YouTube TV vs DirecTV Now vs Sling TV vs PlayStation Vue: Face-Off!

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Chris_411

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Mar 19, 2017
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I've done extended testing with Sling, DirecTV NOW and PSVUE. PSVUE has the right strategy but is unable to execute. Constant issues with buffering or DVR/VOD programs freezing the program or the AppleTV or ROKU. I'm on the latest HW for each with a 100MB Internet connection.

Sling and DTV don't have any DVR ability so they're out. Not sure why everything isn't on demand at this point and why we need to manually record anything, cloud or otherwise. Still, I probably spend two hours a month working on PSVUE - reinstalling, rebooting devices, etc. Better than the others but not as reliable as when I has satellite or cable. Not sure if I wait it out and see if it improves. I like the price vs the other options but it's frustrating when you can't watch what you've recorded or select.
 

LynnFo

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Apr 6, 2017
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I recent post I made in Amazon that relates to this topic...
++Major update 04/03/17** SlingTV Cloud DVR seems to have been rolled out to more subscribers. I added it about an hour ago and have already used it. Easy and works great!

This is a comment to another reviewer who has SlingTV Cloud DVR. I thought I should post it as a stand-alone review. I did not purchase Sling TV via Amazon. Go to Sling website to take advantage of special deals.

03/28/17
First, I'm incredibly jealous of you, I WANT THE SLING CLOUD DVR! I've signed up to be notified when it's generally available on Roku, Fire Stick or AirTV. Anyways I'm in the process of 'cutting the cord' but my husband is not totally onboard. I say fine, don't retire, keep working to pay $1800 a year for cable. I'm retiring in 94 days!

Currently I'm test driving SlingTV & DirecTV Now. I took advantage of the specials $50 credit on Sling for puchase of AirTV also a free Fire Stick for subscribing to SlingTV. DirecTV comes with Free Fire Stick for 1 month pay, $35, & DTVN comes with 1 yr free HBO.

I love the DTVN GUI, great guide features but Sling has a lot more On Demand available at your fingertips. DTVN has a lot but you have to log into individual apps like HBO Now, ABC Now, etc.

IMO...

SLINGTV:
+ I get all the cable channels I want for $30
- HBO expensive additional $15
- DirecTV Now has way nicer guide
- Not 'true' On Demand with Sling. A few episodes worth.
+++ Cloud DVR (that isn't fully rolled out)
- Missing a couple channels my husband likes but I can get w/HULU for $8 if needed. Seinfeld 24/7 with Hulu.

DirecTV Now:
+ All the cable channels I want & then some for $35
+ Has husbands fav channels, Alaska Truckers, Alaska Families, Alaska Gold, Naked & Afraid
+ Has 'full on' On Demand but...
- On Demand requires logging into other app like Syfy Now
+ HBO free for 1 yr then $5 a month, $10 less than Sling
- DirecTV Now app not available on Roku or AirTV at this time

Those are the highlights. I'm good with bouncing between apps but my husband isn't. For now I'll keep both Sling and DirecTV Now at $60 a month. I'll be cancelling my premium cable channels & DVR service and returning 2 boxes next week. That decreases cable bill $80 per month.

Now for devices:
AirTV: It has a ways to go. It claims its interface integrates Sling streaming channels w OTA channels (local channels using antenna w AirTV adapter). It's not all that slick IMO. It's remote has a built in TV remote. Sling is its default homepage. Netflix can be accessed within Sling but not your watchlist only the shows normally seen on the Netflix banner. And finally no Amazon Video app at this time

Roku: great user interface. Love the earbuds in the remote with volume control, that's Premium+. VERY easy set up. Great streaming quality. Great iPhone remote app

Fire Stick: Just got it today. Great features like Roku. Headphones via Bluetooth and probably wired with Kindl Fire. I'm watching Sling right now and it's dropped my show a few times. This is the voice remote Fire Stick.

IMPORTANT: If you're test driving one of these services bensure to have some sort of streaming device on hand or be prepared to just view on a tablet. Free or discounted devices from service subscription take a while to arrive.
 

Josh_210

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Jun 1, 2017
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I use VUE. CW isn't on vue, but because CW go doesn't require you to have cable with the CW, anyone can watch CW anytime no matter what cable you have.
What I find funny is that this article doesn't point out the lack of HBO on many of the offerings (like Youtube).
If I couldn't have HBO I wouldn't have the service. On VUE, HBO is 5 bucks a month extra, but that means I get HBO and game of thrones.
 

carlsteve

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Oct 12, 2016
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I'm a PS Vue subscriber, but I rarely have buffering/streaming issues, even though my broadband is only 12 mbps DSL. I never have to reinstall or reboot anything. Are you using a WiFi connection? I had to abandon that for all of my streaming services and devices, as wireless failed to provide enough horsepower. With ethernet connections, however, that problem was solved. If you have others in your home using your Internet connection all at the same time, HD streaming will take a major hit.
 

