Apr. 21, 2015

Download vs. Record

We're always interested in understand what it is that people think we do at PlayOn. PlayLater is a particularly interesting phenomenon. The common term for getting a file onto your computer from the internet is DOWNLOAD. You download software, photos, movies, etc. People use the term download as how you get pretty much any file on your PC.
Did you download the latest Game of Thrones? Have you downloaded any episodes of Boardwalk Empire yet? Did you know you can download Netflix movies? Did you know you can download Hulu shows and movies - including Hulu Plus? Well...you can't technically. But you can get those videos onto your PC in mp4 (that's the standard video file) format. PlayLater lets you record them (think DVR) - it plays them in an invisible window and creats a copy of them during the recording. What results is what seems like a downloaded Netflix movie.
The thing is - people think of recording for cable broadcast shows - beacause the DVR and VCR before it have trained us to. DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. And, while technically, PlayLater is a Digital Video Recorder, since it sits on your PC and lets you get video files to your PC - we think of it as a download beacuse we have been trained by the PC industry that you download things to your PC.
All of this comes up beacuse we were recently looking at Search Optimization -- not only what were the people that found PlayOn searching for, but what are people searching for that SHOULD have found PlayOn. Download X [where X = Netflix, Hulu, Amazon VOD, HBO Go, HBO Now, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, etc.] turns out to be what folks are searching for when what they should find is PlayLater!
So we are faced with the conundrum - do we buy these keywords? Do we introduce the "technically incorrect" but very logical word DOWNLOAD into our website so that we show up organically when people search for them? What do YOU think?
Also - fyi - if you are looking to "download" Game of Thrones - we have just launched PlayLater support for HBO Now - and at a special price - check it out: http://www.playon.tv/store/offers/hbonow/


Nov. 5, 2014

Discontinuing Support for Windows XP - Sorry!

As of February 1st 2015 PlayOn and PlayLater will no longer support Windows XP. This is the result of Microsoft having abandoned support for the operating system in the latest version of their Internet Explorer browser. Even if you don’t use Internet Explorer, PlayOn always utilizes it behind the scenes. IE is included as an integrated part of Windows installations, and PlayOn relies on it for interacting with the various supported channels. Since Microsoft no longer develops and maintains IE for the XP platform, some supported channels in PlayOn are already beginning to fail for customers on the Windows XP operating system. We expect more channels will begin to fail over time. Your PlayOn/PlayLater account will still be valid according to your license or purchase terms, and, after February 1st it may continue to work with Windows XP, but it will not be officially supported by us with that operating system. PlayOn will continue to be supported on Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
Note: We expect that MyMedia and many 3rd-party plugins will continue to work with Windows XP as they use different underlying processes to serve video.
It is worth noting that Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8th, 2014: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help


Apr. 30, 2014

Are you a Web Developer that loves PlayOn|PlayLater?

We are looking for a full time Web Developer with the following skills and at least 5 years experience with Web Developement as part of a team. If you think this might be you, email your resume to jobs@playon.tv.
Web Developer
Critical core skills:
* SW Dev XP / Best Practices Knowledge (this one is critical)
* CSS3
* Javascript
* jQuery
* Drupal Development XP
* Source Control XP
* Drupal Configuration and Management
* Source Control w/ GIT
* Agile XP
* cPanel
* LAMP stack management


Apr. 24, 2014

Amp Up Your Chromecast with the Power of PlayOn

Chromecast users, it is time to get excited! It’s been a bit of a wait, but PlayOn is now available for your Chromecast.

We asked Chromecast users to see what they most wanted out of their device. The number one response? More channels. PlayOn for Chromecast takes care of that. PlayOn lets you access more than 100 channels on your Chromecast, including many free channels that do not require a subscription fee. You can access channels like CBS, NBC, ABC, Comedy Central and Hulu (no Hulu Plus subscription needed!). You’ll never say “there’s nothing to watch” with PlayOn.

