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PlayOn Streams Netflix, Hulu to Android

By - Source: BGR | B 21 comments

PlayOn subscribers can now stream content to Android 2.2 (or greater) devices.

Who needs a Snapdragon when you have PlayOn Mobile for Android? Announced on Thursday, the new app from MediaMall Technologies now does what many Android owners have wanted for some time: Netflix on their smartphones and tablets.

In addition to the popular movie/TV streaming service, PlayOn Mobile now brings to the Android 2.2 platform a huge list of content providers including Hulu Plus, (ABC, NBC, Fox, etc.), Amazon VOD, Netflix IQ, TBS, CBS, PBS, the Oprah Winfrey Network, CNN, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Nickelodeon, ESPN3, NFL Rewind, MLB, MTV, VH1, Syfy, Spike, TV.com, The Ultimate Fighter and others.

PlayOn also streams personal media stored locally on a networked PC, and offers support for plugins that adds even more channels like the Discovery Channel, the Food Network, Southpark Studios, international channels, podcasts and numerous other channels.

But there's a catch: the video feeds aren't streamed directly to the phone. Instead, PlayOn requires a PC client connected directly to the Internet which in turn redirects the streaming content to the mobile device. Initially the Android smartphone or tablet will need to be set in Wi-Fi mode and paired with the Windows client (aka media server), but after the first connection users can access the content from anywhere via Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G connection.

There's also another catch: the service isn't cheap. While the Windows client and the Android app are free to download and install, the service itself comes in two flavors: PlayOn Premium which charges $39.99 for the first year and $19.99 for each year thereafter, or a one-time charge of $79.99 for a lifetime subscription. Throw on separate subscription fees for Netflix, Hulu Plus and other services, and the ability to stream video to the Android device might seem a bit costly. Still, there's a 14-day free trial (no credit card needed) to see if the service is worth the money.

If Android isn't your preferred flavor, PlayOn is currently available on other platforms including the Xbox 360, the PlayStation3, the Nintendo Wii, Google TV, Roku, iOS and other DLNA-compliant devices. “We’re pleased to add Android to our ever-growing list of compatible devices for streaming online video content,” states Jeff Lawrence, CEO of MediaMall Technologies. “Our goal is to make it easy for everyone to affordably access online video content using the screen of their choice."

In a brief test, streaming content from the PC to the Motorola DROID smartphone on Verizon's 3G connection actually worked rather well after tweaking the client's settings, Windows Firewall and the local network router. Users must manually activate Mobile Access in the PlayOn PC client, and either let the software automatically configure the connection, or manually set the TCP port.

The end result was a little choppy and of lesser quality, but provided better streaming content than Verizon's own V CAST Video $10 monthly subscription service.

Display 21 Comments.
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  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 18, 2011 6:32 PM
    It should be noted that these people are only after your money. A "Lifetime subscription" not not what most of you would consider Lifetime, it actually means you will always have access to the version of the software you purchase. If they ever add something new (New Channels) be ready to pay another $39.99, for the privlage of upgrading. If this sounds dirty...... It is and they have already done this.
  • 1 Hide
    dark_lord69 , February 18, 2011 7:06 PM
    Neet...
    Now how about some blackberry love?
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 18, 2011 9:33 PM
    blackberrys suck
  • 1 Hide
    chrisjust98 , February 18, 2011 10:03 PM
    android_monkeyblackberrys suck


    LOL! I agree.
  • 0 Hide
    silmarilwest , February 18, 2011 11:17 PM
    Not really interesting when I need a separate PC to use. This is like the headlines saying "run Windows 7 on the iPhone" and it turned out to be a VNC client.
  • 0 Hide
    seeit360 , February 19, 2011 3:02 PM
    Funny. I never had to pay any more and keep getting new channels and capabilities. Sounds like sour grapes Nexis99.
  • 0 Hide
    seeit360 , February 19, 2011 3:02 PM
    Funny. I never had to pay any more and keep getting new channels and capabilities. Sounds like sour grapes Nexis99.
  • 0 Hide
    tayb , February 19, 2011 6:21 PM
    I won't be buying another Android if Google can't figure out something to make Netflix streaming happen. I like the OS but it really isn't anything special compared to the competition. I use Netflix streaming all the time and a WP7 or iOS device will be my choice if Google can't figure it out.
  • 1 Hide
    seeit360 , February 20, 2011 3:13 AM
    taybI won't be buying another Android if Google can't figure out something to make Netflix streaming happen. I like the OS but it really isn't anything special compared to the competition. I use Netflix streaming all the time and a WP7 or iOS device will be my choice if Google can't figure it out.


