If you’re looking for a TV streaming service that delivers high-quality livestreaming, PlayStation Vue is the right service for you. The service offers quite possibly the best picture quality out of all streaming services, and it features great local channel availability, so it’s easier to watch the CBS, FOX, NBC, and ABC content you want.
Of course, all those local channel offerings and smooth livestreams do come at a price. Compared to other streaming services, PlayStation Vue is a tad expensive, so you have to consider whether those perks are worth paying the extra monthly rate.
The service’s DVR is also a mixed bag—it’s great for viewers looking for a way to watch TV on their own schedule, but bad for anyone looking to archive complete seasons of their favorite shows due to its 28-day storage limit.
To find out more about PlayStation Vue and figure out if the service is right for you, you can read our in-depth review below.
What is PlayStation Vue?
PlayStation Vue is a subscription streaming service, so its programming is delivered via your internet connection rather than a satellite or cable TV service. It’s designed for cord-cutters—people looking for a way to watch their favorite shows without having to pay for an expensive cable package.
While it was originally designed in 2014 as a TV app exclusively for PlayStation consoles, the service has evolved and expanded to other devices as well. That means you don’t need a PlayStation to enjoy the service’s live TV experience. Simply sign up, plug in a compatible device (more on that below), download the app, and start watching.
If reliability is important to you in a streaming service, you might be interested to know the service launched in 2015, well ahead of most other streaming services. Between that and the fact that PlayStation had been perfecting its livestreaming technology for some time before launching Vue, it’s easy to see why the service is able to deliver smoother streaming and higher picture quality than pretty much any other streaming service currently on the market.
PlayStation Vue packages
There are four different channel packages you can choose from with PS Vue. Here’s everything you need to know.
- Access package: $39.99 a month for over 45 channels. Comes with over 50 channels, including ABC, ESPN, and the Disney channel, and more.
- Core package: $44.99 a month for over 50 channels. You get everything in the Access package, including Golf Channel, ESPN U, NBA TV, and more.
- Elite package: $54.99 a month for over 70 channels. Along with everything in the previous two packages, the Elite packages comes with BBC World News, Boomerang, and CNBC World.
- Ultra package: $74.99 a month. Comes with everything, and the best part? Free HBO and Showtime. Totaling over 90 channels.
When considering packages, it’s important to take channel count into consideration. Streaming services tend to offer a set number of livestreams and on-demand channels, so if it’s important to you to watch a show live, check to make sure you get that channel live.
A set number of the channels also include PlayStation Vue’s unique feature, Catch-Up. The Catch-Up feature grants you access to recently aired episodes for up to 72 hours, so while it’s similar to on-demand shows, it doesn’t let you watch episodes anytime in the same way on-demand channels do.
All that being said, here’s how each package breaks down in terms of the number of live, on-demand, and catch-up channels it offers:
|Catch-Up enabled channels||45*||57*||77*||79*|
|Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial|
Editor note: Until recently, this service offered four additional packages: Access Slim, Core Slim, Elite Slim, and Ultra Slim. As of October, 2017, these plans have been discontinued, and all users with Slim packages have been rolled over onto one of the four plans listed above.
PlayStation Vue channels list
This service doesn’t offer as many channels as DIRECTV NOW or Sling TV, but what it lacks in breadth, it makes up for in depth. PlayStation has made local channels a bigger priority, so you’re more likely to actually get ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC in your area than you would with another streaming service.
