Everything you need to know about PlayStation Vue

Aug 30, 2019

Updated 10/29: PlayStation Vue service will be discontinued starting on January 30, 2020. For more information as well as other streaming services to consider, please visit our announcement post.

✔The best streaming service for sports fans

✔Five simultaneous streams

✔Unlimited DVR storage (stores for 28 days)

✘Below average channel lineup
PlayStation Vue is the only streaming service that carries every national game from the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL — but you’ll have to pay a little more for it.

PlayStation Vue review: channels, price & everything you need to know

  • Four plans starting at $50/mo. with no long-term contracts or equipment
  • Available on almost every streaming device and smart TV
  • Requires at least 10 Mbps internet speeds

PlayStation Vue plan options

PlayStation Vue is available in four different packages ranging from $50 to $85 per month.

Number of channels52789799
  • Access ($50/mo.): ABC, AMC, Animal Planet, BabyFirst, BBC America, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Cheddar Business, CNBC, CNN, Cozi TV, Destination America, Discovery, Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, Fox Business, Fox News, Freeform, FS1, FS2, FX, FXX, HGTV, HLN, Investigation Discovery, MyNetworkTV, NBC Sports, National Geographic, OWN, Oxygen, Science Channel, Start TV, SyFy, TBS, Telemundo, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, truTV, USA, We TV
  • Core ($55/mo.): Everything in Access plus beIN Sports, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, Comet, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, ESPN College Extra, ESPNews, ESPNU, Golf Channel, Hallmark Channel, IFC, Law & Crime, MLB Network, MSNBC, Nat Geo Wild, NBA TV, NFL Network, Olympic Channel, Pop, SEC Network, Smithsonian Channel, SNY, Sundance TV, Tastemade, Tennis Channel, TCM
  • Elite ($65/mo.): Everything in Core plus Epix Hits and FXM
  • Ultra ($85/mo.): Everything in Elite plus HBO and Showtime

To get a complete listing of the channels in your specific area, enter your ZIP code on PlayStation Vue’s website

What channels is PlayStation Vue missing?

While PlayStation Vue has a high number of channels in its plans, those numbers are inflated by some pretty niche content. (BabyFirst is strictly for infants, for example, while Law & Crime is dedicated to live courtroom coverage.) 

Here is a PlayStation Vue review of some of the big names that aren’t available in any of PlayStation Vue’s plans:

  • A&E
  • BET
  • Cinemax
  • CMT
  • Comedy Central
  • History
  • ION
  • Lifetime
  • MTV
  • Music Choice
  • Nick
  • Nick Jr.
  • Paramount Network
  • PBS
  • Starz
  • The CW
  • TV Land
  • VH1
  • Weather Channel

PlayStation Vue vs. other live TV streaming services

When compared with other live TV streaming services, PlayStation Vue’s channel selection is fairly mediocre overall. The only service it has a definitively better channel selection than is AT&T TV NOW, which includes HBO in all of its plans as a bit of a trump card.

To gauge the quality of each service’s channel lineups, we utilized a survey from TiVo that asked over 3,000 respondents which channels they wanted most in a TV package. Here’s how PlayStation Vue stacks up to its competitors. 

While PlayStation Vue has fewer channels in the top 25 than Sling, Hulu and fubo, those channels might not be as important to you. In general, most of these services share a lot of the same lineups. Which one is best for you comes down to a few key choices. Do you need sports channels? Is national news important to you?

Here’s how each service compares when it comes to some of the most popular channels:

PlayStation VueYouTube TVHulu + Live TVSling Orange + BlueAT&T TV NOWfuboTV
Fox NBC FX TNT TBS USA SyFy Cartoon Network CNN Nat Geo
Discovery Food Network TLC HGTV
A&E History Lifetime
ESPN Disney Channel Freeform
Comedy Central
Animal Planet

Available add-ons

Most live TV streaming services offer a number of add-ons to their core packages, and PlayStation Vue is no exception. Its Sports and Español packs provide a lot of value for the price, while HBO and Showtime aren’t discounted at all. You can bundle some add-ons like HBO and Cinemax at a discount, but for the most part, these channels aren’t much of a deal.

