Due to life changes and new financial restrictions, we’ve made a few changes to the way we consume live TV, firstly we canceled our $160+ cable TV package then tested out live streaming TV services, Sling TV and Playstation VUE, both services offered one week free trials. After a few days, the wife and I decided that the latter was the better option for us due to the better channel selection on the Playstation service.
Given how much we, as a family watch TV, paying $160+ makes no sense, we probably watch an average of 2.5 hours TV each day. $45/mo is much more reasonable and to be honest, with one exception, we don’t miss having cable TV. Playback can sometimes be a little choppy and does have very short periods of buffering, however, we can live with this for the $115+/mo savings, it’s not a deal breaker for us.
Despite its name, Playstation VUE works on more than just Playstations, it works on newer Roku, Chromecast, Android, iOS and Windows devices but sadly no Windows 10 app. The program guide works well if a little laggy and slow to populate, channel names run along the top with vertical time slots.
Stream quality is excellent, to my eye, it looks equal to that of cable TV, although sometimes it does look a little choppy, almost like it’s skipping frames, especially when displaying scrolling news tickers. Audio is stereo only, not Dolby Digital like a lot of cable TV channels, however, we can live without 5.1 sound.
Playstation VUE has a cloud DVR system, all you have to do to record your favorite programs is add them to “My Shows” and it will make those programs available “on demand” for up to 4 weeks, however, due to network and regional restrictions, some programs are not available after the live showing.
Not all channels are streamed live, however, these channels are offered “on demand” and have all the programs we personally watch. The channels that are on demand are ABC, FOX and NBC, this might be different in your local area, available on demand channels listed are for the Wichita / Hutchinson area.
We chose the Elite Slim package that offers all the channels except premium channels for $44.99/mo, however, prices start from $29.99/mo. For a full list of available channels and price points, click here.
The thing I do miss is the instant on of cable TV, there’s a lot more involved in getting Playstation VUE up and running, it’s not as simple as turning on the TV and flicking through the channels to find something to watch. That said, the $1,380 yearly savings make the extra hassle of getting PS VUE started worthwhile.
Our only concern with Playstation VUE or any streaming TV service is going over our ISP’s (and cable provider) data limit and getting charged, what can be considerate overages. That remains to be seen whether it will be a problem as I tended to stream Netflix, Hulu and Youtube 90% of the time anyway.