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

BOB'S BURGERSFinding 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, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue more easily.

Because things keep changing here is your updated look at the DIRECTV NOW, YouTube TV, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue as of April 5th 2017.

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

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

*Note Chromecast will work on any Chromecast supported device like Android TV. We did not include YouTube TV on Android TV as there is no Android TV app for YouTube TV.

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  X
Social Media X X X
Forums X X

*We are unsure of YouTube TV support. We are waiting to hear back from YouTube PR.

Next, you should check to see which service has the channels you want?

All of the services 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. (All 5 markets YouTube TV is i in offers local channels.)

Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV NOW YouTube TV
American Heroes Channel X X
Animal Planet X X
Audience X
Baby TV X
BBC America X X X X
BBC World News X  X X
Blaze TV X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV YouTube 
Big Ten Network X X  X
Bloomberg Television X
Boomerang X X
Bravo X X  X X
Campus Insider X
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim X X X
BeIN Sports  X  X X
Chiller X X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV YouTube
Cinemax X  X X
Cheddar X
CBS Sports Net X
Comedy TV X
CNBC World X X
Comcast Sportsnet X  X  X
Comedy Central X X
Crime & Investigatin X
Cooking Channel X X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV  YouTube
Destination America X X
Discovery X X
Discovery Family X X
Discovery Life X X
Disney Channel X X X X
Disney Junior X X X X
Disney XD X X X X
DIY Network X X X
Duck TV X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV YouTube
E! X X X X
EPIX Drive-In X
ESPN Bases Loaded X
ESPN Buzzer Beater X
ESPN Deportes X X
ESPN Goal Line X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV YouTube 
El Rey X X
Esquire X
Euronews X
Fla Ma X
Food Network X X X
Fox Business X X X
Fox College Sports X
Fox News Channel X X X
Fox Regional Sports Networks X X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV  YouTube
France 24 X
FreeForm X X X  X
Golf Channel X X X  X
Great America X
Hallmark Channel X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV  YouTube
 HDNet Movies  X
History X X
Hi-Yah! X
Investigation Discovery X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DirecTV YouTube 
Lifetime X X
Lifetime Movies X X
Local Now X X
Logo X X
Machinima X
Maker X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV YouTube 
Nat Geo Wild X X X
Nat Geo X X X X
NBC Sports Network X X X X
NFL Network X 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 YouTube 
One World Sports X
Outside TV X X
Oxygen X 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 YouTube 
Science Channel X X
SEC Network X X X X
Showtime  X X  X
Sony Movie Channel X
Spike X X
Sprout X X  X
Sundance TV X X X
SyFy X X X  X
TeenNick X X
Channel Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV YouTube 
Travel Channel X X X
Tru TV X X X
Turner Classic Movies X X  X
TV Land X X
Universal X  X
Unimas X X
Univision X X
Velocity X X
 Tennis Channel  X
Vibrant X
Viceland X X
WE tv X X X
 Fox Deportes X X
Weather Channel X
WeatherNation X

*AMC owned channels are coming soon for YouTube TV
*CSN in some markets is now NBC Sports [region] all CSN channels will be changing over in the next few months.
*Found a error? Please email us and we will fix it.

Regional Sports Networks:

All 4 major streaming services offer regional sports networks. Including CSN (being renamed NBC Sports Networks) and Fox Sports Networks. Check each one of their serveries to find out what is offered in your area.


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 28 days the recording is removed.

Sling TV has a DVR and most of their channels have on-demand versions of the aired shows. Sling TV is offering 50 hours of DVR space with no time limit on how long you can keep a recording for $5 a month.

YouTube TV will keep shows for 9 months.

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 some channels will not work outside of your home network. You can use your PlayStation Vue login on different apps such as WatchESPN.

YouTube TV allows for 3 streams at once both inside and outside of your home.

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.

YouTube TV allows for access outside of your home network.

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, YouTube 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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43 Responses to DIRECTV NOW vs Sling TV vs PlayStation Vue vs YouTube TV – We Break Them Down For You

  1. Avatar
    mau47 April 6, 2017 at 7:51 am #

    A lot of good information here, if you want to dive a little deeper and see what channels are part of each specific package, cnet has a good list comparing the same 4 services.

  2. Avatar
    Donnie April 6, 2017 at 7:56 am #

    Competition is a good thing in this area (cable tv over internet) but based on the above, I’m sticking with PlayStation Vue. However, I am looking forward to seeing what Google has to offer

  3. Avatar
    Bill Eastman April 6, 2017 at 7:57 am #

    DIRECTV NOW also includes TV ONE channel.

