Sling TV vs PlayStation Vue, the definitive guide

sling-tv-vs-playstation-vue

Everything you need to know to compare Sling TV vs PlayStation Vue

If your cable bill just shot up, you might be eyeballing Sling TV or PlayStation Vue as an alternative for everyday TV consumption.

Congrats, because they are the best two choices currently on the market for live streaming TV. That could change in 2017. Hulu and YouTube are both expected to debut their own live streaming TV service later this year. But you probably need to drop your pricey cable bill right now like a three-packs-a-day smoking habit.

You know you need to quit, but it’s kind of hard. Don’t worry.

Our guide to live streaming TV comparing PlayStation Vue vs Sling TV will give you the latest breakdown of channel lineups, features and equipment that you will need to cut the cord.

How does Sling TV and PlayStation Vue work?

Sling TV and PlayStation Vue have many of the same channels that you have enjoyed as a subscriber of a big cable company.

Traditional cable companies like Comcast and even satellite TV companies like DirecTV have been middlemen for viewers, a distributor of premium channels to your home. The Internet has changed all that.

NVIDIA-SHIELD-TVInstead of the cable cord that’s in your home, you are streaming a live feed of these same channels over the Internet. You’ll just be paying a lot less for them.

So if you have an internet connection, you can make an easy transition. You’re halfway there!

PlayStation Vue vs Sling TV free trial offers

Before you cancel your cable subscription, you can try out Sling TV or PlayStation Vue for free by simply going to their website and signing up. There’s a good chance you may already have the necessary hardware to stream either service.

Sling TV has a number of offers at the moment. You can do a free 7-day trial with no obligation. If you pay in advance for up to two or three months of service, you can get a free Roku Express, a discounted Roku Premiere+ or a discounted Apple TV.

To try out PlayStation Vue for free, just head over to their website, click free trial and follow the steps to create a new account. It’s as easy as signing up for Netflix.

If you like what you’re seeing, then you can read up you can read up on how to negotiate a better price for your Internet subscription with some battle-tested methods that we’ve discovered. Read how Congress discovers cable companies maintain secret rates that are never advertised.

How do I watch Sling TV or PlayStation Vue?

There are official apps for both Sling TV and PlayStation Vue that work on pretty much any device that you can imagine. Many Smart TVs now come with a built-in Sling TV app, so that’s worth checking if you own a fairly new set. Here’s a quick list of compatible devices that will stream both PlayStation Vue and Sling TV unless otherwise specified.

Roku streaming devices: any make or model can stream Sling TV or PlayStation Vue.

Android: Amazon Fire TV, NVIDIA SHIELD TV, Xiaomi’s Mi Box, Sony Android TV, Android phones and tablets.

Apple: Apple TV, Apple desktops, Apple laptops, Apple iOS (i.e. iPads, etc.)

Windows 10 computers and devices: Windows 10 PCs and Windows tablets

OTA recievers: Channel Master has a nifty OTA DVR that streams Sling TV, but it’s not compatible for PS Vue.

Game consoles: With XBox One, One S or XBox 360, you can use Sling TV. PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 you can use PlayStation Vue.

There’s been a lot of interest lately in streaming live TV via a computer. PlayStation Vue has a very good interface for streaming on a PC, and Sling TV does as well.

AirTV Player to bring Sling TV and OTA channels into single menu

There’s also a new 4K streaming device called AirTV Player that will integrate Sling TV and local over-the-air (OTA) channels into a single menu.

The AirTV Player is made by a subsidiary of Dish, the owners of Sling TV. AirTV Player will operate on Android TV software, and have apps for Netflix and YouTube. This streaming box is moving toward a trend that you will hear a lot more about this year. A streaming device that combines local broadcast stations that transmit high definition channels for free alongside premium channels once exclusive to cable and satellite subscriptions is proving to be a powerful tonic for those seeking relief from high priced cable bills. The AirTV Player is available for pre-order through its website

Can you record shows on Sling TV? How about on PlayStation Vue?

