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All of these digital services are new and the networks are playing hardball to get the most out of their programming. With PlayStation Vue, you could actually end up spending more than cable and get less. In time, I expect these deals to be ironed out, but for now, these services are basically unusable for most people.
I found the PlayStation Vue service to offer excellent reliability. It’s much more reliable than Sling TV. As long as my Internet service was performing well, I experienced perfect live TV in high quality HD. The problem is that my Internet service doesn’t always work. Four days into my free trial, Comcast was having problems. PlayStation Vue was pausing and the picture quality suffered. Cable isn’t perfect, but since the Internet is so unpredictable, PlayStation Vue and similar services simply aren’t as reliable. It’s not their fault, but the reality of Internet-based TV is that it depends on a perfect Internet connection. No one I know has a perfect Internet connection.
The final straw that broke this camel’s back — DVR picture quality. The shows I recorded were not in HD and not even in SD. It’s a format that’s even worse than broadcast SD, with grainy resolution and jerky frame rates. When you add it up, $79 a month can buy a lot of HD iTunes shows.
As a cord cutter, I just don’t miss cable TV at all. I left cable because it was mostly junk — reality TV and food shows. I get all of the news I need for free on Apple TV, but I mostly rely on Google News. Sony’s PlayStation Vue has some appealing features, but when it comes down to it, it’s not as good as cable and I didn’t like cable in the first place.
You can still cut the cord, but you have to shift your whole paradigm. Live TV just isn’t necessary, except for sports and news. Instead of getting everything under one service, like PlayStation Vue, the cord-cutter should pick and choose exactly what they want. I don’t even subscribe to multiple services at one time. I sign up for Netflix for a few months and cancel, then subscribe to HBO NOW. It’s so easy to cancel and sign up for services, there’s simply no sense in paying for something you don’t use. Sports fans can subscribe to a variety of services that offer interactive capabilities far beyond what’s available on a cable box. Yes, these services can be expensive, but so is cable. PlayStation Vue is also expensive, however, it just isn’t as good as cable. There’s just too much missing for something that costs as much as cable. It seems that every Internet-based cable service suffers from this same problem. A TV service that doesn’t have essential cable channels is simply missing too much to be viable. Perhaps these services will get better over time, but for now you are better off keeping cable or going a la carte as a cord-cutter.