May. 11, 2011

PlayOn gives up control, gains a bunch of new channels

We have released a new API for PlayOn, PlayDirect API. The PlayDirect API is easier to use and more flexible than its predecessor. The results of this release have already been amazing. Users have already used the new API to bring Food Network, Disney Channel Live, Lifetime, TV Land and over 20 more channels to the PlayOn network for everyone to enjoy

We released the PlayDirect API earlier this week, and developers quickly began creating their own PlayOn channels. With the PlayDirect API, anybody can easily specify the URL of the desired video, and then denote what area of the video to view. We can already see this new, easier to use API is leading to a rapid increase in the number of PlayOn channels for all of our subscribers to enjoy.

This API is the first step in a two-step process for giving our users even more control over their PlayOn content. The second step, coming soon, is opening a “channel store” on our site where customers will be able to add and review third-party channels they want on PlayOn.  

By opening up the PlayOn technology platform to third-party developers, we are able to expand the content available to PlayOn users. Just like Apple’s app store brought new features and functionality to the iPhone, we plan on seeing a host of new channels in PlayOn. Our API lets everyone find something they like with PlayOn.

If you’re interested in adding a channel to PlayOn, you can get access to the PlayDirect API here: http://www.playon.tv/channels/developer-guide

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Nov. 30, 2010

PlayOn Goes to Washington

I recently had the honor of being invited to Washington DC to speak with our Federal Government about all of the changes going on in the broadcast media space. Along with the heads of a few other select Over the Top video technology and content companies, we participated in two sessions, both with Congress and the Executive Offices.

The morning session included an opportunity to present and demo PlayOn to House Staffers. Representatives from members of the House that sit on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Committee on Small Business, and members of the FCC stopped by to see how companies like PlayOn are helping to shape the future of TV. By and large they were very excited about the opportunities that are coming available to consumers and seemed committed to preserving those opportunities.

The afternoon session included a meeting with senior members of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The purpose of the meeting was to establish an ongoing dialog on the opportunities and challenges that technology companies like PlayOn face in a space that is dominated by large broadcast media corporations. Their goal in having this meeting was to make recommendations on how policy can be shaped to create a fair, competitive environment that enables new technologies and innovation to thrive in the Over the Top space.

As I said earlier, I was honored to participate and very encouraged that there is a concerted effort on the part of our government to preserve choices in how you consume media.

The next several years will be a very interesting time for this space. We are happy to have you along for the ride and hope you will continue to support PlayOn.

Best Regards,

Jeff Lawrence
PlayOn CEO

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Nov. 2, 2010

Jobs at PlayOn

Technical Support Gurus Needed...

You know all about supporting software, you have done it and enjoy digging through logs to figure out what is going wrong. You are resourceful, reliable and friendly and like to work online and over chat and email. You write well. If this sounds like you, come join us.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Respond to customer technical and non-technical support requests via email
  • Help manage support on the forum, and encourage a community of user-based support.
  • Monitor a user support email queue and be able to manage open customer issues real-time
  • Understand and analyze technical support data logs from customers to help identify and troubleshoot issues
  • Provide concrete guidelines and feedback to improve the logging functionality in PlayOn to streamline support issues, and allow for user self-help

The Ideal Candidate Is:

  • A PlayOn user with multiple device consoles
  • High-energy and focused on quickly solving problems, both technical and basic in nature
  • Someone who loves the latest and greatest in technology
  • Understand the role of technical support in a software company  
  • Superior communication skills
  • Technically advanced WRT customer support tools, forums, and technical diagnostic tools

Must Have Skills:

  • Proficiency with Outlook, Thunderbird
  • Microsoft Office Products (Excel, Frontpage, Word, Powerpoint, Access, Visio)
  • Be a proficient web user with basic html editing ability
  • Basic understanding of SQL and web-based data solutions
  • Ability to learn web applications quickly.

If interested, please email us at jobs@playon.tv (and be sure to include your resume and summary of PlayOn experience).

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Aug. 10, 2010

Memory Lane

We are always keeping our eyes out for hidden gems available to PlayOn users. Well here's a great one we stumbled into.....The Classic Channel on Hulu. To this day I randomly find myself humming along to The Addams Family song; "They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, and altogether OOKY! The Addams Family." This classic sitcom is a family friendly comedy; which is hard to come by these days. Not to mention there are 64 episodes of The Addams Family available on Hulu; which is even harder to come by these days.

The Addams Family can be found under Classic Channels along with other shows like: Bewitched, The Lone Ranger and The Three Stooges.

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Aug. 6, 2010

iPad Apps

iPad owners always have a few apps that they rave about. After doing some extensive research (aka playing around on my iPad for countless hours) I have found my favorite apps.

