Get Netflix, Hulu, YouTube Video Content on Your PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or HP MediaSmart TV with PlayOn by MediaMall

mediamall playon beta on ps3

Over the weekend I got tipped off by reader, Nate, that MediaMall has a fairly new software app called PlayOn (powered by ActiveTV) that provides PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and HP MediaSmart TV owners (Nintendo Wii support coming soon) the ability to stream content from some of their favorite Internet video sites like Hulu, CBS, YouTube, and ESPN. It appears that the way PlayOn accomplishes this is through aggregation of website RSS feeds and on-the-fly video transcoding from the PC to supported UPnP consoles/devices when a selection is made. Now the thing that I’m still a bit unclear on is: How is PlayOn supporting Netflix? What kind of Netflix feeds are available? Since I don’t have a Netflix account, I can’t test this out. Luckily, anyone with a supported device can sign up for the PlayOn Beta and put the software through its paces.

Quick reaction: Neat, but without deep content navigation of a website’s offering, feed updates are more of a perk than anything substantive. Now, if the PlayOn PC software were able to tap into some of these websites’ APIs and provide true navigation with full library access… that would be a winning ticket. Oh, one other thing… the PlayOn product page says it’s a DLNA/UPnP server, but I didn’t see any details that it can stream your PC’s stored media content. If it can’t, that’s definitely another feature I’d recommend the developers add in.

Minimum Requirements
The following are the minimum requirements for the PlayOn PC software:

  • Microsoft Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or later), Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2003/Windows Home Server (Service Pack 1 or later). 64-bit versions of Windows are also supported
  • Windows Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
  • Windows Media Player 11.0 or later (click here for assistance on Windows Server 2003)
  • Installation includes the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 if needed
  • Minimum 1.5 GHz x86 processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 100 MB of available disk space for installation, plus recommended 4-5 GB extra space on the same drive where Windows is installed
  • Internet broadband connection, and home network LAN with wired or powerline connections (for wireless home networking with 802.11g, either the PC or device should be on a wired connection, and PC should not be connected to both wired and wireless

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Filed in: Content Providers, Software

  • Nate

    You must keep in mind that this has just been released to the public and is a BETA. Send them feedback as it will help them iron out any bugs that you see or items that you would like to see. I cannot stress this enough. It has been expressed to me by the CTO on how important feedback is on this version.

  • Scott Weaver

    Mrmm, sounds like a nice idea short of the Netflix support. The Xbox 360 will natively stream it come November update, so why would I want to tie up a PC to do the same thing?

  • David Karlton

    There is definitely a market for the native Xbox 360/Netflix option, and we don’t expect that users of their soon-to-launch service will be terribly excited about PlayOn.

    However, keep in mind that the Xbox 360/Netflix pairing will require an Xbox Live! Gold membership. We are of course hoping that a number of users will opt for PlayOn instead, since we offer our service as a one-time fee instead of a subscription.

    We also plan on adding support for directly browsing the entire Netflix online library, without requiring the user to first add titles to their Instant Queue through a PC browser.

  • T-Top

    Great concept. I’m encouraged to see you’re allowing for a solution that doesn’t require a desktop computer to be running all of the time by supporting Windows Home Server. Adding a Linux version as well would be ideal for installation on my NAS (Synology) similar to what Twonky’s done in the UPnP media server space and SqueezeCenter for Squeezebox music players.

  • Nirav

    I like this solution. Especially for netflix streaming and Hulu. I just got rid of my xbox360 and bought a new Sony PS3. (I wanted blueray).

    So the only other option for me was to buy a dedicated Netflix Roku box. ($99). For me this works better. Its cheaper! My dedicated Media PC/Nas is always on and therefore not worried about tying up a PC.

    Good job. Can’t wait for the final product.

  • Mykal

    This is retarded.

    With the latest update to the PS3 web browser, I can view youtube videos.
    If Sony would just update their flash plug-in you could browse to and view videos on Hulu, ABC, Fancast, veoh, Netflix, etc.

    The option that is available is to install a secondary OS on your PS3, like Ubuntu, and view all of these sites through Firefox.
    No addtional cost, no monthly fee, no external computer needed.

    What a crock. It’s an unneeded stepping-stone technology for stupid people. Much like Blackberry.

  • Geoffrey Perez

    Mykal, guess again. The latest update, as of now, included Flash 9 support (the day Flash 10 came out for every other platform) so you can watch Hulu on the PS3. I know; my brother and I just watched Heroes Season 3 on Hulu on the PS3 the other night. In fact, PS3 2.50 released almost 15 hours before you posted that.

    When watching Hulu on the PS3, the resolution was ok (for some reason, even with Flash 9, you can’t fullscreen, but can zoom in with the PS3 to simulate that), but the frame rate was a little choppy in places. Sometimes, the video won’t load at all, but I suppose that it’s the PS3′s fault in memory management, since rebooting the PS3 helps. (PS3 is crippled that way, with only 256MB of main RAM total)

  • dan helmick

    when is playon going to support silverlight on netflix? netflix is transitioning all of the accounts to silverlight, so no one will be able to use netflix with playon until it is supported.