My love affair with PlayStation Vue: a cautionary story
You must respect the irony: I might meant to write down this as a ringing endorsement of PlayStation Vue, Sony’s cable-like streaming TV various. The service, obtainable on PS4, PS3 and iOS, did simply launch nationwide earlier this week after a yr of choose market testing, of which I used to be an element. However once I obtained residence from the fitness center a couple of nights in the past, prepared to observe a DVR’d episode of The Actual O’Neals (any alternative to observe Martha Plimpton in prime time is an effective alternative, okay?), the service shit the proverbial mattress. It might simply have been a case of launch week jitters, the sudden inflow of PS Vue subscriptions stressing Sony’s servers. However, for me, the timing could not have been worse.
This is the way it all fell aside. Initially, the PS Vue app would not launch in any respect on my PS4. Then, when it did lastly load, it was as if I might by no means used the service earlier than — all of my private settings have been gone. None of my favourite exhibits have been listed; I could not entry this system information — it stored telling me I wanted to add channels — and, with out that, I had no means of adjusting to a different channel. My display was frozen on a comically unflattering shot of Lisa Vanderpump, the perpetually pink-clad proprietress of Vanderpump Guidelines on Bravo, as error message after error message full of nonsense strings of letters, numbers and underscores popped up. It was as if I would just found a trustworthy lover had cheated on me for the primary time. I used to be indignant, however I wasn’t totally prepared to surrender.
I took a breath and closed the app from the system settings, hoping a reboot would change issues. It did not do a lot, however a minimum of now, after a minute or two of impatiently ready, my DVR’d exhibits appeared. So I chosen the brand new episode of The Actual O’Neals, opened a bottle of ginger-lemon kombucha, and sat again to take pleasure in an episode of… Recent Off the Boat? One among this stuff just isn’t like the opposite. One among this stuff doesn’t star Martha Plimpton.
In frustration, I turned to Hulu for my TV repair and, discovering no new episodes of The Actual O’Neals, resorted to sampling that new JLo cop drama Shades of Blue. Which, by the best way, is a a lot darker present than I anticipated.
To be clear, this had by no means occurred earlier than. PS Vue has been just about rock strong for your complete yr I have been utilizing it. In truth, out of all of the streaming providers I subscribe to (i.e., advert-free Hulu, Netflix, Amazon), the one one I ever depend on anymore is PS Vue. Unique unique content material like Home of Playing cards apart, Sony’s streaming service provides you entry to just about every part yow will discover on these different standalones. The channel providing is now strong sufficient to rival cable or satellite tv for pc choices, because it consists of stay broadcast (in choose markets) and premium cable networks like Showtime. There’s nonetheless no HBO, however eh, who does not have a login for that?
The tiered packages — Entry, Core and Elite — are all fairly reasonably priced at $forty, $forty five and $50, respectively, because of a current worth reduce. Plus, there’s that limitless cloud DVR which shops each aired episode of a favourite program. And scrubbing, the power to quick ahead or rewind, has been beefed up, so you possibly can zip previous advertisements at 32x velocity.
PS Vue’s the rationale why I’ve altogether deserted my DualShock four controller in favor of the PS4’s Common Media Distant (aside from the occasional bout with Bloodborne, I do not actually recreation on the system). It is an incredible service, however like every thing related to the web, it is sure to fail. And fail it did… onerous.
The service has since bounced again to regular — it just about resolved itself in a single day — however the sting of that interruption, albeit temporary, nonetheless lingers.
Earlier than this hiccup, I solely ever encountered a problem with PS Vue as soon as. It was final April, only one month after PS Vue’s mushy launch and I might been away from residence on the time, so I wasn’t conscious of the service interruption. What tipped me off was an e-mail from Sony apologizing for an outage and a $10 billing credit score. I assumed nothing of it till I went to observe my DVR’d episodes of Will and Grace — almost a whole season was unwatchable. Nothing had been recorded. I shrugged it off on the time as an early launch bug. I am an early adopter, in any case, so this type of factor is par for the course.
Nevertheless it’s not so forgivable when most of the people cuts the twine and climbs on board.
Picture credit: Sony PlayStation