Popular Science - Popular Science is always awesome, whether print or iPad version. For me I founf the iPad app was just a little more handy.
Scrabble - Just like the board version, but 10 times better. You can even use an iPhone as your personal tile rack.
iBooks - Somedays I find myself stuck somewhere with nothing to do. Well now I can just buy a book and it feels like time well spent.
Plants vs Zombies - A fun game with attacking zombies and zombie zapping plants used to defend onesel. The game is fun by yourself or with another person.

PlayOn is also working on a iPad app. Stay tuned for more information.

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Aug. 5, 2010

PlayOn's iPhone Web App

It has been a roller coaster of a ride, but you can now watch Hulu, Netflix and more with PlayOn on your iPhone. Back in June the PlayOn app was approved from Apple, then put into review once again by them in mid-July. We decided not to wait for the app store and instead built a HTML version. Essentially you navigate to your PlayOn installation through Safari on your iPhone. You can bookmark the page and put an icon on your desktop so it ends up working just like an app. Download the new version of PlayOn and follow the instructions to get started.


What others are saying:

"The web app works extremely well from my testing over the past few days. It’s a testament to the power of HTML5 and the returning focus on iPhone web apps."
 

"We spent some quality couch time with the program over the last couple of days, and with a powerful PC, fast internet and WiFi connection, we found video quite watchable on our iPhone 4, and there's no knocking PlayOn's breadth of content available, with loads of TV, a good deal of anime and your entire Netflix streaming queue available on the phone."

 

"Hulu is the main attraction here, especially if paying $20 or so per year sounds preferable to the $10 per month Hulu Plus plans to charge."

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Aug. 2, 2010

A word on PlayOn for Mac...

A lot of you have requested PlayOn for Mac, and we'd absolutely love to do it! But it's not that easy. We've estimated that developing PlayOn for Mac would cost us upwards of $10 million. There are some big challenges to overcome to get it working on the Macintosh platform: we'd be rewriting most of PlayOn from scratch, and inventing some new stuff along the way. Some of us at PlayOn use Macs regularly, and as much as we'd love a Mac version, we've happily settled with using Boot Camp at our homes and offices. We also have a ton of customers who are successfully running PlayOn using Parallels. Unless one of you wants to give us $10 million (anyone?), we're going to have to continue to rely on workarounds like Boot Camp and Parallels. Thanks for understanding.

Cheers,

Jeff Lawrence

C.E.O.

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Aug. 1, 2010

Louie

Louie premiered late June 2010 and seems to be another great comedy series from FX. They describe their new show as, "A comedy filtered through the observational humor of Louis C.K. Each episode puts a spotlight on Louis’ hectic life as a successful stand-up comedian and newly single father raising his two daughters.  The single-camera comedy is a mix of Louis C.K.’s stand-up comedy and scripted stories." Louie is 5 episodes into the season and all 5 episodes are currently available through Hulu. If you enjoy a bit of dark humor you should definitely give this show a try.

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Jul. 30, 2010

PBS

PBS is hands down my new favorite channel on PlayOn. Each week I seem to discover more awesome shows within the channel. Frontline is my favorite, followed closely by Antique Roadshow. In case your not familiar with the premise of Anitique Roadshow, a group of antique experts travel around to different towns each week and do appraisals for the town people that come to the airing. Sounds kind of lame when explaining it, but this is a gold mine for any history buff. A few weeks ago on Antiques Roadshow an elderly man brought in a Tiffany and Co. sword used in the civil war. Frontline, on the other hand, is a documentary style show focusing on current world issues. Subjects anywhere from politics to technology can be covered and it is always presented in an educational yet intriguing way. But don't worry, if neither of these shows are your cup of tea there is plenty more to choose from.

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Jul. 28, 2010

YouTube Favorites

PlayOn allows you to stream YouTube videos to your TV and nothing makes me happier than watching funny clips after a long day. Here are just a few of our favorite YouTube videos.

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Top FAQs

What is PlayOn?
PlayOn is software that you install on your Windows PC. It allows you to use your Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Roku, iPhone, Android phone or another supported device to access movies and shows from content providers like Hulu, Netflix, Comedy Central, CBS, YouTube, MLB.tv, your personal media, and many more. PlayOn is both browser and media server software, built into one. It browses content from various online providers, and displays that content directly on your TV, iPhone or Android phone.
How does it work?
PlayOn runs in the background on your PC over your home network. It uses standards called UPnP and DLNA to communicate with networked gaming consoles,TVs, and mobile phones working both as an internet browser to access online media and as a UPnP media server to serve videos to UPnP compliant devices. Learn more
How can I buy PlayOn?
Simply visit our buy page for our current pricing.