Getting to Know the PlayStation Vue Streaming Service From Sony™
PlayStation Vue is a new TV streaming service that has joined the likes of Sling TV and others in giving cable providers a run for their money. It has a lot of content, well concealed in its numerous package offerings and it has the ability to record unlimited amount of live television shows for up to twenty eight days. With over 40 million subscribers, the presence of PlayStation Vue is too loud to be ignored and the competition is alert on its heels since it is considered as an entrant coming to spoil the party for the earlier providers.
Ever since it was launched in 2015, PlayStation Vue has continued to provide an alternative for the ever increasing number of people interested in cutting their cable subscription. The service provides over 55 channels with its introductory package and this goes for about $29.99 per month. Some of the channels included with this basic package are TNT, CNN, TBS, FOX, NBC, CBC and many more. Beyond the entry package, it has Core and Elite options, as well as standalone channels which can be added to your subscription. More on this is discussed below.
One admirable thing about PlayStation Vue is the fact that it is a month to month service and unlike others offering similar services, it doesn’t require any contracts. It is structured in a similar manner as Netflix where you are not bounded by any contracts and you have the freedom to cancel your subscription anytime you feel like. Presently, PlayStation Vue is considered as one of the best cable television alternative for those interested in cutting the cable or for those who already don’t have cable but are considering good television content.
Interface and Performance of PlayStation Vue
If you have had any experience with a Sony-made app in the past, then you will find the interface of PlayStation Vue to be very familiar. It has the Menus for live TV, Favorite Shows, Recommended Content, and the good old traditional TV Guide. All the items on the menu, with the exception of the Guide, are carefully arranged on the grid, thus giving an impression that Sony is keener on the shows as opposed to the source.
Though you wouldn’t call the interface as the most intuitive one in the whole universe, it is however, serviceable and a majority of users are not having a lot of difficulties in using it. In some occasions, you might find that it takes a little bit of time to browse for shows compared to when using other services such as Sling TV, and this is because PlayStation Vue can show only about five or four channel’s worth of content at any given time, however, you will still get to where you wanted and access the shows you wanted to access.
Unfortunately, the performance of PlayStation isn’t any superior like the rest already in the market and it all depends on your home network. Just like Sling TV, Netflix, Plex and many other similar streaming services, there is not so much you can do to create a seamless experience and you will really have to hope that you have a great home network if you want to enjoy the services to the fullest.
If you are running on a slow connection, for instance if your connection is below 5mbps, you will definitely expect a lot of hiccups, low resolution videos and lots of stuttering. From about 10mbps, you may enjoy a solid connection, though the average resolution will not be the very best one.
But between 15-20mbps, things really start to lighten up when you are using PlayStation Vue. If you already have this kind of connection in your home, then you will be guaranteed of a great performance and all you have to do is to make sure that the PS4 is in range with the router or you can hardwire it directly to the connection.
Devices Supported by PlayStation Vue
When it was initially introduced, PlayStation Vue was available through PS3 or PS4, but currently, it is available in a myriad of devices. It can be accessed through Roku streaming devices, Amazon Fire TV devices, and Google Chromecast devices. It still doesn’t have support for Apple TV devices, but it is available on iOS as well as android devices such as Macs, PCs and tablets.
Features of Sony PlayStation Vue
In terms of features, PlayStation Vue seems not to be disappointing and this is what has been responsible for its incredible growth in less than one year since it launched. One of the many goals of the service is to bring to its clients the ability to live stream high quality channels without the usual challenges that the most of the streaming services do face. Streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Hulu became popular with the masses because they can stream on-demand content, though they cannot replace a capable package entirely.
If you are the kind of viewer who would like to relax in your living room and catch up with live sporting event or watch shows as they air, then you won’t find the likes of Huly to be appealing. With PlayStation Vue on the other hand, you have the power to stream live TV from the comfort of your living room without worrying about the expenses of having a cable subscription.
One of the main features that PlayStation Vue is currently running on is its ability to live stream popular cable channels, but in addition to this, the following are some of the features which make it have an enjoyable experience for most of the subscribers:
Watch on-demand content – With PlayStation Vue, you can get content of the most popular prime time shows stored for up to three days. This gives you the power to go back and watch anything you may have missed and when watching a particular show, you can still go back and watch previous episodes availed to you on-demand.
Watch Live TV – the service gives you the versatility to watch live TV the same time it is being aired on cable. It gives access to over 55+ channels, with all live stream options just as you would normally do with a cable subscription. The only difference is that PlayStation Vue is cheaper and doesn’t come with any contracts like the cable subscriptions.
