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PlayOn Service Adds 60 Chromecast Video Channels

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 9 comments

Chromecast is a useful way to watch video on your TV, but at present, the device doesn't have many content providers. PlayOn's Chromecast app, an upcoming service from the media server intermediary, will add more than 60 channels to Chromecast, provided you're willing to shell out a little extra money.

PlayOn allows users to stream content from computer-based Internet browsers to their TVs through a system such as an Xbox 360 or a Roku box.

Similarly, the Chromecast app lets users stream video content, but through Chromecast instead. PlayOn states that the app will add more than 60 channels to Chromecast's library, which is currently limited to Netflix, YouTube and native Google services.

MORE: Best Shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Yahoo Right Now

In addition to Netflix and YouTube, PlayOn will also support channels for Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, Aereo, HBO GO, Redbox, Vevo, and a number of network and cable channels. These range from mainstays such as CBS, NBC and ABC to specialty networks such as Comedy Central, History Channel and Animal Planet.

PlayOn is touting its "tabcasting" feature — dubbed PlayCast — as a main draw. Tabcasting is a native Chromecast feature that allows users to stream anything on a computer Web browser directly to their TVs. However, tabcasting is generally laggy and does not properly sync video and audio.

PlayCast looks to eliminate the lag by running a more lightweight, streamlined tabcasting protocol. While Chromecast requires Chrome for this functionality, PlayCast can stream content from Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera.

Operating PlayCast is also fairly simple. Install the PlayCast plugin to your browser of choice, connect your computer and your Chromecast to the same network, and select the PlayCast channel. You'll then be able to stream channels from your TV or tabcast.

Tom's Guide had a chance to check out the PlayOn Chromecast app firsthand at the Pepcom Holiday Spectacular tech showcase on Sept. 20 in New York City. The setup was simple enough: A PlayOn representative plugged a Chromecast into a TV, connected both the Chromecast and his mobile phone (which can be used as a remote control) to the Wi-Fi network, and selected an episode of "The Daily Show" to stream.

The show took some time to load, but this was mostly due to the congested Wi-Fi in the event space. Once it was up and running, it displayed in HD (the app supports up to full 1080p resolution) and synced up the video and audio perfectly.

PlayOn is currently aiming for an October launch for PlayCast, and will come standard with a PlayOn subscription. This service retails for $6.99 per month, $29.99 per year or $59.99 for a lifetime subscription, and will also function on Roku boxes and Xbox 360s.

At $35, Chromecast is a cheap alternative to a streaming box like a Roku or a game console like a PS3, but its limited streaming venues do hold it back somewhat. PlayOn's app may not be a perfect solution, given that it isn't free and adds a few extra steps between you and your content, but it beats having only four channels to watch.

Follow Marshall Honorof @marshallhonorof. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

Display 9 Comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    tolham , September 20, 2013 12:04 PM
    does it add functionality to play MKV video with AC3 or DTS audio?
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , September 20, 2013 12:50 PM
    What's the big holdup on apps for the Chromecast?

    From my understanding many apps are ready to be launched but Google is holding them back for some reason. The Chromecast is an amazing product and I can't believe Google is dragging it's feet on this one after the tremendous response it recieved.
  • 0 Hide
    elbert , September 21, 2013 8:50 AM
    Playon turns your PC into a transcode server. So yes it can play MKV, AC3, DTS, and pretty much all video audio types. This depends on the speed of your PC to play a codec. Ideally you want at least a dual core PC. Also the list above in no way lists all the possible plugins you can have. There are thousands of none supported plugins that accesses just about ever video site on the web. Just use keywords playon and scripts to find a full list. I use this service with a roku.
  • 0 Hide
    elbert , September 21, 2013 8:54 AM
    Playon turns your PC into a transcode server. So yes it can play MKV, AC3, DTS, and pretty much all video audio types. This depends on the speed of your PC to play a codec. Ideally you want at least a dual core PC. Also the list above in no way lists all the possible plugins you can have. There are thousands of none supported plugins that accesses just about ever video site on the web. Just use keywords playon and scripts to find a full list. I use this service with a roku.
  • 0 Hide
    elbert , September 21, 2013 8:55 AM
    Playon turns your PC into a transcode server. So yes it can play MKV, AC3, DTS, and pretty much all video audio types. This depends on the speed of your PC to play a codec. Ideally you want at least a dual core PC. Also the list above in no way lists all the possible plugins you can have. There are thousands of none supported plugins that accesses just about ever video site on the web. Just use keywords playon and scripts to find a full list. I use this service with a roku.
  • 1 Hide
    elbert , September 21, 2013 8:58 AM
    Typing a message, then getting a login screen, and finally reloading page gets up triple posts. Nice bug so could a mode please remove the 2 duplicates? Thanks.
  • 0 Hide
    shin0bi272 , September 21, 2013 12:01 PM
    Ive been telling them that for years now Elbert...
  • 0 Hide
    TammyHi17765516 , September 21, 2013 1:26 PM
    Only seriously interested people will be warmly welcomed,Thanks,,you have to work using a computer and internet.if you can do that and dedicate some time each day then you can do this with no problem. I have been working with this for a month and have made over $17,000 already. let me know if you need more here you go.
    ------------->>> http://ddp.net/blue48.amp
  • 0 Hide
    Nicky Davies , October 14, 2013 11:37 PM
    Amazon has the best deal on the Google Chromecast! CHECK IT OUT! http://amzn.to/1bSYj06
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