Family watching TV

DIRECTV NOW vs Sling TV vs PlayStation Vue – We Break Them Down For You


Family watching TVFinding the right live TV streaming service is increasingly confusing as more and more services hit the market. Even in just the month since we last updated we posted there have been several major changes to both services. So we wanted to break them down once again and help you make the decision between DIRECTV NOWSling TV and PlayStation Vue more easily.

Because things keep changing here is your updated look at the DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue as of November 16th, 2016.

First you should look at which of these services works on the devices you own?

Streaming Player Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV NOW
Roku X X
Fire TV X X X
Apple TV X X X
Chromecast X X X
iOS X X X
Android Phones/Tables X X X
Android TV X  X

Tech Support Options

Have a issue here are the ways you can get help with each service.

Support Sling TV  PS Vue DIRECTV NOW
Phone X X
Email X X X
Live Chat X  X
Social Media X X X
Forums X X


Next, you should check to see which service has the channels you want?
For now DIRECTV NOW, PS Vue and Sling TV have a similar lineup except for Apple TV. For game systems PS Vue is on PlayStation 3 & 4 and Sling works on the Xbox One.

Both services offer local channels in different markets. You can find a full list of Sling TV local channels and markets HERE. You can find a full list of PlayStation Vue local channels and markets HERE. You can find the local channels for DIRECTV NOW here.

Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV NOW
A&E X X
AMC X X X
American Heroes Channel X X
Animal Planet X X
Audience X
Baby TV X
BBC America X X X
BBC World News X  X X
Blaze TV X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV
NOW
BET X  X
Big Ten Network X X
Bloomberg Television X
Boomerang X X
Bravo X X  X
Campus Insider X
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim X X X
Centric X
Chiller X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV
NOW
Cinemax X  X X
Cheddar X
Cloo X X
CMT X  X
Comedy TV X
CNBC X X X
CNBC World X X
CNN X X X
 AXS TV  X
Comcast Sportsnet X  X  X
Comedy Central X X
Crime & Investigatin X
Cooking Channel X X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV
NOW
Destination America X X
Discovery X X
Discovery Family X X
Discovery Life X X
Disney Channel X X X
Disney Junior X X X
Disney XD X X X
DIY Network X X X
Duck TV X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV
NOW
E! X X X
EPIX X
EPIX Drive-In X
EPIX Hits X X
EPIX2 X
ESPN X X X
ESPN 2 X X X
ESPN Bases Loaded X
ESPN Buzzer Beater X
ESPN Deportes X X
ESPN Goal Line X X
ESPN U X X X
ESPN News X X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV
NOW
El Rey X X
Esquire X
Euronews X
FM X
Fla Ma X
Food Network X X X
Fox Business X X
Fox College Sports X
Fox News Channel X X
Fox Regional Sports Networks X X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV
NOW
France 24 X
FreeForm X X X
FS1 X X X
FS2 X X X
FX X X X
FXM X X
FXX X X X
FYI X X
Golf Channel X X X
Great America X
Hallmark Channel X X
HBO X X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV
NOW
 HDNet Movies  X
HGTV X X X
History X X
Hi-Yah! X
HLN X X X
 GSN  X X
IFC X X X
Investigation Discovery X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DirecTV
NOW
Lifetime X X
Lifetime Movies X X
Local Now X
Logo X X
Machinima X
Maker X
MGM X
MSNBC X X X
MTV X X
MTV 2 X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV
NOW
Nat Geo Wild X X X
Nat Geo X X X
NBA TV X  X X
NBC Sports Network X X X
NFL Network X X
NDTV X
NHL Network X X
News18 X
Newsy X X
Nickelodeon X
Nick Jr. X X
Nicktoons X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV
NOW
One World Sports X
Outside TV X X
OWN X X
Oxygen X X X
Pursuit Channel X
Pac-12 X
Poker X
Polaris+ X  X
Pop X
RT Network X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV
NOW
Science Channel X X
SEC Network X X X
Showtime X
Sony Movie Channel X
Spike X X
Sprout X X
Sundance TV X X X
SyFy X X X
TBS X X X
TeenNick X X
TLC X X
TNT X X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV
NOW
Travel Channel X X X
Tru TV X X X
Turner Classic Movies X X  X
TV Land X X
Universal X
Unimas X X
Univision X X
USA X X X
Velocity X X
VH1 X X
Vibrant X
Viceland X X
WE tv X X
 Fox Deportes X X
Weather Channel X
WeatherNation X

*Found a error? Please leave us a comment and we will fix it.

DVR

DIRECTV NOW has no DVR, but many channels offer limited on-demand. Yet many of them miss random episodes.

PlayStation Vue offers a 30-day DVR and after 30 days the recording is removed.

Sling TV is adding a DVR in December 2016 and most of their channels have on-demand versions of the aired shows. Sling TV will be offering 100 hours of FREE DVR space with no time limit on how long you can keep a recording. No firm date on when the beta will start but it is expected shortly.

Number of Streams

DIRECTV NOW offers two streams.

Sling TV will allow you to stream one or three streams at once depending on what package you sign up for. You can also use your Sling TV login for some apps such as WatchESPN.

PlayStation Vue will work on five devices at once but they must all be in your home network. You can use your PlayStation Vue login on different apps such as WatchESPN.

Access Outside of Your House

PlayStation Vue limits access outside of your home network. You can use the PlayStation Vue login on many networks apps, such as Fox Sports GO and WatchESPN, for access outside of your home network.

