PlayStation Vue and Roku Streaming Stick+ Best Cord Cutting Option?

PlayStation Vue is an excellent streaming live TV and movie option for those that want to cut the cable cord

PlayStation Vue is the easiest cord-cutting option for those people that want their local channels, local news, sports, movies, and more – without a lot of equipment to have to maintain.

What exactly is PlayStation Vue? It’s Sony’s live streaming TV service with sports, news, and your favorite must-watch shows. Experience premium channels, on-demand shows, and a powerful cloud DVR (available in your home and on mobile devices), streaming on up to five devices at once, and no annual contracts – you can cancel at anytime! This is a great option for those people that want to ditch expensive cable TV – but you’ll still need an Internet connection, of course. So let’s review what makes the PlayStation Vue app such a great cord cutting choice.

Why do we say PlayStation Vue is the easiest cord-cutting option? Because here’s all you’ll need to be up and running in minutes…

This setup will most closely replicate what you had with cable TV, including local news, sports, and tv programming. It’s also very easy to setup – none of this equipment is very complicated. And you’ll still get great features like pausing live TV, cloud DVR to save your favorite shows for later, on-demand shows and movies, and the ability to add premium channels (like FS1, FS2, ESPN, HBO, and much, much more) in an a la carte fashion. Pay for what you want, and not a lot of extra junk!

And no long term contracts.

Why You Should Join the Cord Cutter Revolution
Cord-cutting is all about saving money and getting rid of your cable or satellite TV subscription. Cable TV has become too expensive for many people – full of channels and extras that are never even watched. You can save significant money with more flexible Internet based streaming services and other options. In this article, we’ll discuss a new option that is significantly cheaper and has great flexibility and is simple to get up and running.
Of course you’ll still need an Internet connection of some sort.

Don’t you need a PlayStation game console for this? No – you do not. PlayStation Vue is an app that runs on a number of devices including the Roku Streaming Stick. Of course, you can run it on a PlayStation if you want. Other devices that are compatible include:

  • Roku players – Including the Roku Streaming Stick+
  • Apple TV (4th gen and newer)
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android TV
  • PC or Mac
  • Google Chromecast
  • iOS and Android mobile and tablet devices
  • Any device with a compatible web browser
  • Sony PlayStation 4 or 3

Note that you can login to PlayStation Vue from any device with a compatible web browser – this is another great way to watch your shows on the go. Simply go to https://vue.playstation.com/watch/home and login to your PlayStation Vue account.

The current packages available for Playstation Vue include the following. This is typical for most major US metropolitan areas, but remember that channels and pricing vary by zip code and plan. See details of plans for your area at https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/channels/

PackageChannelsPrice/Mo
AccessPopular Live TV – Including ESPN, Disney, and more$39.99
CoreSports + Popular Live TV – Including NFL Network, ESPN News and more$44.99
EliteMovie + Sports + Popular Live TV – Including Epix and more$54.99
UltraMovies + Sports + Premium – Including HBO, Showtime, and more$74.99

There are also premium add-ons – such as a sports packages, and premium channels – which can be purchased individually or as part of packages. And this is one of the great reasons to choose PlayStation Vue – you can get a bare minimum or a la carte set of what you actually watch. Why pay for all those things you never use?

It’s a monthly subscription – so you pay every month – but it’s clear and easy to understand. There are no hidden fees, no equipment or rental fees, installation fees, local sports fees, or any of the other things that cable providers stick their customers with.

Let’s talk about some of the other great features of PlayStation Vue, and a few caveats:

  • Live TV & Local Channels – Get your local ABC, CBS, NBC and other affiliates easily. Watch local news and sports events.
  • Cloud DVR – Choose a show and Vue will keep every episode of that show for up to 28 days – all without any need to maintain storage space on your own network – the shows are “in the cloud”.
  • Does not require an expensive PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3 – you can use it on devices such as the Roku Streaming Stick+ – the device we recommend for most cord-cutters.