The right package for you will depend a lot on the channels you want, so here’s the complete PlayStation Vue channels list, broken down by package:
|Channel||Live/On Demand||Access Package||Core Package||Elite Package||Ultra Package|
|Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial|
|ABC*||LIVE / VOD|
|AMC||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|American Heroes||LIVE / CU|
|Animal Planet||LIVE / CU|
|BBC America||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|BBC World News||LIVE|
|Big Ten Network||LIVE|
|Boomerang||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Bravo||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Cartoon Network||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|CBS*||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|CBS Sports Network||LIVE|
|Chiller||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|CNBC||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|CNBC World||LIVE / CU|
|CNN||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Cooking Channel||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Destination America||LIVE / CU|
|Discovery||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Discovery Family||LIVE / CU|
|Discovery Life||LIVE / CU|
|Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial|
|Disney Channel||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Disney Junior||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Disney XD||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|DIY Network||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|E!||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Eleven Sports||LIVE / CU|
|EPIX Hits||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|ESPN||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|ESportsTV||LIVE / CU|
|Food Network||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|FOX*||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|FOX Business||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Fox College Sports Atlantic||LIVE|
|Fox College Sports Central||LIVE|
|Fox College Sports Pacific||LIVE|
|FOX News||LIVE / CU|
|FOX Regional Sports Networks||LIVE / CU|
|FOX Sports 1||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|FOX Sports 2||LIVE / CU|
|Freeform||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial|
|Fusion||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|FX||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|FX Movie Channel||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|FXX||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Ginx ESports TV||LIVE / CU|
|Golf Channel||LIVE / CU|
|Hallmark Channel||LIVE / CU|
|Hallmark Drama||LIVE / CU|
|Hallmark Movies and Mysteries||LIVE / CU|
|HBO||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|HGTV||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Hi-YAH!||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|HLN||LIVE / CU|
|IFC||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Impact||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Investigation Discovery||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|LHN (Longhorn Network)*||LIVE|
|Machinima||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|MGM HD||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|MSNBC||LIVE / CU|
|Nat Geo Wild||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|National Geographic||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial|
|NBC*||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|NBCSN||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Olympic Channel||LIVE / CU|
|OWN||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Oxygen||LIVE / CU|
|Pop||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Science||LIVE / CU|
|Showtime||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Sony Movie Channel||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|SundanceTV||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Syfy||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|TBS||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|TCM||LIVE / CU|
|TLC||LIVE / CU|
|TNT||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Travel Channel||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|TruTV||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Universal Kids||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|USA Network||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Velocity||LIVE / CU|
|WE TV||LIVE / VOD / CU|
|Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial|
While DIRECTV NOW adds a set number of channels for each package tier, this service groups channels into packages by type.
Playstation Vue’s Access plan features “popular live TV” (like Cartoon Network), the Core plan adds extra sport networks (like the NFL Network), the Elite plan adds extra movie channels (like the Sony Movie Channel), and the Ultra plan includes two premium networks (HBO and Showtime).
When you look at it that way, PlayStation Vue’s popular-TV package (Access) is expensive compared to similar packages from other providers, especially considering the channel lineup doesn’t include some common staples like Comedy Central.
But the sports package (Core) is a great value when you consider the cost of the plans and add-ons you’d have to buy from providers like Sling TV or DIRECTV NOW to get the same sports channels. In fact, because of its price and this service’s reputation for great streaming quality, we’d highly recommend the Core package to any sports fan, whether you’re into college sports or pro leagues. The price is right, and the coverage is nearly endless.
This service offers a number of add-ons, which can be tacked onto any package that doesn’t already include the channel (or channels) in question. All add-ons come with either a five-day or a seven-day free trial, so you can try them out with your existing package before deciding whether or not you want to keep them.
Pricing on add-ons does vary. If you have a PlayStation Plus membership—an extra PlayStation subscription service that grants you access to multiplayer, plus some free games and discounts—you’re in luck, as some add-ons are also discounted for PlayStation Plus members.
- Sports Pack ($10 per month)
This add-on can be added to only Core packages and higher, and it includes a five-day free-trial period. We love it for sports fans who want the extra coverage offered on NFL RedZone or more of the action from their favorite NCAA teams.
Channels: NFL RedZone, MLB Network Strike Zone, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, FOX College Sports Atlantic, FOX College Sports Central, FOX College Sports Pacific, Longhorn Network, NESN, Outside TV, and seven regional NBC Sports networks.
- Español Pack ($4.99 per month OR $3.99 per month for PS Plus subscribers)
You can get this add-on with any Access package, Core package, or Elite package, or Ultra package. You can try it free for five days and see how well it works for your Spanish-speaking household.
Channels: Cine Sony Television, CNN en Español, Discovery Familia, Discovery en Español, Fox Deportes, Nat Geo Mundo, Fox Life, and NBC Universo.