Sling TV is now beta testing a Cloud DVR service, but it’s only available to those invited to test it out. The Sling DVR beta test is being done on Roku streaming devices and Roku TVs. It currently allows for 100 hours of storage and simultaneous recording. Users can also pause, rewind and fast forward recorded content. Sling DVR service will likely become more available later this year.

PlayStation Vue has a Cloud-DVR feature that allows users to save hundreds of movies and shows. The capacity is at about 500 shows. The Cloud-DVR essentially is like bookmarking a favorite web page. Viewers just need to select the add button when they find a favorite show and the whole season is saved to the “My Shows” section of the Vue menu.

Advantages Sling TV and PS Vue have over traditional cable

By replacing your cable subscription with a live TV streaming service like Sling TV or PlayStation Vue, you have no contract, and no hidden fees that magically appear in your monthly bill.

If you don’t like the service, just cancel it whenever and move on to something else. Here’s the best thing about using Sling TV and PS Vue besides saving some major cash.

Being able to leave behind the vast junkyard of unwanted low-quality channels makes the overall experience of watching TV more satisfying.

When I peruse a live streaming TV service, I don’t have to navigate through a minefield of home shopping channels to get to a premium channel. There are no pockets of blacked out channels that I didn’t subscribe to, where another channel I get is tucked away.

Sling TV is owned by Dish Network. Sony owns and operates PlayStation Vue. Both companies are targeting a younger audience, the coveted 18-to-35 age demographic. Much to the surprise of big cable companies, a whole lot of folks in their customer base are pissed off about their rates.

Customers are figuring out that buying a streaming media player and a cable modem is a lot better than throwing away hundreds of dollars a year by renting equipment from the cable company every year. They are moving on to something better.

Sling TV vs PlayStation Vue channel lineups? Which is better?

Figuring out which live streaming service has the better channel subscriptions comes down to choice. If you’re a big sports fan, you’re probably better off with PlayStation Vue. If you can’t live without a single episode of The First 48 on A&E or the History Channel, you’ll probably want Sling TV. Live Streaming TV has become so popular that even premiere channels like HBO, Showtime and Cinemax are migrating from cable. They’re offering standalone live or on-demand streaming. It’s great for cord cutters and average cable customers. Channels like HBO used to be exclusively part of a top tier cable packages. Those days are gone.

No matter which service you choose, you will also want to look into getting an antenna for your TV or possibly building one. You will be amazed with the over-the-air HD quality that you can get these days. And it’s free for life. Check out our guide How to Choose the Best TV Antenna & DVR to get some ideas about what might work best for you based on where you live in the U.S.

Channel lineup: PlayStation Vue vs Sling TV

Sling TV currently has three bundles to choose from, PlayStation Vue has four.  Here’s a breakdown of their channel offerings from the bottom up.

Budget minded fare

On Sling TV, the 25+ channel package is called Sling Orange and costs $20 per month. In my part of tBudget minded farehe country, the channel package actually totaled 29 networks. There are some great channels offered in this lineup, including AMC, A&E, Viceland and the History Channel. Those last three channels are not on PlayStation Vue. Having channels like newsy (also available free online) feels like a wasted channel slot. That’s not a criticism of newsy. Anyone with a Roku or Amazon Fire TV can watch newsy for free on its app.

Maker and its offshoot Polaris+, which focuses on gaming, pop culture and comics-related content, only adds to the flea market quality of the channel lineup.

Overall, the Orange package on Sling TV offers a fine alternative to cable with a few unique options that could make PS Vue subscribers envy.

On PlayStation Vue, the lowest tier is called Access Slim, which has 55+ channels for $30 per month in most cities. PS Vue has a more robust lineup that could make anyone forget that cable ever existed. There’s a little something for everyone. ESPN is one of four sports channels. Discovery channel, Bravo, Comedy Central, Spike TV and three Disney channels cover a lot of your cable TV bases. The National Geographic Channel being offered in PS Vue’s lowest tier is particularly impressive. That’s generally a premium channel in many cable packages.

