Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cut the cord with PlayOn!

I've felt pretty frustrated with the seeming monopoly that Comcast has on our city. Sure, we can switch to satellite, but then we have to deal with nasty weather (a Michigan staple) interrupting our Modern Family Wednesday nights. PlayOn and Netflix have given us access to all the content we could ever want (well...almost).

We've all but cut the cord at my house. We essentially have a cable TV subscription because it slightly lowers the overall cost of having cable internet. It is the most basic (and cheapest) cable option offered by Comcast. It's not even digital, which means, we don't have to rent a cable box, thus lowering the monthly cost even further.

I have a large collection of home videos and ripped DVDs (don't worry, I own all of them and don't condone piracy). I also love watching MSU (and other Big Ten teams) sports. If I don't upgrade my cable to the next tier (~90% increase), I can not access ESPN which airs most of the big games. What to do .... what to do? I could watch ESPN3 on the internet, but then I'm stuck in my home office or watching the game on a small laptop (note, this also doesn't address the content on my desktop).

Along comes PlayOn... This is a really great tool. It allows me to stream ESPN3 in addition to Comedy Central, Spike, PBS, and many many other channels to several devices. I just equipped my wife's iPad and my DroidX with PlayOn. Not only is all of this content readily available when we're on our home wireless network, but it is also available from outside our network. Any place that we have an internet connection. If I'm flying on a wifi enabled plane, I can connect with my DroidX or my wife's iPad and access my home videos.

Another cool feature of PlayOn, is the ability to stream Netflix. Most devices have their own Netflix app, so this isn't much of an advantage...however, most Android OS users know that a Netflix for Android app does not currently exist. Using PlayOn, I can stream Netflix to my DroidX!

I'm sure there are other applications provide similar functionality, but I love how simple and intuitive PlayOn is. I can watch Netflix, see my home videos, access my DVDs, as well as keep up on ESPN content with PlayOn.

Check it out:

If anyone knows how to stream the Big Ten Network, please comment below (I used to subscribe to their streaming service, but it does not include games that anyone would care to watch - Exhibition games are about the only basketball games available).