carlsteve

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Oct 12, 2016
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As for PS Vue's DVR feature, this article is the only time I've seen it referred to as "limited." The authors of other articles as well as posts from many users would disagree (myself included). Vue' s pricing and channel line-ups vary by region. For example, stating that channel XYZ isn't offered or that you'll have to pay $XX isn't necessarily true for all subscribers. It depends on where you live. When you sign up for Vue, you have to enter your zip code to get the accurate price and channel list for your region. There's nothing obfuscate about it. Which channels come with each service tier (Access, Core, Elite, or Ultra) is equally clear. The fact that I have the choice of watching PS Vue on my PS3, PS4, iMac, Windows computers, Roku 2, or other devices virtually anywhere adds significantly to the value of my subscription--an aspect that many reviewers overlook. My broadband Internet, streaming TV, and VoIP telephone services come from different providers. Am I spending more than I would if I had bundled service from a cable or satellite provider? Possibly, but as the next paragraph explains, there's more to consider than the numbers.

I've read dozens of reviews about the various streaming services and devices. Many of the reviews tend to get bogged down over minutia, contain factual errors, and make recommendations that are subjective. Also, the nitpicky arguments about whether consumers are better off with streaming TV vs. cable or satellite or over-the-air TV based solely on price or channels miss the larger point. Customer satisfaction (or the lack of it) influenced my decision to go with streaming TV more than any other factor, as the cable and satellite providers in my area have a horrible track record. When I started my cable service, I had to wait over a month before an installer was available. He neglected to tell me when he was coming, so he showed up on a day when I wasn't home. I had to start all over with scheduling the installation. The set-top box the cable company provided for my old-style TV ran so hot that it was a fire hazard. Service outages were not uncommon and they sometimes lasted for days, but no refunds were ever given to customers when that happened. The subscription rates were raised continuously, and it was not unusual for multiple price increases to occur within the same calendar year. The channel line-up also changed frequently, so losing favorite channels was commonplace. The company is ranked as one of the worst nationally for customer service among telecom companies. In contrast to that nightmare, my experience with PS Vue has been a godsend.
 

Bizzy817

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Jun 6, 2017
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You don't have to sign up for a trial subscription to see what ps3 vie package offers what and they don't make it hard to find out it's directly on the website in plain sight when you click on compare packages. I liked the article for the most part but please don't write about things like you're an expert if you haven't actually used it and just had someone give you the information. It's not a good look on your credibility as a tech writer. But still outside of some false info this is still a good article for me and anyone else wanting to know what the two new kids on the block has to offer. Thanks
 

BillAnt

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Jun 14, 2017
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I have tried them all, and in my opinion DirectTVNow is the best bang for your buck, so to speak. Sure no dvr yet, but I rather have a ton of live channels to choose from anytime. Probably YouTube comes in second best with a bit of lower channel lineup for now, but I'm sure that's going to increase sooner than later if they want to compete. Oh and they have a lot of experience in the video arena. The remaining 2 are about a tie, though they may not fit my personal needs, I'm sure they are perfectly fine for other viewers looking for different lower lost and/or more concurrent streams. That's ina nutshell, lets hear your experiences.
 

Abom

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Apr 4, 2016
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SlingTV lags badly on Chromecast devices. Audio is consistently out of sync. YouTube TV is $15 more per month for what amounts to a very meager lineup of channels compared to Playstation VUE. Hulu is still the best option if you watch Network television.

IMO, Hulu it up and pick up HBO when GoT is back in season. :)
 

Abom

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Apr 4, 2016
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Also, Comcast Xfinity crushes all of these on features - but it's not available in all markets yet. Onscreen Rotten Tomatoes reviews, awesome remote voice control, and a very easy menu to navigate.
 

BobDobolina

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Jun 23, 2017
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I would like to see commercial skipping addressed in the article. I've read that you can't do that with YouTube TV DVR programs that are also available On Demand; i.e., you get the commercial-laden On Demand shows that don't allow skipping.
 

iPanda

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Mar 25, 2015
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Here is a kicker though... doesn't PS-Vue only allow to stream from your home internet? Do any of the other services allow for 'outside' viewing (e.g. traveling around). Last time I tried to view my PS-Vue away from my home location(wifi), it wouldn't let me.
 

2escapereality

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Jul 24, 2017
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Youtube TV replaces a recording with the on-demand content during playback. When that happens, it doesn't let us seek or skip ads. For me thats a major bummer and defeats the purpose of dvr.
 

mikebox121

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Aug 14, 2017
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I think all of these are like a joke. They are just as expensive or more so than my Comcast, considering I it is cheaper to get TV and internet together. They are also much less reliable causing nothing but problems with equipment and browsers instead of simply working. (I have not tried all of them though). All these sites offer much less channels, even if I don't watch them, the price per channel is just stupid high. I would all these services to be $10 a month max and I still would not get them as I would need several to cover all the channels.
 

