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I like movies, but had mixed reactions when Netflix first introduced its instant streaming capability. Like I say… I like movies, but I’d really much rather watch them on my 42″ HDTV than my 20″ computer monitor.

But then, like a gift from the Gods, came Playon. http://www.playon.tv/index.php


Playon is an easy to load, easy to use program that you install on your desktop or laptop (PC only, sorry Apple users) that turns it into a simple media server, streaming content from the internet through your PC and onto your PS3, Xbox 360 or Wii console right to your television. (The advantage to the PS3 or Xbox is that HD content streams in HD through these consoles; through the Wii standard definition is the best that you get.) You can also use it with a number of network-ready devices such as the HP Mediasmart TV and the Moxi HD DVR.

The basic content providers for Playon are Hulu, your instant Netflix queue, CBS.com, ESPN.com, CNN.com, Amazon VOD and YouTube. In addition to this, however, are plugins that will allow you to watch everything from Academic Earth to Spike TV.

After you download and install Playon, you get a remarkably user-friendly interface.


Under the general tab, you can submit a help request, set your video performance (especially good if you’re at the low end of their system requirements), decide whether to buffer the video as it runs or process the entire video before it plays – good, but very memory intensive, control when and how Playon starts, and set parental controls.

Under the system check tab, Playon will check your processor, RAM, etc., and let you know if you meet the system requirements. The next two tabs control which channels and plugins are available to you. The next tab, my media, which is currently in Beta testing, allows you to stream media stored on your PC’s hard drive through Playon to your selected device. The next tab, social networks (also in Beta) allows Playon to automatically update your status on Twitter, Facebook or Myspace so that your friends can see what you’re watching. The last tab shows your registration status.

What would you pay for this kind of convenience? $99.99? $500? A BILLION DOLLARS? Well, all of this can be yours for the low, low price of $39.99. The great news, though, is that you can try Playon with no limitations for 14 days.

But if you download and purchase the program before midnight on May 19th, you can download a lifetime license for Playon for $19.99! This was the price for the program at its initial launch five years ago. And scientists say that time travel is impossible!

So download Playon and enjoy your media the way that it was meant to be enjoyed – on your 240 hz, 1080 p big-screen TV.

~Randal Schaffer