PlayOn Support Center.
Check out the PlayOn FAQ’s, System Requirements and User Guide to get all of your questions answered. If you still need help using PlayOn, feel free to email our support team at email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is PlayOn Desktop?
PlayOn Desktop is a Windows PC app that lets you record, cast, and stream your favorite online shows and movies to watch any time, on any device, even offline. PlayOn replaces the need to purchase and download movies you already have access to through your online subscriptions. The free version of PlayOn lets you stream your personal videos from your PC to your TV, simply download PlayOn and install on your PC to get started. Upgrade to PlayOn Desktop to watch Netflix offline, watch Hulu shows and movies on your TV without subscribing to Hulu – and even skip the ads with AdSkip for no additional fee.
What do I need to get started?
Just a Windows PC which meets the minimum requirements. PlayOn Desktop is installed on and runs on a PC and provides a ton of value without the use of any other equipment. Of course, PlayOn also allows you to stream to most any network connected device, so if you'd like to watch at your TV or on a phone or tablet on the go then you would need such a device.
Do I need a Netflix account to download Netflix? What about Hulu or Amazon?
Yes, you need to have a subscription with Netflix or Hulu or Amazon to record and download from those services. PlayOn simply enables you to record and download the content you already have access to watch. PlayOn is a time- and place-shifting app.
If I already have Netflix and I pay for Hulu (or Amazon, or HBO NOW, or...), what would PlayOn add?
PlayOn makes streaming services even better. For example, if you have the limited ads plan with Hulu, you'll still be able to experience all your shows ad-free when you record ad-supported shows with PlayOn's built-in AdSkip technology. That means you can watch more episodes in less time!
And, you'll be able to download ANY Netflix title to watch anywhere, anytime, completely offline. That goes for any channel available in PlayOn -- if you can already access it, we can record and download it. Here at PlayOn, we love loading up our tablets with pre-recorded movies to watch on a plane, train, automobile, and anywhere we go where the internet might not be reliable or requires extra fees.
PlayOn also adds a ton of additional content — channels like CBS, HBO Now, Showtime...on any device, whether there's native support or not.
I already have a Roku, what will PlayOn Desktop do for me?
PlayOn offers many advantages. For instance, while Hulu requires a paid subscription to watch any videos, PlayOn allows you to watch Hulu videos free on your Roku via the Yahoo View channel. Also, some Hulu shows are web-only and not available at all using the official Roku Hulu channel. These web-only shows are accessible with PlayOn. If you do have a paid Hulu subscription, PlayOn supports that, too...and you can stream recordings to your Roku ad-free using the AdSkip feature (even if you are not paying for Hulu's ad-free tier).
PBS and CBS are other excellent examples. While the Roku's native PBS channel only offers a small rotating selection of PBS videos, PlayOn provides access to the entire PBS video archive available at PBS.org - literally hundreds more full episodes. PlayOn's CBS channel provides free access to full episodes of CBS shows – no CBS All Access needed! There are many other such examples. PlayOn provides free access to NBC, ABC, Fox, SpikeTV, Comedy Central, VH1, MTV just to name a few.
PlayOn also allows you to record videos. You can transfer recordings to most any device to watch while completely offline...or you can stream your recordings to your TV or mobile device using PlayOn, ad-free with PlayOn's AdSkip feature!
I already have a Chromecast, why do I need PlayOn Desktop?
In a word – flexibility. PlayOn organizes online content into one convenience place. Browse all your favorites from the PlayOn Mobile app or from within PlayOn at your PC, choose a video, and cast to your Chromecast. Record videos with your PlayOn DVR and stream ad-free using the AdSkip feature.
I have cable and don't plan on cancelling. What can PlayOn do for me?
Whether you are a cord-cutter or a cable subscriber our goal is to always make it better. We offer a variety of channels which offer support for cable provider authentication. What does this mean to you? It means you can use PlayOn to stream your favorite shows to any device...replace additional cable boxes with Roku players or cancel your DVR service (often $10 or more a month) and use PlayOn to automatically record your favorite shows. The best part, you can watch recordings offline, on any device and ad-free!
