PlayStation Vue - Live TV Streaming Service Review

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is a live TV streaming service with 4 plans. The $40/month “Access” base plan offers more than 50 channels, including local channels and 25 of the top 35 cable channels.

The $45/month “Core” plan is a the best option for sports fans because it includes regional sports networks (RSNs) and most professional and college sports networks.

$40 Access

  • 50 Channels
  • Local Channels
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • 25 of Top 35 Cable Channels
  • Sports Channels
    • Major Channels: 7
    • -
    • College Networks: 1
Free Trial
playstation.com

$45 Core

  • 60 Channels
  • Local Channels
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • 25 of Top 35 Cable Channels
  • Sports Channels
    • Major Channels: 7
    • Includes RSNs
    • Pro Networks: 3
    • College Networks: 5
Free Trial
playstation.com

$55 Elite

  • 85 Channels
  • Local Channels
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • 25 of Top 35 Cable Channels
  • Sports Channels
    • Major Channels: 7
    • Includes RSNs
    • Pro Networks: 3
    • College Networks: 6
Free Trial
playstation.com

$75 Ultra

  • 90 Channels
  • Local Channels
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • 25 of Top 35 Cable Channels
  • Sports Channels
    • Major Channels: 7
    • Includes RSNs
    • Pro Networks: 3
    • College Networks: 6
Free Trial
playstation.com

Features

⚫︎ Cloud DVR

Unlimited

28 days

⚫︎ 5 Device Streams

Watch on up to 5 devices at the same time.

⚫︎ On Demand

Most channels have on demand content.

⚫︎ TV Everywhere Apps

App logins provided for up to 67 apps.

⚪︎ No Parental Controls

Does not have any parental controls.

Tech Specs

HD Video

720p
60 fps
Stereo

Streaming Reliability

Great

On Demand Reliability

-

Live Delay

20 seconds

Channel Switching

2.0 seconds

Optional Add-Ons

HBO

$15

Cinemax

$15

HBO + Cinemax

$22

$20 with PS+

Showtime

$11

$9 with PS+

Epix

$4

Sports Extra

$10

Requires “Core” or higher

Fox Soccer Plus

$15

Español Pack

$5

$3 with PS+

5-Day Free Trial

PlayStation Vue offers a 5-day free trial. Your subscription is month-to-month and you can cancel at any time.

Review

We tested PlayStation Vue and five other live TV streaming services for more than 100 hours. PlayStation Vue is compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation consoles, and Roku TV devices; Android, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch mobile devices; and computer browsers.

User Experience

  • Intuitive design across all devices (except Roku)—echoing the standard PS4 interface.
  • Channel guide is informative, but feels odd because it lists channels horizontally.
  • Search works well and offers quick access to both live and on demand content.

Home Screen

The PlayStation Vue app’s home screen has a live stream of your most recently watched channel, a list of recently viewed shows, saved cloud DVR content, favorite channels, and other popular live shows.

TV Guide

The PlayStation Vue standard channel guide lists all available channels alphabetically in horizontal list. This layout may feel odd because you have to scroll sideways to see more channels. Your favorite channels appear at the beginning of the guide.

Search

The PlayStation Vue search interface is very intuitive. Search results appear quickly as you type.

Show Details

The show details page displays all available episodes with “Live,” “Coming Up,” and “On Demand” badges. You can automatically record future airings by clicking “Add to My Shows”.

Playback

You can pause and skip forward and backwards on most channels on PlayStation Vue. There is a nice feature that lets you tap and hold to jump back to your previous channel.


Features

Unlimited Cloud DVR

PlayStation Vue has unlimited DVR storage, but you can only keep shows for 28 days. You can only record entire series of shows (not single episodes); this can clutter your DVR.

If you start recording after you tune into a channel, the recording will start from when you first started watching. You can watch the recording from the beginning while it is still recording.

If you are outside your home network, you can only watch recorded shows that are also available on demand.

HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and some CBS broadcast stations cannot be recorded. See all DVR restrictions.

streams Simultaneous Viewing

This service allows for five simultaneous streams: one PS4 console, two PS3 consoles, and 3 others devices (such as a phone, tablet, or computer). See playback details.

If you go over your device limit, you cannot add a new device for a few hours.

Good Selection On Demand

A majority of channels offer on demand content, but you cannot skip or fast-forward through the content.

67 apps TV Everywhere

Similar to traditional cable and satellite subscriptions, PlayStation Vue includes “TV Everywhere” logins for various channels’ apps (including ABC, Bravo, ESPN, Fox, and NBC).

All TV Everywhere Apps

Mind the Kids No Parental Controls

There are no parental controls for PlayStation Vue. Only Hulu and Sling have parental controls.


PlayStation Vue offers two unique features: “Catch Up” and “Multi-View.”

Catch Up

Catch Up allows you to watch shows that you didn’t record, for up to three days after it aired. This feature adds a lot of additional shows that aren’t normally available on demand.

