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There are a lot of great skinny bundles on the market – you might even say too many! Having options is good, but the skinny bundle market can be confusing. That's why we at periodically pit the best skinny bundles against each other in a fight to the finish to see which is more deserving of your hard-earned cash. Today's clash is Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue.

Below, we'll lay out everything you need to know about Sling TV and PlayStation Vue's channels, features, pricing structures, and individual quirks. We'll cover the basics and then have the two services duke it out in category-specific showdowns, highlighting which of the two is better for sports, premium channels, and more. Let's get started!

Meet the Candidates: Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue

Before we get into the differences between these two services, let's spend a moment actually acquainting ourselves with them in the first place.

Sling TV

Sling TV was the first skinny bundle to get a wide release, but it only edged PlayStation Vue by the narrowest of margins. Sling TV has remained distinctive in a crowded field largely thanks to its unique pricing and content structure: once you've secured one (or both) of Sling TV's two base packages, you can then add on any number of ‘€œExtras,'€ which are small and cost-effective add-on bundles. For more on Sling TV, check out our full Sling TV review.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is Sony's take on the skinny bundle service. Despite its name, it doesn't really have much to do with the PlayStation line of video game consoles. Sony uses ‘€œPlayStation Accounts'€ (which can also be used with the game systems) as logins for the service, but you can watch it on all sorts of different devices. Check out our PlayStation Vue review below.

Channel Comparison: Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue

As is always the case with these skinny bundle comparisons, we're going to find a lot of the same channels in both of these services. But that doesn't mean that there aren't key distinctions between the channel selections on Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, especially when we begin to take into account the ways in which you can get different combinations from different packages available through the two services. Before we get further into the weeds with this, though, let's simplify things with a big Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue channel selection chart:

Channel PlayStation Vue Sling TV
A&E Yes Yes
ABC Yes Yes
AMC Yes Yes
American Heroes Yes No
Animal Planet Yes No
Baby TV No Yes
BBC America Yes Yes
BBC World News Yes Yes
BeIN Sports No Yes
BET No Yes
Bloomberg TV No Yes
Boomerang Yes Yes
Bravo Yes Yes
Big Ten Network Yes No
Cartoon Network Yes Yes
CBS Yes No
CBS Sports Network Yes No
Chiller Yes No
Cine Sony Television Yes No
CMT No Yes
CNBC Yes Yes
CNBC World Yes No
CNN Yes Yes
Comedy Central No Yes
Cooking Channel Yes Yes
Destination America Yes No
Discovery Yes No
Discovery Family Channel Yes No
Discovery Life Yes No
Disney Channel Yes Yes
Disney Junior Yes Yes
Disney XD Yes Yes
DIY Network Yes Yes
E! Yes Yes
Eleven Sports Yes No
El Rey No Yes
EPIX2 No Yes
EPIX Drive-In No Yes
EPIX Hits Yes Yes
ESPN Yes Yes
ESPN2 Yes Yes
ESPN Goal Line Yes Yes
Euronews No Yes
Fandor Festival No Yes
Food Network Yes Yes
Fox Yes Yes
Fox Business Network Yes No
Fox Deportes Yes No
Fox Life Yes No
Fox News Channel Yes No
Fox Sports 1 Yes Yes
Fox Sports 2 Yes Yes
France24 No Yes
Freeform Yes Yes
Fuse No Yes
Fusion Yes Yes
FX Yes Yes
FX Movie Channel Yes No
FXX Yes Yes
fyi, No Yes
Galavision No Yes
Golf Channel Yes Yes
GSN No Yes
Hallmark Channel No Yes
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries No Yes
HBO Yes Yes
HGTV Yes Yes
HLN Yes Yes
IFC Yes Yes
Investigation Discovery Yes No
Lifetime No Yes
Lifetime Movie Network (LMN) No Yes
Local Now No Yes
Logo No Yes
Machinima Yes No
Motors TV HD No Yes
MLB Network Yes No
MTV No Yes
MTV2 No Yes
Nat Geo WILD Yes Yes
National Geographic Channel Yes Yes
NBA TV Yes Yes
NBC Yes Yes
NBC Universo Yes No
NDTV 24X7 No Yes
News18 No Yes
Newsy No Yes
NFL Network Yes Yes
NFL Redzone Yes Yes
NHL Network No Yes
Nick Jr. No Yes
Nicktoons No Yes
Outdoor Channel No Yes
Outside Channel Yes Yes
OWN Yes No
Oxygen Yes Yes
Pac-12 Network No Yes
Paramount Network No Yes
Pop Yes No
RT Network No Yes
Science Yes No
SEC Network Yes Yes
SEC Network+ No Yes
Showtime Yes Yes
Showtime 2 No Yes
Showtime Beyond No Yes
Showtime Extreme No Yes
Showtime Next No Yes
Showtime Showcase No Yes
Showtime Women No Yes
Showtime West No Yes
Sony Movie Channel Yes No
Sportsman Channel No No
SundanceTV Yes Yes
Syfy Yes Yes
TBS Yes Yes
TCM Yes No
TeenNick No Yes
The Blaze No Yes
Telemundo Yes No
TLC Yes No
TNT Yes Yes
Travel Channel Yes Yes
Tribeca Shortlist Yes Yes
TruTV Yes Yes
TV Land No Yes
TyC Sports No Yes
UniMás No Yes
Univision No Yes
Univision Deportes Network No Yes
USA Network Yes Yes
Universal Kids Yes No
Velocity Yes No
VH1 No Yes
Vibrant No Yes
Viceland No Yes
WE tv Yes Yes
World Fishing Network No Yes
WeatherNation No Yes
Z Living HD No Yes

