PlayStation Vue is best for you if you want an experience that’s similar to cable for a lower cost, and you have Apple TV, PS4 or newer Roku device. You’ll get an old-fashioned guide, excellent channel lineup, and a capacity for five simultaneous, reliable streams.
PlayStation Vue is an amazing cable alternative that gives people in most markets the proper local channels (NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC) and regional sports channels. There are also special features on PS4 and Apple TV like picture-in-picture.
PlayStation Vue is the most polished live service available.
It streams at 720p at 60 frames per second.
I had clean streams on every channel except my local sports channels, which was sometimes choppy. It’s not unwatchable, but not always perfect.
You can pause live TV or rewind from the point at which you started. You can fast forward until you reach live.
You can stream with five devices at once with any package.
Vue’s entry-level plan, “Access,” is $45/month.
If you want your regional sports channels, you’ll need the “Core” plan for $50/month, making it the same as YouTube TV to get the same sports coverage.
Vue offers most Fox and NBC regional sports channels (depending on your location). They have some team-owned regional sports networks like YES, but not all. They eliminated NESN from their lineup.
I get live versions of all of my local channels (CBS, FOX, ABC, NBC) and in most cases, you should too.
You can’t use it while far away from your city/town without calling customer support.
Vue is one of the few streaming services with the option for NFL RedZone ($10/month).
Like most of services, Vue is missing BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network and VH1.
Vue looks like traditional cable with the ugly guide setup but has three unique features:
You can easily jump to specific dates with a couple of taps.
You can set it up so that your favorite channels show up first on the guide list.
The channel guide scrolls horizontally rather than vertically. I like this setup because I only watch four channels and set them as my favorites, but it’s not ideal if you watch several channels.
You can create up to ten personal profiles. Each profile gets its own DVR, favorite channels and algorithmic recommendations.
I need to use the guide more often than I do with YouTube TV:
Vue isn’t great at predicting what I want to watch. Even after only watching sports, the games that I want to watch don’t consistently show up in the recommendations.
I don’t like the thumbnails in the recommendation section because rather than showing the teams playing, it’ll just show a league logo.
You might like a guide and feel more comfortable with it, but I don’t want to be reminded of the clunky cable experience.
The search feature is solid.
PlayStation Vue works best with Apple TV and PS4 because they are the most powerful streaming devices and have exclusive features:
On Apple TV, the DVR content goes into the TV App. Your DVR recordings will show in the TV App without touching the Vue app. You can even add sporting events to your “Up Next” section.
“Multi-View” lets you watch two, three or four programs at once with picture-in-picture. You choose which channel gets the audio, and you can go full screen from any of the mini screens with one tap. Then, you get back to the picture-in-picture screen with one tap too. This is brilliant for sports lovers.
“Quick Nav” gives you easy access to your previous channel.
There are “League Pages” for MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL that show the upcoming schedules.
DVR & On-Demand (B-):
There’s unlimited DVR storage, but shows are only stored for 28 days.
You get 10 individual profiles, meaning 10 different DVR libraries.
After you record, you’ll usually get the option to watch your recorded version or an on-demand version. With the recorded version you can skip commercials, but on-demand doesn’t allow this.
FX and Fox can be recorded, but you can’t skip the commercials. You can skip ads on your recorded content on all of the other channels.
It’s easiest to skip commercials on Vue with their slick interface. As you tap the skip button, the skips stack together to create a giant skip forward. It’s better than scrubbing.
There are channels that let you “watch from the beginning” when you arrive late. I noticed this with ESPN and CNN.
Sony should’ve called the service “Vue” instead of PlayStation Vue. For a long time, I didn’t know you could watch PlayStation Vue on non-PlayStation devices. It’s confusing and poor branding.
It’s compatible with almost all devices, but I’ve found the guide is slow on Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices made before 2017.
PlayStation Vue is best on Apple TV and PS4 because of the extra features talked about above.
With the phone app, you can cast to a Chromecast or other castable device, but there’s no AirPlay support.
You can watch from your web browser without downloading an app.
Quick Review (TL;DR)
Stream: It’s usually a clean experience with five concurrent streams. You can pause, and if you’re behind live (from pausing), you can fast forward.
Channels: Regional sports ($50/month) and local channels are available in almost all locations.
Interface: Vue looks like traditional cable with the guide. Recommendations aren’t great, but picture-in-picture is an amazing for sports fans.
DVR: You get unlimited DVR storage and 10 profiles. Shows are stored for 28 days. You can skip commercials on any network except Fox and FX.
Devices: Roku, Apple TV, PS4, Chromecast, Xbox One, Fire TV, Android, and iOS.
Best Way To Stream: It runs smoothest and has the best features on PS4 and Apple TV. Fire TV and older Roku devices are a bit underpowered.