- HBO ($15 per month)
The HBO add-on includes access to the HBO livestream and on-demand content via HBO NOW. This add-on has a seven-day free trial, and it can be added to any package except for Ultra (which includes HBO already). Game of Thrones fans can officially start geeking out now.
- CinemaxⓇ ($15 per month)
- HBO MAXⓇ Pack ($21.99 per month OR $19.99 per month for PS Plus subscribers)
This option bundles the HBO and Cinemax add-ons for a discounted rate. It’s available with any package besides Ultra (HBO is already included in the Ultra package) and is free for the first seven days.
- EPIXⓇ Hits ($3.99 per month OR $2.99 per month for PS Plus subscribers)
This add-on features the EPIX Hits channel and can be added to any Access or Core package (EPIX Hits is included with Elite packages and higher). You can try it out free for five days and get your fill of classic movies.
- Showtime ($10.99 per month OR $8.99 per month for PS Plus subscribers)
The Showtime add-on gets you access to live and on-demand Showtime content. It comes with a seven-day free trial and can be added to any package besides Ultra (the Ultra package already includes Showtime). It’s great for Shameless fans who don’t want to pay the $74.99 a month for the Ultra package.
- Premium Pack ($13.99 per month OR $11.49 per month for PS Plus subscribers)
This option is essentially a bundle for EPIX Hits and Showtime. You can add it to any Access or Core package (Elite and higher include EPIX Hits, and Ultra includes Showtime) and try it out for free for seven days.
- FOX Soccer Plus ($14.99 per month OR $12.99 per month for PS Plus subscribers)
This add-on includes premium soccer coverage for hardcore fans. It can be added to any package and features a free seven-day trial. Gooooal!
- Hi-YAH! ($2.99 per month OR $1.99 per month for PS Plus subscribers)
With this add-on, you get the Hi-YAH! channel, which features the best in martial arts and Asian action movies. The channel is included with Elite packages and higher, so the add-on is available only with Access and Core packages. You can try it out free for seven days.
Local channels available with PlayStation Vue
A lot of streaming services advertise that they offer ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, but when you sign up, you may find that they don’t actually offer those channels in your area. This has to do with local channel availability.
Basically, if you live in San Francisco and want to get your local ABC station, your streaming service has to have an agreement with your local ABC station in order for you to be able to enjoy the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
The good news is PlayStation Vue is one of the best streaming services when it comes to local channel availability. It offers nearly twice the number of local channels as DIRECTV NOW or fuboTV and six times more local channels than Sling TV. And while Hulu with Live TV technically offers more local channels than this service, it beats Hulu in terms of local CBS channel availability.
To summarize, if you sign up for this service, there’s a much higher chance that you’ll actually get the local channel coverage you’re looking for.
To find out which local stations are available in your area, find your market in the list below or enter your ZIP code on the PlayStation website.
