Where to Find Your Favorite Channels Now That PlayStation Vue Is Ending

It’s a sad day for gaming-branded TV fans. Sony announced last month that it’s plugging the plug on PlayStation Vue, its alt-cable “skinny bundle” for people who were tired of cable bills, but not quite tired of cable. Vue isn’t shutting off for good until January 30, 2020, but time flies when you’re flipping channels and it’s probably a good idea to figure out where your next show’s coming from instead of waiting for the signal to stop coming.

Pick another digital “Skinny Bundle”

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The easiest, most seamless transition will be to simply pick up another streaming cable bundle like PlayStation Vue. There are a few options to choose from, most of which offer a similar range of channels for a similar price point — around $49.99 per month. Crucially, most of them have offer ESPN and major networks, so you have full access to live sports.

Out of the plans I’ve examined, Sling TV is far and away the most flexible. It has three starter bundles, which range from $15-25 for the first month and $25-40 after. You’re also able to cherry-pick individual channels. This may be a good thing if you’ve been getting Vue for sports: Sling gives you some interesting ways to min-max your coverage for football or basketball. If you’re a football fan, it’s the only service with NFL Network or NFL Redzone. Sling also has a large number of team-specific NBA channels.

Sling has drawbacks, though: It doesn’t carry the big four networks without a digital antennathough they’ll give you one if you pre-pay for two months of service. Plus, depending on what channels you choose, Sling will realistically give you fewer channels for your money than some of its competitors—but you can spend less or, at the very least, have a range of channels you actually want (mostly).

If you’re looking to pick a plan and be done, YouTube TV seems like the move. Though the actual lineup varies depending on where you live, the baseline channel lineup for the $49.99 per month service includes more than 70 channels, which is more than what you get from the equivalent PS Vue bundle. It doesn’t have everything—including some popular premium options like Fox Soccer Plus and HBO—but it’s pretty close. (Plus, you can always get HBO through Hulu, HBO Now, or WarnerMedia’s expanded HBO Max platform.)

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In the interest of giving you options, I’d also steer you towards Hulu’s Live TV package, Hulu + Live TV. It may have slightly fewer channels — Hulu claims 66+ channels — but that does include the option to add HBO for an extra fee. Also, it integrates into the greater Hulu service, so if you already watch shows there, it may feel like consolidating your viewing habits.

No matter what service you choose, your cable package will not be identical. You’re going to get some stuff and you’re going to lose some stuff. Other than Fox Soccer Plus, which isn’t available any way other than through traditional cable, you should be able

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Play the platforms

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Increasingly, no skinny bundle can get you everything you want. In losing Vue, it may be a good time to think about how much you use it and consider putting that money to better use on a constellation of digital platforms with shows you want to watch. (Or keeping your money and relying on the ones you already pay for.)

Outside of local news, much of the content you’ll find on PlayStation Vue’s channels are available elsewhere. Plus, more and more of the shows that seem like essential viewing are tied to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Once the next wave of services, including Apple TV+, Disney+, and HBO Max launch, I can’t imagine any number of cable channels that will give you what you want.

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Though you will lose the ability to channel surf — which, let’s be clear, isn’t a small thing. — you can get access to a decent amount of live sports through ESPN’s digital platform, ESPN+, which costs $4.99 per month. ESPN+ doesn’t give you full access to ESPN cable programming, but does show live games from the NBA, NHL, European and US soccer leagues, and various NCAA sports.

From there, developing your content library is up to you. Obviously Netflix offers a tremendous amount of content. If you need HBO, get HBO Now. If you like to keep up with current seasons of network and/or cable shows, I’d recommend subscribing to Hulu, which has most shows from NBC, ABC, and Fox the day after they air, including some daytime TV and the late-night shows. It also has a large library of on-demand re-runs from cable staples like Bravo, HGTV, the Food Network. In other words, a lot of the stuff that you don’t love, but might miss if you drop your channels.

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Darknet  Lifehacker

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