PlayStation Vue Streaming Service Review

Cord-cutters don’t need a gaming system to win big: stream live TV, record your favorite shows for free, and pay on a monthly no-contract basis with PlayStation Vue.
PlayStation Vue logo
Cord-cutters don’t need a gaming system to win big: stream live TV, record your favorite shows for free, and pay on a monthly no-contract basis with PlayStation Vue.
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
Price:
$39.99–$74.99
Channels:
49–90
Contract :
Month-to-month

table

OVERVIEW

PlayStation Vue (or PS Vue) acts as a standalone streaming service meant to give you live TV at a better price than traditional cable. Cord-cutters take note—you don’t actually have to have a PlayStation 3 (PS3) or PlayStation 4 (PS4) to watch PlayStation Vue; in fact, it supports most streaming devices like Amazon Fire and Roku. PlayStation Vue also has higher channel counts compared to the other streaming services like Sling TV and fuboTV. PlayStation Vue also includes a free, built-in DVR.

With PlayStation Vue, you won’t have to sign up for yearly contracts with early termination fees (ETFs), which can be $240 or more from traditional cable providers. You won’t need to lease equipment or pay hidden fees, either, but the streaming service may not have enough of your favorite channels.

PlayStation Vue plans and pricing

How much is PlayStation Vue?

PlayStation Vue costs at least $39.99 per month for the Access package, whereas the highest-tier package (Ultra) costs $74.99 per month. It’s a decent price for a solid selection of entertainment channels, movie channels, and sports. And no, you do not have to buy a PlayStation console like PS3, PS4, or PS Vita.

PlayStation Vue packages

PlansPriceChannelsTrial
Access$39.99/mo.43+ channels5-day trial
Core$44.99/mo.55+ channels5-day trial
Elite$54.99/mo.78+ channels5-day trial
Ultra$74.99/mo.90+ channels5-day trial

Price and channel inclusion vary according to location.

PS Vue’s plans aren’t much cheaper than cable, if at all, but you won’t need to install anything new, nor do you have equipment rental costs or other hidden fees like broadcast surcharges. And since your contract is month to month, you won’t worry about big scary termination fees if you want to try a different service.

Plus, when you look at the channel listings for PS Vue, you’re not getting bloated counts for music channels or other less-viewed/unknown/strange networks that you didn’t want in the first place. Overall, it seems like a good bang for the buck.

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Reminder

The second you go over the 5-day trial period, you will be charged. That seems obvious, but we receive many complaints from users that canceled just hours after a free trial ended and would not receive refunds.

PlayStation Vue is on par with other streaming services like Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW when it comes to add-ons like HBO. Typically, you’ll see $15 each per month for premiums. The Sports Pack is a cheap way to get comprehensive nationwide coverage ranging from football to baseball to soccer and more. We haven’t seen too many providers offer Hi-YAH! or Machinima like PlayStation Vue does, so it’s nice to see more niche audiences being catered to.

Add-on packages

  • Sports Pack*: $10/mo.
  • Español Pack: $3.99/mo.
  • Fox Soccer Plus: $14.99/mo.
  • HBO MAX Pack (HBO+Cinemark): $21.99/mo.
  • HBO: $15/mo.
  • Cinemax: $15/mo.
  • Premium Pack (Epix Hits + SHOWTIME): $13.99/mo.
  • SHOWTIME: $10.99/mo.
  • EPIX Hits: $3.99/mo.
  • Machinima: $1.99/mo.
  • HI-YAH!: $2.99/mo.

* Not available for Access plan

PlayStation Vue PS Plus member discount

If you’re a member of PlayStation’s PS Plus, you will receive a discount on the following add-ons: Showtime, HBO/Cinemax bundle, Epix Hits/Showtime bundle, and Fox Soccer Plus. While it’s only a $1–$2 discount per month, it adds up to $12–$24 per year in savings, which is a couple of pizzas.

Just FYI, a PS Plus pass is $9.99 per month, but we recommend it only for gamers using PS4, PS3, and PS Vita systems.

How do you know if something is eligible for the discount? It has the yellow PlayStation Plus logo (which looked like popcorn to us) and discounted price underneath the regular price. We’ve provided a screenshot to show you.

