dealsget a lifetime license for playon for only $39.99…

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Am I missing something here? It seems like a good portion of the channel lineup they're charging $39.99 for consists either of links to things already available for free elsewhere (e.g. Syfy Rewind) or are only available if you're already a subscriber from somewhere else (e.g. WatchESPN).

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If you look at the lineup a lot are available through cable/sat but you could instead watch it with this with a one time fee. There's only a few that you have to be a subscriber for.

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@kcostell: You're right - most of those are already available for free in some form or another (smart TV aps, blu-ray players, Roku, PC/online, etc). And many of them (like MLBtv, Netflix, Hulu plus, etc) require active subscriptions.

I'm not seeing what channels on there, exactly, would give you anything more than you can already get without having PlayOn. It doesn't seem to say what shows you'd be able to get (and how many episodes of each show) with PlayOn that you couldn't otherwise get from the network websites themselves (or Hulu).

It sort of seems like PlayOn is just a convenience (bringing a lot of different content together) rather than a service offering you premium content. If it DID offer any sort of premium content, it would cost a lot more than $40 for a lifetime subscription, wouldn't it?

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I dont see what they mean by gaming console. There isnt a play on app that i could find from the xbox live market place.. One free lifetime subscription to Vaporware?? no thanks

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Its also suspect that i cant find a list on there site that tells you exactly what sites come with the app free to use and what sites you have to already be subscribed to.

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I would be hesitant to buy something called "lifetime" from Playon. They originally sold a "lifetime" package prior to mid-2010 but they must have decided that lifetime meant something different than what most of the people who bought it at the time felt it should mean and what the license agreement indicated. So Playon converted all of the existing licenses to Playon Basic and revealed their new Premium tier. So beware that at some point Playon may feel the need to introduce a Platinum tier and then the Premium lifetime purchases will be in nearly the same boat as the Basic users. The produce generally worked as expected but their business practice on the "Basic" versus "Premium" fiasco left many people irritated and upset with this company.

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Run, do not walk - run away as fast as you can from this company and from this deal. Google check their reviews & the experiences of way too many dissatified & unhappy customers. I am one of them, and wouldn't even suggest this company to my worst enemy. Yes, they are that terrible - the absolute worst customer service experience I've had with any purchase/business. Ever.

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I have a basic PlayOn account. It doesn't exactly work through through the gaming console - at least not the way you expect. It works through my PC. To use it, I have to have a media server running on my PC which connects to the PlayOn service and makes the content available on my local network. Then, on my gaming console, I go to a special URL that addresses the server running on my PC. Everything streams through the PC.

You need to have a very fast PC with a very smooth and high speed internet connection. If anything slows down your PC, you get video stutter. Which, in real life, means shutting down EVERYTHING running on the PC while you watch content.

As a result, even though I have an account, I almost never use it. It's way too much of a PIA. If I had an extra computer sitting around to just be a dedicated PlayOn server, I might use it more often.

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Wow, I guess I'm in the minority here. I've had playon for over 3 years now and it's pretty good. I stream to my 360 and it does a fantastic job. I don't have a screamin' PC or anything and it runs fine. The main reason I use it is Hulu. 1. You don't have to pay a monthly fee to Hulu Plus to get it on yer 360 (or PS3). 2. Everything that is available on Hulu is available to watch on yer 360, UNLIKE Hulu Plus. I only have the Basic since when I bought it they didn't have the Premium and it's been more than enough. I thought people would be all over this deal and I even considered getting it since it's the Premium instead. Weird.

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Using it now. Works good with my Sony SMP-N100. Benefit I see is that I don't have to go to all the websites to watch them on my computer only ^_^. Must be you guys that have too much time to surf to get the contents :D

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"In fact, PlayOn is actually a customized version of the Internet Explorer engine."

Annnnnnd they lost me.

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I bought the basic license several years ago and, for the most part, am happy with it. As said earlier, the program runs on your pc which allows any device on your network to stream content to that device. I can watch divx/mkv movies on my tablet or phone this way. I am, however, one of the many upset by Playon's little basic/premium tier switch another posted about above.

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Ok, someone help me out here. After reading the most up voted comments I'm inclined to stay very far away. However after reading the channel list and some of the positive reviews I'm back to the middle. I'd get comedy central, TLC, Science Channel, TBS, etc... but what content do I get? Is it streaming the actual broadcast channel or is it a watch what you want when you want kind of thing? Is it like Hulu regular where the content is only available for an extremely limited time?

I realize from other comments that most of this stuff is available for free from the content providers web sites, does that mean all they are doing is providing a link to the content provider or do they aggregate it all in a single location?

