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Playon Review: Want to Watch Free TV on your iPad/iPad2 or Android Device/Xoom/Galaxy Tab?

by The Review CrewApril 18, 2011

So I’m sure you have seen a hundred apps on the Android market or in the Apple iStore that claim to show you television.  The whole no-flash on the Apple side of things really sucks too which doesn’t help.  Then you have Hulu deciding that they are in charge of how their content is displayed… (Control freaks much?)  We live in an interesting age.

That is why I absolutely LOVE Mediamall Technologies, Inc and their Playon Program.  So what’s it do?

You install this software on your computer (it sits in the task bar and is dead easy to setup).  Enter a few things like your registration information, and netflix/hulu account information (you don’t need hulu plus just the free account).  Then from an XBox 360, Wii, PS3 (or a number of other DLNA devices) you can browse your network and see the playon media server.  You click it and presto you have access to your netflix account, hulu and a number of other sources for television fun. 

Now here is the best part… MOBILE APPLICATIONS!!  There is a playon mobile app available in the iStore or Android market that is free!  You download it, and it will talk to your system and let you stream it over your wifi to your device (iPad/iPad2 or any Android Device that can support video playback).

IT GETS BETTER!!! (WAIT THERE IS MORE!!) (BUY NOW AND GET A FREE SET OF…. oh wait that was something else :) )

I am seriously excited about this product so I feel like a cheesy infomercial guy.  Seriously though… there is more :)   Once you sync up your iPad/Android Device to the system you can use your 3G or 4G connection and stream hulu/whatever else you want to watch to your device anywhere you get a 3G/4G signal.  There is a beta plugin that comes installed that will let you stream movies you have on your hard disk to your device as well :)

It’s a bargain at 79 bucks.  I’ll say it again.  It’s a bargain at 79 bucks.  Besides there is a 2 week trial so you can check it out for free (it works fully for 2 weeks so no limits) before you buy it.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  Pay for it only if you can set it up and it works for you.  Can’t ask anymore from a software vendor than that.

You need to have a Windows Computer running Windows XP SP2 or better, up to date browser, etc… .  While it doesn’t take a ton of resources the VMware thing (running it off a Virtual Machine) isn’t really cutting it.  Use a benchmark software called passmark and make sure you have a score of 1000 or better to get the full flavor of the thing (min requirements are 500 or better).  Here is the list of requirements:

PlayOn Minimum Requirements

The following are the minimum requirements for the PlayOn PC software.

  • Microsoft Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or later), Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2003/Windows Home Server (Service Pack 1 or later). 64-bit versions of Windows are also supported.
  • Windows Internet Explorer 7 or later
  • Windows Media Player 9 or later
  • “Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration” is recommended to be disabled on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Home Server Installations; click here for details
  • Pentium 4 3.2+ GHz, Pentium M 2.0+ GHz, or any multi-core x86 processor1
  • 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
  • 100 MB of available disk space for installation, plus recommended 4-5 GB extra space on the same drive where Windows is installed; click here for details on using a different drive
  • Internet broadband connection of at least 1.5 Mbps, and home network with wired, powerline, or 802.11n connections (for wireless home networks with 802.11g, it is highly recommended that either the PC or device be on a wired connection)2
  • Both the PlayOn PC and device should be connected directly to the same router (on the same IP “subnet”). Advanced networking setups using additional network interfaces such as virtual adapters (VPNs) or Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) may work, but are not officially supported
  • Third-party security software must be configured to allow full local and online network access to: C:Program FilesMediaMallMediaMallServer.exe3

1 For minimum playback quality, your CPU score must be around 500 or higher from PassMark. A score of 1000 or better is highly recommended. If your PC is at or just above the minimum specifications for CPU and RAM, you may have trouble streaming videos, unless your PC is used as a dedicated PlayOn server. Make sure you first try out PlayOn to verify that your PC is capable of realtime transcoding without maxing out your processor or causing playback buffering.

2 Wireless home networks are often unreliable. Make sure that you adequately test PlayOn through your wireless setup before committing to purchase a license. We highly recommend wired connections to avoid potential video streaming interruptions.

3 The path to C:Program FilesMediaMall may vary, depending on international versions of Windows, or which drive partition PlayOn is installed on

This is an amazing piece of software, it works well and out of the box.  I’m giving it the 2011 Editor’s Choice Award.  You can check it out by going to www.playon.tv enjoy!

2011 Reviewboard Magazine Editor's Choice Award

2011 Reviewboard Magazine Editor's Choice Award

 


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The Review Crew
The Review Crew is a group of beat editors, writers, and consultants that have been working together for years. They know just about everything about everything collectively and have published their collective work under the Review Crew brand moniker for almost 20 years.