I have been subscribed to cable television followed by satellite for a large part of my life.
And it was quite affordable without premium channels which were under $45 around 2004. Fastforward 12-years later and prices were nearly $110 for the same service.
I wasn’t happy at all and I have seen friends who have cut the cord and been content with whatever they got on Roku, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.
But with increasing prices and felt the value was not there anymore, it was time to cut the cord.
Until I discovered there was another service that you can watch programming live, no contract and you can save episodes you favorite on the cloud.
It’s called PlayStation Vue.
Please note, the following prices and channels listed for Elite Slim is of April 2016:
Please compare the prices from small market areas:
Please compare to the pricing for a major metropolitan area such as Los Angeles:
Please compare the Elite Slim in Small Market areas:
Now, please compare the channels to major metropolitan cities such as Los Angeles:
Now, please compare the channels to major metropolitan cities such as New York:
Having seen the free 7-day trial, I decided to give PlayStation Vue a try. Every major channel that I watched (with the exception of the NFL channel) was listed.
When you view the programming, the stations are listed in alphabetical order, so finding channels are quite simple.
The channels are based on your location, so being in California, most of the sports channels show West Coast games.
If you are living in a small market, there are no local channels, but you get ABC On Demand, FOX on Demand, NBC On-Demand (these are not live). So, if you want to watch “Fresh Off the Boat”, “The Real O’Neals” or “The Goldbergs”, you can favorite the shows and then you will have access to all the shows similar to Hulu and the new episodes are added after they have aired. So, for those in smaller areas, there is no My Network, CBS, or Telemundo but I’ve read that they will be added later for other markets. But at the same time, for those in a smaller market in California can access Comcast Sports Network Bay Area, Plus and California with their Elite Slim. Those in New York can access Yes Network and Fox Sports 1 and 2.
For those in metropolitan areas, you pay $10 more but you get ABC, CBS, FOX, My Network, NBC, Telemundo.
So, depending on your area, channels vary.
While there are some channels and their programming that will allow you to fast forward through commercials, the On Demand programming can not be forwarded and you watch it like watching a show live.
While you don’t have a DVR like a Satellite receiver, you get a Cloud DVR which you can favorite as many shows you want and the shows ill save on the cloud. You can literally record hundreds of shows at once and store thousands of hours of content.
You can do simultaneous streaming on your cell phone, tablet and have a Chromecast? Put the Chromecast on your other TV in the another room and PlayStation Vue will stream on your Chromecast. I use Chromecast in the bedroom, used the app on the iPhone and all was good to go. (NOTE: Chromecast is only supported via compatible iOS devices for now)
It’s great to see people accessing Playstation Vue via Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick but it would be great if Roku offered PlayStation Vue support in the near future.
Once the free 7-day trial ends, you are asked to renew. Add you credit card # and you will be billed monthly and you can cancel anytime. No strings attached. You can upgrade or downgrade to a different plan with ease.
In terms of premium channels, at this time, only Showtime, Machinima, Fox Soccer Plus and Showtime Epix Hits are available. HBO is not on PlayStation Vue at this time.
And last, you can access programming for 60 network mobile apps or websites by logging in with your PlayStation Network ID.
Are there any caveats to Playstation Vue?
Well, I miss watching my shows via Eastern Time which I had with my Satellite. I miss being able to forward through every show I watch. I also miss accessing my New York Yankees games via the many sports channels. And I do miss the NFL, MLB and NHL network as well.
For the most part, I have had no lag issues. I would love to see more support on Android devices and also the Roku. I would love to see more channels added in the near future. I do wish being in the West Coast, I can get channels in the East Coast such as the Yes Network. And others who live in small markets may wish they can get access to all major TV networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC.
There are some programming that Netflix or even Hulu may still be useful in getting other channels but for what I get on PlayStation Vue, I’m very content!
Considering what I was paying for satellite and how often the prices kept climbing, I had enough of it.
I really stuck it out as far as I can but I told myself that once I start paying over $105, it’s over. At the rate of price increases, I wouldn’t be surprised if second tier satellite pricing with a DVR becomes $110 in a year and $125 in the next two years, at the rate they are going right now. And unfortunately, with certain channels wanting more money and satellite and cable companies having to increase their prices every year, it really hurts the consumer.
And I’m sure there are people who have extra DVR’s, an HD DVR, premium channels and international channels that are paying a lot of money and they accept it. For me, my money can be better spent elsewhere. So, I’m thrilled to have PlayStation Vue.
So, I’m glad to have finally cut the cord!
If you have been contemplating it and have a PS3 or PS4, definitely consider giving PlayStation Vue a chance!
UPDATE: Of course, now the only thing that can put a dent on all this is if Internet providers begin capping their bandwidth.