The number two response: Chromecast customers are aching for DVR capability. After all, no cable cutting solution would be complete without the ability to record your favorite shows. With PlayLater, you can record any streaming show or movie and cast them when you want.

The third-most requested feature Chromecast customers want is a TV user interface. While we can’t exactly give you that, we can provide a channel listing that’s prettier than Comcast and Time Warner Cable on your phone. PlayOn’s user interface is easy to use and navigate. Just pick a channel, select a show, hit play on your phone and voila! The show instantly casts to your TV.

So how exactly does it work, you ask? You use your phone, tablet or PC to cast videos to your Chromecast. Simply use the new and improved PlayOn Browser feature to cast videos directly from your PC to your Chromecast. All casting happens in the background, so your PC is free for other work.  All major browsers are supported, not just Chrome, and only the video is cast, not the entire web page.


We also work with mobile devices so you can cast shows and movies to your Chromecast from your smartphone or tablet. No more need to get up and go to your PC or have a big old laptop in your lap.

PlayOn brings some serious power to the Chromecast. For those that are new to PlayOn, give it a try. We have a 30-day money back guarantee. It’s time to say goodbye to overpriced cable and hello to streaming and saving with Chromecast + PlayOn.



Mar. 28, 2014

Help us test our Chromecast release!

Are you a PlayOn user that also has a Chromecast? We need your help!
We just finished developing our Chromecast device support (phew!) and seriously upgraded the PlayOn Browser feature for it (and for Roku and Xbox 360/One). We'd love you to give it a spin and let us know if you encounter any problems!
You can update your PlayOn/PlayLater to the Beta version of our next release with Chromecast support here:
PlayOn: http://www.playon.tv/downloads/beta/PlayOnSetup.3.9.4.exe
PlayLater: http://www.playon.tv/downloads/beta/PlayLaterSetup.1.5.4.exe

(If you have both PlayOn and PlayLater, you need to update both to use the RecordTo feature in the PlayOn Browser. BE SURE TO INSTALL PLAYON FIRST AND THEN PLAYLATER SECOND)
With no user interface and no remote control, the Chromecast is a little different....instructions on how to watch PlayOn's 60+ channels on your Chromecast and to cast to the Chromecast from any PC browser using the PlayOn Browser feature are below.
PlayOn Chromecast Instructions:
You can use your PC or an Android, iOS, or BlackBerry device to send videos to your Chromecast with PlayOn. You will need to have the Beta verson of PlayOn (links above) installed on your PC and either the PlayOn browser extension installed for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer or the PlayOn Mobile app installed on your mobile device. The PlayOn Mobile app is available for free from the Android, iOS, and BlackBerry app stores (just search for PlayOn Mobile and you should find it).
Make sure your Chromecast is plugged-in when you update to the Beta version of PlayOn!
Sending a video from PlayOn Mobile
1. Open the PlayOn Mobile app on your phone or tablet and connect to your PlayOn server.
2. Find a video you want to stream to your Chromecast and tap it.
3. Tap the Play button.
4. Select your Chromecast from the list that appears.
Sending a video from a website
1. In your PC's web browser (you may need to enable the extension in your browser’s settings), browse to the video you want to send to your Chromecast.
2. Click the PlayOn extension icon and follow the steps to create your bookmark.
3. On the last step, select the Cast button and choose your Chromecast from the list.
That's all there is to it!
We LOVE feedback! PLEASE send any problems via submitting a support ticket in PlayOn Settings, and any comments can be sent to support@playon.tv.
Thanks for giving us a testing hand!


Mar. 12, 2014

Psyched and Honored!

Just wanted to post a note to share how excited I am about the campaign we are launching with the March of Dimes. I have been working with the March of Dimes for the past 5 years since my daughter Millie was born at just 26 weeks and 2 lbs. She spent 100 days in the NICU at Swedish Hospital in Seattle and in addition to the incredible care from the nurses and neonatologists, the March of Dimes was instrumental in helping us through a terrifying ordeal. The research funded by the March of Dimes has enabled survival rates of preemies to sky rocket and importantly, the quality of life of a preemie to increase as well. In years past, Millie, if she had survived her first few weeks of life, would have been blind, and likely suffered from cerebral palsy. Instead she is a thriving, healthy 5 year old.

