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PlayOn: Watch Hulu, YouTube, CBS, CNN, ESPN, and Netflix on your TV using your HR20?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Tips and Resources' started by cnmsales, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. Robert Simandl

    Robert Simandl AllStar

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    Jan 31, 2004
    Since the Battlestar Galactica webisodes that led up to last week's mid-season premiere are available on both DirecTV on Demand (DoD) and on Hulu, that gave me a good opportunity to compare the same programs from both sources....

    Pretty cool storyline, the webisodes via DoD were letterboxed 4x3. When I was done with webisode 7 and the story hadn't ended yet, I hit the DoD menu and found DoD didn't have webisodes 8 and up available at the time.

    So what to do?

    Well, since Galactica is a SciFi Channel show, and SciFi is owned by NBC, and NBC also owns half of hulu.com, I fired up the Music Movies and More option on the HR20 menu and hit my PlayOn server. Sure enough, Hulu had webisodes 8-10 available for streaming. This not only let me finish the story, it let me compare DoD to Hulu with the same programming material.

    On audio, not a significant difference. 2-channel, decoding to Pro Logic.

    On video, though, the Hulu feeds blew away the DoD feeds. Unlike the letterboxed 4x3 webisodes on DoD, the Hulu webisodes were genuine 16x9 (though I had to manually trigger the 16x9 squeeze on my 4x3 CRT HDTV to watch them). The Hulu webisodes appeared to have quite a bit higher bitrate, too. Less artifacting. more detail... though nobody's gonna confuse either feed with a BluRay disc.

    My $30 investment in the PlayOn software just made itself well worth it (again).
     
  2. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    9,809
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    Jan 21, 2003
    Same here. We like the syndicated show Legend of the Seeker. It's shown on my local Fox station at who knows when on who knows what day and is in 4x3. On Hulu it's in widescreen and virtually no commercials. We've watched the entire series via Hulu so far. We also used Hulu to watch the last episode of Burn Notice to refresh ourselves before the premier this week. Obviously on USA it's in HD and not HD via Hulu but still was widescreen and the quality wasn't that bad. More importantly we got to watch it. Love Hulu and love PlayOn for making it soooooo easy to get Hulu to our TVs.
     
  3. rajeshh

    rajeshh Godfather

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    Sep 11, 2007
    yes, I have it running on a PS3 as well. I can't even get the Mediashare menu to show up my HR's..I used to see it intermittently 5-6 months back...but not for a long time now.
     
  4. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    9,809
    2
    Jan 21, 2003
    PlayOn saves the day again!

    Watching a recording of Numbers from Friday night. Stupid local had their audio go out about 5 minutes in. Wife says "can't we watch it from cbs.com?" Why yes we can I exclaim!

    So's I connect up and sure enough they have the full episode up already and we watched it thru PlayOn with no commercials no less.

    Best 30 bucks I've ever spent.
     
  5. MercurialIN

    MercurialIN Hall Of Fame

    1,448
    1
    Jul 17, 2006
    I spent yesterday evening watching movies from YouTube, via PlayOn! I must say, I am so happy I went ahead and purchased PlayOn. It is well worth the money just for the enjoyment I have gotten from it thus far.

    I would highly recommend the program. It works wonderfully with my HR20-700. I haven't tried it with the HR23-700 yet.

    Only things I would like to see with PlayOn would be to be able to play my music library and view photos and listen to internet radio with it. And for trickplay to work. Don't know though if that's a PlayOn issue or the HR2X or even with YouTube, Hulu etc.

    Perhaps someone can let me know about the trickplay issue.
     
  6. rpjones68

    rpjones68 Legend

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    Feb 5, 2007
    Trickplay would be great on it, especially when it times out and kicks you out of movie and you cannot forward to where you left off.
    According to Playon, it is hard for them to enable this due to the complexity of the stream, etc. per their mod over at their forum.
     
  7. MountainMan10

    MountainMan10 Icon

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    Jan 30, 2008
    Does anyone know how to tell the aspect ratio of the PlayOn video? My DVR is always playing it 16:9 but I don't know if that is correct or if it is being stretched.
    I am watching an old Dr Who from Netflix and it looks OK at 16:9, but I am a little skeptical that something from 1973 is truly widescreen.
     