- Dothan, AL: CBS (WTVY)
- Selma - Montgomery, AL: CBS (WAKA)
- El Dorado, AR - Monroe, LA: CGS (KNOE)
- Mesa - Phoenix, AZ: ABC (KNXV), CBS (KPHO), FOX (KSAZ)
- Tucson, AZ: CBS (KOLD)
- Fresno, CA: ABC (KFSN)
- Los Angeles, CA: ABC (KABC), CBS (KCBS), FOX (KTTV), NBC (KNBC)
- Monterey - Salinas - Santa Cruz, CA: CBS (KION)
- Palm Springs, CA: CBS (KPSP)
- San Diego, CA: ABC (KGTV), CBS (KFMB), FOX (KSWB), NBC (KNSD)
- San Francisco - Oakland - San Jose, CA: ABC (KGO), CBS (KPIX), FOX (KTVU), NBC (KNTV)
- Santa Maria - Santa Barbara - San Luis Obispo, CA: CBS (KCOY)
- Stockton - Sacramento - Modesto, CA: ABC (KXTV), CBS (KOVR), FOX (KTXL), NBC (KCRA)
- Colorado Springs - Pueblo, CO: CBS (KKTV)
- Denver, CO: ABC (KMGH), CBS (KCNC), FOX (KDVR)
- Hartford - New Haven, CT: CBS (WFSB), FOX (WTIC), NBC (WVIT)
- Washington, DC: CBS (WUSA), FOX (WTTG), NBC (WRC)
- Fort Myers - Naples, FL: CBS (WINK)
- High Springs - Ocala - Gainesville, FL: FOX (WOGX)
- Jacksonville, FL: CBS (WJAX), FOX (WFOX)
- Miami - Fort Lauderdale, FL: ABC (WPLG), CBS (WFOR), FOX (WSVN), NBC (WTVJ)
- Orlando - Daytona Beach - Melbourne, FL: ABC (WFTV), CBS (WKMG), FOX (WOFL), NBC (WESH)
- Panama City, FL: CBS (WECP)
- Petersburg - Tampa, FL: ABC (WFTS), CBS (WTSP), FOX (WTVT)
- Tallahassee, FL - Thomasville, GA: CBS (WCTV)
- West Palm Beach, FL: CBS (WPEC)
- Atlanta, GA: ABC (WSB), CBS (WGCL), FOX (WAGA)
- Augusta, GA: CBS (WRDW)
- Savannah, GA: CBS (WTOC)
- Valdosta - Albany, GA: CBS (WSWG)
- Honolulu, HI: CBS (KGMB)
- Cedar Rapids - Waterloo - Dubuque - Iowa City, IA: CBS (KGAN)
- Des Moines, IA: CBS (KCCI)
- Idaho Falls - Pocatello, ID: CBS (KIDK)
- Twin Falls, ID: CBS (KMVT)
- Harrisburg, IL - Paducah, KY - Cape Girardeau, MO: CBS (KFVS)
- Chicago, IL: ABC (WLS), CBS (WBBM), FOX (WFLD), NBC (WMAQ)
- Freeport - Rockford, IL: CBS (WIFR)
- Bloomington - Indianapolis, IN: ABC (WRTV), FOX (WXIN)
- South Bend, IN: CBS (WSBT)
- Topeka, KS: CBS (WIBW)
- Hutchinson - Wichita, KS: CBS (KWCH)
- Hazard, KY: CBS (WYMT)
- Lexington, KY: CBS (WKYT)
- Louisville, KY: CBS (WLKY)
- Alexandria, LA: CBS (KALB)
- Baton Rouge, LA: CBS (WAFB)
- New Orleans, LA: CBS (WWL), FOX (WVUE), NBC (WDSU)
- Shreveport, LA - Texarkana, TX: CBS (KSLA)
- Boston, MA: CBS (WBZ), FOX (WFXT), NBC (WBTS)
- Springfield - Holyoke, MA: CBS (WSHM)
- Baltimore, MD: ABC (WMAR), CBS (WJZ), FOX (WBFF), NBC (WBAL)
- Salisbury, MD - Rehoboth Beach - Dover, DE: CBS (WBOC)
- Poland Spring - Portland, ME: CBS (WGME)
- Presque Isle, ME: CBS (WAGM)
- Bay City - Flint - Saginaw, MI: CBS (WNEM)
- Cadillac - Traverse City, MI: CBS (WWTV)
- Detroit, MI: ABC (WXYZ), CBS (WWJ), FOX (WJBK), NBC (WDIV)
- Cheboygan - Sault Ste. Mari, MI: CBS (WWUP)
- Alexandria, MN: ABC (KSAX)
- Minneapolis - St. Paul, MN: ABC (KSTP), CBS (WCCO), FOX (KMSP)
