PlayStation Vue Looks Appealing
I signed up for the trial version of PlayStation Vue thinking it could be my ticket to freedom from the evil clutches of the Comcast giant.
PlayStation Vue offers a solid selection of channels, the NFL network, CSNNW (Comcast SportsNet Northwest — for all you Portland Trailblazer fans) and an in-the-cloud DVR. And their most expensive package (that I found), was $39.99.
Here’s my quick PlayStation Vue review (fresh as of September, 2016), detailing my experience with the service.
Requirements For PlayStation Vue
You might think a PlayStation is necessary for the service to work. You’d be right — mostly.
The service will work with a PlayStation 3, a PlayStation 4, Roku or Amazon Fire TV. If you don’t have one of those, forget it.
It will also work with Chromecast via the PlayStation Vue app on iOS devices (iPhone or iPad), but if you don’t have one of the aforementioned devices (PS3, PS4, Roku or Fire TV), you cannot establish service.
My Own PlayStation Vue Setup
My setup includes a PlayStation 4, an iPhone 6 Plus and an iPad and a Chromecast. Signing up for the service was easy. I simply downloaded the app onto my PlayStation 4 and I was able to watch any of the channels on my television. There were movies, on-demand channels (ABC, CBS, AMC, etc.) and lots of other garbage channels. There was a guide, etc., like any other cable service. So far so good.
I tried watching Vue on my mobile device and quickly found out that many channels were “mobile restricted.” Channels like CSNNW (the channel that broadcasts the Blazer games), the NFL Network, etc., were unable to be watched on a mobile device (iPhone or iPad). Lame, but whatever.
I went upstairs to my big-screen TV and downloaded the Vue app onto my iPhone. I started up the app, easily connected to the Chromecast and started casting the Vue channels onto the TV. What a pleasant surprise that once I began casting, all the mobile restrictions disappeared.
I want to repeat that attempting to sign up with PlayStation Vue with just an iOS device and a Chromecast will not work!
PlayStation Vue Viewing Experience
The first thing I tried to watch (for real) on my new service was football on Sunday. All I can say is FAIL. There were no football games available (on Sunday). And then I discovered that none of the major networks were available either. That’s right — Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS — they were all unavailable, at least in my area.
There are on-demand versions of these channels, but if you want to sit down and watch live TV, well, sorry. And if you want to relax and watch football on Sunday — forget it. You can’t.
And that’s too bad, because the Vue advertisements all trumpet the fact that the NFL Network is available. And if you do a search in the Vue guide for NFL, you’ll see a lot of results. NFL films, NFL Network, NFL Total Access, NFL Films Presents . . . But is there any actual football? Barely.
At least Monday night football was available. So on Monday, I set up the recording for the game in “My Shows.” I waited until about halftime to watch the game, and when I turned it on, I couldn’t start the game at the beginning. That’s right. I missed the entire first half.
I started looking online to see if others had this problem, and that’s when I found out what was happening. You can’t watch a show until it’s done. Only then can you start the show at the beginning. So in order to start the game at the beginning, I’d have to wait for it to end. The only problem with that was that the game ended at around 8:30 or 9:00, meaning I’d be up until at least 11:00 watching it. And I wanted to go to bed at 10!
So I just watched the game from halftime and wasn’t able to fast forward through commercials. About halfway through the third quarter, my daughter wanted to go on a quick bike ride. So I paused the game, went on a ride, came back and the game was live again. I couldn’t go back to the point where I had paused the game. Lame.
Apparently when using a PlayStation, you can pause live TV for up to 30 minutes, but when using other devices, you can only pause live TV for a few minutes. So pee fast, because you might miss some of your show.
My PlayStation Vue Review Conclusions
I like the idea of cutting the cable — of freedom from Comcast — and I appreciate Sony for trying to help us get there. However, the PlayStation Vue service is seriously lacking on a number of levels and I haven’t even really put it through its paces yet.
Mobile viewing is extremely limited. The DVR functions are extremely limited. The major broadcast channels are not included. Trying to watch football on Sunday is a joke. Because of these issues, I’m going to have to say “no” to PlayStation Vue.
PlayStation Vue Pros
- transparent pricing with no hidden fees (Comcast, are you listening?)
- easy month-to-month billing; easy to cancel (Comcast, are you listening?)
- a good bundle of channels at a low cost
- cloud DVR-like service that functions across different devices
- different profiles can be created for each user
PlayStation Vue Cons
- maximum resolution of 720p
- all devices must be tied to a single address (don’t share your password or your account will be canceled!)
- the advertisements about NFL Network are misleading as you can’t really watch any football whatsoever
- none of the major broadcast channels are included (CBS, FOX, ABC, NBC)
- DVR only works after the show is over
- time-shifting of live TV way too limited
- a high-speed Internet connection is required
I Offer Some Free Things
If you need help starting a WordPress website, I can help you out — completely free of charge. Simply sign up for hosting with Inmotion and I’ll help you get going. Be sure to watch my tutorials if you need help finding a quality web host, acquiring a domain name and getting your website started.