PS Vue ReviewTECH
PlayStation Vue – Cutting the Cable Cord
As more and more people cut the cable cord more reviews are needed to help the cable cutters decide on what alternatives they have. This is such a review, and it’s about one of the newer alternatives, PS Vue or Playstation Vue. Is it worth the monthly plan to change over to PS Vue? Is it a good alternative to having cable or is it one to avoid? Our PS Vue review answers those questions and more so that you can make a more informed decision before giving their very short 7 day trial a try, in which if you forget to pay you’ll be charged for a full month.
What is PS Vue
PS Vue is actually Playstation Vue, however, even though it is called Playstation Vue you don’t have to have a Playstation to use it, something we’ll get into more later. As for how it works, Playstation Vue is the closest thing that you’ll come to if you really liked having cable, meaning if you liked having live television channels, liked having DVR functionality, and liked having a guide similar to cable or satellite that allowed you to more easily find something to watch.
There are multiple packages you can choose from, again like cable, but unlike cable there are also standalone channels you can pay to add too. As for the features of being cable like, the guide and DVR, they are similar to cable but in our opinion they are not as cooperative or as well working as those from a cable conglomerate like Comcast, Charter or Xfinity.
How Does PS Vue Work?
To use PS Vue you need a Playstation, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, or iOS or Android device. We found that it works best and is easiest to operate through Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV. Using it through Playstation is possible, but it’s a bit more difficult since you have to use the PS controller as your remote. Even using the tiny remote you’re given for one of the other devices, such as the one with Amazon Fire TV, can be difficult and frustrating, but it functions much better than a PS controller.
Once you’ve chosen a plan you will have a guide showing your channels, shows and times. You can set the guide up with your own preferences as well. There are some live channels available, including the larger broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, and NBC. However, these are only available in a few cities at this time and CBS may never allow PS users to view their station as they even charge you for watching their television shows online even if you have a current cable subscription.
Playstation also says they have a DVR service, and they do, but it doesn’t work the way you’ll be used to with a cable plan. With their DVR you click on the shows you wish it to save for you and then you can watch them later, but you’ll get commercials that you cannot fast forward through with almost all of them. Some shows are also not available for you to record or save so it’s a lot of hit or miss with the programming.
PS Vue has a lot of channels available, more than Sling which is another very similar service. Some of the top channels included are FX, CNN, Syfy, USA, HBO, ESPN, and Disney. They also have On Demand, which allows you to watch shows that aired previously and catch up. Again though, like with the DVR service, you cannot fast forward through most of them.
As for how well it works, we found it to be irritatingly glitchy, even with our 170 mbps download speeds. It would freeze up at times, and other times it would send us back to our Amazon Fire TV home page. Setting up your preferences isn’t difficult though, and the layout and interface has been made so similar to that of a cable set up that for most people it should be quite easy to figure out how to use it.
Because it has many similar features to that of a cable set up, the prices are also higher than other media entertainment packages that simply stream the shows, like Netflix or Hulu. Prices vary, but run from $29-$64 U.S. dollars per month. Stand alone channels are available as well at varying prices.
We’ve seen these prices change quite radically since it’s creation. Just a short time ago the largest package was $40 a month and now it’s almost $65. Prices have risen and dropped often though, so if you do decide to use it be sure to watch the pricing and try using a different Playstation ID or email to lock in the lower price should you notice a price drop.
Should You Try Playstation Vue?
Based on the cost alone, we do not recommend trying PS Vue. It’s way overpriced, and since you would have to also pay for internet just to access PS Vue, you’d be paying almost what you pay for cable by time it’s all said and done. As far as should you try it if you do want to pay the exorbitant cost they’re asking, we still wouldn’t recommend it, at least not yet. Until they fix some of the glitchiness and are able to make the DVR functionality better and more shows are available to use through the DVR feature, PS Vue is something that is best skipped when cutting cable from your life.
The only case you may want it is if you like live tv and cannot access the channels you want with an antenna, then Playstation Vue may be something you’ll like and can live with. Otherwise we recommend that you stick with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime TV and an antenna and you’ll be better off.
Keep in mind that as we brought out in the introduction, the free trial is only for 7 days, and if you forget, which so many of us do, you will be charged for a full month of the plan you signed up with. They’re not very forgiving in waving the charge if you forgot, as we found out, so if you do decide to sign up, make sure to set a reminder so you can cancel should you want to.
Have you tried PS Vue? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out page 2 of our series on Cutting the Cable Cord for more information on what other alternatives are out there.Page 2