Americans are hardcore gamers and the local console market is dominated by Microsoft and Sony, which released the Xbox and PlayStation consoles. But Sony broke the ice and launched in the US a TV streaming service that can be considered Sling TV’s biggest rival. The premium package contains over 80 channels and the users can record live TV for up to four weeks. Currently, there are 20 million Americans that play games on their PS4 consoles, and we’re pretty sure than many of them will want to watch TV as well.
Sony sees itself on top of the world, or at least it dreams to become a cable killer in the US, having two aces up its sleeve: it offers traditional cable channels and OTA content (famous news televisions such as CBS, FOX and NBC) and they’re available through the application that can be installed on Sony’s PlayStation 3 and 4 and Apple’s iPad.
The Japanese company Sony negotiated with each station to bring the PlayStation Vue service in the US, and currently, it’s available in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco, but the country is big and more negotiations will follow to spread the service everywhere.
If you live in one of these parts, then you are eligible to explore the channels that are included in the three packages.
Here are their prices (with no hidden fees) and the list of supported channels:
So, if you’ll start with the basic package, which is called Access, you’ll pay a subscription of 49 dollars per month, and these are the channels you’ll have access to: AMC; Animal Planet; BET, Bravo; Cartoon Network; CBS; CMT; CNBC; CNN; COZI TV; Comedy Central; Destination America; Discovery; Discovery Family; DiY, E!; Esquire; Food Network; Fox Business; Fox News; Fox Sports 1; Fox Sports 2; FX; FXX; HLN; HGTV; Investigation Discovery; myTV; MSNBC; MTV; MTV2; NBC Sports Network; NBCm Telemundo; National Geographic; Nickelodeon; Nicktoons; Nick Jr.; OWN; Oxygen; Spike; Science; SyFy; Travel; TBS; TLC; TNT; TVLand; truTV; USA; VH1 and WeTV.
For the Core package you’ll pay 10 dollars more, but in addition to the aforementioned channels, you’ll get BTN; BTN Alternative Golf; IFC; Sundance; TCM and YES.
Lastly, the Elite package costs 69 dollars per month and for this price you’ll get the channels included in the Core package and the following channels: AHC; Boomerang; BET Gospel; Cloo; Centric; Chiller; CMT Pure Country; Cooking; CNBC World; Discovery Life; Fox College Sports (Atlantic, Central, Pacific); FXM; LOGO; MTV Hits; MTVU; MTV Jams; NatGeo Wild; Palladia; Teen Nick; Sprout; Universal; Velocity; VH1 Classic and VH1 Soul.
Besides, Sony expressed its intentions to add channel for PlayStation originals in 2016, plus Showtime’s own streaming service, that should be launched these days. To watch these channels at full-resolution, without experiencing interruptions, you must have an internet connection of at least 10Mbps.
If you’ve installed Sony applications before, then you will see that PlayStation Vue’s interface is familiar. You will have menus for live TV, favorite shows, recommended content, plus a TV guide arranged in tiles on a grid, so you’ll know what’s next on your favorite channel.
My Shows is a feature that lets you tag your favorite show(s) and future airings and the service will save them to the cloud for four weeks, without requiring you to pay anything. When you’ll ta your favorite channels, you will see them on the home screen and in the front of the Guide. Also, there’s the search option so you can look for shows or channels and the service has even a filter for that.
In case your internet connection supports speeds of up to 5Mbps, then you’ll stream low-resolution videos and you’ll experience many hiccups, but with a double speed, these problems won’t give you headaches. The only thing that will bother you will be the lower-than-average resolution, so you’ll want to change your internet plan and reach 15-20Mbps, to have a strong connection. Make sure that you have the wireless router close to your PS4, because otherwise, the signal becomes weaker and obviously, you’ll encounter interruptions.
To download PlayStation Vue on your PS4, you will go to “TV & Video” section, while to download the application on your PS3, you’ll head to the “My Channels” section, which is found under the TV/Video services category of the XMB. Also, you can get the application from the PlayStation Store. After downloading it to your PS3 console, the application remains in the TV/video services folder.
When you choose any of the three packages, you receive a week free trial, and during this time, you are allowed to change your mind and cancel the trial. If you don’t do this, you’ll be forced to pay the monthly subscription of 49, 59 or 69 dollars. After the month ends and you still want to cancel your subscription, you won’t be penalized.