PlayStation Vue – How to Sign Up for the Free Trial

Not convinced? How about a free trial? Simply go to https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/faq/introduction/#free-trial and start your free 5-day trial.

From Sony: “One 5-day free trial per customer is available for the Elite plan, Core plan, Access plan, or add-on channel, and one 7-day free trial per customer is available for each standalone channel subscription. The Ultra plan does not have a free trial. Free trials can be enjoyed immediately after signing up for a subscription and can be cancelled at any time during the free trial period. A credit card is required to redeem your free trial. You will not be charged for your multi-channel plan or individual channel subscription during the free trial period.”

Note that to avoid being charged for your subscription, you must cancel before the end of the free trial period. If you do not cancel before the end of the last day of the trial, you automatically begin your monthly subscription, and you will be charged a monthly fee every 30 days based on your chosen plan until you cancel.

And when you do decide to pull the trigger – there are no long term contracts – you can cancel at any time.

How To Cancel PlayStation Vue?

How do you cancel PlayStation Vue? Simply go to psvue.com/subscription and click Cancel Subscription under Subscription Summary; or call (877) 883-7669. There are no penalties for cancellation and you may cancel at any time. Upon cancellation, you will still have access for the rest of the month already paid for.

And this is what we love about cord-cutting – no long term contracts. Unhappy or have other priorities for your budget? Cancel. It’s that easy.

Roku Streaming Stick Plus (+)

Want an affordable option for running streaming services such as PlayStation Vue, Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, and more? The Roku Streaming Stick+ (Buy on Amazon) is hard to beat – it’s dirt cheap and works great. It’s amazingly small – it plugs directly into any HDMI port on your TV. And it can do 4K, HDR, and has voice controlled remote! It also works great with regular HD TVs, of course. But perhaps it’s best attribute – it’s got simply amazing Wifi performance. Roku has designed in an advanced Wifi receiver – and they claim a 4x increase in Wifi range. This device will work in locations that earlier models (and competitors) just can’t get enough Wifi signal. Tried streaming over Wifi before and had issues due to being too far from the router? Give this equipment a go!

Roku Streaming Stick+ and Remote - The best device for streaming services such as PlayStation Vue, HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu , and more. Find out what makes this device the best option for cord cutters

NOTE: Be sure you are looking at the newest model, the Roku Streaming Stick+ (model 3810), and not the older Roku Streaming Stick. While all the Roku gear in recent years has been really good – you want the newest model for the amazing features (at an amazing price!).

Family Friendly – Profiles

PlayStation Vue is also family friendly – you can create up to ten different profiles on your PlayStation Vue account. Each profile will have its own personalized DVR, favorite channels, and tailored recommendations. You simply select a profile at app launch, or toggle between them from Settings in the app. This is great for households with multiple TV watchers.

Does PlayStation Vue Show Ads?

Long story short – yes. Remember you are basically seeing a “stream” of your local TV affiliates – and yes there’s ads. But that’s how these channels pay the bills.

Why Does My Playstation Vue display “Commercial Break In Progress”

Watch a local channel for any amount of time and you’ll inevitably see a blue screen with a Sony logo that displays “Commercial Break In Progress”. There’s nothing wrong with your network when this happens, that’s simply the air time that local channels and others allocate to the purpose of local market advertising from the cable provider. Seeing as how there is no cable provider in this case, Sony just shows a logo.

How’s the Video Quality?

It all depends on your Internet connection and your Wifi quality. PlayStation Vue will show high definition (HD) content via adaptive bitrate streaming, so you will see the highest resolution your broadband Internet allows. When the Internet connection is in heavy use, or the WiFi signal goes weak the quality will drop. But this is how most, if not all, of these services work. When that network is good, the video quality is great.

How much Internet bandwidth is needed? Sony says 10 Mbps plus 5 Mbps for each additional device stream. That’s pretty typical. They do recommend you only use PlayStation Vue with a static Internet connection and not a hotspot – but I bet it works fine.