What can I watch or record with PlayOn Desktop?
You can watch or record virtually any online video with PlayOn Desktop. If it's available online, then chances are you can use PlayOn to stream it to any device or to record it to watch offline.
How many recordings can I make? Do recordings expire?
Unlike a traditional DVR, recording capacity isn't capped. Since recordings are made to your PC's hard drive (internal, external or network) the amount of recordings you can make is only limited by the amount of storage space you have available. Recordings are only removed if you make the decision to delete.
Can I set up PlayOn to automatically record my favorite shows?
Yes! – PlayOn offers a cool subscription feature. Just find a show in PlayOn you'd like to automatically record new episodes of and click on the subscribe button. PlayOn will then automatically record new episodes as they come online.
I see some of the channels require a cable provider. I cut cable and don't have cable provider credentials – what can PlayOn do for me?
While some of the channels included with PlayOn do require a cable provider to get access to the most recent full episodes, most do not require any kind of subscription at all.
If there are specific shows that are not available free online (or that you don't want to wait for), consider purchasing individual TV passes from services like Amazon VOD. You can purchase full seasons of 3-4 shows for about the same as just one month of cable...and use PlayOn to stream to any device or record and watch offline.
And, speaking of recording, PlayOn brings some of the conveniences of cable to cord-cutters & streamers. Miss your DVR? PlayOn's got you covered. Use PlayOn to record your favorites shows automatically as they become available online...to watch anywhere, anytime. And, with our AdSkip feature, you can watch your recordings completely ad-free!
Does PlayOn work with Netflix accounts from other regions?
Yes, we currently support Netflix accounts in 18 regions and will add support for others as Netflix continues to broaden their reach.
What about live sports?
Live sports are still a challenge in the online streaming world. There are several channels that do offer live sports. These include MLB, NBA, NHL, Fox Soccer, ESPN and ESPN3.
ESPN requires cable provider authentication and ESPN 3 requires either a cable provider or supported ISP (Internet Service Provider).
MLB, NBA, NHL and Fox Soccer require a subscription to those services. Money saved from cancelling cable can be used to pay for these subscriptions. Local blackouts do apply in most cases, but most folks pair PlayOn with an OTA antenna to pull in live local broadcasts in HD.
NFL Game Rewind provides access to full length NFL games and recaps shortly after they air.
What devices can I stream to?
PlayOn is designed to work with most steaming devices. While the most popular players are the Roku and Chromecast, lots of folks use PlayOn with their Xbox, PlayStation or Wii. If your device is connected to your network, chances are it'll work with PlayOn. If you're unsure whether your specific device is compatible, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm.
Do I need to have a playback device watch videos with PlayOn?
Absolutely not. While you can use PlayOn to stream to most any device, you can also watch online videos and recordings right on your PC, or upgrade to use your mobile phone or tablet.
Do I need to plug my computer in to my TV to use PlayOn?
While you certainly can connect your PC to your TV, using PlayOn means you don't have to. PlayOn uses your existing home network to send videos to any network connected device in your home (such as a Roku player, Chromecast, game console or network connected TV or Blu-ray player). A single installation of PlayOn can be used to stream to as many different devices/TVs as you wish.
Can I stream PlayOn videos to my phone or tablet while away from home? Does the PlayOn Mobile app cost extra?
With a bit of configuration, you can stream videos to your phone or tablet using the PlayOn Mobile app...and the app is available at no additional cost!
In addition to streaming PlayOn videos on the go, you can also use the PlayOn Mobile app as a PlayOn 'remote'. The PlayOn Mobile app is often easier to navigate than the native interface available on many devices. Choose a video on your phone or tablet and cast directly to your TV.
The native CBS app at my TV requires me to pay for CBS All Access to watch any full episodes. Can PlayOn help?
