Deciding which "skinny bundle" virtual cable TV service to subscribe to can be a challenging task. Each of the six services widely available to consumers has its own
specific mix of available channels, features and downsides.
Playstation Vue was one of the earliest services to launch, but it is arguably the one most likely to shut its doors. Sony doesn't release subscriber numbers, but some outside estimates have the number at around 400,000, well under the two million or so people who reportedly subscribe to Dish's Sling TV.
There are some things worth noting about Vue. Unlike its rivals (other than DirecTV Now), it includes the entire Discovery Networks universe, including Discovery, Animal Planet, TLC, American Heroes, Destination America, Velocity, Discover Family and Discover Life. It also includes a free cloud DVR with unlimited storage.
On the downside, using Vue on a daily basis can be frustrating. The interface - particularly on Roku - seems to have been designed by someone who never watches television. Customer support is weak at best and it doesn't include any of the A&E networks in any of its packages.
Despite all of the problems, Playstation Vue does include one feature none of its rivals can match and its why I subscribe to the service.
TV Everywhere authentication.
Simply put, unlike any other skinny bundle service, you can use your Playstation Vue to sign into any TV Everywhere app for any channel included in your subscription. That includes any of the entertainment channels, sports network apps such as ESPN and even the broadcast apps for ABC, Fox and NBC. So as an example, even of you can't get the live local NBC affiliate in your area on Vue, you can still use your subscription to watch the episodes the next day.
No matter which service you choose, the number of on demand episodes can be quite limited. But the network apps generally include both the current season as well as past episodes. And they are almost always available the next day if you have TV Everywhere authentication.Having access to the full apps also makes it easier to circumvent Playstation Vue's designed-by-drunk-monkeys interface. I often find myself going directly to the network app, rather than attempting to work my way through the awkwardness of Vue's interface.
To be fair, some of the other skinny bundles offer a handful of authenticated apps with their subscription. But we're talking five or less, compared to Vue's fifty-plus options.
There are a number of reasons why subscribing to Playstation Vue might not be the best choice. But if you want the ability to fully access network apps, then right now there is one only option. Just be prepared to spend most of your viewing time not using the service you're subscribing to each month.