Channels

We’re pretty impressed with the offerings from PlayStation Vue, especially since the cheapest plan (Access) has the bulk of popular channels like AMC, FX, ESPN, ESPN2, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Fox News, CNN, and HGTV. With the highest–tier package having 89+ channels, it’s not the highest channel count among streaming services, but PlayStation Vue doesn’t load their count with music channels or other filler we don’t care about.

We’d guess that most people would get the majority of what they want to watch by getting the Core package and adding on HBO or the Sports Pack. Personally, as long as we get Rick and Morty, Game of Thrones, and the NBA finals and NFL playoffs, we’re good.

PlayStation Vue price and plan summary

  • PlayStation Vue has plans priced similar to traditional cable, but without extra hidden fees or long-term contracts.
  • A solid library is reinforced with plenty of add-on options catering to sports fans, movie buffs, and more.
  • The channel selection isn’t filled with fluff, but viewers may miss some major networks like A&E, Nickelodeon, or MTV.
  • We recommend PlayStation Vue for just about anybody looking to ditch their cable provider, but especially for those already signed up for the PlayStation Network or PlayStation Plus.

First impressions

Signing up

Sign-up took us less than five minutes, and once again: you don’t need a PlayStation console. You will need an account on the PlayStation Network (PSN) tied to a credit card and a residential address, but that’s pretty easy to create, too.

PlayStation Vue’s five-day period is two days shorter than most streaming services, so be wary as you sign up for a free trial—you do NOT have a week to figure it out. Make sure you have enough time to actually scope out the service before creating your trial.

Interface

The PS Vue’s library interface is superior to a lot of other streaming services we’ve tried. We like that it displays a show’s progress with a red and white bar so we know at what point we’re tuning in. Immediately we noticed the option to add Favorite Channels and Favorite Shows, which is much more helpful than browsing the channel guide or searching for your show over and over.

Kudos to the PlayStation’s design team—it really made it easy for users to get what they want fast.

Another reason to love the user interface: the Sports section.

PlayStation not only groups according to sports but also breaks out events by date with teams and leagues clearly displayed so you can get a snapshot of the next week. You can even toggle displaying scores on and off in your settings—a nice extra feature for sports fans. We like seeing such an organized, user-friendly platform becoming the standard.

Playback

PS Vue’s watching window isn’t anything astonishingly new, but it does have a few little nuances that make it feel like it’s enhanced services we’re used to. In the top right corner you’ll see the following:

  1. This episode is marked as “ON DEMAND,” meaning you can access it whenever; unfortunately you can’t use it to click immediately into other on-demand content.
  2. The channel logo (for Adult Swim “[as]”), which you can click to see what else is on the network.
  3. Either a check mark or a plus sign, signifying that you’ve added or can add a show to your favorites.

The standard playback controls are there: play/pause, rewind, fast-forward, back to beginning, volume, HD and closed captioning, browse mode (show plays minimized while you surf channels), and full screen. The rewind and fast-forward features work in increments, so every time you click the button it adds another 10 seconds.

Unfortunately, for those of us who want to get away from ads, PlayStation Vue is no safe haven. Since it is live TV, you won’t be able to skip commercials unless you’re watching an on-demand program. That being said, you won’t get more commercials than traditional cable.

Recording

PlayStation Vue’s DVR system is free, you just need to add a program to “My Shows” for it to automatically record. It will store for a month, and there’s no limit to the number of recordings. Unfortunately, you can’t record just one show one time—which seems like an oversight.

If you don’t record the show and it’s not on demand, you can jump around any part of the program that has aired since you selected it, but not earlier.

Captions

Special shoutout for the wide variety of Closed Caption settings from PS Vue! We like seeing companies that make an effort to provide captions but also how they’re displayed.

We’ve noticed with other services like fuboTV, the captions were more trouble than help because they took over half the screen. But with PS Vue, you can adjust the font size and style, as well as the opacity, color, and size of the background it’s displayed on—awesome!

