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

Page 4 - Seeking answers? Join the Tom's Guide community: where nearly two million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

arpanet1981

Prominent
Jun 1, 2017
2
0
510
0
Have Sling TV Orange+Blue at $40 just because we wanted good sports coverage-- basketball and baseball, mainly. The sports availability is exactly what we wanted. We have excellent sonic.net DSL (no AT&T or Comcast) and can run multiple streams with total more than 30 Mbps with no drops. Everything works well from Mac and PC web, and iPhone IOS app.

HOWEVER, we like to mainly watch using our LG TV w/WebOS. Commonly available channels, e.g.CNN, work flawlessly, but, less common channels, e.g. TBS and TNT, work less well on the LG/WebOS. Note that LG/WebOS works well on most content, and, the TV works at 25 Mbps 4K, 16 Mbps 4K with Netflix, and also, the PC we can use works fine with e.g. TNT. So, the problem is not bandwidth, and, doesn't affect, eg., CNN. But, the LG/WebOS doesn't work reliably with less-common TBS/TNT-- which happens to be where basketball playoffs have been lately. :-( My guess is that Sling needs to devote more resources (network, server) to the less-common channels which happen to be busier when sports are on, AND, most importantly, Sling needs to fix the WebOS Sling client app to make it more robust and better recover from any packet drops or delays or out-of-order packets or whatever happens if a server glitch happens. If you have an LG/WebOS TV and want access to sports TV, be sure to tell the Sling sales rep when you sign up that you are a WebOS user and need a robust WebOS client.
 
Jun 7, 2018
1
0
10
0
What about a comparison of picture quality? I giddily started the process of hopefully cutting the cord, but was horribly disappointed in the quality of live sports channels (TNT, NBC Sports Bay Area,...) when I did a YT TV trial on my TCL 55p series TV (250 mpbs Comcast internet directly wired to the TV's ethernet port from the modem, so tons of bandwidth). Ended up switching back to Comcast since it was simply unacceptable.
 

henrytcasey

Senior Writer
Herald
May 1, 2015
1,023
1
5,245
2


We're looking into doing a picture quality section, but for now, your best way to figure this out -- unfortunately -- is to check out our reviews:
https://www.tomsguide.com/us/playstation-vue-online-tv-service,review-2698.html
https://www.tomsguide.com/us/sling-tv-online-video-service,review-2608.html
https://www.tomsguide.com/us/youtube-tv,review-4309.html
https://www.tomsguide.com/us/directtv-now,review-4073.html
https://www.tomsguide.com/us/directv-now-problems-persist,review-4145.html
https://www.tomsguide.com/us/directv-now-longterm,review-5288.html
https://www.tomsguide.com/us/hulu-live-tv,review-4373.html
 

Brad_53

Prominent
Feb 24, 2017
51
0
580
0


In my limited experience, I found ESPN to be awesome on Sling TV. In fact, it was way better than ESPN's own Apps. However, while the picture quality on Sling TV was often as good as I recall from DirecTV, it's still not as consistent or reliable. It was very good, but I think it'll be awhile before live-transcoded streaming video is as good as satellite and cable.
 
Jun 7, 2018
1
0
10
0
Sling is OK if you don't mind horrible customer service and dishonest discount offers.

I was a Sling customer for 4 years.

I've referred several friends to Sling in the past, where neither of us received the $15 referral credit each, which they advertise on their website.

I referred another friend to Sling yesterday and attempted to use their website to sign her up. We were each to receive a $15.00 credit. I did it myself to make sure.

The website would not accept her credit card, so I called Sling. They signed her up and accepted the same credit card with no problem. Then, they refused to honor the $15 credits.

It's not really about the $15.00. It's the attitude of the employees and the principle. When a company doesn't provide good and honest customer service, the only way to force them to change is to make it cost them far more money to provide lousy customer service than it would cost to provide good customer service.

I was on the phone with them for 1.5 hours, and then for another hour this morning. The only thing they would do is cancel her account and walk her through signing up again - which we had done last night, and which didn't work.

So, I told the person this morning that I was going to cancel my account and switch to DirecTVnow, but that I would like to speak to a supervisor first. The Sling representative refused to connect me to a supervisor until she had canceled my account. So, I canceled my account.

