With PlayStation Vue now available nationwide, it makes sense to take a look at Sony’s new television streaming service. Since there is a lot of information to digest about this alternative to cable TV, we don’t blame you for not knowing the ins and outs of the service. In order to help you decide if this should be your new way to stream live TV, let us handle the heavy lifting — here is our guide on everything you need to know about PlayStation Vue.
Currently there are three separate subscription plans for PlayStation Vue. Each of them offers a different range of content, allowing consumers to customize their experience to suit their needs and budget, with prices spanning from $29.99 to $64.99 per month depending on where you’re at. Unlike cable, customers don’t have to enter into a contract to purchase any of PlayStation Vue’s plans; if you need to cancel your subscription and renew it another month, you’ve got the wiggle room to do so.
The base package, called Access, provides access to local television networks such as your local CBS affiliate and popular cable channels. Overall, Access provides subscribers with over 60 channels including Disney Channel, ESPN, Spike and AMC for $49.99 a month. Although right now it’s being offered at a temporary discount for $39.99.
Next up is Core, which includes everything found in the Access package plus regional sports. This means for $5 more a month ($54.99 per month), subscribers can get all the sports programming they could possibly want with access to stations such as the Big Ten Network, Golf Channel and ESPN U. As with Access, you can currently subscribe at a discounted rate of $44.99.
Finally, the top-tier package will cost subscribers $64.99. Earning its package name of Elite, this subscription plan offers up over 100 channels. It is perfect if you want to view more niche networks such as MTV Jams, National Geographic Wild or Boomerang. Like the other plans, you can currently subscribe for $10 less.
If you’re not in one of the major markets that PlayStation Vue is targeting then you’ll be offered Slim versions of these plans. These are cheaper versions with less channels. Access Slim (which has 55+ channels) is the cheapest package at only $29.99, Core Slim offers 70+ channels for $34.99, and Elite Slim gives access to 100+ channels for $44.99 per month.
If you’re interested in PlayStation Vue’s offerings, you can actually try it free for seven days by downloading the app on your PS4, PS3 or other compatible device (see “Device Compatibility” section below).
While each market’s channel lineup will differ (for a complete listing, check PlayStation’s website), there are some similarities between them. Channels listed in this article are based off the nationwide Slim channel listings since that’s what most people are offered.
Access Slim (55+ channels) – ABC, FOX, NBC, AMC, Animal Planet, BET, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Destination America, Discovery, Discovery Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, DIY, E!, ESPN, ESPN 2, Esquire, Food, FOX Business, FOX News, Free Form, FS1, FS2, FX, FXX, HGTV, HLN, ID, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, National Geographic, NBCSN, Nick Jr, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, OWN, Oxygen, Pop, Science, Spike, Syfy, TBS, TLC, TNT, Travel, Tru TV, TV Land, USA, VH1, WE.
Core Slim (70+ channels) – Includes all of Access plus Be In Sports, Big Ten Network, Big Ten Network Alternate, CSN channels, ESPNEWS, ESPN U, Golf Channel, IFC, Sundance, Comcast Network and Turner Classic Movies.
Elite (100+ channels) – Includes all of Access, Core plus BET Gospel, BET Jams, BET Soul, Boomerang, Centric, Chiller, Cloo, CMT Music, CNBC World, Cooking Channel, Discovery Life Channel, Epix Hits, FOX College Sports Atlantic, FOX College Sports Central, FOX College Sports Pacific, FXM, LOGO, MTV Hits, Machinima, MTV Jams, mtvU, Nat Geo WILD, PALLADIA, Sprout, TeenNick, Universal, Velocity, VH1 Classic and others.
Premium channels can be purchased and added “a la carte” for a separate subscription fee, with a discount available for PlayStation Plus members. Right now, the offerings are SHOWTIME for $10.99 per month ($8.99 for PS+ members), Machinima for $3.99 per month ($1.99 for PS+ members), EPIX Hits for $3.99 per month ($2.99 for PS+ members) and FOX Soccer Plus for $14.99 a month ($12.99 for PS+ members). If you’re so inclined, you can also opt for a discounted bundle that nets you EPIX Hits and SHOWTIME for $13.99 per month ($11.49 for PS+ members).
Right now PlayStation Vue is fully available in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The Slim packages are available nationwide.
PlayStation Vue is compatible with several networks’ On Demand apps and websites. These include (but are not limited to) Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, FOX Business, FOX News, FXNOW, TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Classic Movies.
To access content on these applications, subscribers just need to login with their PlayStation Network credentials.
If you’re here reading PlayStation LifeStyle, chances are you own one — or even more than one — of Sony’s consoles. That means you’re already halfway to streaming live TV, as PlayStation Vue is compatible with both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. If you’ve got other devices, though, you can actually stream to them as well: Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick and Chromecast (on iOS) all support Vue streaming, and support for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch means you can bring live TV wherever you go.
Let us know in the comments if you have tried out PlayStation Vue, and what your thoughts are on the service!