  4. Avatar
    Brian April 6, 2017 at 8:01 am #

    No sure why this keeps getting posted incorrectly, but i have PS Vue and can watch it outside my house and it still only counts as one of the 5 feeds. Works fine. There’s a few channels that have restrictions like some of the other service, but i get most of the line-up anywhere I want.

    Reply to:
    “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.”

  5. Avatar
    Sunny Rain April 6, 2017 at 8:30 am #

    A few things I feel like were not fairly covered in this:
    – PlayStation Vue supports watching outside of home network on most channels, DVR and On Demand. Only a few channels can’t be watched live outside home.

    – Your DVR section conveniently forgot to mention that PS Vue also has On Demand. And actually they have a larger On Demand content than Sling and PS Vue supports forwarding past commercials On Demand something that DTV Now and Sling don’t support.

    – The DVR section forgot to mention that the PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV DVR offer UNLIMITED storage with no additional cost. Instead it focused on the 30 day/9-month limit to make it ambiguous whether it’s better than Sling… when it’s clearly much better.

  6. Avatar
    Joseph Boch April 6, 2017 at 8:42 am #

    I have had PS Vue for about 4 months now. We rarely watch live TV. I have 2 little boys and we just select one of there favorite shows and hit play. It will start binging on every ondemand available and every DVR available. We absolutely love PS Vue. We used to have Dish. Now we have only for locals until I can find time to put up a good antenna.

  7. Avatar
    Sunny Rain April 6, 2017 at 8:45 am #

    My comment disappeared.

  8. Avatar
    Ryan Moore April 6, 2017 at 8:49 am #

    DirecTV Now carries both AXS and Bloomberg Television (both marked as not being included on the list) — there are also several other channels not included on the list that only DTVN offers

  9. Avatar
    craig April 6, 2017 at 9:07 am #

    for those of you that have psvue how does the dvr work? 1. can you set an overrun for live events like a real dvr can? 2. if a show starts at 8 can i start watching it at 8:15 or do i have until it is over to start the show?

    • Avatar
      Sunny Rain April 6, 2017 at 9:16 am #

      You can’t set an overrun or tell it to start a few minutes earlier. So, that’s the main limitation of the DVR.
      Yes, if you find a show running, you can always start from the beginning either using “Start Over” on the live channel or playing the episode from “My Shows” section.

      • Avatar
        Richard smith April 6, 2017 at 11:01 am #

        A dvrd show can always start over or rewind. A live program that is not dvrd is dependent on the network wether you can start over

    • Avatar
      filmex April 6, 2017 at 9:44 am #

      You can join a program in progress by clicking the options button * (on Roku) and select Play From the Beginning.
      Since you can’t manually extend a recording, most people just also Fave the program which follows the game or whatever, so that will record any overruns.

      The Vue DVR has its quirks, but they are easy to master, and after continually butting up against capacity limits when we had a DirecTV and Cox DVR, it’s nice that Vue’s is a bottomless pit with no restrictions on how much you record.

      Some don’t like the one month limit, but we have found that with most titles, if we haven’t watched it for a month, when would we? Plus, many of the shows we Fave that disappear after a month are often rebroadcast so as long as they are still Faved, they will record again and again.

      We have classics we recorded on TCM (Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, Dr. Strangelove etc.) that we have virtually year round because of repeat broadcasts.

  10. Avatar
    Daniel Richards April 6, 2017 at 10:16 am #

    I see several incorrect items, Vue very much does have a Live Chat, but like it’s phone support has limited hours of operation. Vue is a 5 STREAM, NOT DEVICE limit and they ONLY have to be in the house if they are NOT mobile devices like tablets, cell phones and PC’s, those will work outside the house (after first being used inside the house) but when doing so will be limited to Live TV and Ondemand content, no DVR access. Also Vue DVR is 28 Days NOT 30.

  11. Avatar
    Cord Cutters News April 6, 2017 at 10:32 am #

    I see a few people committing that you can use PS Vue outside of your house. According to Sony PR and even the PlayStation Vue FAQ that should not work.

    So we are going to go with what Sony told us.

    • Avatar
      Sunny Rain April 6, 2017 at 10:49 am #

      Ok, I see the confusion. You can stream outside home on PS Vue Mobile (phones, tablets, web) but not on streaming devices like Roku etc.

      Here’s what PS Vue Mobile section says in the FAQ:

    • Avatar
      Daniel Richards April 6, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

      it’s ALSO a 28 DAY DVR not a 30 DAY, if you are having trouble using your mobile device (phone, laptop or tablet), like getting the everything being mobile restricted outside of your house it’s because you need to FIRST use it in your house before leaving the house, even then a few people are still suffering from a bug that causes it to not work at all on mobile unless connected to home network, that is NOT the norm and not HOW it’s supposed to work.

