide to the best streaming services.
Is There a PlayStation Vue Gift Card?
If you’re looking to give the gift of PlayStation Vue, you may be wondering about the availability of a PlayStation Vue gift card. At this time, there is no gift card created specifically for PlayStation Vue. However, PlayStation Wallet funds can be used for Vue subscription costs, which means that PlayStation Network gift cards can work. However, if you’re looking to give it as a gift, this adds an extra step of complication for those who are not familiar with PlayStation’s system. If you’re buying for a PlayStation user or someone who’s tech-savvy, you can get a PlayStation Vue gift card from various electronics retailers or online. Vue still requires a credit card/debit card to be on file in order to sign up for the service, however.
Playstation Vue Review: Bottom Line
Overall, this is a great new streaming service. It provides an impressive selection of channels at a reasonable price, and it’s available without a contract. Now that it is available nationwide, it’s a great option for anyone looking to cut cable. It’s a bit more expensive than competing services like Sling TV, but it provides a ton of value (and more channels than Sling). There’s also a PlayStation Vue free trial, which is a good way to test things out.
PlayStation Vue is also rapidly expanding. Just a few months ago it was only available in a handful of cities and cost $50+ a month. Now, it’s available nationwide and starts at just $29.99 per month! We expect Sony to continually expand and improve upon the Vue service.
We’ll keep this guide updated with the latest information! Also, if you read a PlayStation Vue review elsewhere, be sure to note when it was published, as Vue has gone through some major changes recently (for the better)!
How Can I Learn More about Sony’s PlayStation Vue?
Thanks for reading our PlayStation Vue review. To learn more information about PlayStation Vue, access their website here and start a free 5-day trial. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll help!