Millie was born in mid-November and spent 3.5 months in the hospital after he birth, fighting for her life. That meant that we (my husband, son and extended family) spent a Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years in the NICU. The March of Dimes provided “family” support to help us through these rough times – including a mentorship program with parents on the flip side of what we were going through, a Thanksgiving feast for families of infants in the NICU, and even a visit from Santa for Millie’s first Christmas photo. These programs helped educate us and bring joy into our lives during our 100 day stay.

In addition to the support from our extended families and friends and the March of Dimes, I have to give a shout out to the PlayOn team and my amazing colleagues. They picked up the slack while I was out and supported me 100% in being with my daughter whenever possible and giving myself 100% to helping her through, at the expense of EVERYTHING else. I attribute my ability to laser focus on being with her and caring for her to the amazing outcome she achieved.

Now, I am honored to be in a position to give back, not only personally (we have a March for Babies Family Team, TeamMillie which raises funds each year and for 2013, I had the honor of being the “top walker” in Washington State – raising the most funds) but to be able to give back through the company I co-founded over 10 years ago. A company with heart and soul – PlayOn!

So – for the Month of March – we are promoting Cut the Cord and Care for Babies. For every purchase made through this campaign, we will donate $5 to the March of Dimes.

» Click here to visit the campaign page


Nov. 20, 2013

Get Chromecast-like capabilities on your Roku with PlayCast!

We’re excited to announce that PlayCast by PlayOn is now available in the Roku channel store!
PlayCast by PlayOn lets you send videos from the browser of your screen directly to your big screen TV through your Roku. Basically, you have the functionality of a Chromecast, without having to buy a dongle. You can use what you already have – a Roku – to cast videos from your PC to your TV.
What’s awesome about PlayCast by PlayOn is that you can cast videos using the browser of your choice, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera.
Want to see how it works? Check out our PlayCast by PlayOn page or take a look at the steps below:

  1. Download PlayCast by PlayOn for free from the Roku channel store.
  2. Open PlayOn and enable PlayCast by PlayOn for your browser in your PlayOn Settings. Click on the checkboxes to enable PlayOn for your favorite browsers, and then click the “Apply” button.
  3. Open a browser and find a cool video that you want to cast to your TV. Nearly any video on any site will work. When you find the one you want to cast, just click on the PlayOn icon, which will be at the top of your browser. Choose which device you want to cast to from the list of available devices, and watch the video on your TV!

A couple tips to remember:

  • Your Roku device must be on the same network as your PC.
  • To use PlayCast by PlayOn on your Roku, you must install the PlayCast Roku channel. You can get it free in the Roku channel store!
  • Having trouble? Or find a site that doesn’t play nice with PlayCast? Is there a feature that you really love? Tell us at support@playon.tv. We love hearing feedback from you.

Try PlayCast by PlayOn and let us know what you think! You can reach us on Facebook, Twitter or via email.


Aug. 29, 2013

Babble Wants to Know: Are You Ready To Cut The Cord?

How much do you pay for cable on a monthly basis? According to our most recent customer survey, 87 percent of you said that you spent at least $50 per month on your cable bill before cutting the cord. For those of you who haven’t cut cable yet, what are you waiting for?

Inspired by that survey, we created an infographic that helps you decide if you’re ready to cut cable and what your best options are for setting up a cable-free home. Depending on your preferences (are you a PC user? Mac user? Can’t live without sports?), this infographic guides you step-by-step through the intricacies of getting rid of cable.

Popular parenting website Babble shared our graphic – try it out for yourself and find out if you’re ready to get rid of cable:

Are You Ready to Cut the Cord?

So, which one are you? Let us know if you’re stuck with cable, might be ready to cut or are definitely ready to get rid of cable on our Facebook and Twitter, or by email.