Sling TV allows subscribers to login from anywhere in the United States. Sling also works with WatchESPN and has announced that FOX apps will soon also be supported.

DIRECTV NOW offers streaming outside of your house but some local channels and sports channels are limited to your home area.

So what service should you pick?

Hopefully this guide has helped you find the right service. If you are still wondering which is the best for you and your family the best thing to do is to try the free trial for DIRECTV NOWSling TV, and PlayStation Vue offer. Our suggestion is to give them a try and see if you like them. Check each service’s site for current prices because they keep changing. (Note: The PlayStation Vue charges an extra $10 a month for some markets.)

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  • John Ylinen

    Good start. One error. DirecTV Now works with Chromecast from Android. I am doing that as we talk.

    You should also add a table of Locals. Which channels in which markets.

    You should also address how complete their VOD is and the Lookback features. Which Shows have VOD and which channels have lookback.

    • Thanks John,

      We have lists of all locals at the top of the channel section. With some being live others being ondemand etc we broke the tables out by service to help make them clear.

  • A few gripes:
    You forgot “Web player” and “Xbox One” as devices.

    Shouldn’t you put an asterisk in the Roku column for DirecTV Now since they said it’s coming early next year?

    Also shouldn’t it be noted that Sling TV is going to start beta testing cloud DVR?

    Also didn’t DirecTV Now say they’re bringing cloud DVR early next year – I feel like this one deserves an asterisk as well?

    • filmex

      “Shouldn’t you put an asterisk in the Roku column for DirecTV Now since they said it’s coming early next year”

      No, you should list it if and when it finally arrives. Same when Sling delivers a fully functioning DVR.
      Promises, promises, especially when “early 2017” has a way of turning into, “pushed back to second quarter, third, and fourth.

  • Jeff Hershberger

    One other note about PSVue, if you take your Roku steaming stick on the road with you, it will connect and offer whatever package is available in the area you are currently in.

    • FREETELEVISION

      Does it block you on the stick when you take it away from your home router. Or, does it function like mobile device i.e. iPads. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet.

      • Jeff Hershberger

        Nope. When I was in the hotel I used the Hotel and Dorm Connect feature, got past the hotel captive portal and it worked just like I was at home. The only exception was that PSVue gave me the locals for the area I was in, everything else was the same.

  • acmphotodude

    DIRECTVNOW is so overloaded and screwed up. I have been trying for 4 days on live chat and Twitter to make them understand that although I live in zip code 97702 which is supposed to give me Warriors and Giants games on CSN BayArea, I am blacked out. I get the station programming ok UNTIL the game starts and then it’s blacked out. They sympathize and show me the PDF file that says I should get it but no resolution to the fact it doesn’t work that way is offered. Frustrated and at a loss.

    • disqus_5bmQ5JWNT0

      I know what ya mea!
      I live in Eastern North Carolina and their system says I live in Texas. So, I can’t get live TV and some other things. I contacted them three times and still no resolution! CRAZY!

  • Jed Ackerman

    Direct TV Now offers CMT.

  • LJ Perry

    PS Vue actually has live chat support. I’ve used it many times

  • Bill Eastman

    You should mention all NFL streaming on phone is blocked except for Verizon

    Streams on tablets and computers and streaming boxes

  • James Buscher

    Slingtv has beinSports. Do the others?

  • Gregory Blajian

    per Sling TV’s own website they actually allow up to 4 simultaneous streams now (with orange + blue) http://help.sling.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/Can-I-watch-Sling-TV-on-multiple-devices-at-the-same-time-13 but there are some odd caveats on getting the fourth stream.

    For PS Vue you left out the unlimited recording option (as many shows as you want can be recorded with no space or concurrent broadcast limitation). So if you have 10 shows on at the same time on Tuesday night, PS Vue can do that (only limitation is the length of time the shows are stored). Also they have profiles, very nice feature for multiviewer households. To be clear, the A+E lineup and the Viacom lineup are the 2 largest segments missing from PS Vue. You can include Hallmark amongst the missing as well.

    As Sling TV brings their DVR online the features that make PS Vue more compelling vs Sling TV, gets smaller and smaller. Still, a lot of people like the old fashioned grid style guide and even if PS Vue’s is backwards (& non existant on the Roku) it is still a differentiator for some (myself included). Add to that Sling TV makes you pay more for channels my family finds compelling and there are still a few price differentiators as well. We would have to start with orange + blue to get the channels we need in the base packages ($40) [AMC, IFC, Freeform, ESPN(1/2), USA, SyFy, FX, Bravo, Nat Geo]. My wife lives on Cooking Channel and I enjoy the DIY channel so that adds the lifestyle package ($5) and I watch Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD so add the kids extra package ($5) total is then $50 and I haven’t added in taxes. During football season I would need SEC Network and ESPNU so add the sports extra package to that ($10) that brings me up to $60/mo. I get all the channels we find compelling in PS Vue’s Elite Slim package for $44.99/mo (all in).

    DTVN is not stable enough nor does it offer enough features to make it compelling for us in any way at this point. [As time shifters, we do not tolerate a lack of DVR]

  • Bill Eastman

    RFD TV is on DirecTV Now. Maybe others too. Hasvold Grand OleOpry, Hee Haw

  • Bill Eastman

    AXS TV also on Dr irecTV NOW

  • Noticed an omission: DIRECTV NOW has Tennis Channel.