Yes, absolutely! PlayOn runs on your PC which means it provides access to any videos you have access to in a browser. New full episodes are available the day after they air at CBS.com. You can use PlayOn to stream those full episodes to any device without paying for CBS All Access. Set up subscriptions for your favorite CBS shows and PlayOn will record them automatically so you don't need to worry about when they expire.
Where are my recordings stored and what format are they in? Can I only watch recordings on my PC?
PlayOn records videos to your PC's hard drive and the recordings are in mp4 format. That means you can watch those recordings anytime anywhere. Want to transfer a recording to a mobile device to take with you? Check. Want to stream a recording to your TV? No problem! The PlayOn DVR is all about flexibility. Recordings stay on your hard drive until you delete them. You can transfer recordings to a device for offline playback or stream over your home network. It's DVR untethered.
Can PlayOn recordings support Closed Captioning?
PlayOn supports closed captioning for Netflix and Hulu in Desktop and Cloud recordings. See the Recordings section in the Destkop User Guide for detailed instructions.
How does AdSkip work? Are the ads stripped away?
Our AdSkip feature allows you to watch your favorite shows ad-free. The AdSkip option will present itself when you stream a recording to an AdSkip-compatible device – currently Roku, Chromecast, iOS, Android, Xbox and GoogleTV. The ads are not stripped away. When you enable AdSkip when streaming a recording, PlayOn will automatically skip over all of the ads as the video plays. The ads are not stripped out, just skipped over.
Does PlayOn work outside the U.S.?
Content availability depends on the content provider and your region. If you can play videos by visiting the provider's website then you should be able to stream or record those videos with PlayOn. If you are unable to watch videos from a specific content provider from your location, you might consider a DNS service like AnyPort.tv. It is inexpensive and is reported to work well with PlayOn Desktop.
PlayOn also supports adding new video services to PlayOn with plugins and scripts. Many of these services offer videos that are internationally available. You can browse plugins and scripts in our channel store inside the PlayOn Desktop app.
There are also third-party websites run by some of our customers that offer plugins and scripts, like www.playonscripts.com.
Can I add recordings to my recording queue without sitting at my PC?
Yes. You can add videos to the recording queue from certain devices at your TV or from your phone or tablet (using the PlayOn Mobile app). Away from home and think of a video you'd like to record and have waiting for you when you get home? No sweat...just connect to your server remotely from your phone or tablet, find the video and tap the record button. When you get home, the recording will be there waiting for you.
What sort of quality can I expect?
PlayOn streams and records in a maximum HD resolution of 720p depending on the quality of the source video and the speed of your CPU.
What if I have trouble? Do you offer tech support?
Yes, in the unlikely event you have trouble using PlayOn, we have a dedicated team of tech support professionals ready to help. We provide free tech support 7 days a week, including most holidays.
How do I request help?
Submitting a support ticket is super easy. Just click on the in the bottom left of the PlayOn Desktop dashboard and then click on the Contact Support button. In the form that opens, fill out the required information, provide a brief description and then click on Submit. That's all there is to it.
Our support team will be in touch quickly to provide assistance.
Our support team isn't just there to solve problems...they are also happy to answer questions. You can always send an email with questions to email@example.com
What is the difference between PlayOn Desktop, PlayOn Plus, and PlayOn Cloud?
The PlayOn Desktop app is free to download. As soon as you install it, you'll be able to watch videos from a variety of popular streaming sites in one place on your PC and stream your personal media library to almost any network connected device. There are some features in PlayOn Desktop (like recording, casting or streaming online content to your TV, mobile support, and AdSkip) that require an upgrade to a PlayOn Desktop subscription. Once you upgrade, you have access to every feature PlayOn Desktop offers. PlayOn Plus is what we used to call the upgraded version of PlayOn Desktop — PlayOn Plus and the paid version of PlayOn Desktop are the same thing. PlayOn Cloud is a new cloud-based streaming video recorder iOS app. It does not require a PC. Take a look at our user guide for more information on the difference between the free version of PlayOn Desktop versus the upgraded version of PlayOn Desktop.