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I have been using their services for over a year and it has allowed me to cut the cord on cable. The main benefit is being able to watch hulu, the free version, on my tv via a roku, boxee box, ps3, and phone/tabllet. The play later service is intresting as well as it allows you to record videos watched through the playon service. Those free month trials from Netflix are nicer now. I ended up paying $60 for both with lifetime.

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@double0doug: You get the stuff that is available on the TLC, Comedy Central, TBS, etc. websites as clips, full shows, etc. It does not stream the live channel that is on cable or satellite (although there may be some scripts or plugins that enable that functionality.)

As I said, the product works fine but the concept of "lifetime" is limited to the point where Playon decides that lifetime means something different than what you think it means. It might be worth $40 if you check the online content for each of the providers you see and like what you see and are willing to risk that "lifetime" might change and require more money to get "added" content at some point in the future.

Playon did not reduce the functionality of the product when they created the premium tier but they did not continue the "lifetime" upgrade of product for those who purchased their product in the beginning.

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I would recommend Plex as a better and free alternative. There is a Roku station and I use it to stream content from my PC. It is quick, good quality, and has a pretty awesome library building system.

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I read about all the annoyances folks had a few years ago when they changed their price model. Fortunately I got my lifetime subscription just after that.

Sure it brings a lot of content together that you might find on your own but coupled with the Roku or DLNA you can browse and watch right on your TV instead of in front of your PC/laptop.

Using PlayOn+Roku (or DLNA). I can get Hulu ( or Plus if I subscribed) on my iDevice and TV. PBS and other content is way easier to locate and watch with PlayOn than with the stock apps on Roku. It is much better than a browser because the content appears on your TV instead of a 4" or 10" screen. If you don't care to run Plex, there is also access for local files streaming from your PC. For the streaming, you'll need to install VLC.

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@doctharock: In no way, shape or form can PlayOn be compared to a MSIE. If it's a browser, it's like none I have ever seen.

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I have a PlayOn license (for which I paid more than this deal), and Im happy enough with it. Yes, you could get most of these things for free through your PC, but I wanted to be able to (easily) stream everything to my tv through my Roku. I have a slow internet connection (3mb), and my laptop is.. average, I guess; and I dont have many issues with the content stuttering or anything. On the great occasion that I do have problems with stutter, if I go back and restart the show Im watching, the stream will pick up where I left off, and the stutter will be gone. I will say, though, that the PlayOn seems to work better/more smoothly through my Roku than it did when I tried it using the Wii.

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I bought playon a year ago. I'm happy with it. It's an open platform with a lot of community support. There are a lot of free channels you can add to playon, but some you do have to pay a few bucks for. The pay ones are hit or miss. Check reviews.

Yes, a lot of these are already available to stream online. But they're not always and immediately available for streaming through my roku. For example, I use playon to stream hulu "web only" shows.

I ended up trying out a few pay channels, such as superusvox. At $5, it was worth checking out. But overall, the speed at which playon+superusvox refreshes was too slow, making the "miss penalty" (i.e. trying a channel, not liking it, and going to try another channel) was way too expensive that channel surfing was pointless.

I can also stream from my home network to my iphone while I'm on the go with their app. Pretty convenient.

TL;DR: I find my playon purchase worth it. I tried Plex and wasn't as happy -- more complicated/less bang.

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@autryld: Playon themselves say that it uses MSIE, that is why the product only works on Windows (or in a virtual machine windows guest). It takes the output from MSIE and transcodes it into something that Roku, iOS and other products can actually view. Most of the content it transcodes is in flash format in the MSIE engine and it gets transcoded to mpeg or something else usable.

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I may be wrong but my understanding of the Playon service was more about being able to stream media from your PC to your other devices rather than to access content from the web. Why would you need Playon to access Hulu or any other service when it is already accessible from just about any device that connects to the internet?
I have a Roku at home and a tablet I take with to watch Hulu Plus. I can also watch from my laptop and iphone if I wanted. I don't see a need to pay someone for that.
However, if I wanted to access my music that is stored on my PC by using my tablet etc then I could pay Plaoyon for that.
Regardless, with free Cloud services out there and Pandora etc I would rather go that route. I have like 17,000 media files stored on Google's Cloud service for FREE and can stream those from anywhere I have wifi, any internet-capable device I own.
This service seems redundant IMO.