Multi-View

On PlayStation 4 consoles, you can watch three live channels—all at once—on a single screen.


Tech Specs

  • The only service currently with 720p / 60 fps across all channels.
  • Almost no buffering or playback issues in our testing.
  • Changing channels only takes 2 seconds, which was faster than most services.

720p / 60 FPS HD Video

Streams were at 720p at 60 fps.

To reduce playback interruptions, PlayStation Vue will adapt the stream quality to match your network connection.

Great Connection Reliability

PlayStation Vue was the most stable service we tried. We had no issues when streaming content.

PS Vue recommends at least 10 Mbps and 5 Mbps for each additional stream.

Stereo Audio

All live TV content has standard stereo audio. Some on demand content has Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.

20 SECS Live Delay

Live content is about 20 seconds behind cable TV, which is faster than half of the other services.

2.0 SECS Channel Switching

It takes about 2.5 seconds to switch between channels, which is faster than most of the other services.


Devices and Apps

TV App

The PlayStation Vue television app has one the best user interfaces (except on Roku) among all the streaming services. The app launches to a personalized home screen that has a similar design to the standard PlayStation 4 interface.

The TV app has a feature called “Timeline,” which has a live stream of your most recently watched channel, a list of recently viewed shows, saved cloud DVR content, favorite channels, and other popular live shows.

Throughout the interface, helpful badges indicate if a show is “Live,” “Coming Up,” or available “On Demand” and whether it’s a new episode.

On Fire TV devices and PS4 consoles, a picture-in-picture (PIP) of the live channel appears while you browse the through the app; on Apple TV devices, the live channel plays in the background.

Unfortunately, the Roku app is very basic and in need of an extensive update. It is essentially just a grid of available channels.

Phone & Tablet Apps

The PlayStation Vue phone and tablet apps have a very similar interface to the TV apps.

Computer

You can watch Playstation Vue on Mac or Windows computers, with any popular browser.

Device Compatibility

PlayStation Vue is compatible with many smartphones, tablets, TV streaming devices, PlayStation consoles, and computers. There is no support for Xbox video game consoles.
All Compatible Devices

TV Devices

  • Amazon Fire TV
    • Fire TV media player
    • Fire TV Stick
  • Apple TV
    • 4th generation
  • Chromecast
  • PlayStation
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
  • Roku

Phones & Tablets

  • Android 4.4 or newer
  • iOS 9 or newer
    • iPad 2 or newer
    • iPhone 4s or newer
    • iPod Touch (5th gen) or newer

Computers

  • Chrome 50 or newer
    • macOS 10.9 (Mavericks) or newer
    • Windows 7 or newer
  • Safari 8 or newer
    • macOS 10.10 (Yosemite) or newer

Channels

Local Channels

All PlayStation Vue plans offer the same set of local channels, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and Telemundo.

“Access” “Core” “Elite” “Ultra”
$40 $45 $55 $75
ABC ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
CBS ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
The CW ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Fox ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
NBC ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Telemundo ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Univision ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎

Live local channels are available only in certain markets. However, on demand content is available in all areas the following day.

Local Channel Restrictions

You cannot stream NFL games on smartphones or tablets.

You can only access local channels and regional sports networks when you are in your home market. For example, if you live in San Francisco and travel to New York, you will not be able to stream any local channels or RSNs.

Missing Channels

You can get free access to CW shows with The CW apps with no subscription needed.

Popular Local Markets

These popular markets have live local channels on PlayStation Vue.

  • Atlanta, GA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Austin, TX
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Baltimore, MD
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Boston-Manchester, MA
    • CBS
    • NBC
  • Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City-Dubuque, IA
    • CBS
  • Charlotte, NC
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Chicago, IL
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Cincinnati, OH
    • CBS
    • NBC
  • Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Columbus, OH
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Denver, CO
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Detroit, MI
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Gainsville-FL
    • Fox
  • Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, MI
    • CBS
  • Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem, NC
    • CBS
  • Harrisburg-Lancaster, PA
    • CBS
  • Hartford-New Haven, CT
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Houston, TX
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Indianapolis, IN
    • ABC
    • Fox
  • Jacksonville, FL
    • CBS
  • Kansas City, MO
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Los Angeles, CA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Louisville, KY
    • CBS
  • Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Milwaukee, WI
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Nashville, TN
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • New Orleans, LA
    • CBS
    • NBC
  • New York City, NY
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Oklahoma City, OK
    • CBS
  • Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Philadelphia, PA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Phoenix-Prescott, AZ
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Pittsburgh, PA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Portland, OR
    • Fox
  • Raleigh-Durham, NC
    • ABC
  • Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Salt Lake City, UT
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • San Antonio, TX
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • San Diego, CA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Seattle-Tacoma, WA
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • St. Louis, MO
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Tampa-St Petersburg-Sarasota, FL
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Topeka, KS
    • CBS
  • Washington DC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL
    • CBS

For complete local availability, check the PlayStation Vue Channel Lookup tool.