Aug. 28, 2013

Top 5 Ways Parents Use PlayOn and PlayLater

In the spirit of PlayLater winning a Mom’s Choice Award, we dedicated the entirety of last week to all of you parents who use PlayOn and PlayLater. We asked you to share stories of how your family gets the most out of PlayOn and PlayLater. We loved hearing what you had to say, so we thought we’d pass along your parental wisdom and share the top five ways parents use our software:

  1. You love using PlayLater to record your kids’ favorite TV shows before they expire online.
    You can find a ton of awesome streaming content online, but there’s usually a catch: it expires. Instead of letting your favorite TV shows and movies disappear forever, PlayLater lets you record and you're your family’s favorite media on hand and ready to watch.
  2. You use PlayOn to watch home videos directly from your PC to your TV.
    There’s nothing better than curling up with your family to watch home videos. The best thing about using PlayOn to watch home media is that there are no messy – or confusing – cords preventing you from watching your favorite memories. PlayOn makes streaming home videos from your PC to your TV wireless, easy and instant.
  3. You use PlayLater to watch TV and movies while traveling – even with zero Internet connection.
    Traveling with kids can be stressful. Whether your family is taking a road trip or hopping on a plane for your annual vacation, PlayLater allows you to pre-record TV shows or movies to watch on the go. The best thing is: you don’t have to connect to the Internet when using PlayLater. If the show is recorded, you can watch it anywhere. Plus, PlayLater is much cheaper than buying a new movie or swiping your credit card to watch a featured film on a plane trip. Not bad!
  4. You access free Hulu content on TV, without Hulu Plus.
    Hulu is one of the most popular streaming media channels on the planet as it has the latest and greatest TV shows – and a ton of great ones for kids and families. Typically you need Hulu Plus to watch Hulu’s content on your TV, but PlayOn makes it possible to stream directly from your PC to your TV – no Hulu Plus account needed! That saves you an extra $8.99 per month.
  5. You like to schedule little “me” time.
    Whether you use PlayLater to record your favorite show to watch after the kids go to sleep, or you put your kid’s favorite movie on PlayOn to get a little peace and quiet, PlayOn and PlayLater give you a little “me” time!

How does your family use PlayOn and PlayLater? You can share your story with us on Facebook and Twitter, or by email.


Aug. 20, 2013

Mom’s Choice Award Win

We’re thrilled to announce that PlayLater has received a Mom’s Choice Silver Award. The Mom’s Choice Awards recognize the best family-friendly products, media and services— and this year they recognized PlayLater for its ability to bring households fantastic, family-oriented TV at an affordable price.

PlayOn and PlayLater have become staple names in our own households. Many of us PlayOn staffers have kids of our own, and instead of hearing our kids ask “Can I watch TV? ” we love hearing them say, “Mom, can I watch PlayLater?”

In honor of the award win, and because we want to thank and recognize all of the awesome families using PlayOn and PlayLater in their homes, we want to dedicate this week to parents! Moms and dads, you are the ones who are committed to keeping cable costs low for your family while still providing great TV options for everyone to enjoy. And you are the reason why your children have their favorite TV shows and movies recorded with PlayLater. Basically, you rock. We want to recognize that this week. Look for fun posts on Facebook and Twitter this week earmarked for the moms and dads of PlayOn.

Oh, and one more thing: since we consider you guys part of the PlayOn family, we want to get to know your family a little better. How has PlayOn and PlayLater impacted your lives as parents? How does your family use PlayOn and PlayLater? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter and we'll share your stories on our blog next week.

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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 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.
What is PlayLater?
PlayLater is software that you install on your Windows PC that lets you record movies and shows from over 60+ of your favorite streaming sites like Hulu, Netflix, Comedy Central and more. You can watch your recordings whenever you want on your PC or on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or other mobile device, even when you are offline.
» Learn more about recording with PlayLater
How does PlayOn 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