PS4's PlayStation Vue Vs. Xbox One's Sling TV
What's most important to you?
This week we've seen PlayStation and Microsoft go head to head, not in trying to control video games, but in trying to conquer the rest of your living room experience. It's not the first time both companies have tried entering the premium television content game. Sony has been trying out its own original programming in Powers recently, and Microsoft shut down an experimental Xbox One entertainment division last year.
But the current services the two companies offer are very different, both from one another and from their past attempts. Sling TV, which is now available nationwide on Xbox One, is a known quantity that straddles the line between on-demand programming options and live TV. PlayStation Vue, on the other hand, is essentially a replacement for cable and your DVR, but with the price to match.
It's hard to draw a hard comparison, since the channels that are important to you might be very different from someone else. Neither service has HBO access, mostly because they seem to be doing their own thing with Apple. Sling TV can't doesn't allow access to the major networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS. [Full disclosure: GameSpot is owned by CBS Interactive.] PlayStation Vue, meanwhile doesn't have anything from Disney, including ABC or ESPN.
From GameSpot sister site CNET, here's a quick run-down comparing the core features and pricing for the two services.
|PlayStation Vue||Sling TV|
|Base package||$50/month for 60 channels||$20/month for 20 channels|
|Step-up packages||+$10/month (some regional sports), $20/month (26 additional channels)||+$5/month each (roughly 5 Sports, LifeStyle, Movie or News channels per package)|
|Current availability||New York, Chicago, Philadelphia (more cities coming soon)||Nationwide|
|Compatible TV devices||PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4||Roku (TVs, boxes and streaming stick), Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Xbox One|
|Compatible mobile and PC devices||iPad (coming soon)||Android phones and tablets, iOS phones and tablets (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), PC and Mac computers|
|Compatible authentication/TV Everywhere apps||10 at launch, 35 more "coming soon"||Curently only Watch ESPN, more "coming soon"|
|No contract, cancel anytime||Yes||Yes|
|Simultaneous streams per account||3 simultaneous, but only one PS4 at a time.||1|
|Pause, rewind, fast-forward||Yes (all channels)||Only select channels|
|Record shows for later||Yes (keep for up to 28 days)||No|
|3 day replay||Select channels and shows||Select channels and shows|
|Browse||Guide, filters and personalized recommendations||Guide only|
|Audio format||2-channel stereo||2-channel stereo|
And to go in more depth, here's a list of all the channels available on each tier of service for Vue and Sling TV.
PlayStation Vue $50 Option (Access)
- 50 channels total
- Broadcast: CBS, CBS Plus, Cozi TV, Exitos, FOX, MyNetwork, NBC, Telemundo
- Network: Animal Planet, BET, Bravo, Cartoon/Adult Swim, CBS, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Destination America, Discovery Channel, Discovery Family, DIY, E!, Esquire, Food Network, Fox Business, Fox News Networks, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FX, FXX, HGTV, HLN, Investigation Discovery, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, Nat Geo, NBC Sports Network, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, OWN, Oxygen, Science, Spike, Syfy, TBS, TLC, TNT, TruTV, Travel Channel, TV Land, USA Network, VH1.
- AMC networks will be available in April (including AMC, IFC, Sundance, and WE tv)
PlayStation Vue $60 Option (Core)
- All of the $50 channels plus:
- Network: BTN, Golf Channel, TCM
- New York Only: YES Network
- Philadelphia Only: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
- Chicago Only: Comcast SportsNet Chicago
PlayStation Vue $70 Option (Elite)
- All of the above channels plus:
- Network: American Heroes, BET Gospel, Boomerang, Centric, Chiller, Cloo, CMT Pure Country, CNBC World, Cooking Channel, Discovery Fit & Health, FOX College Sports Atlantic, FOX College Sports Central, FOX College Sports Pacific, FXM, LOGO, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, mtvU, Nat Geo Wild, PALLADIA, Sprout, TeenNick, Universal, Velocity, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul.
Sling TV options on Xbox One are a little more a la carte:
|Sling TV Package||Monthly Price||Channels|
|The Best of Live TV (Core)||$20||ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, TNT, TBS, CNN, A&E, Lifetime, History, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, ABC Family, IFC, H2, El Rey Network, Maker, Galavision|
|Sports Extra||$5||SEC Network, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Universal Sports, Univision Deportes, beIN Sports, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Goal Line|
|Kids Extra||$5||Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV, Duck TV|
|Lifestyle Extra||$5||truTV, Cooking Channel, DIY, WE tv, FYI, LMN|
|World News Extra||$5||Bloomberg TV, HLN, Euro News, France 24, NDTV 24/7, News 18, Russia Today|
|Hollywood Extra||$5||EPIX, EPIX2, EPIX3, EPIX Drive-In, Sundance TV|
If that content feels a little light compared to what you might find on cable, it is. From CNET, here's a list of what you can't find on the services:
Top Sling TV Channels Missing from PlayStation Vue
|Base package ($20/month)||ESPN, ESPN2, History, Lifetime, A&E, Disney Channel, ABC Family, H2|
|Add-on packages||ESPN News, ESPNU, SEC Network, EPIX, Disney Junior, Disney XD, LMN|
Top PlayStation Vue channels Missing from Sling TV
|Base package ($50/month)||CBS, Fox, NBC, Fox News, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Bravo, FX, SyFy, USA, Discovery, Animal Planet, Nat Geo, BET, CNBC, MSNBC, E!, TLC, VH1|
|Add-on packages||YES Network,* Comcast SportsNet*, Golf Channel, Big Ten Network, TCM, Universal, Fox College Sports, Palladia, FXM|
*Regional sports network (RSN) available in New York, Philadelphia, or Chicago.
|Top Channels Missing From Both Sling TV and PlayStation Vue|
|General||PBS, ABC, CW, BBC America, CSPAN, The Weather Channel|
|Sports||MLB TV, NBA TV, NFL Network, NFL Red Zone, MSG,* SNY,* most other regional sports networks|
*Regional sports networks in New York
For gamers, the TV options are possibly a nice side offering for your console of choice, but neither one has a laid out solution that's perfect for everyone. Not yet, anyway. For even more in-depth and comparisons of the services, be on the lookout for upcoming reviews on CNET. In the meantime, here's everything you need to know about Sling TV.
But what do you think? Vue, Sling, neither, both? Let us know what you think about the services in the comments below!