Devices

You can register up to five devices; any more than that and you will have to select a device to unregister. You also get five simultaneous streams. Compared to DIRECTV, Sling TV, and fubo, PlayStation Vue has the highest number of available devices and streams. Mobile devices will have out-of-home network restrictions when on-the-go. It bears repeating: although it’s a common misconception, Vue works for more than PlayStation consoles.

The following devices will work for PlayStation Vue:

And of course, you can always watch on the PlayStation Vue website, which is our preferred at-home method—We use our laptops so much, it makes it easy to plug in a HDMI cable to the big-screen TV, turn on Vue, and then veg out for the night.

PlayStation Vue first impressions summary:

  • The interface is better than most cable and streaming services, giving multiple options for easy navigation along with understandable organization.
  • Playback is simple and intuitive.
  • Caption services are better than others.
  • PlayStation Vue is the only streaming live TV service that works on PlayStation Consoles but works for most devices.

PS Vue vs. the competition

While each live TV streaming service seems to be doing things just a little differently, we’d say anyone who is looking at Sling TV vs DIRECTV NOW will find a happy medium with PlayStation Vue.

PriceChannelsMax simultaneous streamsFree trial
PlayStation Vue$30–$75/mo.30–90+55-day trial
Sling TV$20–$40/mo.20–40+47-day trial
DIRECTV NOW$35–$88/mo.60–120+27-day trial
fubo.TV$15–$90/mo.54–77+27-day trial
Heads Up icon

Heads up

Note the differences in trial periods; if you go over your trial period and cancel a day after, you will unlikely receive a refund.

PlayStation Vue vs. Sling TV

If you’re looking for the cheapest service, Sling TV wins, plus they’ll give you a free Roku. PlayStation’s plans make more sense for cord-cutters who fear missing traditional cable, or for people who want to watch live TV from their PS3, PS4, or PS Vita. If you want more channels, more streams, and free DVR service, then go with PlayStation Vue.

Winner: (Tie) PlayStation Vue and Sling TV

PlayStation vs. DIRECTV NOW

With PlayStation Vue, you get more streams and DVR capabilities. PlayStation Vue seems to have fewer bugs, which you can read about in the DIRECTV NOW review. Overall, PlayStation is more user friendly, but you won’t get as big of a selection despite paying similar prices.

DIRECTV NOW has higher channel counts for cheaper than PS Vue, and it also charges less for premiums like HBO ($5 per month with DIRECTV NOW compared to $15 from PS Vue). So if having a huge selection is important, then DIRECTV NOW wins. All things considered, we’re hoping DIRECTV NOW improves over time, because it’s a better deal than PlayStation Vue on paper.

Winner: DIRECTV NOW

PlayStation vs. fubo TV

Unless you’re specifically trying to get sports (especially soccer), it doesn’t make much sense to go with fubo.TV over PlayStation Vue. While they offer similar services, the layout of the PlayStation Vue is much more intuitive and geared toward all types of entertainment.

Winner: PlayStation Vue

The takeaway

We recommend PlayStation Vue for those looking to ditch cable and satellite TV providers in favor of a no-contract live TV option. You’ll get high channel counts, flexibility to add or remove premiums month-to-month, and a TV service that works on pretty much all of your devices. You won’t have to pay additional fees for DVR use or equipment, either. If you’re curious, sign up for a 5-day free trial here.

Before jumping ship completely, we’ll forewarn you to check out the channel lineups. Although some major networks are absent, we take it most of PlayStation Vue’s audience won’t be heartbroken about it since they can still get big names like AMC, Cartoon Network, CNN, Discovery Channel, Food Network, Fox News, and more.

PlayStation Vue review summary:

  • Watch live TV at a cheaper price than traditional cable providers
  • Add channels and shows to your favorites for quick access
  • Use up to five devices and five simultaneous streams
  • Record with the free DVR without worrying about setting times

PlayStation Vue FAQs

Can I watch PlayStation Vue on the go?

You can’t watch NFL games on the mobile networks, period. However, most channels and programs will work except CBS and most live NHL games. And if you’re outside of your home city, you won’t be able to watch CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC, regional sports networks, or most live NHL games due to licensing agreements.

Can I watch PlayStation Vue at my friend’s/family’s house?