What if I don't like PlayOn Desktop? Is there a money back guarantee?
Yes, we provide an unconditional 30 day money back guarantee with every PlayOn Desktop purchase. If you find yourself dissatisfied with our software, you can simply email our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.
Can I get upgrade for free?
You can if you take advantage of our Refer-A-Friend program! You'll receive $5 for everyone you refer who upgrades PlayOn Desktop. If you're an annual subscriber, sign up 6 friends and your entire subscription for the year is paid for. Or sign up 12 friends and you'll earn enough to pay for a lifetime subscription and then earn money from there! Use that dough to pay for your Netflix subscription, Amazon rentals, or a dinner out.
What is PlayOn Cloud and how is it different from PlayOn Desktop?
PlayOn Cloud is a mobile app for iOS and Android that lets you record streaming videos in the cloud (without requiring a PC or PlayOn Desktop). You can then download your recordings to any device for offline viewing and keep them for as long as you'd like without an expiration date. PlayOn Cloud and PlayOn Desktop are complementary but distinct products.
PlayOn Desktop is a Windows PC app that allows you to organize and stream your personal media to many device as well as organize 100s of streaming channels so you can watch them on your PC from a single app. When you upgrade PlayOn Desktop, in addition to being able to record streaming shows and movies for offline viewing, you'll be able to stream or cast virtually any streaming video to your TV (including any PlayOn Cloud recordings or other personal media). You'll even be able to skip any ads on your PlayOn recordings on playback. Need a simple breakdown? See this comparison chart.
How much does PlayOn Cloud cost and how do I buy recording credits?
The PlayOn Cloud iOS app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play. You pay a low per-recording charge (or recording credit) which includes 7 days of storage in your cloud locker and unlimited downloads of that recording to any PC or storage device during the complimentary storage period. You can purchase recording credits in-app or buy recording credits from our website.
Can I store my recordings for longer than the complimentary storage period?
Once downloaded, you can store your recordings locally for as long as you'd like. We will only store them for you for 7 days in your cloud locker. If you'd like to keep them in the cloud for longer, take a look at our Cloud Recording and Storage plans.
How do I download recordings to my PC or Mac?
You'll receive a notification email when your PlayOn Cloud recording is complete. The notification email will contain a direct link to download the recording to your PC or Mac or any device you'd like. You can also request the email link be sent to you by viewing the recording in your iOS or Android app and clicking on the mail button.
Does the PlayOn Cloud app support Netflix profiles?
Yes, absolutely! Any profiles you've created in your Netflix account will be accessible in the PlayOn Cloud app.
How do you decide which recordings go into my PlayOn Cloud permanent storage vs. temporary storage?
When you purchase a PlayOn Cloud Recording and Storage plan, all of your existing recordings will be moved to permanent storage starting with your oldest recordings 1st. The next oldest will be put in until your cloud storage area is full. Recordings will continue to be placed into your permanent cloud storage place until you max out the space allocated. Once your storage is full, you can upgrade your plan to store more recordings, or you may delete recordings to make space. You will always have 7 days to access and download new recordings once your storage space is maxed out.
How do I delete a recording from PlayOn Cloud Storage?
There are two ways to delete a Cloud Recording. In your PlayOn Cloud App, on the Recordings Screen, Cloud view, you can swipe left on the recording and hit delete or you can select the [check]Manage button on the top right of the screen, select the items you want to Delete by clicking the check boxes that appear and then press the X Delete button.
Can I select which recordings go into my Cloud storage and which do not?
At this point, you cannot select which ones go into permanent storage and which do not. Your oldest recordings will always be stored in permanent storage first and you can delete them at any time.
What happens to my recordings if I cancel my Cloud Recording and Storage Plan?