  8. obxterra

    obxterra AllStar

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    Jun 22, 2007
    Is there any other possibilities? I ran the trial and was willing to buy, but it only worked about three times for me. After that nothing I tried would help. Shame, I actually sub'ed to Netflix because of PlayOn, I'll enjoy the BD's anyway. I was fascinated with all those on demand selections.
     
  9. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    7,316
    38
    Jun 19, 2004
    Peachtree...
    Did you try shutting down the Play On Server and restarting it? I have jad a couple of occasions where I will get some kind of error message stating there is no files int he folder but a quick reboot of the server and I am back in business.
     
  10. obxterra

    obxterra AllStar

    54
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    Jun 22, 2007
    Actually, that is one of the errors I would get. But it got a little worse, if tried to exit back to Sat feed, my DVR would lock up and required an RBR or power cylce.

    I've now downloaded Release 6 and will try that, should give me another 14 day trial.
     
  11. obxterra

    obxterra AllStar

    54
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    Jun 22, 2007
    Took about four tries, I have Dragon Wars from netflix running. Although it failed all those times, my HR20-600 didn't lock up. But, I'll reserve judgment until I'm able to leave the movie and not have to RBR
     
  12. ozonedan

    ozonedan Legend

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    Dec 27, 2005
    Ah yes, I have had the exact same problem with Hulu.
     
  13. Feb 2, 2009 #293 of 569
    dhhaines

    dhhaines Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 18, 2005
  14. Feb 2, 2009 #294 of 569
    MercurialIN

    MercurialIN Hall Of Fame

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    Jul 17, 2006
    Thanks for the information! :)
     
  15. Feb 2, 2009 #295 of 569
    marc1023

    marc1023 New Member

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    Jan 12, 2009
    I have a similar problem. I can watch one Netflix movie but after that if I choose something else the DVR locks up and I have to unplug and reboot. Sometimes it also says unable to locate my PC check network. I can run TVersity consistently with no problems. I wish Playon worked as I love Netflix on line. Anyone with ROKU experience???
     
  16. Feb 2, 2009 #296 of 569
    MikeW

    MikeW Hall Of Fame

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    May 16, 2002
    I have found that you need to tune to an SD channel prior to starting up any streaming video. Go to channel 300 (NIK W), and launch Music/Photo and More from there. You will then be able to toggle through the different formats of crop/letterbox/stretch etc...
     
  17. Feb 3, 2009 #297 of 569
    MountainMan10

    MountainMan10 Icon

    607
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    Jan 30, 2008
    This isn't quite what I was looking for. I gave it a try. If you start on an SD channel the DVR assumes that the Netflix video is 4:3 and supplies letter box, or stretches, depending on what you tell it to do. If you start on an HD channel then the content is stretched and you must use your TV to change it.

    What I want is to have the DVR automatically detect if the content is 4:3 or 16:9. This does not appear to be possible. When I view a video on my computer Silverlight automatically detects the aspect ratio and displays it correctly. It looks like the only way to determine the correct aspect is to play it first on a computer.
     
  18. Feb 3, 2009 #298 of 569
    missparker10

    missparker10 Legend

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    Feb 15, 2007
    I watch to watch some CBS videos through my DVR. Not sure how to go about it. Do I need to register at the CBS site? Can you view HD videos through the DVR with Playon?

    I'm hoping to catch up on CSI Miami tonight.
     
  19. Feb 3, 2009 #299 of 569
    bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    9,809
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    Jan 21, 2003
    There is nothing you need to register on CBS site.

    All you gotta do is install Playon to your computer and within a few minutes the "Photos,media and more" option (or whatever it's called) shows up on the menu on your HR2x. Select it, select your computer name and then CBS.com will be one of the media options you can choose along with Hulu and others. Then you can select your search options (I think you can do an alpha list) and find CSI Miami.

    Do note though that CBS doesn't put full episodes of all their shows up unfortunately. Big Bang Theory for example is just clips. I'm pretty sure CSI and CSI:NY have full episodes (and behind the scenes clips) but I don't know about Miami as I don't watch that one.

    Good luck!
     
  20. Feb 3, 2009 #300 of 569
    missparker10

    missparker10 Legend

    175
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    Feb 15, 2007
    Thanks alot Scott!

    I am excited to see if I can get this working. :)
     

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