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As consumers are cutting the cord and canceling cable, new services are providing live channel bundles for TV appliances. This article examines and reviews PlayStation Vue for Apple TV.
Let’s face it, cable TV is almost obsolete. The industry just couldn’t innovate and gave users complicated remotes and clunky user interfaces, while charging exorbitant fees. Those days are over, as many people are joining the ranks of cord cutters. I cancelled cable 5 years ago and never looked back. Even back then, between iTunes, Hulu and Netflix, my bases were covered. Sports and news could be viewed over the air using an antenna. I estimate that I have saved $3000 in this time. The costs of subscribing to streaming services and buying content on iTunes pales in comparison to that monthly cable bill.
For a long time, cutting the cord wasn’t for everyone. Some people love to channel surf. Others like to have news channels such as CNN on in the background. After all, if you’re not watching, you may miss all of that breaking news! Furthermore, if you have a large family, cable used to make sense. Buying all of those subscriptions, shows and movies could end up costing a lot.
Times have changed. New services are launching, enabling anyone with an Internet connection to watch live cable channels on smartphones, tablets, computers and TV appliances such as Apple TV. Sling TV was one of the first, however their service wasn’t as good as cable. Beyond the lack of some key channels, reliability was a problem. Just when it felt like I was watching cable TV, the quality would drop or there would be pauses. I checked my Internet connection, but the problem was with Sling TV’s service.
Sony recently launched their PlayStation Vue service for Apple TV. Although the service has been available for PlayStation owners for some time, it has recently launched on Apple TV. In some ways, it’s actually better than cable. The service is reliable, offers high quality video and features a remarkably intuitive user interface. After using PlayStation Vue on Apple TV, you will probably want to throw your cable box and ridiculous remote out the window. Unfortunately, its lack of critical channels and reliance on the unreliable Internet may limit the appeal of PlayStation Vue.
Sony’s PlayStation Vue app requires a fourth generation Apple TV running tvOS 10 or later.
Unfortunately, second and third generation models can’t run PlayStation Vue. AirPlay support is limited to audio. Even AirPlay Mirroring has been disabled for this app.
Given the sophisticated user interface of this app, the lack of Apple TV 2 and 3 support is understandable. PlayStation Vue uses many features specific to tvOS. Sony would need to completely redesign the app, taking out key features, in order to make it compatible with older Apple TV models. Corporations don’t want to invest in a product for obsolete platforms.
Getting Started with PlayStation Vue for Apple TV
Users cannot sign up for PlayStation Vue directly on Apple TV. Like many developers, Sony has opted to forgo Apple’s 30% cut on their service. Apple has done their best to bury this app in the App Store. Unlike DIRECTV NOW, which is actively promoted in the App Store, you have to search for PlayStation Vue. I even asked Siri to “find app PlayStation View” and it claims the app doesn’t exist!
Before you install the PlayStation View app, you need to sign up for the service. PlayStation Vue offers a free 7 day trial. I recommend signing up for the Ultra service during the trial, but make sure to cancel it if you don’t like it. At $79.99 a month, it’s expensive, but may be worth the price. You can cancel before the free trial ends and still use the service for the remaining time. (continue…)