  • Sports Pack ($10/mo.): NFL Red Zone, NBC Sports Regional Networks, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox College Sports, Longhorn Network, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Classic, MLB Strike Zone, ESPN Bases Loaded, Outside TV, Eleven Sports, GINX Esports TV, Stadium, Bein Sports Ñ
  • Español Pack ($5/mo.): Baby TV, Bein Sports Ñ, Cine Sony, CNN en Español, Discovery en Español, Discovery Familia, Fox Deportes, Fox Life, Nat Geo Nundo, NBC Universo
  • HBO ($15/mo.)
  • Showtime ($11/mo.)
  • Cinemax ($15/mo.)
  • Epix ($4/mo.)
  • HBO + Cinemax ($22/mo.)
  • Epix + Showtime ($14/mo.)
  • Curiosity Stream ($3/mo.)
  • Fox Soccer Plus ($15/mo.)
  • Hi-Yah ($3/mo.)

Is PlayStation Vue good for sports?

PlayStation Vue is the best live TV streaming service for sports fans, bar none. That’s because it excels in the area that matters the most: live games. Starting with the $55/mo. Core plan, PlayStation Vue offers an unmatched combination of local and nationally televised live sports. 

National games

PlayStation Vue is the only live TV streaming service that allows you to watch every nationally televised game from the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. It also has virtually every channel that airs live college games, missing only the ACC Network and Pac-12 Network. If these are must-haves for you, fuboTV is the only service with Pac-12 and Sling is the only one with ACC. 

You will need to upgrade to the Core plan for $55/mo. to access all the sports channels, but no other service matches its selection. 

LeagueWhat it hasWhat it’s missing
MLBESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1, TBS, MLB Network
NHLNBC, NBC Sports, USA, CNBC, NHL Network
NCAA FootballESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox, ABC, CBS, Big Ten Network, SEC NetworkACC Network, Pac-12 Network

Regional sports networks

For most sports fans, catching your local team’s games is essential. For the MLB, NBA and NHL, these are on regional sports networks (RSNs), and PlayStation Vue has some of the best coverage around. Like with its national games, you’ll have to upgrade to the $55/mo. Core plan to access RSNs. Alternately, you can add the Sports Extra package for $10/mo. to the Access plan ($45/mo.) to get these networks. 

PlayStation Vue covers every affiliate from Fox Sports and NBC Sports, plus SNY and YES in New York 

That said, it is missing some major networks: NESN in Boston, MSG Network in New York and Spectrum SportsNet in Los Angeles (not available on any streaming services).

Chances are good that your home team will be covered with PlayStation Vue, but be sure to run your ZIP code through its lookup tool before signing up.

Will PlayStation Vue actually save you money?

With a starting price of $50/mo., PlayStation Vue is not much cheaper than most cable or satellite TV packages. If you’re looking to really cut down your monthly TV bill, you are better off going with a skinny bundle like Sling TV ($25/mo.), Philo ($20/mo.) or AT&T Watch TV ($15/mo.). 

Here’s how it stacks up to some common TV plans:

PlayStation VueSling OrangeXFINITY (Starter Pro Double Play)Spectrum (TV Select + Internet)AT&T Internet + DIRECTV
Monthly TV + internet cost$50 (TV) + $60* (internet)$25 (TV) + $60* (internet)$90$90$75 year one, $121 year two
Installation feeNoneNoneUp to $60Up to $200Up to $99
Equipment rental feeNoneNone$13/mo.$5/mo.None
Contract lengthOne monthOne monthOne yearOne yearTwo years
Estimated year one costs$1,320$1,020$1,296$1,340$999 ($1,452 year two)
Number of channels5233140+125+155+

Because most TV providers offer significant discounts when you bundle with internet service (at least in year one), cutting the cord doesn’t always equal major savings. 

But while PlayStation Vue might not save you money compared to a traditional TV plan, it could still be worth switching for the improved user experience, better channel selection, unlimited DVR storage, five simultaneous streams and month-to-month contracts. 

Solid user experience

To get a feel for what PlayStation Vue is like to use, we tested it out on an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku Streaming Stick and MacBook Pro. 

Where most live TV streaming services stick to a design similar to traditional cable and satellite guides, PlayStation Vue makes a couple drastic departures. Most notably, you scroll through channels horizontally instead of vertically. For those of us raised on cable TV guides, it’s a bit jarring at first, but it grew on us the more we used it. 

