To keep this resource free, is compensated by certain providers listed below. Learn More To keep this resource free, is compensated by certain providers listed below. Learn More
DIRECTV NOW vs. PlayStation Vue

DirecTV Now

has arrived on the OTT skinny bundle scene, ready to compete with existing services like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. So which of the skinny bundles is right for you? Today, we're taking a look at DirecTV Now vs. PlayStation Vue. For our article comparing Sling TV and DirecTV Now, click here.

Channel Selection and Packages

Right now, DirecTV Now leads PlayStation Vue in the content department. That's because PlayStation Vue recently lost the rights to Viacom properties. It's not a huge list of channels, but popular networks like MTV and Comedy Central are among those missing. That's enough to make many prefer DirecTV Now's selection.

Let's look at the package sizes. Both DirecTV Now and PlayStation Vue make different amounts of content available at different price points. For DirecTV Now, that means four tiers starting at 60+ channels ($35/month) and going all the way up to 120+ channels ($70/month – add both premium channels and you'll top out at $80/month). For PlayStation Vue, the packages start at 45+ channels ($29.99/month) and go up to 90+ channels with premium channels included ($64.99/month).

Both services have HBO. PlayStation Vue has Showtime, while DirecTV Now has Cinemax.


PlayStation Vue's cheapest package costs less than DirecTV Now's ($29.99/month vs. $35/month). PlayStation Vue tops out at 90+ channels, which can be had for $44.99 or packaged in with HBO and Showtime for $64.99. DirecTV Now's biggest package is 120 channels for $70, and adding HBO or Cinemax will cost you $5 per premium channel. So DirecTV Now can get pricier, but also delivers more content.

Note that adding the premium channels is cheaper on DirecTV Now – you can add them to any package, and they cost just $5 each.

User Experience

DirecTV Now has a solid user experience, and in our review we noted that the service makes it easy to watch some content on demand. That on demand content isn't as loaded as what you'd get on a service like Hulu, but as a perk tacked onto a live TV service, it's awesome.

PlayStation Vue has a very similar user experience, and it adds a DVR function that really sets it apart from its competition. It also beats DirecTV Now in platform support – DirecTV Now is still waiting for its Roku app, while PlayStation Vue is available on a ton of platforms now.

Overall, PlayStation Vue wins this category.

Streaming Quality

In our trials, both of these services performed admirably. With that said, DirecTV Now seems to get more complaints on Reddit and other message boards about its streaming quality. Users are reporting crashes, and while we can't vouch for that, it's worth mentioning here.

Of course, DirecTV Now is also quite new. Sling TV had similar problems early on in its life – in fact, Sling TV went months into its lifetime with rather questionable streaming quality – and has since cleaned up its act. So there's plenty of reason to believe that reports like the ones we're seeing on Reddit will die down soon – and, again, we didn't really experience this in our own testing. Go figure.

PlayStation Vue, meanwhile, impressed us with its streaming quality from the beginning and generates fewer complaints in online cord cutting communities.

For the reasons above, I'd give the edge to PlayStation Vue in streaming quality. But DirecTV Now does pretty well here, too.

DirecTV Now vs. PlayStation Vue: Which Should You Get?

DirecTV Now and PlayStation Vue are the two most similar of the two skinny bundles in terms of packages and pricing.

They're not a la carte (like Sling TV) – they just scale up from the smallest package. They're similarly priced. They both stream pretty well.

PlayStation Vue has the edge in user experience, but it lags in content. The missing Viacom channels hurt – Comedy Central and MTV are big-time networks, and it's embarrassing for Vue that they're missing.

For that reason, I give the overall edge to DirecTV Now. If you don't care about those Viacom networks, check out PlayStation Vue instead.


13 thoughts on “DirecTV Now vs. PlayStation Vue

  1. Morebetter1028 says:

    Duh, well I guess it’d make no sense at all to compare equal 35.00 plans.

  2. LaQuanzy says:

    Viacom leaving PlayStation Vue is a game changer, but you can stream 5 devices on PlayStation Vue and only 2 from DirecTV Now. Everyone in my home stream. 6 TVs made me get rid of the cable boxes. An alternative for me would be to either lower my internet speed and add service from PlayStation Vue and Sling TV or just add Sling for $25 more. I still came out cheaper than TWC. I’ve been a cord cutter for almost 6 months.