    You understand it's a copyright thing not a google thing, right? It's all about the lawyers, which is why PlayOn will get huge and avoid the issue. They figured out how to stream this web content after it arrives in your PC's browser, so they are like an invisible HDMI cable to your device. That's really smart and legal fair use. This is what net neutrality legislation is trying to protect.
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , February 20, 2011 4:42 AM
    too many complications
  • 0 Hide
    seeit360 , February 20, 2011 4:45 AM
    mayankleoboy1too many complications
    Better than nothing.
  • 0 Hide
    tayb , February 20, 2011 2:14 PM
    seeit360You understand it's a copyright thing not a google thing, right? It's all about the lawyers, which is why PlayOn will get huge and avoid the issue. They figured out how to stream this web content after it arrives in your PC's browser, so they are like an invisible HDMI cable to your device. That's really smart and legal fair use. This is what net neutrality legislation is trying to protect.


    No, it's a Google thing because they aren't enforcing standard content security like the other mobile OS's are. Windows Phone 7 has been out for all of two months and it had a Netflix application on day one. This is Google's fault. Some of the phone manufacturers are taking content security into their own hands because Google won't or can't figure it out. It's ridiculous really.
  • 1 Hide
    seeit360 , February 20, 2011 5:47 PM
    taybNo, it's a Google thing because they aren't enforcing standard content security like the other mobile OS's are. Windows Phone 7 has been out for all of two months and it had a Netflix application on day one. This is Google's fault. Some of the phone manufacturers are taking content security into their own hands because Google won't or can't figure it out. It's ridiculous really.
    Good Point. I've Noticed something I don't see discussed much though. Some content you find on the Web and PlayOn versions of Netflix is missing in the device offering of Netflix (e.g. Documentaries > Independent), I've also noticed PlayOn gives you the web PC version of the Daily Show too, not just clips like you'd find if you browse directly to the page via Android (Google TV and handhelds) or iPhone or Windows Mobile. This decision seems to be driven by either Lawyers, Marketing or simply greed by the content providers part. So PlayOn is still a great deal as all end devices are treated equally to those offerings you'd find on a PC. I think saying Google cant or won't stream video is not true. They are simply being asked to pay for it because they have money others want.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , February 21, 2011 11:53 AM
    I'd be tempted if they threw outteh same service on WebOS , i'd love to have netflix on my pre :) 
  • 0 Hide
    mikem_90 , February 21, 2011 10:29 PM
    seeit360Good Point. I've Noticed something I don't see discussed much though. Some content you find on the Web and PlayOn versions of Netflix is missing in the device offering of Netflix (e.g. Documentaries > Independent), I've also noticed PlayOn gives you the web PC version of the Daily Show too, not just clips like you'd find if you browse directly to the page via Android (Google TV and handhelds) or iPhone or Windows Mobile. This decision seems to be driven by either Lawyers, Marketing or simply greed by the content providers part. So PlayOn is still a great deal as all end devices are treated equally to those offerings you'd find on a PC. I think saying Google cant or won't stream video is not true. They are simply being asked to pay for it because they have money others want.


    The essence of licensing. Also keep in mind that there many be some unrealistic price tags attached to to some of the licensing deals to keep certain players out of the market, give others a chance to catch up and get their own products out. NBC/Comcast wants to get their own streaming products out there. Content providers might be stalling or asking for too much so they can get their own service on the market.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 22, 2011 3:37 PM
    Why buy PlayOn for ps3 when I already have Netflix and HuluPlus on it? Hmmm.... PlayOn should be ashamed of themselves.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 23, 2011 2:51 AM
    This is a sad and sick joke. In using PlayOn on your mobile device you'r enot completely mobile. Unless I'm doing something wrong, a subscriber is still tethered to their WiFi. Meaning one cant really leave the house very far and still be able to use. I just tried this and was so excited only to be terribly dissapointed. Writers need to look up the word, and more importantly look up the intent of the word, "mobile" If one has a large HD tv (or more) in their house, why would they submit to the comparative inadequacy of watching movies on their mobile device only meters away from their entertainment systems. I'm sure Netflix is ecstatic about this as they may have received an increase of subscribers that have been waiting to hear that they're "available" on android phones now. On a good note, I can now freely roam 15 feet around my 52 inch LG television while watching "Shutter Island" on my DroidX.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 25, 2011 1:04 AM
    I absolutely love Playon’s Xbox integration, and have been using it for years. I hope to see some improvement in their Android app. As a DISH Network employee, I believe it lacks features that I need. Right now, I use the DISH Network Remote Access app to stream live TV, on demand content, and all of my DVR recordings. I do have high hopes for Playon, and I am very glad to see them expanding.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 26, 2011 1:45 AM
    Hey Radyor, it's not joke. The mobile really means mobile, because I have a droid incredible, and it works great over 3G. Must be a config issue on your side.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 27, 2011 5:23 PM
    Someone please tell me why I can get Blockbuster on my Evo and not Netflix? What is the difference?
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