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 Cordcutting.com 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.

Sling TV Review: Channels, Features, Price, and More

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.

PlayStation Vue Review: Channels, Features, Price, and More

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:

ChannelPlayStation VueSling TV
A&EYesYes
ABCYesYes
AMCYesYes
American HeroesYesNo
Animal PlanetYesNo
AXS TVNoYes
Baby TVNoYes
BBC AmericaYesYes
BBC World NewsYesYes
BeIN SportsNoYes
BETNoYes
Bloomberg TVNoYes
BoomerangYesYes
BravoYesYes
Big Ten NetworkYesNo
Cartoon NetworkYesYes
CBSYesNo
CBS Sports NetworkYesNo
CGTNNoYes
ChillerYesNo
ChannelPlayStation VueSling TV
Cine Sony TelevisionYesNo
CMTNoYes
CNBCYesYes
CNBC WorldYesNo
CNNYesYes
Comedy CentralNoYes
Cooking ChannelYesYes
Destination AmericaYesNo
DiscoveryYesNo
Discovery Family ChannelYesNo
Discovery LifeYesNo
Disney ChannelYesYes
Disney JuniorYesYes
Disney XDYesYes
DIY NetworkYesYes
E!YesYes
Eleven SportsYesNo
El ReyNoYes
EPIXNoYes
EPIX2NoYes
ChannelPlayStation VueSling TV
EPIX Drive-InNoYes
EPIX HitsYesYes
ESPNYesYes
ESPN2YesYes
ESPN Goal LineYesYes
ESPNEWSYesYes
ESPNUYesYes
EuronewsNoYes
Fandor FestivalNoYes
FLAMANoYes
Food NetworkYesYes
FoxYesYes
Fox Business NetworkYesNo
Fox DeportesYesNo
Fox LifeYesNo
Fox News ChannelYesNo
Fox Sports 1YesYes
Fox Sports 2YesYes
France24NoYes
FreeformYesYes
ChannelPlayStation VueSling TV
FuseNoYes
FusionYesYes
FXYesYes
FX Movie ChannelYesNo
FXXYesYes
fyi,NoYes
GalavisionNoYes
Golf ChannelYesYes
GSNNoYes
Hallmark ChannelNoYes
Hallmark Movies & MysteriesNoYes
HBOYesYes
HGTVYesYes
HISTORYNoYes
HLNYesYes
IFCYesYes
Investigation DiscoveryYesNo
LifetimeNoYes
Lifetime Movie Network (LMN)NoYes
Local NowNoYes
ChannelPlayStation VueSling TV
LogoNoYes
MachinimaYesNo
MGM HDYesNo
Motors TV HDNoYes
MLB NetworkYesNo
MSNBCYesYes
MTVNoYes
MTV2NoYes
Nat Geo WILDYesYes
National Geographic ChannelYesYes
NBA TVYesYes
NBCYesYes
NBCSNYesNo
NBC UniversoYesNo
NDTV 24X7NoYes
News18NoYes
NewsyNoYes
NFL NetworkYesYes
NFL RedzoneYesYes
NHL NetworkNoYes
ChannelPlayStation VueSling TV
Nick Jr.NoYes
NicktoonsNoYes
Outdoor ChannelNoYes
Outside ChannelYesYes
OWNYesNo
OxygenYesYes
Pac-12 NetworkNoYes
Paramount NetworkNoYes
PIXLNoYes
PopYesNo
RFD-TVNoYes
RT NetworkNoYes
ScienceYesNo
SEC NetworkYesYes
SEC Network+NoYes
ShowtimeYesYes
Showtime 2NoYes
Showtime BeyondNoYes
Showtime ExtremeNoYes
Showtime NextNoYes
ChannelPlayStation VueSling TV
Showtime ShowcaseNoYes
Showtime WomenNoYes
Showtime WestNoYes
Sony Movie ChannelYesNo
Sportsman ChannelNoNo
STARZNoYes
STARZ ENCORE ActionNoNo
STARZ ENCORE BlackNoNo
STARZ ENCORE EastNoNo
STARZ ENCORE FamilyNoYes
STARZ ENCORE ClassicNoYes
STARZ ENCORE SuspenseNoNo
STARZ ENCORE WestNoYes
STARZ ENCORE WesternsNoNo
SundanceTVYesYes
SyfyYesYes
TBSYesYes
TCMYesNo
TeenNickNoYes
The BlazeNoYes
ChannelPlayStation VueSling TV
TelemundoYesNo
TLCYesNo
TNTYesYes
Travel ChannelYesYes
Tribeca ShortlistYesYes
TruTVYesYes
TV LandNoYes
TyC SportsNoYes
UniMƒ¡sNoYes
UnivisionNoYes
Univision Deportes NetworkNoYes
USA NetworkYesYes
Universal KidsYesNo
VelocityYesNo
VH1NoYes
VibrantNoYes
VicelandNoYes
WE tvYesYes
World Fishing NetworkNoYes
WeatherNationNoYes
ChannelPlayStation VueSling TV
Z Living HDNoYes

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. And click here to grab PlayStation Vue's offer, which gives you five free days!

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

Click here to try PlayStation Vue for free