Of course, the supervisor refused to do anything, When I asked to speak to her supervisor, she said that the supervisor was in a meeting, wouldn't give me the supervisor's name so that I could call back, and refused to have the supervisor call me.

Now, that my Sling account has been canceled, I will help my friend cancel her account and both of us which switch to directvnow. I doubt DirectTVnow will have better customer service, but my goal is to cost Sling far more money in customer service costs and revenues than the $30.00 they cheated us out of.

So, to summarize: Sling was willing to spend 2.5 hours on the phone, and willing to let me cancel my account ($38.00 per month) and my friend cancel her account ($32.00 per month) over a $30 credit to which we were entitled.
 
Jun 22, 2018
1
0
10
0
I really wish these guides would take into account commercials.
I got youtube tv a while ago, before the price increase, and then got hulu with live tv last month and tried them both simultaneously. Youtube TV literally has NO DVR at all, it automatically forces you to watch every show that is dvr'ed as a 'ON DEMAND' and you are stuck watching 20 commercials per hour (mostly the same one over and over) average break time is 3-4 minutes, without the ability to skip them. When I started on Youtube TV it would switch to ON DEMAND only after 90 days or so, but now it does it as soon as it is recorded. About a week before I cancelled it, it started putting unskippable commercials in its live runs (for instance, you pause your shows from live for 10 minutes so you can skip through the commercials) Nope, not anymore, at least on many programs.
With Hulu, on the other hand, I did not have their extra fee DVR, but I used its service to binge watch the final season of 'the americans' (a show that is not normally on Hulu). When you have the live tv on Hulu, there are tons of shows that are available that you lose when you remove the live tv option from your account. Long story short, 'the americans gave me a 10 second ad prior to the show and one after, and it is just an ad for 'the americans'.
In this respect I would choose Hulu with live tv, over Youtube TV. I wound up getting rid of both, as I'm so far backlogged on shows to watch, I felt it was sort of a waste for me, at least right now. I can't keep up with netflix, HBO, showtime, etc as it is, so watching commercials is not part of my watching workflow.
 
Mar 8, 2018
1
0
10
0
You do a disservice to the readers by not mentioning free TV. I bought a HD Tv antenna for $40 and it gives me over 20 high definition stations including the major broadcasting ones. No ongoing monthly charges. Also, if you want a movie, rent it from Redbox for a couple bucks. Why waste hard earned money on those services that you covered?
 
Jul 11, 2018
1
0
10
0
DirecTV Now menu system is kind of wacky still. It's also very inconsistent service. Lots of outages and doesn't support original FireTV box. So that's out for me now

Sling is very good, but no real local support. Not buying an antenna.

PS Vue is excellent. Great quality, Decent Menu. Hate the Guide, but I've gotten used to it

One thing not mentioned in all of this is Hulu's huge library of content that is easily accessible. If there is nothing on TV you can count on Hulu to have something to watch. That's why I switched to Hulu Live
 
Jul 12, 2018
2
0
10
0
This comparison was super helpful. After more than 10 years with Xfinity we just cut the cord...not without a lot of hesitation but can't say we miss it at all. We picked YOUTUBE TV for live news, unlimited DVR, and shows on Bravo, Disney Jr, and AMC (Sling doesn't carry AMC which was a deal breaker for us), and HBO NOW for Sesame Street and Game of Thrones. We had Netflix and Amazon Prime even when we had cable and we still use those services a lot. After seeing how easy it has been to get the same content as cable for a ton less money, we feel pretty dumb for not cutting the cord a lot sooner.
 
Jul 22, 2018
2
0
10
0
Maybe there's a glaring difference between X1 and the above mentioned services, but the only downside I see would be the two-year service agreement. Wouldn't the X1 Starter Double Play package trump everything? At the end of the day, one would need internet to utilize any of the above services. Internet from ATT, Xfinity etc... typically costs around $40-60. If you add one of the above services (Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube Red etc...) at $40 / month...that equates to roughly $90/month and you're only getting 50 channels. To my knowledge, the X1 Starter Double Play includes download speeds of 150 mbs, 140+ channels, free Starz, showtime and Cinemax for 12 months for $79.99. That's 100 more channels and very high speed internet for less than any of these streaming services. That internet package alone costs $50.00 / month...so for an additional $30 you'd get everything mentioned which is well below the cost of any of these services.
 