A step up

For another $5, the Sling Blue channel package gives you a total for 40+ channels. Bravo, National Geographic Channel, BET and a few more sports offerings like Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 are added. Movie buffs might appreciate IFC. If Quentin Tarantino ever cuts the cord, he might like a Sling TV subscription so he can hook up with the grindhouse-style El Rey Network.

For another $5 on PlayStation Vue, you’ll graduate to the Core Slim package with 70+ channels. That gives you four ESPN channels instead of two, the Big Ten Network, NBCSN, SEC Network, Fox Sports Network, and the Golf channel. Sundance TV is also added, a channel that’s probably among the more underrated offerings on cable or otherwise. If you’re like me, and want to see everything Michael Kenneth Williams stars in, then you’ll want to check out Sundance’s original series Hap and Leonard.

Top shelf

For $40, Sling’s best deal is offering you 65+ channels, combining their Orange and Blue channel tiers. This is where the value-added question comes into play. Dish TV is simply mashing their two tiers together without offering any other extra channels for being a top-tier subscriber.

If you want more sports channels like Pac-12, that’s another $10. If you want Sundance TV, or Epix Hits, it’s another $5 for their “Hollywood Extra” movie package. There are 8 total add-ons that are woven into some of the PlayStation Vue packages above.

So if you channels that were spread across three add-ons, you’re much better off subscribing to PlayStation Vue.

The Elite Slim package on PlayStation Vue gives you about 90 channels for $45 per month. You will get more sports channels, Epix Hits, MGM HD, the Sony Movie Channel, National Geographic Wild. Unfortunately, four BET channels and four MTV channels are now gone because of a contract dispute with Viacom. The loss of MTV Live is no small thing. The channel is loaded with live concerts and festivals from around the globe, and has LATER…with Jools Holland, Austin City Limits and Live from Daryl’s House. MTV is on Sling TV as part of an add-on, but notably the more desirable MTV Live is not.

PlayStation Vue just added an extra tier called the Ultra Slim, which adds HBO and Showtime to the 100+ channel package for $64.99 per month in most cities. Subscribers of any tier of PlayStation Vue can add HBO or Cinemax for $15 each. HBO subscribers can also add HBO Now apps to all their supported devices at no extra charge.

Does Sling TV and PlayStation Vue have on-demand?

Sling TV does have on-demand content, but it is fairly limited. PlayStation has on-demand features, but only on Amazon Fire TV devices. You cannot tap into the PlayStation Vue’s on-demand catalog using a Roku.

Can you authenticate apps with Sling TV and PlayStation Vue?

As a Sling TV subscriber, you can use your subscription as authentication for a growing number of apps and web sites. But there are some limitations compared to PlayStation Vue. Here’s a list of apps you can authenticate using Sling TV.

  • FOX NOW (Android TV, Amazon TV, iOS and XBOX 360 only)
  • FXNOW (Amazon Fire Stick, Amazon TV, Android, Android TV, iOS and XBOX 360 only)
  • WatchESPN
  • Bravo and SyFY (iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Roku, Airplay, Apple TV, Xbox One)
  • Oxygen and NBC Universo ( iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Airplay)
  • USANow (iOS, Android Mobile and Tablet, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Roku, Airplay, Xbox One)
  • E! Now (iOS, Android Mobile and Tablet, Amazon Fire, Roku, Airplay Apple TV)
  • MSNBC Now (iOS, Airplay)
  • NFL Network (iOS, Android, Windows, Web, Xbox One, PlayStation, Apple TV, Roku)

For web sites, you can use Sling TV for:

PlayStation Vue app authentication for “TV Everywhere” capability

PlayStation Vue has a wide variety of on-demand programming, and also allows you to authenticate more than 50 apps. Below is a list of apps that can be authenticated through your PlayStation Vue account, according to Sony. Remember, the channel app only works if the channel is part of your subscription. There is also an unofficial app login list compiled by a half dozen hard working Reddit users, which suggests Elite Slim and Ultra Slim subscribers can authenticate about 97 apps.