  3. TheGMG says:

    Good read, we had to make a similar decision a couple of months ago. We ultimately went with PlayStation Vue because of the DVR. We didn’t realize how useful the DVR was until we didn’t have it on DIRECTV NOW. If DirecTV offers a cloud DVR in the future we will take another look.

  4. Ben says:

    I’m about 2.5 months into my DTVN subscription and overall I’m happy with it. I jumped on board for the 100+ channel promo deal for $35 and got a free ($149 value) Apple TV gen 4 for prepaying 3 months ($105). So it was really an enticing opening offer. I have had definite streaming problems but they have gotten much better in recent weeks. I think DTVN requires a pretty solid internet service to work well. Over time they may get things tweaked to where it will work on more marginal internet services as well.

    As of right now PS Vue is the only streaming service that I’m aware of that has a DVR feature (excluding the beta testing that Sling is doing on one). That is a feature that needs to come to Directv Now eventually as well. PS Vue limits saving shows to just 28 days, which is a little disappointing. I’m hoping the DVR feature won’t cause a bump in prices for DTVN and will be made available to us early adopters on the $35 promo price (which we are supposed to keep for as long as we stay subscribed).

    As to the 2 streams that DTVN offers vs. PS Vue’s 5 streams: My understanding is there are pretty strict restrictions on streaming PS Vue away from home. DTVN has few such restrictions, so for me I prefer the flexibility to use my DTVN now service in more locations. I think that location flexibility is why DTVN restricts to two streams to cut down on account sharing. I’m OK with that trade-off.

  5. Morebetter1028 says:

    35$ vs 35$! Yeah, probably a bad idea for a comparison being how they lost Viacom.WHAT?!

  6. Sam Bowden says:

    My experience with DirecTV Now was dreadful – shows wouldn’t stream at all or they had constant buffering problems. As you said, DTVNow also doesn’t support the top streaming device, Roku. I won’t give them a try again until they support Roku and they have had plenty of time to work out the numerous problems I had.

  7. Sam Bowden says:

    PS to my last post: Playstation Vue works great for us.

  8. James says:

    I would like to know how you got a “solid user experience”, when my friends and family got the opposite. I tried using Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Fire TV Stick, and AirPlay. Some tried all of these and Fire TV with horrible results. With Sling TV, Netflix, Amazon Video, PlayStation Vue, I get better than a solid user experience. Roku is my go to device.

  9. Robo442U says:

    I am in the middle of my DirecTV Now (DTVnow) trial and it leaves quite a bit to be desired. From buffering issues, random connection issues, to no cloud DVR service I am unhappy at this point with the overall quality of service. I am also using PSVue and find it works far superior to DTVnow with virtually zero issues. If PSvue or another provider offered MLB Network it would be enough for me to consider dropping DTVnow when my trial ends. IMO DTVnow is to big of a company to still be having these issues. I also use HULU and Netflix and of course they work without issue taking into account they do not provide live streaming. Looking forward to seeing what new package HULU will launch to join the live streaming crowd.

  10. Barry says:

    No Viacom, more room for better channels on PlayStation Vue.

  11. Chris says:

    I stuck with PS Vue through the Viacom channel removal. But those were my daughters favorite channels. Last week I got an email about PS Vue price going from $29.99 to $39.99 per month. I’m going through a trial of DTV Now and find it works fine. Runs great on my Roku, Chrome browser and Android phone. One downside is the 2 device streaming limit. On the plus side I had very good experience with their customer service people via live online chat. No buffering issues and the app is not crashing like the PS Vue app would do on my Roku every day or two.

  12. Donna says:

    We were quite happy with PlayStation Vue, and it has the one channel my husband demands (Velocity). I had the medium package, which came to about $42.00 with tax. Then we got a notice that PlayStation Vue would be going to $57.00 plus tax. All of their packages would be going up. That is what we were paying for our cable package before the box rentals and other charges. We decided to go to DirecTV Now at $35.00 plus tax because it also offered Velocity and most other channels we watch often. We have a Roku which they now accept. DTV has much more buffering than PSV. I don’t know that it is worth changing back because of the price difference and am hoping they can do something about this issue before my husband gets mad enough to get rid of them.

  13. Tom Byrnes says:

    Trialing a number of these currently over the New Year’s break. Conclusions: Sling works fine if they offer what you want. DirectTV Now is a joke. It looks good on paper and consequently gets good reviews, but it just doesn’t work when the pressure is on in busy periods. Constantly buffering, dropping connection, etc. So far PlayStation Vue looks solid, and for our needs, the leader of the pack.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.