Playstation Vue's Demise

I have subscribed to Sony's Playstation Vue service for at least 5 years. It's been what my wife and I use for streaming live TV. Vue was one of the first streaming live TV services on the market and was a predecessor to Youtube TV and Hulu's Live TV offerings. Last month Sony announced they will discontinue Playstation Vue as it was no longer financially viable.

Playstation Vue always had a marketing problem. By using the “Playstation” branding, it gives the impression a Playstation is required. It was my first question when I heard about it. More recently though, Vue was going head to head with streaming behemoths Youtube and Hulu.

I investigated other live TV services to find the other services can do the job, I will miss Vue as it did everything I wanted to at a competitive price.

YouTube TV - YouTube TV was the first service I researched. Many people said the interface was good and its channel selection was full featured. My wife uses an Amazon Kindle Fire as her tablet so compatibility with that device is a requirement. YouTube TV supports Android and Fire TV sticks, but it does not support the Kindle Fire table line. I signed up for, and cancelled, YouTube TV in the same day.

Sling TV - Sling TV came recommended by a friend. Sling's webpage shows $25 a month for a plan but that's the trial price. Sling TV had the channels we need and all the features…at least almost all the features. I like all video services to have profiles. What I watch should not mingle with what my wife watches. This goes for history, DVR recordings, etc. Sling, for whatever reason, does not support profiles. Again, I cancelled Sling the same day I signed up.

Hulu Live TV - Hulu Live TV was the last service I tried and ultimately, the one I stuck with. Hulu's interface isn't very good and its price feels a bit more expensive than the other services. This is because Hulu has a single app for streaming and live TV so having multiple accounts, one for streaming and one for Live TV, would be a mess. Within a week of signing up for Hulu TV, they announced they increased the price so now I am paying $60/month for Hulu Live TV and ad-free Hulu. Hulu does support the Amazon Kindle Fire and profiles so it won by default. If I were to consider price and interface, Hulu won by default, not because it's the best.

Playstation Vue's price did increase over the years but it was a good service that did what we had to. We now subscribe to Hulu Live TV. It's fine. Playstation Vue will be a service I will look back at fondly, not because it was great, but because the replacements felt mediocre and incomplete.