Just remember that a significant factor in streaming solutions is your own home network’s Wifi performance. Get a good router with 802.11AC and Dual Band Wifi capability – we recommend the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 – AD7200 (Buy on Amazon). But the “receiving” device has to be good too – so another plug for the Roku Streaming Stick+ – It’s got dual band WiFi capability and a great antenna. It’ll work where other older devices won’t.

Disadvantages of PlayStation Vue

Ok, it can’t all be rosy. Let’s look at a few areas where PlayStation Vue falls short, or there are better option.

Firstly, it’s a subscription service – meaning you pay, every month, forever. And while it’s significantly cheaper than cable (and more flexible – stream on up to 5 devices at once) – the higher end plans are still pretty expensive. If you want local channels, you can view and record Digital TV broadcast over the air using the HDHomeRun device. That option will cost much, much less over the long run. But it doesn’t give you features like a cloud DVR. Instead, you’ll need to manage your own disk storage for keeping recorded shows. Some people may see that as an advantage – keep as much as you want, for as long as you want. The HDHomeRun also requires an antenna – and it’s gotta be in a window or exterior to the house for best results. Overall, a setup with HDHomeRun is going to be a lot more work to setup and maintain – and you’ll still need a solution for on-demand content and premium channels. But it will be cheaper.

Secondly, not everything on live TV local channels can be streamed over the Internet. “Streaming Rights” are a complicated topic. Rather than review it all here, suffice it to say that you’ll occasionally find shows that you just can’t watch on the device. These are replaced by a disclaimer that the show has not been approved for Internet streaming. An example? “Live with Kelly and Ryan”. Also, just like old school TV there are “black outs” on certain sporting events. All the same rules are still in effect even when streaming these channels over the Internet.

The Cloud DVR is limited to saving shows for only 28 days (when you add a show to your “My Shows”), but otherwise is a good feature. There are never “recording conflicts” unlike in a traditional cable TV DVR – because the device isn’t using a limited set of “tuners” to grab the show as it goes across the wire. And you can watch your “My Shows” whenever you are on the go – via your mobile device or from any compatible web browser. That’s one of the main benefits of cloud DVR. Lastly, there’s no storage to manage. It’s all “in the cloud”.

Pause, rewind, and fast-forward don’t work fluidly and consistently. If you are watching live TV you have pause which works great every time, but rewind doesn’t allow you to rewind much. Another example is that “My Shows” from Fox, FX, and FXX can’t be fast-forwarded at all.

Summary

In summary, PlayStation Vue the easiest cord-cutting option for someone that does not want to invest in a lot of equipment and setup and wants to replicate most closely the cable TV experience (meaning local channels, news, sports, and premium content.) It does have the downside of being a subscription service – which means you pay, and pay, and pay. Having said that, it still offers a great deal of a la carte flexibility – so you pay for what you watch – and not a lot of extra stuff. And that’s why we think it’s the best – I don’t want free TV, but I want to pay for what I watch and not waste money on other things.

And lastly, regardless of whether you are signing up for PlayStation Vue or not, the Roku Streaming Stick+ is the best option for streaming apps and services such as HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu, and more. It’s got advanced features like 4K and HDR support, and works very simply with any HD TV – just plug in the power and plug the stick into an available HDMI port. The wireless range on this device is amazing – it works great even very far from your modem/router connection.

Photo Credits

  • Playstation Vue is a trademark of Sony, Inc. This website is not affiliated with Sony
  • Some product photos are courtesy of the manufacturer
  • Roku Streaming Stick+ images are courtesy of the manufacturer
  • PlayStation Vue logo – By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51634497
About the author

Timothy Platt

I'm an all around computer junkie, interested in many aspects of programming, operating systems, and enterprise IT technologies. I love Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows and I'm not particularly militant about any one over the other.

Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*