Apple may not have yet launched its own TV streaming service, but there’s now another way to watch live television on Apple’s set-top box: Sony’s PlayStation Vue’s Apple TV application has arrived. The service, which is available on Apple TV 4th-generation devices, offers all of Vue’s standard features, including its cloud DVR and support for simultaneous streams, and it works with the Siri Remote, the company says.
Sony has been working to bring the service to more platforms in recent months, in order to make the streaming TV service more accessible to those who don’t have a PlayStation gaming console. In October, for example, it hit Android TV, and this month, it launched on the web for Mac and PC users. However, Apple TV support remained one of users’ top requests, says Sony.
A competitor to Dish’s Sling TV, and soon, Hulu’s live TV service, as well as AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Vue has been focused on promoting its feature set and user experience as its biggest differentiating factors. While the service unfortunately just lost all Viacom channels, Sony still believes its larger selling points like its cloud DVR will give it an edge over rivals.
In addition, compared with Sling TV, Vue lets you watch on more devices at the same time, making it a better fit for larger families where several people want to watch different programs on their own devices and TV sets. With Vue, you can watch on up to five devices at once, while Sling’s best plan (Sling Blue) only allows up to three simultaneous streams.
The availability of the live channels — like NBC, Fox, ESPN, NFL Network and others — will depend on where you live. But you’re also able to add on premium networks like AMC, FX, HBO and Showtime, to round out the experience. And PlayStation Vue offers a few different pricing tiers ranging from those who want a more basic experience to those who want all of Vue’s channels, including sports, movies and premium networks.
The Apple TV app is straightforward to use. Tabs at the top let you move in between the programming guide, access search or adjust your settings. And its simplified layout is much easier to navigate that the messy interface offered by Sling TV, in terms of aesthetics.
Though ultimately, the choice of which streaming TV service will come down to a number of factors beyond looks. With Vue’s continued expansion to support more devices, higher number of simultaneous streams and other unique features, it’s definitely one that should be considered when cutting the cord for good.