PlayOn Gives New Life to the Xbox 360 and Helps Fuel the Trend Toward TV Access to Online Video

October 9, 2008 | Tracy's Blog

A recent blog post made us re-think the value of PlayOn – extending the life of the Xbox 360? That’s what Joe implies <a href=" Yes, the Xbox is supposed to get Netflix later this year through a Microsoft-Netflix partnership, and that is very exciting to Netflix and Xbox 360 users. But the fact that today, through PlayOn, Xbox 360 users can access videos from Hulu, CBS and Netflix could get some frustrated Xbox 360 users from here to there – and who knows? …perhaps they will stick with the PlayOn service even after the upgrade since you don’t need Xbox Live Gold Membership to access Netflix with PlayOn, but you will with the native Xbox support. And – we plan to make it even more compelling in an upcoming release by enabling you to browse the entire Netflix Watch Now library, not just the titles you have added to your Instant Queue – the native Xbox solution will not offer this, nor does the Roku box. All the more reason to keep your Xbox and use PlayOn!

Brian Dipert of EDN also commended PlayOn as a way to get Netflix before the Fall Release for the Xbox 360 in his recent post <a href=";blog_id=400000040&amp;blog_.... He evaluates a number of alternatives and has lots of great things to say about PlayOn – thanks Brian. We are excited about the power of our browser/media player and hope we can help in the multi-company/multi-solution effort to get folks out of their office chairs and back on their couches in front of their TV’s!

Finally – I have to mention Nick Wingfield’s Oct. 3rd article in the Wall Street Journal entitled Turn On, Tune Out, Click Here about folks who are watching TV shows on their Computers.  PlayOn was left out of the article (unfortunately for us), and Nick mentions that “Viewers [of Online Video] must either watch shows on their personal computers, or use a device like Apple TV, which allows them to download shows from the Internet onto their television sets.” Nick goes on to say “Within the next several years, however, media and technology executives say that a host of new technologies will make television access to online video a mainstream phenomenon. Vudu Inc. already sells a $299 set-top box with a remote control that allows users to download television shows for $1.99 per episode. Microsoft and Sony both sell television shows that users of their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 videogame consoles can download over the Internet for viewing on television sets. Netflix subscribers can buy a $99 set-top box from Roku Inc. that streams videos on their television sets. The service is included at no extra charge in the monthly Netflix fee for renting DVDs.” Well, Nick, there is no need to wait! As we know, the 15+ million Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 owners do not need to wait several years, buy a $299 or $99 set-top box and pay $1.99 (or anything) per episode to watch NBC, Fox, CBS, ESPN shows or Netflix movies on their TV. A mere $30 of PlayOn software and NO NEW BOX can accomplish all that (and more)! While we’re bummed to have been left out, we think Nick points out an important trend and highlights some of the great companies helping to make it all possible.

We are excited to hear such excitement around PlayOn – and encourage folks to keep the comments and suggestions coming – and we’ll keep the upgrades coming!