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Sony recently announced that it is shutting down PlayStation Vue, the company’s streaming service, on January 30th. The announcement came only a week after reports indicated Sony was shopping for a buyer. If you were a PlayStation Vue subscriber and you’re looking for a replacement, take a look at these alternatives that offer a similar channel lineup and comparable pricing.
Why did PlayStation Vue get canceled?
As one of the early competitors serving cordcutters, PlayStation Vue helped shape the current streaming market. Unfortunately, the branding made consumers believe that the service limited potential subscribers to PlayStation owners and the service never surpassed 600,000 users. The stakes in the industry are so high that it was difficult for Sony to make the economics work with up and coming entertainment from industry giants like Disney Plus, Peacock, and others.
PlayStation owners will need a new internet streaming device
Unfortunately, the PS4 won’t support live streaming from fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, Hulu Live TV, Philo, Sling TV, or YouTube TV. PS4 owners can continue to use their device as a streaming platform to watch the on-demand movie and TV content using universal streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu.
Former Vue subscribers will need to use a different internet streaming device, i.e., smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, to replace Vue with one of these comparable services.
What’s next after Vue?
PlayStation Vue had one of the best combinations of channels and price available, a streamlined user interface, and multi-view features. At only $50/month, add-ons like NFL Red Zone were only $10/month. It’s a challenge to replace all of the good features without exceeding the price.
These live TV services are the best available replacement for PlayStation Vue because they offer a comparable channel lineup with base packages that cost less than $50/month.
Sling TV is the most affordable streaming service that also gives you access to live TV. Sling offers two base-level packages; Orange and Blue. Each package has a unique channel lineup and will run you $25/month after a three-month introductory discount.
The single-stream Sling Orange service lets you watch one show at a time on about 20 channels. The Orange package includes ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and local channels in some locations. The multi-stream Sling Blue service lets you watch three shows at once on about 48 channels. The Blue lineup includes Fox, FS1, various Fox and NBC regional sports networks, and TBS. Viewers can select both Orange + Blue for a discounted rate of $40/month. There’s no long-term contract nor hidden fees.
Viewers can also add $5/month subscription add-ons called Extras for in-language programming, sports, comedy, kids, or other genres. Premium channels like HBO and Starz are available and conveniently billed within the same ecosystem. Both packages include a cloud-based DVR with 50 hours of storage. Sling TV allows viewers to watch from streaming devices, smartphones, tablets, or even the actual TV.
YouTube TV is one of the most widely available services in the country, with more than one million subscribers. The core package offers access to local networks, national networks, and an unlimited DVR. Families can set up as many as six individual profiles in one account to keep recommendations, history, and preferences unique to each viewer.
Subscribers pay $49.99/month for 70 channels, and 90% of markets receive their local broadcasts of ABC, Fox, NBC, and CBS. News channels include CNBC, Fox News, and MSNBC, and sports covers ESPN, Fox Sports, Big Ten, and CBS Sports. The service also includes access to the popular Discovery channels like TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, and HGTV.
More than two million people subscribe to Hulu + Live TV. The service includes more channels than any other low-priced skinny bundle streaming service. The user interface seamlessly blends the live and on-demand content to make the delivery method transparent so that consumers can watch a show without dividing content by source. It boasts an easy-to-use traditional timeline to show viewers what’s available to watch. Viewers can download shows and movies to watch without an internet connection and also have access to a cloud-based DVR with 50 hours of storage.
Subscribers can watch live sports, news, and more and also get unlimited access to Hulu’s extensive on-demand library for $44.99/month. Viewers get access to A&E, Boomerang, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CBS Sports Network, CNBC, CNN, Disney, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, FreeForm, FX, Golf, HGTV, HLN, Lifetime, and more.
Philo streams multichannel live TV over the Internet like Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV. What makes this live TV streaming solution unique is the price point and channel lineup. The budget-conscious service includes TV Everywhere authentication, which allows consumers to watch their content on any device, anywhere. Philo doesn’t carry sports, news, or local broadcast channels like most of the bigger streamers, but subscribers can opt to supplement the service with an HD Antenna to get local channels without any additional cost.
Subscribers can watch different shows or channels (or the same show or channel) on three devices at the same time, even when streaming in HD. Viewers can pause live channels, start shows from the beginning when in progress, and watch programs that have aired in the last 72 hours. The unlimited DVR enables fast forward and rewind capabilities where licensing agreements allow, but only keeps recordings for 30 days. On top of all of the live content, there is an on-demand library of more than 1,000 hours of primetime content available.
Philo is only $20/month for the base package of about 60 channels and includes popular lifestyle channels not found on many other services, like Comedy Central, MTV, BET, VH1, American Heroes Channel, and the Cooking Channel.
Try all of the services and compare
PlayStation Vue subscribers will face a tough choice finding a suitable [replacement service](). The wide lineup of channels and sports is unmatched by any similarly priced competitive service. Several services come pretty close, and subscribers can opt for add-ons to round out their channel lineup as needed.
All of the popular live TV streaming services offer free trials. Former Vue subscribers can kick the tires, drive it around the block, and make sure it’s got all your favorite bells and whistles before committing.
Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."
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