Timeline – The timeline is another adorable feature present in PlayStation Vue that has been liked by millions of subscribers. This feature is specifically designed for users who might still be interested in cable subscription, but wouldn’t want to lose their favorite television shows. With this feature, users can view up to the last eight shows they had watched as well as the one that will be the next to air. In this manner, the subscribers will never miss any installment of their favorite shows and they also have the power to set up their preferred shows for future recording.
My Shows – this is another outstanding feature which allows users to tag their favorite television shows. Once you tag your favorite show, the future airing of that show will be automatically recorded and they will be saved in the cloud for up to 28 days. All you have to do then is go back and retrieve the recorded shows and watch them at your own convenience. Since you are free to record up to thousands of hours of shows, you can as well record as many of your favorite shows as possible.
Play Station Vue Packages (Bundles)
PlayStation Vue has several packages to suit the needs of different subscribers. Subscribers have the option to go for the three multi-channel plans or alternatively, they can opt for the standalone channel packages. Below is a brief description of the various packages:
Access Slim Plan – Costs $29.99 per month
This is the most basic plan and it contain channels such as NBC, FOX, and ABC all on-demand, CNN, Cartoon Network, Fox News, Food Network, TBS, TNT, HGTV, CNBC and several others, making them over 55+ channels.
Core Slim Plan – $34.99 per month
The strength of the Core Slim Package lies on its ability to add local sports network to your subscription. It has about 70+ channels and these include additional channels like IFC and Golf Channel which will be included if you pay the extra $5 per month.
Elite Slim Plan - $44.99 per month
With this package, you have access to over 100+ channels and it also features two of PlayStation Vue’s standalone channels – Epix Hits which has documentaries, comedy specials, and popular movies and the second one is Machinima considered as the headquarters of all things gaming.
Ultra Slim Plan - $64.99 per month
The Ultra Slim package has all the above channels including premium networks such as Showtime and HBO.
If you didn’t want to subscribe to any of the above channels, you have the option to subscribe for one of the standalone packages which include the following:
HBO at $15.00 per month – this is the same rate at which you get the channel with other services such as Sling TV.
Machinima at $3.99/month – this is for all things gaming and it also features original series, news, podcast segments and high quality game action amongst others.
FOX Soccer Plus at $14.99/month – This service was introduced in 2010 and it is dedicated to covering rugby and soccer from all the major leagues in the world. This is the place to watch incredibly world popular leagues such as EUEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League.
Showtime at $10.99/month.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Sony PlayStation Vue
Every streaming service comes with its advantages and disadvantages and PlayStation Vue is no exemption. Though the likes and dislikes may be subjective, the following are some of what could be said about PlayStation Vue as far as advantages and disadvantages goes:
Pretty interface – PlayStation Vue comes with a nice looking interface which is relatively easy and intuitive to navigate. Once you learn your way around the interface, it becomes easy to customize so that you can use it more easily.
Great channel selection – The channel selection in PlayStation Vue is equally great. With the basic package, you get so much including a decent selection of on-demand channels. You also have the option of going for standalone channels if you don’t feel like taking the bulk packages.
No contract needed – Unlike most of the cable services where you were bounded with a contract for a given duration, with PlayStation Vue, there are no contracts and you can cancel the subscription anytime if you don’t like it.
Live TV Options – it also gives you the chance to watch live TV and this something adored by most of the subscribers.
Finally, PlayStation Vue gives the ability to sign into certain channel apps just as you would normally do with the various cable providers.
The following are some of the things you may not like about PlayStation Vue:
PlayStation Vue is slightly expensive, especially when consider taking the standalone channels.
You will need to have PS3 or PS4, though it is also compatible with other streaming devices, but not all of them.
The recommended for you feature isn’t that robust and it needs more work to make recommendation based on the type of programs or contents watched by the users. It sometimes recommends shows that are totally of hook with what the user enjoys.
The “recorded” episodes and the “catch up” episodes are somewhat confusing to many people at the beginning, but with more interaction, they get to know the difference and use them appropriately.
Free Trial for PlayStation Vue
If you were interested in trying out PlayStation Vue and see if it will meet your needs, you can take advantage of the 7 day trial period for all the multi channel packages and see how it goes. For the standalone packages, you can also get a trial period of either 7 days or 30 days depending on the specific standalone package. Simply try it out and if you like it you can go for the subscription, but if you don’t you just cancel and you will not be charged.