Jul 29, 2018
1
0
10
0
Playstation vue is hands down the best option if you want most cable channels for like $80 to $100 less than the cable companies, unlimited dvr saves in cloud( 28 days) and any reruns resets your time which is a plus. And it's the only streaming service with the ability to stream on 5 tvs simultaneously at no extra cost. The dvr is with no extra cost, and you can watch all your dvr content away from home with no extra cost.
 
Aug 3, 2018
1
0
10
0
can someone please help?. i have a summer home. i spend summers there. my husband stays home to work. if i subscribe to hulu live tv, can we both login from both locations?
 
Aug 11, 2018
1
0
10
0
“Hulu with Live TV is on a ton of devices, but is pricier than most competitors.” Um, it shows right in your chart that Hulu at $40 is the exact same price or cheaper than all but Sling (with less channels). You might want to update your article.
 
Aug 27, 2018
1
0
10
0
This article is way old, when I left Vue in July they informed me that Core was going up to 49.99 and I think their DVR has issues. CHRIS411 hit the nail on the head with their DVR issues. I went to YouTube TV for 42 bucks and don't have issue 1 with their DVR and lets you start a program over or go live.
 

Longtallsam

Prominent
May 14, 2017
3
0
510
0
This article is recently updated, but still has some inaccuracies. For example, you say YouTube offers 52 channels and does not include TBS, I just checked my YouTube Live listings, and I have 59 channels, including TBS.
Also, when doing the side by side comparison, why not include the Sling Orange + Blue as an option, since it can be had for $40 and would be a fairer comparison to the others, for the same price.
 
Sep 19, 2018
1
0
10
0
Hello, I used SlingTV, Hulu, FuboTV but they were really very expensive for me, so, for this reason, I tried to find cheaper services. I found BCE Premium TV and I'm using it recently and I am very satisfied. Over 100 premium HD Sports channels ( Sky Sports, BT Sport, Bein Sports, Fox Sports, NBCSN, TSN, ESPN, ... ) only $15/month or $70/year. I suggest it to everyone really has worth it.
 
Sep 23, 2018
1
0
10
0
I've tried Sling, Playstation Vue, YouTube and DirectTV Now. I've kept DirectTV now only because I signed up early and got a deal for 100+ channels for $35. It's $40 now. I'm never been completely happy with the service compared to the other three, but I keep it because of the deal. Your report is, however, incorrect. For a long time, I've gotten ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, not as you reported. Thanks.
 

ajlego

Honorable
Sep 16, 2013
1
0
10,510
0
I'd like to see a quality of and customer service review from you rather than the endless drone of feature faceoffs. I'm a Hulu Live subscriber. When we first subscribed to Hulu the quality of service was terrible with seemingly endless buffering and of course when I called it always reset my modem, reset my router, reset all 4 of my Roku devices to factory defaults yet Hulu was my only buffering among the other streaming services we subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Avorn TV, Britbox, and PBS. We nearly canceled but the service gradually was improving with less buffering. Today buffering is non-existent that we can tell. I'm not endorsing Hulu but that's our experience with it. We tried YouTube TV prior to Hulu but back then they didn't support Roku devices and still don't offer the History channel.
 

David Knapp

Honorable
Sep 9, 2013
2
0
10,510
0
With Sling TV, if you have a satellite ISP, you might not be able to get get any local programs. I have Sling TV blue. My ISP is ViaSat. Sling uses the IP to determine your location. If your player doesn't have a good GPS, Sling cannot give you any local programs. The Sling tech support says there's no workaround. Other services might have the same problem. My IP says California but I live in Virginia. Sometimes I get San Diego programs, other times it was I supposed get no local selections. I think this should be mentioned in the article.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
DawSHaa Audio 0
Koterko Audio 1
L Audio 2
Y Audio 3
Marshall Honorof Audio 2
D Audio 2
V Audio 2
G Audio 1
G Audio 1
M Audio 10
RepoDraghon Audio 8
Z Audio 4
G Audio 0
henrytcasey Audio 1
P Audio 8
Marshall Honorof Audio 3
Marshall Honorof Audio 3
Marshall Honorof Audio 4
F Audio 6
M Audio 3

ASK THE COMMUNITY