- Kansas City, MO: ABC (KMBC), CBS (KCTV), FOX (WDAF), NBC (KSHB)
- Louis, MO: CBS (KMOV), FOX (KTVI)
- Biloxi - Gulfport, MS: CBS (WLOX)
- Meridian, MS: CBS (WMDN)
- Belmont - Charlotte, NC: ABC (WSOC), CBS (WBTV), FOX (WJZY)
- Goldsboro - Raleigh - Durham - Fayetteville, NC: ABC (WTVD)
- Greensboro - High Point - Winston - Salem, NC: CBS (WFMY)
- Horace - Grand Forks - Fargo, ND: NBC (KVLY)
- Grand Island, NE: CBS (KGIN)
- Lincoln, NE: CBS (KOLN)
- North Platte, NE: CBS (KNPL)
- Sidney-Scottsbluff, NE: CBS (KSTF)
- Las Cruces, NM - El Paso, TX: CBS (KDBC)
- Reno, NV: CBS (KTVN)
- Buffalo, NY: FOX (WUTV)
- Plattsburgh, NY - Burlington, VT: CBS (WCAX)
- Elmira, NY: CBS (WENY)
- New York City, NY: ABC (WABC), CBS (WCBS), FOX (WNYW), NBC (WNBC)
- Schenectady - Albany - Troy, NY: CBS (WRGB)
- Cincinnati, OH: CBS (WKRC), FOX (WXIX), NBC (WLWT)
- Columbus, OH: CBS (WBNS), FOX (WTTE)
- Dayton, OH: CBS (WHIO)
- Akron - Shaker Heights - Cleveland, OH: ABC (WEWS), CBS (WOIO), FOX (WJW)
- Toledo, OH: CBS (WTOL)
- Oklahoma City, OK: CBS (KWTV)
- Ada, OK - Sherman, TX: CBS (KXII)
- Tulsa, OK: CBS (KOTV)
- Lawton, OK - Wichita Falls, TX: CBS (KAUZ)
- Portland, OR: FOX (KPTV)
- Erie, PA: CBS (WSEE)
- Harrisburg - Lancaster - York - Lebanon, PA: CBS (WHP)
- Philadelphia, PA: ABC (WPVI), CBS (KYW), FOX (WTXF), NBC (WCAU)
- Pittsburgh, PA: ABC (WTAE), CBS (KDKA), FOX (WPGH), NBC (WPXI)
- Charleston, SC: CBS (WCSC)
- Jackson, TN: CBS (WBBJ)
- Knoxville, TN: CBS (WVLT)
- Nashville, TN: CBS (WTVF), FOX (WZTV), NBC (WSMV)
- Amarillo, TX: CBS (KFDA)
- Austin, TX: CBS (KEYE), FOX (KTBC)
- Bryan - College Station, TX: CBS (KBTX)
- Waco - Temple - Killeen, TX: CBS (KWTX)
- Fort Worth - Dallas, TX: ABC (WFAA), CBS (KTVT), FOX (KDFW), NBC (KXAS)
- Harlingen, TX (Rio Grande Valley): CBS (KGBT)
- Houston, TX: ABC (KTRK), CBS (KHOU), FOX (KRIV), NBC (KPRC)
- Laredo, TX: CBS (KYLX)
- Odessa - Midland, TX: CBS (KOSA)
- San Antonio, TX: ABC (KSAT), CBS (KENS), FOX (KABB), NBC (WOAI)
- Salt Lake City, UT: CBS (KUTV), FOX (KSTU), NBC (KSL)
- Charlottesville, VA: CBS (WCAV)
- Harrisonburg, VA: CBS (WSVF)
- Roanoke - Lynchburg, VA: CBS (WDBJ)
- Seattle - Tacoma, WA: CBS (KIRO), FOX (KCPQ)
- Green Bay, WI: FOX (WLUK), NBC (WGBA)
- Milwaukee, WI: ABC (WISN), CBS (WDJT), FOX (WITI), NBC (WTMJ)
- Wausau - Rhinelander, WI: CBS (WSAW)
- Parkersburg, WV - Marietta, OH: CBS (WIYE)
- Cheyenne, WY: CBS (KGWN)
PlayStation Vue features
In order to enjoy streaming TV, you’ve got to get a service that delivers the right combination of features for your needs. After all, what’s the point of cutting the cord if you can’t watch your shows in a way that’s convenient for you?
Depending on your needs, this service’s DVR could be the best or the worst possible option for your home.