Alright! Lots of info up there, so let's break things down a bit.

One of the big distinctions between PlayStation Vue and Sling TV is that, as of this writing, PlayStation Vue is missing some big channels owned by Viacom. Comedy Central is perhaps the most notable of these: you can snag it through either of Sling TV's two base packages, but you won't be able to access it through PlayStation Vue.

PlayStation Vue has the upper hand on major networks, though. Sling TV is missing CBS, and it only makes ABC available through one of its Extras. PlayStation Vue has all four major networks available through its most basic package. (Note that in the case of both services, major networks are available in select markets only).

It's also worth noting that the path to some of the more obscure channels may be more sensible with Sling TV. Sling TV's system of add-on bundles means that you can tack some pretty niche channels onto its base packages for a relatively affordable overall price, while getting the same channel through PlayStation Vue's tiered system might mean climbing the price ladder and paying for a big pricey bundle. On the flip side, you can usually get more channels for your money with PlayStation Vue – but in gaining that you lose the ability to customize the channels you get.

We'll get more into this stuff when the prices come up later on, but it's worth noting that the skinniest of bundles here is Sling TV's Sling Orange. It's cheaper, but also has fewer channels. Sling Blue is also smaller than PlayStation Vue's smallest bundle. But Sling Orange and Sling Blue are each missing some pretty major channels: only Sling Orange has ESPN, for instance.

Sling TV or PlayStation Vue: Which Is Cheaper?

Pricing is perhaps the most important subject of all in our Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue battle. It's not just that one service is cheaper than the other, though we'll talk about that, too. It's that the two services use totally different pricing structures.

PlayStation Vue uses a tiered system. You can pick from a few different bundles, the pricier bundles have more channels, and each bundle includes all of the channels that its smaller counterparts do (plus some new additions, of course).

Sling TV uses a system that has some a la carte elements. You still start off with a base package, but you can pick one of two (or get both together at a discount). From there, you can tack on Extras – small-ish add-on bundles that come pretty cheap at $5 apiece and up.

The base packages play out like this (ranked from cheapest to priciest):

  • $20 per month – Sling TV's Sling Orange
  • $25 per month – Sling TV's Sling Blue
  • $39.99 per month – PlayStation Vue's ‘€œAccess'€
  • $40 per month – Sling TV's ‘€œSling Orange + Blue'€ (discount deal on both base packages)
  • $44.99 per month – PlayStation Vue's ‘€œCore'€
  • $54.99 per month – PlayStation Vue's ‘€œElite'€
  • $74.99 per month – PlayStation Vue's ‘€œUltra'€

This makes it look like Sling TV is cheaper, but remember that this isn't the whole story. The difference in pricing structures looms large here.

Sling TV's Sling Orange and Sling Blue bundles are indeed cheaper than PlayStation Vue's Access bundle. They're smaller and have fewer channels, too, but they're definitely cheaper. Put them together and you have a bundle that is very comparable to Access – and you'll also be paying a very, very comparable price, because Sling Orange + Blue and Access both cost right around $40.

