I cut the cord several years ago after watching my cable rise steadily. I love Netflix and Amazon Prime Streaming, but at times I miss not being able to watch The Walking Dead in real-time so I can stand by the water cooler the next morning with my co-workers. Sony recently announced that their streaming service — PlayStation Vue — is available nationwide, and it’s a surprisingly good deal.
What is Playstation Vue?
PlayStation Vue is a streaming TV service offering many of your favorite cable package in one, easy-to-understand price without hidden fees, B.S. taxes, or equipment rentals.
So do I need a PlayStation game console to use it?
Surprisingly, no! While the service obviously works with the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, it also works on the Amazon Fire TV (including the less-expensive Stick), Chromecast, and iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads. The tricky part is that you first need to authenticate your location with a PlayStation 3, 4, or a Fire TV device before the service will work on the Chromecast and iOS devices. This is done to verify that your IP address’ location matches the information in your PlayStation profile.
What channels do I get?
For $39.99/month: AMC, Animal Planet, BET, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Destination America, Discovery Channel, Discovery Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, DIY Network, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, Fox Business, Fox News, Freeform, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, FX, FXX, HGTV, HLN, IDTV, MSNBC, NatGeo, NBCSN, Nick Jr, Nickelodeon, NicToons, OWN, Oxygen, POP, Science Channel, Spike, SyFy, TBS, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, TruTV, TV Land, USA, WE tv. Additional On-Demand only offerings: ABC, NBC, Fox (no live streaming of these networks)
There are upgraded tiers available, but many people will find what they need in the base package.
Price and channels may change since this article was last updated. Check the website for the latest offerings.
How many devices can I stream to simultaneously?
The short answer: 5. The long answer: You can only stream to one type of a device at a time. So you can stream to a PlayStation 3 and a Fire TV at the same time, but you can not stream to a PlayStation 3 and a PlayStation 3 at the same time.
5 devices? So I can, uh, “share” my login with my friends?
Nope! All the devices must come from one IP address.
Do I get DVR?
Yes! You can mark your favorite shows and they will “record” to the cloud. Really, I think Sony just records everything by default, and then tags which users belong to which recording. You can fast-forward through commercials and rewind as needed, but you can only access the recordings for 28 days.
Do I get On-Demand?
Yes! Many networks offer On-Demand much like cable providers do. For example, I’ve been catching up on many current season FX shows, but see that the ABC On-Demand option offers far fewer episodes.
Is there a contract? “Broadcast Fee”? Hidden taxes? Box rentals? Uncontrollable urges to cry when the bill arrives?
No. As a Comcast survivor, I found this hard to believe. And you can cancel at any time without an additional fee.
Can I authenticate with network apps? For example, can I log in to the AMC app?
Yes! This is another nice benefit. Many of the top networks allow you to sign in with your PlayStation Vue credentials.
Can I use this service when I’m away from home?
No. Live streaming is limited to in-home viewing from your established IP address. However, some On-Demand content is available while you’re away from home in the iOS app. DVR recordings are limited to in-home only.
How much bandwidth do I need?
10mbps or higher is recommended.
Sling TV sucks on the Fire TV Stick. How is the PlayStation Vue?
It’s a lot better, surprisingly. PlayStation Vue’s UI is a little slow on the Fire TV Stick, but streaming is fairly smooth and a lot less glitchy compared to Sling TV’s app.
A free 7-day trial of the service is available, so try it out and let me know what you think in the comments!