PlayStation Vue doesn’t work across multiple IP addresses, meaning you can’t log in from someone else’s device outside of your home. It also tracks your ZIP code to make sure you’re in your home network—kind of a bummer considering how easy it is to pull up something like Netflix on someone else’s TV.

  • bgnjoe

    We’ve had Vue for almost a year. In that time, the service has gotten better in some respects and gone downhill in others. When we first got it, some of the shows recorded on the cloud DVR had buffering issues. Over time, that got better. Unfortunately, over time, we started having other problems with the DVR. My wife pretty much only uses it to watch a few shows on HGTV and Food network. It’s gotten to the point where it’s 50/50 as to whether or not it errs out on the DVR. We get an error message “native error,internal” and can’t watch the recorded show. On the bright side, they’re also available on demand. The problem with on demand on those channels is you can’t fast forward through commercials, which is the whole point of recording shows. Overall, I’m marginally satisfied. It is saving me $70 a month versus what I was paying for satellite (DirectTV), but if it doesn’t get better, will probably end up going back to satellite or cable. For whatever reason, the shows I record mainly on SyFy, AMC, Investigation Discovery, Science, etc., work fine, but if my wife isn’t happy, it’s not worth it.

  • anonymous

    After my last $608.00 bill from Direct tv I had, had more than enough, Done. After being a Direct Tv customer for 10 Years, that was it for me.

    I of course got bored after the first few days of not having live tv or any of my shows I normally watch So I went online to look for a different cable provider. I only had the XTRA pkg with Direct TV and after AT&T purchased the company my monthly bill somehow had skyrocketed to $250.00 a MONTH between the 5 tv boxes we had and the monthly rental fees, the surcharge fees, the tax, etc…It all became too much to continue. Who pays $250.00 a month for live tv that I only watched for 3-4 hours at the most at night time???? So after disconnecting service I came across this Live streaming Tv with Playstation Vue. I looked at the packages and could hardly beleive it. The Very first package the Acess pkg had EVERY single channel that both my husband and I, even our kids watch…All for $39.99 a month. No hidden fees, surcharges, equiptment costs, taxes…NONE of that…just a straight forward $39.99 a month. We already had 1- Playstation 3 console & 2- Playstation 4 consoles and we started service immediately that night. It is AMAZING. I have every single tv channel we watch, it’s normal live tv just like we had. We have unlimited DVR recording, On-Demand acess, On screen Tv Guide, etc…It’s unbeleivable. If I would have known about this sooner I would have terminated service with Direct TV a year ago…or whenever this first came out. It is Amazing. We are Literally saving $210.00 dollars A MONTH. And we couldn’t be happier with Playstation Vue Service. It is Great, the service, the channels, the price nothing short of Awesome. I dont know why anyone would still be paying the outrageous costs of satellite/Cable tv providers. We broke free!!! We are done…If you havent tried this yet I highly recommend it. If you dont have a Playstation…get a ROKU Box for anywhere between $30-$100 and you can then get playstation Vue immediately. Its a great service. We are NEVER going Back to Satellite/ Cable service & fees ever again.

  • joma

    I just signed up for a trial. I currently have pay for two live subscriptions (Directv Now and Sling TV Blue) just so I can get two channels I really need live – Fox News and NFL RedZone. But, RedZone season is over, and I’m growing more unhappy with the performance of Directv Now service. (I have plenty of bandwidth and no problems with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or Sling TV).

    PS Vue seems to have the perfect mix of channels for me, and I thought I could consolidate three of my existing subscriptions into this one. However…

    I’ll likely cancel before my trial ends and try out Hulu’s new LiveTV package. Here is why PS Vue just doesn’t impress me at all:
    1) they won’t take PayPal for monthly charges,
    2) activation process for AppleTV and Roku is a pain (although it is easy on the FireStick)
    3) as of today (Jan 7,2018), can’t get PS Vue to stream on any of my OSx browsers (Safari, FF, Chrome). Get closest with Firefox, but just spins. Get errors logging in (too many streams) on Safari and Chrome — I only have one friggin computer.
    4) this is minor, but I don’t care for the channel guide layout on the devices I can get the program running. This is something Directv Now has nailed.