PlayStation Vue offers larger bundles at increasing prices. So does Sling TV, in a way: you just have to start shopping for add-ons. You can build larger bundles with Sling TV with these add-ons. They'll generally be pricier on a per-channel basis than similarly sized bundles from PlayStation Vue, but they allow for fine-tuning and, ideally, will keep you from paying for too many channels you don't watch.

PlayStation Vue does have a couple add-ons, too: like Sling TV, it offers premium channels like HBO as add-ons. It also has a sports add-on. But, generally, getting more channels with Vue means climbing the ladder, while getting more from Sling TV means buying Extras.

Happily, both Sling TV and PlayStation Vue have free trial offers. You can click here to try out Sling TV for free for a week.

Key Features of Sling TV and PlayStation Vue

There is not much daylight between Sling TV and PlayStation Vue in terms of features. Both have very strong features and perks, and either would do well in this section against any other competitor.

Sling TV and PlayStation Vue both offer great apps on a ton of devices (more on platform support later). They both incorporate good content discovery features and allow you to set favorites. They both have cloud DVR features. PlayStation Vue has a slight edge on the DVR front, as Sling TV is still rolling its cloud DVR out onto a few neglected platforms right now, but on most devices, it's all the same. And Sling TV also turns recently aired content into on-demand content, whether you've DVR'd it or not. PlayStation Vue doesn't. So you can kind of take your pick here.

Let's talk streaming limits. PlayStation Vue allows you to stream on  five devices at once. (Actually, they technically start you with three, then reward you with two more for setting a “home” device. There are also limitations like the fact that you can't use two PS4s at once. There are also content-specific rules, as is the case with all skinny bundles. If you think this is complicated, wait until you get a load of Sling TV.)

So that's your PlayStation Vue simultaneous streaming scoop. What about Sling TV? Sling TV allows you'€¦ well, actually, it's complicated. With Sling TV, your streaming abilities depend on your base package. Sling Orange channels can be streamed only on one device at a time. Sling Blue channels can be streamed on three. But wait, it gets weirder. If you subscribe to both, you can watch a Sling Blue channel on three devices while you watch a Sling Orange channel on one, for a total of four simultaneous streams – but you can't allocate your ‘€œfour simultaneous streams'€ in any way that breaks the cap on streams of the individual bundles. So you can't stream the same channel four times – unless it's one of the channels that is available on both services, in which case you can, as long as you're selecting the Sling Blue version on three devices and the Sling Orange version on one. (Yes, the channel can show up twice, though Sling TV will clean things up by displaying only the Sling Blue versions if you let it do so.) Phew!

The bottom line: PlayStation Vue's simultaneous streaming rules are both simpler and more forgiving than Sling TV's. Sling TV's are pretty good for Sling Blue, but not being able to double-stream Sling Orange exclusives is annoying.

Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue: Platform Support

PlayStation Vue - iOS
Content discovery features on the PlayStation Vue app's home screen (iOS)

These are the two oldest skinny bundles on the market, and they've had a lot of time to get their apps out for all of the different streaming platforms we love to use. So this is a very pleasant category for both Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, and the coverage is really impressive.

Roku? Check. Fire TV? Check. Apple TV? Chromecast? Even Android TV? Check, check, check, baby. iOS and Android mobile devices, laptops and desktops, major brands of smart TVs – they're all covered by both services. They're even both available for video game consoles, though they make their homes on different systems. You can probably guess how that breaks down: Sling TV on Xbox One, PlayStation Vue on PlayStation 4.

Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue: Category Matchups

Sling TV - channel surfing
Channel surfing in Sling TV (iOS). Note that the black area should show the program I was watching ‘€“ Sling's app blocks screenshots from recording that part.

We've covered a lot of ground discussing the things that Sling TV and PlayStation Vue bring to the table. But we haven't seen quite the duel that our headline promised, so let's pit the services together for some Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue action. By category, here's how the two stack up.

Streaming Quality: Tie

Sling TV has made big improvements to its streaming quality, and there's not much daylight between the two services in this department now. In fact, there's so little that we're calling this round a toss-up. Don't worry, you can't really go wrong here: both of the services offer strong streaming quality that puts them in the top tier of skinny bundle services.