Basically, PlayStation Vue lets you record as many shows, channels, and episodes as you want. Want to record an entire Property Brothers marathon? No problem. But there is a catch. Once you record a show, you can access it for only 28 days. So you’ve got unlimited storage space, but with a four-week time limit.
If you use your DVR to simply save episodes of your favorite shows to watch after you get home from work, the ability to record and save an unlimited amount of content makes this DVR a great fit for you. But if you’re the type of person who DVRs entire seasons of your favorite shows to archive or binge-watch later, the 28-day time limit may be a dealbreaker. Don’t get too down yet, though—other services could work for you. In this case, we’d recommend trying out YouTube TV’s unlimited DVR (if the service is available in your area) or the fuboTV add-on DVR, which gets you 500 hours of recording space.
One good thing about PlayStation Vue’s DVR, though, is the fact that it’s included as part of your service. Most cheaper streaming services either make you pay for DVR service (like Sling TV) or simply don’t have DVR service at all (DIRECTV NOW). So yeah, PlayStation’s no-extra-charge DVR is kind of a big deal. You’ll just have to judge whether this DVR will work for your household’s needs.
PlayStation Vue plans include the ability to simultaneously stream on up to five devices, which is the highest number of simultaneous streams offered by any major service without an add-on price (Hulu with Live TV does offer unlimited simultaneous streams, but charges an extra $15 per month for it).
There are a couple of drawbacks, though. One is that you can’t stream from more than one PlayStation console at a time. So if you’ve got a PlayStation console in the living room and another in the bedroom, you’ll be able to use your account on only one console at a time.
The other is you’re not able to use your account to stream on a video player outside your home network. Mobile devices and laptops are fine for watching on the go, but the second you try to use your account on a smart TV or other video player outside your home network, PlayStation will suspend your service. Translation: you can’t share your Vue service with friends or family members who don’t live with you.
|Commercials on PlayStation Vue||Live||On Demand||DVR|
All content on this service features commercials, and the service currently doesn’t offer a commercial-free plan. However, your experience with commercials will vary depending on how you’re watching the content in question. Livestreams and DVR content feature typical commercial breaks of two to three minutes each. However, it is possible to fast forward through commercials on both DVR recordings and live TV (as long as you’ve fallen far enough behind the livestream).
On-demand content, on the other hand, features fewer, shorter commercial breaks of about two minutes each, usually featuring network promos instead of product ads. When watching on-demand content, fast-forwarding is disabled, so you’re stuck sitting all the way through the commercials.
|Playback Features||Live||On Demand||DVR||Price|
|Pausing||Yes (4 minutes, 15 seconds max)||Yes||Yes||Included|
This service offers a lot of playback features, so it should feel a lot more familiar to cord-cutters who are used to a traditional cable package.
It lets you pause livestreams for over four minutes, which is quite a lot compared to other services. Plus, you can rewind and fast forward while watching live content, so you can jump back ten seconds if you missed a crucial line, pause while you go to the bathroom, and fast forward through commercials if you’ve fallen behind live TV.
Recorded content is also pretty similar to what you’d get with cable TV service. While watching shows saved to your DVR, you can rewind and fast forward through commercials. You can also pause for an unlimited amount of time.
PlayStation Vue on-demand content is very similar to DVRed content with one notable exception: you can’t fast forward. This prevents you from being able to fast forward through commercials, but, as we mentioned above, commercial breaks during on-demand content are shorter than usual and feature only network promos.
Streaming quality and interface
PlayStation Vue is easily one of the top TV streaming services in terms of picture quality. It features 720p resolution, so it’s comparable to other streaming services there. But as we’ve already mentioned, PlayStation has been perfecting its livestreaming technology for quite some time, so it naturally has fewer lagging and buffering issues that typically plague other streaming services.
This makes the service a lot more pleasant to use, especially for sports fans who need a smooth, reliable stream in order to keep track of tiny pucks, balls, and other details.
As far as interface goes, PlayStation Vue isn’t the greatest, but it’s also not the worst. And frankly, a lot depends on the device you use to you watch. We happen to think the interface for browsers is clunky and a bit hard to navigate. But the interface on other video-playing devices like the Roku is actually pretty user-friendly.