If you cancel your PlayOn Cloud plan, any recordings made more than 7 days ago will be deleted and any recordings made less than 7 days will be kept in the cloud for you to access up until they are 7 days old. Without an active PlayOn Cloud plan, all recordings will be deleted once they are 7 days old.
Will there be more channels added?
Yes, we're working on new channels and will be adding them to the app when they are ready. If you have suggestions, please contact our support team at email@example.com.
What file format are the recordings in?
The recordings are .MP4 files.
Can PlayOn recordings support Closed Captioning?
PlayOn supports closed captioning for Netflix and Hulu recordings. To enable closed captioning on your recordings, follow these instructions:
1. Log into your Netflix or Hulu account in a computer browser (or the Netflix app if you are setting this up for Netflix)
2. Select any video, start watching it with the captions enabled
3. Let the video play for at least 6 minutes
This will become the new playback preference for your account and will carry over to your PlayOn recordings. To disable closed captioning in PlayOn recordings, follow the same steps as above with the captions off.
Can I add PlayOn Cloud recordings to PlayOn Desktop?
Yes, absolutely! Just download the recording to your PC and then add to your PlayOn Recordings storage folder to your media library. You can then stream or cast to any device just as you would your PlayOn Desktop recordings.
What if I have trouble using the app?
We offer free email tech support 7 days week. If you have questions or run into any trouble, you can submit a support request from the account screen in the PlayOn Cloud app.
I have more than one iOS or Android device. If I record a video on my phone, will it be available to download on my tablet or do I have to record on each device?
Yes, as long as you log in with your same PlayOn Cloud account, your recordings will sync across all of your devices with PlayOn Cloud installed. Record a video from your iPhone, and it will be available to download on your iPad, iPod Touch, Android phone or tablet.
Is there a PlayOn Cloud Roku app?
It is now available in the Roku Channel Store. Check it out!
How do I schedule downloads?
Not only can you tell PlayOn Cloud to automatically download your recordings, you can also schedule downloads to occur during specific timeframes. It's ideal for those with limited internet during peak times.
1. In the PlayOn Cloud App, click on the Settings tab then Download Options.
2. Turn on Auto-download on Wi-Fi by clicking on the toggle button so it turns green.
On iOS devices: Toggle Auto-download on WiFi to green enable it.
On Android devices: Enable Auto-download on unmetered networks.
3. Turn on Restrict downloads to off-peak and scroll down and enter your off-peak window (e.g. 12:00AM - 6:00AM).
Tip: Make sure your phone is on your Wi-Fi network and that the PlayOn Cloud app is kept open during your off-peak window. Also be sure that you have enough storage space on your device to store your recordings — a 30-minute show may take up 250-400MB.
What is a PlayOn Cloud Recording and Storage plan?
PlayOn Cloud Recording and Storage plans let you keep your recordings in the cloud until you need them, for longer than the 7-day complimentary period. Whether you just need more time, or you simply would prefer to store all your recordings in the cloud, we have a plan that's right for you. We offer differently-sized plans depending on your storage needs, and each plan comes with monthly recording credits that are allocated each subscription month.
» Learn more about Cloud Recording and Storage plans
Do I have to purchase a PlayOn Cloud Recording and Storage plan to use the PlayOn Cloud streaming DVR?
PlayOn Cloud plans are completely optional. All PlayOn Cloud recordings are automatically kept in the cloud for 7 days. You can download your recordings to your computer or device at anytime during the complimentary storage period. If you'd like to keep your recordings in the cloud for longer than the complimentary storage period, then we recommend purchasing a Cloud Recording and Storage plan which includes monthly recording credits along with cloud storage.
What if a recording fails? How do I get my credit back?
In the unlikely event of a recording failure, you'll automatically be issued a replacement credit. If you encounter any further issues, contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is this legal?
Everything we do at PlayOn is legal and protected by the same laws that allow consumers to use a DVR or VCR to record broadcast content. Read our blog post on the legality for recording streaming videos.