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I have used PlayOn for a little less than a year now but it has enabled my family to "cut the cord" and I'm not looking back. Instead of a $120.00, $140.00 cable, internet, telephone bill from Verizon or Comcast providers I am now paying a little over 40 bucks a month for all these services. We switched to a MagicJack for phone service 3 years ago and the second part of cutting the cord was finally able to be made when we purchased the PlayOn Lifetime license and a few Rokus. There was an initial investment in the service and some hardware, I use a dedicated laptop for the MagicJack and PlayOn server which helps eliminate streaming performance issues. The key feature that PlayOn brought to us was Hulu without a subscription and the free PlayOn plugins available to download and use. The plugins really help expand the channels, shows and movies available through PlayOn. I also am using the Plex Media Server which is nice and free but we tend to use the PlayOn service more.

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@bigsauce: You know Hulu has a free XBox 360 app that can stream content directly to your console right? It has the same content as the web version.

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@togle: Roku has free apps for just about anything you can stream to your PC. No server necessary or playon account necessary, just check out the Roku store and download the corresponding app. I get netflix, hbo, and even youtube just through my Roku, no PC connection required.

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@jlange88: incorrect. There are many shows they can't stream to devices, because licensing states that they can only be viewed in a web browser, so they're labeled as "Web Only". Also, the app is free but you have to be a Hulu Plus subscriber. Basically, I get the benefit of watching Hulu on my consoles, but I also lose many shows that aren't licensed properly to be streamed to a device.

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SNAKE OIL HERE, GET YOUR SNAKE OIL!

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@sethjvm: What PlayOn actually states is: "PlayOn is fundamentally just a web browser, exactly like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari."
You could call it a browser, sure. However, that is an oversimplification of how it works. You will never see a browser window that resembles any of those products. I would call it a content aggregator. The reason it runs only on Windows systems is that it uses ".NET".

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@hodakaroadtoad: I get Hulu (standard) on my TV by using a Roku_PlayOn. I have no desire to watch a lot of TV on a PC monitor.

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Apparently people vote you down even when you're technically correct. Typical internet behavior.

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I have owned this product for several years now, and do own the lifetime license & well as their PlayLater lifetime license.

Their product is, OK. It has some nice features such as being able to watch on just about any device - PC, Phone, Xbox, DNLA device such as TV, Blu-ray, DVR.

However, I am having issues with the phone (andrioid) working - and it was working in the past. Support is noticeably bad - if you aren't set up exactly how they want they will try to get out of helping you at all and completely blame your setup. They don't even seem to fully understand how their product works, and can be borderline rude.

Lastly, for the last couple of years they have been promising HD support - at first it was because it takes up too many resources on the PC and people's PC's in general aren't powerful enough for it. Now... I have no idea why it's not in HD.

It's an interesting product, that I sure wish was executed better - but not a horrible deal at this price if your tech savy.

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Hi, We wanted to address a couple of things here. First, the "lifetime" license issue. What you get with a lifetime license is a license that is good for the life of this company/product. So long as we are in business we will maintain, support, and provide service to the product you buy today. We will keep all features and channels working. We have never sold a lifetime license for which this was not the case. We did have an older version of the product prior to 2010. People that bought a lifetime license to that product STILL have that license. All channels and features that were in that product STILL work for them and are maintained for them. To be clear, their license is still good and everything that was in the product when they purchased still works.
You can get Hulu Plus on many devices but that requires a monthly subscription. With PlayOn you are able to watch the free web version of Hulu on your TV, no sub required. The web version also has a lot of additional content.

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I got one of these, it's called a ROKU!

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I've used playon for 3+ years now and love it. The content is all available elsewhere but playon puts it on your tv. It is just a transcoder that converts the content on the web to something that your dlna capable device can understand. The big winner is when you want to access hulu on your tv, you don't have to pay for a hulu plus membership. Yes, you do have to have a pc running the software and always on, but I already have that so that really wasn't an issue for me. There are also other pieces of software that do the same thing out there, but I haven't had any reason to change since it does everything that I need it for. Access on my phone was just a bonus.

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Ok. I think there is a lot of confusion here as to what PlayOn exactly is.

It is a Trans-coding engine/Media Server that allows you to playback media on devices that may not otherwise natively support doing so. It also allows streaming of web services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube on top of transcoding local media files. For instance, if I want to watch Netflix streaming on my HP Touchpad that does not have a native Netflix app, I can use PlayOn to do so.

You install the "server" on a PC connected to your network. Then you point it to your media, if this machine is also connected to the internet you can supply your credentials for services like Netflix, MLB etc. To playback the media on your device you can either install a native PlayOn app for that device if available or use DLNA for some devices as well.

Now you can have access to online services like Netflix and Hulu on devices that you normal would not as well as not having to storing all media locally on the device.

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In addition, I will say that in the few years I have used PlayOn, I have bought two "lifetime" licenses for the product. Be wary that if they decide to come out with a completely new and revamped version of the PlayOn software, the "lifetime" of the old product may come to pass.

