PlayStation Vue, the internet television service of Sony came into existence in the early part of 2015 and intended to provide a fantastic and alternate experience of viewing the television. With this live TV streaming service, the viewers can get rid of the annoying cable contract system and all that they need to pay is a monthly fee without any hidden cost. The service offered by Sony to enter into the world of the TV streaming service, which is free from contracts, is to exploit the market comprising the cord-cutters.
See also: Top Best Live TV Stream Services
1. Availability of options
Whether it is news or entertainment, you can get a series of services via different channels. The viewing in this live TV service is available through the internet instead of cable and people can access the shows through an easy user interface to watch their favorite shows, and also add those to the personal libraries. Regardless of the name, this service need not be availed through the PlayStation console, and one can access it through a varied range of devices with a subscription to this live television service. Whether it is a tablet, phone or Roku device, you can watch your favorite programs with ease.
2. Accessing the PlayStation Vue
Although the service was available in the select cities after its launch, it is now available widely across the United States. Sony has not yet confirmed the availability of this service in the other countries as of now.
3. Package of channels and pricing
Sony has raised the prices of PlayStation Vue from July 2018, making it one of the priciest options among the live TV streaming service. There are multiple channels available for the viewers and the major networks include the CBS, NBC, Fox, and ABC. However, these channels are only available in the selected markets and the service providers update the markets constantly. The most recent update came about in September 2018 with the addition of more than eighty-five local affiliates taking the total number to 540. Even though the service offers coverage of the live channels through the United States, the accessibility does not reach every market although the channels can be availed on-demand.
No matter where you live, the basic channel selection is similar when it comes to the package of features. The premium subscription packages keep on adding more channels; so, you can access more if you are ready to increase the price of the subscription. With higher-end subscription packages, you will get the basic channels plus the others. It is a very good opportunity indeed when you compare this with the service of Sling TV that dumps some of the basic channels when you move to the higher subscription packages. Sony does not offer the viewership of the channels that Viacom owns, such as Comedy Central and MTV Spike. If you are keen to get the viewership of these channels through the live TV streaming service, you better watch out for the other options. However, for the fans of Fox channels such as Fox Soccer Plus, Fox News, Fox Business, and FS1, PlayStation Vue offers a feed of the Fox brands that bring together all the VOD and live content from the channels owned by Fox and the local affiliates in one location. The packages of this live TV streaming service are Access, Core, Elite, and Ultra with different subscription fees.
- Access: There are more than forty-five channels available in this package, including CNN, ESPN, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network along with some other major networks. You have to shell out around $45 per month to get this subscription.
- Core: In this package, the channel count comes to about sixty and more when you pay $50 and the entertainment channels you get include TCM and IFC along with sports channels such as NBA TV, ESPN U, and NBC Golf or more.
- Elite: With Elite, you can add another thirty plus channels for $60 with a combination of niche and a group of sports channels. The other additions include Hallmark and Epix channels that are available as add-ons with the previous package plans.
- Ultra: This subscription is available for $80 consisting of a suite of ninety channels along with Showtime and HBO. With this package, you can get almost all the channels with a few exclusions.
4. Bandwidth and commercials
While watching the channels of the PlayStation Vue, you will have to sit through the television commercials as you are accessing the services live. However, you can fast forward easily if you DVRed the programs. To enhance the viewer experience of this TV service, the initial bandwidth you may require is around 10 Mbps when you need a single stream and an additional 5 Mbps for each stream. Although Sony has stated that the viewers can access several local channels such as weather and sports, you can miss a few of them depending on where you live.
5. Starting the service
It is easy to get started with PS Vue as all you have got to do is to sign and set it in the device of your choice. Sony offers a list of official documents about the set-up of the service, but you can always check the list of the supported devices below to find out how you can enjoy watching this live television service. However, you must keep in mind that watching this service offers a completely different experience on the supported devices instead of the mobile. You may also miss some of the channels on the mobile phone due to license restrictions or fail to access the recorded DVR content. The supported devices are as follows.
- PlayStation 3, 4, and PlayStation 4 Pro
- Fire Tablets
- Amazon Fire TV
- iOS Devices with iOS 8.0 or higher version
- Google Chromecast
- Android tablets/phones with Android OS 4.4 or higher
- Apple TV with 4th gen and tv OS 10.0 or higher
- Window PC’s
- Roku Devices
- Android TV with Android OS 4.4 or higher
- Web browsers through vue.playstation.com/watch
6. Different from cable services
You might just wonder what the difference is between PlayStation Vue and the cable or satellite television services and the value or the benefits you get with the subscription. It is generally much cheaper when compared with the cable television channels that you have been watching until now, especially when you are paying for the satellite box. For this live television service, you do not need anything beyond a device through which to access it as it is available through the internet. Quite naturally, it is more convenient to watch this internet television service as the shows are available on demand. For instance, you might want to catch your favorite sports tournament on the go and all that you can do is to download the app on your tablet or mobile phone to enjoy it thoroughly.
7. Cloud DVR and PlayStation Vue
It is the DVR you get through the cloud instead of a physical device. With the Cloud DVR functionality in this live TV service, you can save your preferred shows to a personal list and once it is done, you can get the recordings of all the new shows for about twenty-eight days with unlimited storage facilities and access the saved episodes from any location. However, the functionality may not be available for every channel.
8. Watching on-demand shows
You may not be able to watch all the shows in PS Vue on-demand. Each channel offers a handful of shows that are available on-demand and the rest is all live action. You are free to add-on extra services if you are keen. When it comes to pausing the live action, you can do it for about thirty minutes only when you access this service through the PlayStation device. However, the program begins automatically after the completion of the stipulated thirty minutes. For the other devices, the live action resumes after a few minutes of being paused. While a few minutes may be enough for you to take a quick phone call or to go to the washroom and eat snacks, but it may never be adequate if you want to avoid watching those commercials by pausing or skipping them somehow.
9. User Interface and the features
One of the most promising features of PS Vue is watching multiple streams at the same time. The users can access up to five streams at the same time with ten different user profiles meant for each account. It is the right option for those families with more members as different members can stream the channels to their devices without disturbing the other family members. The user interface of PS Vue is likely to differ based on the device through which you access the channels. If you talk about the best viewing experience, you can get it via PlayStation 3 and 4 with the interfaces designed with the PlayStation dashboard and the Dual-shock controller. Although the other devices will function as well, but the experience may not be as smooth as you want it to be.
10. Overview of the live TV service
Even though the cost of the service is slightly on the higher side, when you pit the performance against the competition, you can hardly get so many packages and channels elsewhere. Whether it is the time-shifting option or the strong cloud DVR, the features can easily outsmart the other options that are available.
11. Get the best
While offering the flexibility to the users when it is to watch the channels at the same time through different devices, the streaming service deserves a pat on the back. As far as the performance of this service is concerned, it goes past the other live television facilities as you can watch the shows without any buffering. When you look forward to get the best bet in live television action, analyzing this option serves your purpose. Keeping in mind, the subscription packages and the channels you receive, you are going to gain anyway if you are planning to cut the cords and the cost as well. Although the live TV service is without parental control for now, Sony has requested the viewers to focus on the Explore feature to keep the ratings to PG or G so that the younger members of the family can view what they enjoy the most.