    • Avatar
      Jay April 7, 2017 at 12:02 am #

      I’m able to stream outside of my home network on my phone and tablet. The same cannot be said for my PS4 Pro.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Wayne April 12, 2017 at 3:31 am #

      It works outside my house just fine. I’ve even used it in states far from my home.

  12. Avatar
    Almir Suljic April 6, 2017 at 11:27 am #

    Sports – A very important detail is that PS VUE and DirecTVNow are the only 2 services that stream at 60 frames per second. If you are watching sports like baseball, football, and basketball this is very important. While using the Watchespn app, nbc sports app, or even sling tv it only streams 30 frames. The picture looks very laggy and the text for example on the espn ticket is very distorted. For the best and most fluid in sports 60 frames per second is a must. All PS Vue and Directvnow channels are in 60 frames, even the regional sports channels.

  13. Avatar
    Greg Montaño April 6, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

    I wonder if YouTube TV will get a standalone app for Android TV or if it would just be rolled into the standard YouTube for Android TV app. Personally I’d love it to be rolled in together. The less app switching the better.

  14. Avatar
    Gerry Allen April 6, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

    No Scripps Interactive network means no Cooking, Food, HGTV or FYI channel. Deal breaker for us.

  15. Avatar
    Max Chaos April 6, 2017 at 6:39 pm #

    Sling is my top choice however not having Discovery Networks has held me back on making the jump. But I do like their price point best and like they have Epix and now even RFD my folks like that channel.

  16. Avatar
    Ken L. April 6, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Double check your channel listings. You are missing a few channels that DirecTV Now carries.

  17. Avatar
    Omen_20 April 7, 2017 at 1:03 pm #

    The CW should be added to the list. From what I’ve seen Youtube is the first to have it. I know they stream for free on their website and app but it’s riddled with ads, more than what is originally on cable. Basically unwatchable for me.

    • Avatar
      Cord Cutters News April 7, 2017 at 1:35 pm #

      The CW channel is a local channel and is listed in the local info area.

  18. Avatar
    timothyhood April 8, 2017 at 9:07 am #

    DIRECTV Now has AXS.

  19. Avatar
    Armando Chavez April 8, 2017 at 11:46 am #

    Sling TV doesn’t have Fox Deportes. Also, you can’t DVR Disney owned channels as well FOX, FX and FS1, those restrictions are irritating because I want to record those channels. In the near future hopefully they take away any restrictions from DVR’s now that so many companies are trying to get in the streaming services game.

  20. Avatar
    Rob Price April 9, 2017 at 9:48 am #

    Having recently switched to PS Vue, I am a little disappointed in the DVR feature. It does very well recording ESPN, FX, and other traditional “cable” channels, but it does NOT record anything on the 1 local channel we have with them. This was a major limitation, since we previously recorded many shows from that local CBS channel. We ended up getting an antenna and a Tablo, which works very well, but that was $230+ that we had hope to not spend because of the PS Vue DVR feature. Seems like the best thing that these service could do is forget about the local channels and focus on cutting a deal to the networks directly and including them in the DVR feature.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Wayne April 12, 2017 at 3:11 am #

      What local channel is that?

      • Avatar
        Rob Price April 12, 2017 at 7:25 am #

        WLKY in Louisville, kY

        • Avatar
          Bruce Wayne April 12, 2017 at 7:50 am #

          That’s strange. That’s CBS. I have CBS as well and it records just fine. Try calling customer service. You should be able to record any program you want.

        • Avatar
          ROSSIE TAYLOR June 21, 2017 at 9:51 am #

          Playstation doesn’t offer local channel in Louisville only in certain city do you get local channel. I live in Louisville as well and I use the tablo for local channel.

          • Avatar
            Rob June 21, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

            I do live in Louisville and have WLKY on PS VUE, but it does not record those shows. Like you, I use an antenna and Tablo instead.

  21. Avatar
    Jeff C. April 9, 2017 at 4:15 pm #

    You missed The Outdoor Channel available on Sling Heartland Extra.

  22. Avatar
    Bruce Wayne April 12, 2017 at 3:11 am #

    You didn’t include gaming consoles. Considering one of them (PS Vue) originated on a console, it’s important that you include it.

  23. Avatar
    Bruce Wayne April 12, 2017 at 3:14 am #

    YouTube TV does not keep shows for nine months. Stop spreading that lie. They replace your DVR content with On-Demand once the On-Demand version becomes available usually the next day.

  24. Avatar
    UberCrew April 12, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    DirecTV Now carries Bloomberg TV & Boomerang. It also carries Baby First TV.