I originally purchased PlayOn to stream Netflix and Hulu to my Xbox 360 before Microsoft even had those capabilities available to Xbox users. Also, this means you can watch Hulu on an Xobx or other devices without having a Hulu+ subscription, (but you will still be limited to the free Hulu account content) as well as stream Netflix to an Xbox without needing to have an Xbox Live Gold account (is that still a requirement?).

I feel I have gotten my moneys worth from them over the last few years, but if they pull this lifetime license crap with me again, I will no longer be spending any money with them. Unless of course the "new" product at that time is worth the additional cost.

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@wootatuetech: The Roku is a great device but does not aggregate content as completely as PlayOn. For instance, the Roku PBS (private) app does not have nearly as much content as the Playon PBS channel. There are other examples. Anyway, the Roku makes PlayOn better and vice versa. Not long ago PlayOn was offering a free Roku with the purchase of a Lifetime license.

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@playonteam: I have a Lifetime PlayOn license and enjoy it. Every time PlayOn has a deals.woot promotion it gets downvoted by people for whatever license issues they had back whenever.
Could it be that when the product was expanded they didn't get the new features? If so, that seems like a fair complaint.

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The main feature of Playon Premium in my opinion is my ability to stream from my home to my phone when I am on the go.

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@alfredenigma: Not saying that PlayOn is worth it, but if you look at the Xbox 360 demo on their site, it shows that you will see PlayOn through the Video menu on the My Xbox menu

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@caravaglia: Plex has channels but not the same ones.

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Real World Experience. I just bought playon on December 12th for about $70 for the lifetime premium membership and a "free" roku LT (with like $10 s/h) which was a wash but I wanted the roku, and kinda wanted the service.

Playon does work just fine on my machine at home, but it runs on my gaming rig which is a modified workstation so I can't attest to stutter. It is a great way to view a lot though. I have 4 iphones, 1 roku, and 1 android phone in the house. It seems to work fine for connecting one device, I haven't tried multiple ones yet. Also, they don't send your roku until you register your software. I'm wondering if they only allow a specific amount of registrations and they do say that the lifetime license is the lifetime of the software. The next major revision will not be supported for upgrades.

I'm happy enough with it, but if I were to do it over, I'd probably skip playon and just get the roku by itself.

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@alfredenigma: When you install the Playon software on your pc, your game console (XBOX, PS3) recognizes it as a "server." You won't see an app until you have the service. I've had it for 3 years and love it. My TV isn't a "smart TV" so it doesn't have internet access, but with Playon, it does. I have dozens of channels and can watch just about anything that is available on the web from the comfort and convenience of my living room.

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People should just look at the "scripts" link to see what is available:
http://www.playonscripts.com/?w=cat&view=18

Over 200 TV stations worldwide.

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@oscaroni: Yes but what i was saying earlyer is that its kinda shady that they dont tell you which of those require a separate paid subscription to use. (or which ones are just clips etc.. ide like to know which exactly i get to view for free w sub. However from what ive read from previous posters its just stuff thats already free stays free stuff that requires sub ((netflix) still requires subs. IMO i understood it to be a service that provides cable like content shows for one subscription instead of (like some one else above already said) just software that allows you to acces already avail content online from many sources. I have to wonder if its marketed like that deliberately or not (hence not showing on site (at least where i could find anyways) exactly which chans are free and which u have to pay for after u buy there software.

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anyone here try the play later feature yet? I am wondering how well it works and if the user interface is good.

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@thedude35: The biggest problem with PlayLater is that it records EVERYTHING, including any lags, stutters, freezing, commercials, etc. So any problems with PlayOn ultimately affect the final recording in PlayLater.

It's a nifty idea, but still has a lot of kinks that need to be worked out.

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Well, I bit and made the purchase. I only have a 1Mbit Internet connection(rural), but it works. Commercials seem to get choppy, but the CBS show I'm watching is playing fine. This will bring me a few things I'm missing with Netflix and Hulu Plus on my consoles and the price was right.

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@bigsauce: I'm with bigsauce here - if you don't want to pay for hulu plus, or have other game systems or mobile devices that you'd like to stream things to (for example, me streaming HBO Go or Hulu to my PS3 to my TV), then this is a great little program.

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The primary purpose of PlayOn is to give you access to various channels without the monsterous monthly cable charges. I tried PlayOn almost 3 years ago and cut the cable umbilical cord.

While PlayOn is not perfect, mine works fine through my PS3 and I love the extra money I have. The only thing I miss is sports and, between Netflix and PlayOn, I rarely watch regular TV anymore.