AdultSwim

ABC

AMC

BET NOW

Bravo Now

BTN2GO

CartoonNetwork

CMT

CNBC

CNN

Comedy Central

Cooking Channel  

Discovery GO

WATCH Disney Channel

WATCH Disney Jr.

WATCH Disney XD

Watch DIY

E! Now

WATCH ESPN

Esquire TV Now

Food Network

Fox (FOX NOW)

FOX Business News

FOX News Channel

FOX Sports GO

Freeform GO

Fusion Live

FX Now  

Golf Channel

HBO NOW

HGTV Watch

IFC.com

LogoTV

MSNBC

MTV

National Geographic 

NBC Entertainment

NBC News

NBC Sports Live Extra

NBC Universo

NCAA March Madness

Nick JR

Nickelodeon

WATCH One World Sports

Oxygen Now

SEC

SHOWTIME

Spike TV

Sprout

Sundance

SyFy Now

TBS

Telemundo

TNT

Travel Channel

truTV

Turner Classic Movies

TV Land

USA NOW

VH1

WETV

Can I watch Sling TV on more than one TV or other device? How does it compare to PlayStation Vue?

Sling TV Orange customers are restricted to one TV or device at a time. So if Mom wants to watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo, and Dad is on the road hoping to check out Fox Sports… Well, Dad is shit out of luck.

Sling Blue customers can get up to three streams at once on separate devices. So you could have “The Walking Dead” playing on your TV, a History Channel show going on your smartphone and BET streaming on your computer. If you subscribe to Sling Orange and Sling Blue, you get up to four streams at once. But again, you’re somewhat limited. You’ll have one stream for Sling Orange channels, and three streams for Sling Blue channels.

PlayStation Vue allows simultaneous streaming on up to five devices in the household. You can even take PlayStation Vue with you. Sony recently expanded PS Vue web streaming to PC and MACs. Channel selection for PS Vue away from your home will be somewhat limited due to licensing agreements. But that’s one of the reasons why being able to authentic apps with your PlayStation Vue account is so worthwhile.

Do I need a fast Internet connection for Sling TV or PlayStation Vue?

No. Sling TV recommends a constant speed of 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) or more for households that have multiple devices using the Internet. Sling TV also recommends 5Mbps to stream to a TV, PC or Mac, and 3.0 Mbps or more for streaming non-HD video content on tablets and phones.

Sony recommends at least 10Mbps of an Internet stream for PlayStation Vue, and 5Mbps for each additional stream.

There’s a lot more to be said about having an affordable Internet connection, especially if you are planning to sever ties with your cable provider. That’s especially true if you plan on using your current cable provider for Internet. Lowering the cost of your Internet subscription is the most important, but often overlooked, aspect to real savings. Check out Cord Cutting 2017, the definitive guide if you want a lower price from your current Internet provider. Read our guide on How to get the best deal for Internet without cable to help you search for other providers.

What are the best streaming media players for Sling TV and PlayStation Vue?

Sling TV used to work on more devices than PlayStation Vue. But Sony changed all that in 2016.

sling-tv-vs-playstation-vue
Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition

Both Sling TV and PlayStation Vue currently have apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, NVIDIA Shield TV, all Roku devices and Chromecast. Viewers can also use an XBox One and Channel Master to watch Sling TV. iOS and Android tablets and smartphones work for PS Vue and Sling TV as well.

People often believe that PlayStation Vue only works on PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3.

Not true. PS Vue works on just about any device now. Android TV devices like a NVIDIA Shield TV and Mi Box got their own PlayStation Vue app in October. The interface of PS Vue on Android TV devices is similar to what you will find on Amazon Fire TV devices.

I use an Amazon Fire TV with an Ethernet connection. It has the best interface for my needs, and you can read a review of why Amazon Fire TV is the best device for live streaming TV.