Best Features: PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue's more complete and affordable DVR feature wins it this round. Keep in mind, though, that Sling TV's own DVR is available on nearly any device you're likely to use to watch it. And while paying an extra $5 for the feature is a pain, that may not be enough to make Sling TV more expensive than PlayStation Vue for your use case. So keep an open mind here, and don't weight this narrow PlayStation Vue win too heavily.

Best User Experience: PlayStation Vue

Sling TV and PlayStation Vue have very similar features. I prefer Sling TV's methods for handling live TV: Sling TV gives you more power to quickly access menus and flip through channels without losing track of what you're already watching. Channel surfing with PlayStation Vue feels a bit clumsier. So why give the win to PlayStation Vue? While both apps are great when you're in them, they're also both plagued by some bugs and poor design choices. I found Sling TV's Roku account-switching problem to be more significant than PlayStation Vue's unexpected logout bug, so I gave this round to PlayStation Vue.

Best for Local Channels: PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue wins this category by virtue of its better selection of major networks. Most of the good local content is going to come to you from your local ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC stations. And while both Sling TV and PlayStation Vue can only deliver live local feeds of the major networks in select markets, PlayStation Vue at least boasts all four of them in the lucky markets. Sling TV has just three, and it tucks ABC into an Extra instead of putting it in the base packages.

Best for Sports: PlayStation Vue

Sports-fan Sling TV subscribers have some great options. They will probably want to opt for the base bundle double-dose: Sling Orange and Sling Blue divide ESPN and FS1 between them, so going with Sling Orange + Blue is the best bet. But from there, sports fans can use specific add-ons like Sports Extra to grab more in-depth sports coverage on the relative cheap. That's a lot of sports goodness that PlayStation Vue can't match.

But there's a problem: Sling TV lacks CBS, a channel that airs a ton of live broadcasts of the nation's single most popular sports league, the NFL. CBS also has a ton of college football and basketball – all missing from Sling TV. Plus, Sling TV sticks ABC in an add-on, keeping NBA games and more college sports away from their base packages. All of this allows PlayStation Vue to slip into the lead without too much effort. PlayStation Vue includes all four major networks, ESPN, FS1, and NBCSN in their cheapest package. With more available at higher price points and a separate Sports add-on bundle on offer, that's enough to give them a surprise win.

Best for Premium Channels: Sling TV

PlayStation Vue has HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax, among other more minor premium channels. Sling TV has those three plus Starz. That's enough to give Sling TV the win in this category, though there is one minor note to make here: if you're a PlayStation Plus subscriber, you'll get a discount on some premium channels. Not HBO, though. Sorry. (And if you don't have PlayStation Plus, don't worry about it – it's the premium service Sony offers to PlayStation gamers, and if you don't know what it's for then you almost certainly have no use for it.)

Best for On-Demand Content: Sling TV

Sling TV has 10,000 hours of on-demand content. PlayStation Vue relies on its DVR feature to allow you to generate your own on-demand content, so you have to be on top of things to ensure that you can watch recently aired TV. That makes this category an easy win for Sling TV.

Deciding Between Sling TV and PlayStation Vue

In the battle between Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, I give the edge to PlayStation Vue. PlayStation Vue has all four major networks (in select markets), includes its DVR at no extra cost, and keeps things simple and streamlined. All else held equal, it's the better service.

But, of course, all else isn't held equal: the two services will measure up very differently depending on what you want to watch. Thanks to its a la carte pricing structure, Sling TV will offer some big savings to folks who want niche channels. And for those who can't live without Comedy Central, PlayStation Vue is just not an option.

In short, the outcome of our Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue duel will change from person to person. That's why I recommend conducting your own tests with our findings above in mind. Grab both free trials and run your own personal Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue throwdown: you'll get a sense of which is better for you personally, and you'll get some free TV while you do so.

Click here to try Sling TV for free

3 thoughts on “Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue

  1. Greg Hull says:

    I agree with your winner. I’ve been on PS Vue for about 15 months. It never buffers (like DTV Now) and the interface (Apple TV) is very user friendly.

  2. James says:

    I have PSVue now for about 4 months and am very pleased. I looked at Sling but no, Discovery, Science, or FNC was a deal breaker. The unlimited DVR is awesome.

  3. william daker says:

    sling nbc sports blocks out your local sports not good.

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