The service also features a live TV guide, much like a cable package.
As you can see from the screenshot above, its format is flipped from the more traditional cable TV guide, with channels along the top and time slots down the left. Considering that most people are used to seeing channels on the left and and time slots along the top, it’s certainly less intuitive than guides featured on other services. Fortunately, you always have the free trial period to try it out.
PlayStation Vue device compatibility
With streaming services, you don’t have to worry about renting extra equipment like set-top boxes. All you need is the PlayStation Vue app and your favorite compatible streaming device.
Contrary to popular belief, PlayStation Vue is available to stream on a number of devices besides the PlayStation console. Currently, the service offers Roku and Chromecast support, plus compatibility with a number of other devices, including iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.
If you’re looking to stream from an Xbox device, though, you’re out of luck—the service isn’t available on any gaming consoles besides the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. But considering that Sony owns the service and originally developed it for PlayStation users, that’s hardly surprising. You also can’t use it on an AirTV Player, as the technology is also owned by a competitor—Sling TV.
One surprising lapse in compatibility, though, is PlayStation VR. Since both PlayStation VR and PlayStation Vue are PlayStation-owned, you’d think you’d be able to use the service on PlayStation VR sets. But unfortunately, the two aren’t compatible at this time. If that changes, we’ll be the first to let you know.
Here’s the complete list of devices currently compatible with the PlayStation Vue app:
TVs and video players:
- Amazon Fire TV (and Fire TV Sticks)
- Android TV
- Apple TV
Phones and tablets:
- Amazon Fire tablets
- Android phones
- Android tablets
- PlayStation 3
- PlayStation 4
Laptops and computers:
PlayStation Vue Promotions
For the most part, PlayStation Vue deals are pretty limited. Occasionally, online and brick-and-mortar stores like Costco, Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon will offer PlayStation Store gift cards for a discounted rate. If you find such a deal, you can purchase a $50 gift card (or whatever other amount you want) and use the gift card to pay for your service. It’s a bit of a work-around, but it’s better than nothing.
PlayStation Vue review summary (our verdict)
- Better streaming quality due to more advanced technology
- Less expensive options for sports fans
- Relatively extensive local channel offerings
- Up to five simultaneous streams
- Unlimited cloud DVR space
- Lots of playback features
- Ability to skip commercials
- PlayStation device compatibility
- Fewer channels than other services
- More expensive premium channel add-ons
- Steep price for its basic package
- 28-day time limit on DVR recordings
- Occasionally clunky interface
- Very few promotions
PlayStation Vue isn’t without its drawbacks, but it’s still one of our favorite streaming services. Sure, it costs a bit more than other services, but we feel the streaming quality of this service alone makes it worth the higher price. Throw in its extensive local channel availability, and it’s a clear winner in our book. After all, what’s the point of paying less if it means you don’t get the channels you need—or you can’t watch them because of video quality issues?
That being said, we fully acknowledge that PlayStation Vue isn’t right for everyone. While sports fans get great value with the Core package, users who just want a basic TV package can find what they need for way less elsewhere. And Game of Thrones fans will definitely pay more for HBO access with this service than they would with DIRECTV NOW. Plus, there’s that awkward cloud DVR thing. Having unlimited recording space with a four-week time limit could work really well for some people, but it could be completely wrong for others. You’ll just have to decide which camp you’re in.
Overall, we’d like to give this service five stars, but the few drawbacks are big enough that we’ve got to downgrade our rating to four.
PlayStation Vue review FAQs
How does PlayStation Vue work?
PlayStation Vue is a streaming service that allows you to watch live, on-demand, and recorded TV shows from most major video-playing devices, including Chromecast, Apple TV, and Roku. You don’t need a PlayStation console to use the service—just download the app, sign up, and start watching your favorite TV shows.
What makes PlayStation Vue different from cable?
This service is accessed via the internet rather than via cable or satellite. It doesn’t require a contract, and most plans cost much less than a traditional cable subscription. It also features fewer channels, so you don’t have to pay for a 200-channel base package when you’ll be watching only 10–20 channels.
How much is PlayStation Vue per month?