    I will say I was impressed with PS Vue on paper, and liked the channels I could get with Core, with the option to add on RedZone during football season. Also, streaming performance my first day was stable.

  • VueReviewer

    Playstation Vue has been good – I have had it for about a year. The selection of channels is good but here are the drawbacks that I wish would improve:
    1. Navigating the channels isn’t that friendly especially after a recent major change to the layout.
    2. Shows will just disappear after being available for a while. This is very disappointing once you get into something.
    Finally, the most inconvenient part of all
    3. Constantly having to reactivate it. You have to do it from a computer AND you need your phone. It’s highly annoying when you just get home or get in bed and want to watch TV. You must log in from a computer then verify your sign in with your phone AND THEN enter a many digit (10 or so) code to activate. It’s not clear why and when you have to reactivate it but it seems more often than not and it’s aggravating every time…especially if you share this account with a household and not everyone has access to the same email and phones. This makes me want to find a new service.

  • http://www.annihilationgaming.com/index.html AnnihilationGaming™

    I have had PS Vue for about 3 years now, and it complete and utter garbage. Now I am not talking about the DVR or channel selection. The reason I say it is garbage , is because it constantly crashes or goes down. And the DVR rewind is garbage too. It’s been about 3 years and the only “local” channel I get is CBS. And that took literally forever. It seems like there more interested in adding more channels? Then actually fixing the stability of the app. In fact to this date I have rated PS Vue at one star. Because IF I could rate it a “point” on star. That’s what I would rate it. Perhaps it’s time I gave PS Vue a “no holds barred review” I also don’t like the fact half the time my DVR doesn’t play and the fact they have made shows on demand. So there is no point in DVR’ing them. I hate because you can’t skip commercials, you can thank Dish TV and the networks for that. Sure it’s bit cheaper then what I what I paid for cable, Dish and Direct TV. But the main fact remains, the app is total garbage. P.S. And you what really sucks the most. I just upgraded to Ultra. And what is with only having 28 days of DVR recording or having the show as a favorite. Why not a full 30? I have to restart the app or restore my licence through my PlayStation. Almost 3 years and it’s still junk.

    • Maria Millett

      Hey There – We didn’t not approve your message, we just weren’t in the office when you wrote your messages to approve them. As you can see, this has been approved now and it wasn’t because you wrote us several other messages and comments. If you look through any of our pages, it’s obvious we approve comments and let people rant about companies. We are here to create a community where people can get and give the best information about products.

  • Aggravated Watcher

    Why does it go out in the middle of shows?! Drives me crazy, does it happen to anyone else?

  • Vue User

    I have been using Vue for a couple of years now, after getting infuriated by my DTV bill, combined with the loss of service when it rained. I love it, and would highly recommend. For us it has been the perfect solution, with all the channels we watch, and none of the garbage that is 75% of what you get with DTV.

  • Vue User

    I love PlayStation Vue. I have been using it for a couple of years now, since I was infuriated by DTV overcharging me for an inferior service. It has all the channels we watch for 30% of what we were paying. O would never go back to “boxes”, it’s simply a rip off. Highly recommend. I have never had an issue. I think the people who have problems perhaps have poor ISP’s, maybe AT&T which is garbage. Get new internet.

  • StopWastingOurTaxDollars

    Psvue has a deliberate bias against Fox News. Insulting viewers by running NBC ads almost every break. The disrupted the 5.7.18 Hannity brodcast by signal interference. Just watch and you will see. Consumers pay for services provided, psvue gets an “F” plus 2 cancelled accounts and a FCC complaint.

  • Adam Strait

    I set the DVR to record a rerun of the European Champions League final that was being broadcast at 4:30am so I could watch it when I got up. So I am watching the recording now and there is boxing on instead, has been for the last hour. No football. Not good enough. Canceling my service.

  • 2018whocares

    i just signed up for the free trial and i will see how it goes. i have my parents who are in the mid 60’s that live with me, so i need to make sure it’s parent friendly lol. i’m just trying to save money, between this and my cutting the cable package and uploading my internet speed i just may save $50 a month! and with this it looks like i get all my sports channels too? as in i don’t need a cable service provider to access them?

  • Alisa Pollock

    Will BET be coming back?