Is PlayStation Vue better than Sling TV?

PlayStation Vue is hands down a better deal overall. The entry level $30 price for 55+ channels has a superior, well-rounded lineup of programming for children and adults. If you follow our guides to lowering your Internet bill to the $35 range, you’ll be saving hundreds of dollars a year. I personally subscribe to the Elite Slim plan and stream it to an Amazon Fire TV via Ethernet cable.

I have a friend who pays about $25 per month for a minimal Internet subscription, and remains a very happy Sling TV subscriber. He watches basketball on TBS on his living room TV. The TV in his living room is hooked up to a desktop computer. He enjoys having A&E and a couple other channels. So as I said earlier, it boils down to personal preference and needs.  The best way to find out what you like is to try it. Check out the Sling TV web site for their free 7-day trial, or the PlayStation Vue site for a free 7-day trial as well.

And if you did cut the cord and opt for live streaming, let our readers know how it worked out for you in the comments section below.

 







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Sling TV vs PlayStation Vue, the definitive guide
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If your cable bill just shot up, you might be eyeballing Sling TV or PlayStation Vue as an alternative for everyday TV consumption. Our guide will help you decide which live streaming TV service works best for you.
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Cord Cutting Report
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5 Comments on Sling TV vs PlayStation Vue, the definitive guide

  1. I currently have an OTA antenna for my locals which feeds a Dish DVR (hopper) The hopper then feeds a AVR (audio visual receiver) which feeds my TV and home theater speaker array.
    The Dish channel guide integrates the OTA channels with the pay Dish channels in the same “guide”–it is a nice interface (as it would be with Direct tv –AT-T etc)
    By going to either Sling of Vue I lose the ability to receive my OTA channels . What tuner box would you recommend that allows input of the OTA antenna coax signals and output via HDMI to the AVR?
    and is it possible to integrate that with Vue and/or Sling in a single channel guide?

    • Hi Dave, Have you checked out the Channel Master DVRs? They have models that integrates OTA channels and services like Sling TV. That might not be exactly what you’re looking for, but it may be the closest thing on that market right now.

  2. OTA, chromecast,roku 3, roku streaming stick, 2nd gen apple tv, Amazon Fire Stick with Voice, Sling TV with the $25 tier, Direct TV Now (Trial), Playstation Vue (Trial $35 tier). Sling gave us the roku stream stick for subscribing. The Direct TV trial.. I didn’t get past the pricing and the year contract.. I didn’t even turn it on after that. Playstation Vue on for $30 bucks is the best option for us. The kid channels, Espn and Espn2, all the other channels plus the cloud DVR are the winner for us. I think sling has a cleaner interface that is easiest to use and a boat load better than Playstation Vue. In fact, I still can’t get used to the Vue user guide and jumping around from channel to channel. All that said, Playstation is the winner. The Fire stick with voice makes it very easy for my family to get used to no cable. Hold down the voice button and say “launch the playstation vue app” and it shows up. Mobile is great for us. I have not been stopped on Playstation vue away from home yet. We have tmobile with binge on. All of the streaming services are on binge on and this is just the icing on the cake. I am thrilled to be done with my cable bundle.

  3. I think you miss a key advantage of Sling. PSVue has a good>better>best>ultimate design, the path to the better broad interest channels (Elite) is ONLY through deeper sports programming (Core). With Sling’s modular extras, the $30 and $35 price points create precisely what a much larger potential market wants to pay and wants to watch due to the number of different lineups you can build at those prices.

    Sony’s service feels more like how a cable company would offer service than Sling’s. If you’re coming down from a cable bill, it feels comfortable and right. If you’re coming back to live content now that packaging is more flexible, Sony feels like bloat.

    • That’s a fine point to make.

      There are other arguments out there that Sling TV is more cable-like because if I want two channels that are in two separate add-ons then I’m potentially paying more and more.

      But it will always going to boil down to what someone wants to pay vs the value that’s received. The dynamic of that will be a little different for everyone.

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