Playstation Vue costs $39.99 per month with the Access plan, but packages range up to $74.99 per month for the Ultra package. At that point, the cost of a PlayStation Vue subscription is pretty similar to most cable plans, but the service includes a couple of premium networks and is contract-free.
Is PlayStation Vue free?
PlayStation Vue offers a five-day free trial, so you can try it out, make sure it works with your devices, double check the picture and streaming quality from your home, and verify the service offers all the local channels your household needs.
Can you use PlayStation Vue credentials to authenticate TV Everywhere apps?
Yes. Below, we’ve included a full list of TV Everywhere apps that you can access using PlayStation Vue credentials. Keep in mind your credentials won’t work on a TV Everywhere app if your package doesn’t cover that channel. So, if you have an Access package, which doesn’t include the Big Ten Network, you won’t be able to log into the BTN2GO app.
TV Everywhere apps that accept login credentials from PlayStation Vue:
- Adult Swim
- WATCH ABC
- BET NOW
- Bravo Now
- Cartoon Network
- Comedy Central
- Cooking Channel – Watch Cooking Channel
- Discovery GO
- WATCH Disney Channel
- WATCH Disney Jr.
- WATCH Disney XD
- DIY Watch
- E! Now
- WATCH ESPN
- Esquire TV Now
- Food Network
- FOX Business Channel
- FOX News Channel
- FOX Sports GO
- Freeform GO
- Fusion Live
- FX Now (includes FX, FXX, FXM - Fox Movies)
- Golf Channel
- HGTV Watch
- National Geographic
- NBC News
- NBC Sports Live Extra
- NBC Universo
- NCAA March Madness
- Nick Jr.
- WATCH One World Sports
- Oxygen Now
- Showtime Anytime
- Spike TV
- Syfy Now
- TBS – WATCH TBS
- TNT – WATCH TNT
- Travel Channel – Watch Travel Channel
- truTV – Watch truTV
- Turner Classic Movies – WATCH TCM
- TV Land
- USA NOW
Does PlayStation Vue offer a DVR?
Yes, it does. With this service, you can record as much content as you want, but there’s a 28-day time limit. After those 28 days have passed, the content is erased from your DVR.
How are the PlayStation Vue video and audio quality?
This service is one of the best in terms of streaming quality. Video resolution maxes out at 720p, which doesn’t sound like much but is pretty standard for streaming services. Where the service really stands out, though, is in its streaming quality, which features less lagging and buffering than other services.
Audio quality is a similar story. While a few streaming providers (like DIRECTV NOW) offer Dolby Digital audio, this service offers only stereo sound. However, this is a conscious choice on the part of Sony, as higher-quality sound tends to bog down your internet connection and negatively affect the overall streaming experience. In fact, that’s a big reason why DIRECTV NOW tends to have more lagging and buffering issues than PlayStation Vue. Honestly, we’re willing to sacrifice a bit of sound quality if it means we don’t have to wait for content to buffer and load every 30 seconds.
What internet speed do you need for PlayStation Vue?
The service recommends a minimum internet speed of 10 Mbps, plus an additional 5 Mbps for each additional stream. So if you want to stream the service on three devices simultaneously, you’ll need internet speeds of 20 Mbps or higher.
If you’re not sure whether your internet connection can support PlayStation Vue, we strongly recommend trying out the free trial period to make sure it operates smoothly on your home network.
Can I watch PlayStation Vue on multiple devices simultaneously?
Absolutely. This service offers up to five simultaneous streams, and it’s included in the cost of your package. No other streaming service offers that many simultaneous streams without making you pay extra for it.
Is there a PlayStation Vue gift card?
Yes. You can purchase PlayStation Store cards at Target, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and a number of other stores. These cards can then be applied toward your PlayStation Vue bill.
How can you get PlayStation Vue?
Just visit the PlayStation Vue website to sign up for a free trial.
Hopefully, our review answered all your questions about PlayStation Vue, but if you’re still in the dark about any aspect of the service, you can check out the service’s website for more information. The FAQ section is particularly helpful in answering questions. You can also visit the channels page to input your ZIP code and see which local channels are available in your area.