Top Cable Channels

PlayStation Vue offers 25 of the top 35 cable channels. The service is noticeably missing Viacom channels (such as Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike, and VH1).

The top 35 cable channels are listed below. For a list of channels in each tier, look at PlayStation Vue’s full channel lineup.

“Access” “Core” “Elite” “Ultra”
$40 $45 $55 $75
A&E ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
AMC ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Animal Planet ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
BET ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Bravo ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Cartoon Network ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
CNN ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Comedy Central ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Discovery ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Disney Channel ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
E! ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
ESPN ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Food Network ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox News ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports 1 ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Freeform ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
FX ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
FXX ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Hallmark ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
HGTV ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
History ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Investigation Discovery ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Lifetime ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
MSNBC ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
MTV ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Nickelodeon ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
OWN ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Spike ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Syfy ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
TBS ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
TLC ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
TNT ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
truTV ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
USA Network ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
VH1 ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎

View the PlayStation Vue full channel lineup for a list of all channels in each tier.

Sports Channels

National Sports Channels

All PlayStation Vue plans include all the national sports channels, such as ESPN, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, TBS, and TNT.

“Access” “Core” “Elite” “Ultra”
$40 $45 $55 $75
ESPN ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
ESPN2 ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports 1 ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports 2 ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
NBC Sports Network ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
TBS ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
TNT ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎

Regional Sports Networks (RSNs)

You will need to upgrade to at least the $45 “Core” plan to get access to regional sports networks (RSNs), which are generally from Fox and NBC/Comcast.

“Access” “Core” “Elite” “Ultra”
$40 $45 $55 $75
Altitude ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Northwest ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Southwest ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Utah ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Fox Sports Arizona ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports Carolinas ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Fox Sports Detroit ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports Florida ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports Indiana ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Fox Sports Kansas City ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Fox Sports Midwest ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports New Orleans ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Fox Sports North ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports Ohio ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports Oklahoma ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Fox Sports Prime Ticket ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports San Diego ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports South ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports Southeast ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports Southwest ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports Sun ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports Tennessee ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Fox Sports West ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Sports Wisconsin ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
MASN ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
MSG ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
MSG+ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
NBC Sports Bay Area ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
NBC Sports Boston ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
NBC Sports California ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
NBC Sports Chicago ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
NBC Sports Northwest ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
NBC Sports Philadelphia ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
NBC Sports Philadelphia+ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
NBC Sports Washington ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
NBC Sports Washington+ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
NESN ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Spectrum SportsNet LA ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
SportsNet NY ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
SportsTime Ohio ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
YES Network ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎

You should check the PlayStation Vue RSN lookup tool before subscribing to make sure it has the regional networks you need.

Pro Sports

The $45 “Core” plan (and above) includes most pro sports channels—except NHL Network. You can include the $10 “Sports Pack” add-on for NFL RedZone (“Core” and above).

“Access” “Core” “Elite” “Ultra”
$40 $45 $55 $75
MLB Network ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
NBA TV ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
NFL Network ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
NFL RedZone ⚪︎ $10 $10 $10
NHL Network ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎

College Sports

Big Ten Network, ESPNU, and SEC Network are available on the $45 “Core” plan and above. Fox College Sports is available on the $55 “Elite” plan and above.

You can get the Longhorn Network if you add the $10 “Sports Pack” to your subscription (“Core” and above). PlayStation Vue does not offer Pac-12 Network.

“Access” “Core” “Elite” “Ultra”
$40 $45 $55 $75
ACC Network Extra ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Big Ten Network ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
CBS Sports Network ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
ESPNU ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox College Sports ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Longhorn Network ⚪︎ $10 $10 $10
Pac-12 Network ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
SEC Network ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎

Other Sports Channels

ESPNEWS and Golf Channel are available on the $45 “Core” plan and above, whereas Olympic Channel is on all plans.

You can add Fox Soccer Plus to any plan for $15/month.

“Core,” “Elite,” and “Ultra” subscribers can can add the $10 “Sports Pack” which adds RedZone Channel, Longhorn Network, MLB Network Strike Zone, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, and the national feeds of NESN and NBC Sports/Comcast SportsNet.

“Access” “Core” “Elite” “Ultra”
$40 $45 $55 $75
beIN Sports ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
Eleven Sports ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
ESPNEWS ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Fox Soccer Plus $15 $15 $15 $15
Golf Channel ⚪︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Olympic Channel ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎ ⚫︎
Tennis Channel ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎

Premium Channels

You can add Cinemax $15, HBO $15, and Showtime $11 to any PlayStation Vue plan.

HBO and Showtime are included in the $75 “Ultra” package.

If you are a PlayStation Plus member, you may receive promotional discounts or some premium channels bundled.

“Access” “Core” “Elite” “Ultra”
$40 $45 $55 $75
Cinemax $15 $15 $15 $15
EPIX ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎
HBO $15 $15 $15 ⚫︎
Showtime $11 $11 $11 ⚫︎
Starz ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎ ⚪︎