4hayesy

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Nov 26, 2013
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I have had both Sling and DirecTV NOW. Currently I have DirecTV NOW which initially was terrible with buffering and video quality etc. but now I have absolutely no problems. Sling is definitely cheaper but DirecTV NOW is $35/mt and that includes HBO and HBO GO. Additionally the DirecTV NOW login works on most cable channel's websites (if its an included channel) . No DVR but they have 72 hour rewind for many channels.

Sling TV was solid and fast, never any issues buffering or poor quality. limited on demand but they have dvr. they let you scale down to $20/mt for the smallest package.

So I use a ROKU TV which has an "antenna channel" for OTA broadcast. (OTA picture quality is by far the best) - i get all my local stations FREE of charge, I don't understand why the need to pay the cable company to rebroadcast your local tv and compress it reducing the quality.

add the "DirecTV NOW channel" and I have way more than I want for $35/mt + $80/mt internet (150mbs)

and a single remote control for all.

****P.S. a hard drive can be attached to the Roku TV and used as a DVR, so OTA broadcasts can be recorded.****
 

carlsteve

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Oct 12, 2016
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There is nothing "terribly hard" about finding out what the pricing tiers are. The Vue website states them clearly in plain English. The statement that you have to sign up for a free trial to find out the cost is patently false. It's a disservice to cord cutters when you publish incorrect information because you didn't take the time to do the research.
 

carlsteve

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Oct 12, 2016
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The Vue pricing information is outdated. Sony is in the process of eliminating the Slim (smaller TV market) packages. Local channels are being added in those markets, so those customers will pay $10 more--the same price that's been charged in the larger markets from the beginning. The large metro areas were paying more because they had locals. There are now 4 different channel line-ups to choose from: Access, Core, Elite, and Ultra. There are also premium channels that you can add to your subscription for additional cost.

The Vue DVR feature is hardly what I'd call "limited." There is virtually no cap on how many hours of programs you can save for viewing later. There is no additional charge--use of the DVR service is included in the Vue subscription price. These facts put Vue's DVR way ahead of the competition. For the programs available via "on-demand" viewing, there is no need to use the DVR feature. Those shows have already been saved to the cloud and can be watched anytime.
 

joeydrunk

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Apr 1, 2011
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you really need to differentiate between "android" and "android tv" as people wont know which devices are available on the shield, razor etc. vs which ones are available on phones and tablets
 

4hayesy

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Nov 26, 2013
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I think what all of this comes down to is that most people aren't technical enough or don't want to put the effort into figuring out which service to use, what streaming device to use, antenna or not antenna, etc.

but that's why I think the TCL Roku 4k TV is a smart buy. There's your TV with OTA and a streaming device all in one. all that is left is to buy the streaming service you want and Bob's your uncle.

The cable / satellite co's set everything up for you, it works, and there is a support number to call when something doesn't work. so that's something i guess.

However, I get the feeling they do not want you to put up an antenna, they won't tell you that digital broadcasts are higher quality and signal strength is better these days so most people should get a signal. anyway i will get off my soapbox
 

thebigt42

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Sep 10, 2009
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Per the full review:

On the bright side, YouTube TV allows six simultaneous streams, so you can share the service with a large household — or a bunch of friends and family — and never worry about who gets to watch.
 

hec.ilagan

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Oct 19, 2017
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We've tried PSVUE, Sling and Hulu Live in the past 3 months. Sling lagged badly and channels were always with 'technical difficulties, we're working on it'. PSVUE was great. Very minimal buffering issues that we never noticed. We then sampled and currently on Hulu Live. It's great that we get access to the Hulu library but the buffering issues are awful with live channels. We are thinking of going back to PSVUE at the end of the month. It will be 5 bucks more because of my regional Fox sports channels (LA Kings, Clippers, Lakers, Ducks). These are included with Hulu's $40/monthly plan. Been watching the Dodgers on TBS and the Kings on Fox Sports West but the hiccups and delay are awful. It's as if I watched the Kings vs. Canadiens last night in fast forward or skip to live mode. Sucks. (Performed all the troubleshooting and then some) I believe Hulu jumped into this live tv streaming game too early. Just too much buffering that it's annoying. I still have two weeks and in those two weeks, I have a new router coming and will hardwire it to our Amazon Firesticks (2nd gen) via the new ethernet adapter recently released by Amazon for their new Amazon TV (no more ethernet slot in those) I will see if the issue was the wifi. I doubt that it is because I have an android box directly connected to my router and Hulu still buffered. We shall see. :):fou:
 
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