The horizontal scrolling allows you to view less channels at once, but you see more programs from each of them.

If you miss something that was just on, PlayStation Vue puts a bright green “on demand” tag on anything that you can watch anytime, which turned out to be almost everything. You’re also able to start most programs over from the beginning if you tune in a little late. 

Like Netflix, PlayStation Vue also allows you to create separate user profiles for every user — up to ten in total. That means each person in your house can utilize their own DVR, add their own favorite channels and get customized recommendations based on what they watch.

We also appreciated how well PlayStation Vue worked with Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant voice control. For the most part, you’ll have to stick to pretty basic commands like “play” and “rewind,” but some streaming devices allowed for more complexity. When we asked Alexa to “play ESPN” from our Fire TV homescreen, for instance, it took us right to it. 

PlayStation Vue app

PlayStation Vue’s mobile app worked perfectly well in our testing, but it’s reviews have been more mixed by the public. It has a 4.4 rating in the App Store on 11.8K reviews, but only 3.6 on 8K reviews in Google Play. Android users have reported frequent issues with the app freezing and restarting unexpectedly, while Apple users haven’t shared the same issues. We used it for a few hours on a iPhone and didn’t encounter any problems, but if you plan on using the Android app frequently, YouTube TV might be a safer option. 

Generous extras

Along with YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue provides the best supplemental perks of any live TV streaming service. No matter what plan you choose, you’ll get unlimited cloud DVR storage and the ability to stream from five devices at the same time. Here’s how PlayStation Vue compares to other live TV streaming services:

PlayStation VueYouTube TVHulu + Live TVSling Orange + BlueAT&T TV NOWfuboTV
DVR storageUnlimited (stores for 28 days)Unlimited (stores for nine months)50 hours50 hours ($5 extra)20 hours (stores for 30 days)30 hours
Simultaneous streamsFiveThreeTwoFourTwoTwo

Unlimited DVR storage, but deletes after 28 days

PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV are the only live TV streaming services that don’t limit how many recordings you can store on your cloud DVR. That said, your recordings will delete after 28 days on PlayStation Vue, while YouTube TV’s last for nine months.

Five simultaneous streams

PlayStation Vue is the most generous service by far when it comes to how many devices it allows you to stream on at once. If you live in a house that can’t agree on what to watch, this perk alone might be worth the price of admission. 

PlayStation Vue FAQs

Which streaming devices work with PlayStation Vue?

PlayStation Vue has some of the broadest device compatibility of any live TV streaming service. For obvious reasons, it’s the only one that can be used with PlayStation gaming consoles, but it’s also available on almost every streaming device. Here is the complete list:

  • PlayStation 3 and 4 consoles
  • Roku
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Google Chromecast
  • Android TVs

Unfortunately, the only smart TVs that currently support PlayStation Vue are Android TVs. If you want to use it, you’ll probably have to utilize a streaming device. 

What internet speed do I need for PlayStation Vue?

PlayStation Vue recommends at least 10 Mbps download speeds for uninterrupted HD streaming, plus another 5 Mbps for each additional stream on the same internet connection. That’s a little more than other live streaming services recommend: Sling suggests 5 Mbps and YouTube TV only 3 Mbps. 

If you’re not sure what kind of speeds you’re currently getting, try using our speedtest below.

Can you fast forward through commercials on PlayStation Vue?

Unfortunately, you’re not able to fast forward through commercials on any live TV platform, PlayStation Vue included. This carries over to its on-demand library, too, where you generally have to sit through a few minutes of ads for every half hour of programming. You are able to fast forward through commercials on programs you’ve recorded, though, and you can also skip ahead to catch up if you’ve paused a live program. 

The bottom line

PlayStation Vue’s channel selection is fairly mediocre, and most viewers will probably miss a lot of their favorite channels. 

But if you mostly care about watching live sports, there’s no better option. 

It’s the only live TV streaming service that airs every national game from the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL, plus it has one of the best collections of regional sports networks around. That said, you will pay more: Those channels are only available in PlayStation Vue’s $55/mo. and up plans. 

If you don’t care about sports — or just don’t need to catch every game — Hulu + Live TV, Sling, fuboTV and YouTube TV all offer better channel lineups, and usually at a lower price.