PlayOn UPnP MediaServer for Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, and Amazon VOD playback in XBMC

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knarx Offline
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Thumbs Up  PlayOn UPnP MediaServer for Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, and Amazon VOD playback in XBMC
Post: #1
I just found a cool piece of beta software called PlayOn which is a UPnP MediaServer that turns those internet streams into a UPnP Media Server that can forward internet video and audio streams. It's supposed to be for streaming to a PS3 or Xbox360, but since it functions as a standard UPnP MediaServer, there's nothing to stop XBMC Media Center users from using it too as XBMC also has a built-in UPnP client that works great with most UPnP MediaServers, and you can stream to multiple XBMC boxes from just one PlayOn UPnP MediaServer without having to buy additional licenses for each XBMC box.

It is called "PlayOn" and can be found at:
http://www.themediamall.com/playon
http://www.themediamall.com/signupforplayonbeta/
(Free trial for 14 days or buy for $39.99)

Quote:PlayOn enables consumers who own a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or HP MediaSmart TV to access content from sites including Netflix, Hulu, CBS, YouTube, ESPN and more on their television. We have just released PlayOn Beta, and the fully featured release will be coming shortly! We will also be adding support for Nintendo Wii by the end of 2008. Stay tuned!

NOTE! If you want to get PlayOn to work on XBMC as an officially supported platform, I suggest that you register an account themediamall.com (which is free) then log in and pile-on to this request:
http://www.themediamall.com/node/831

Review:
I was messing around with it last night and it's pretty great, albeit this first Beta version was still a little buggy. So far it supports YouTube, Hulu, and a bunch of others. They're also claiming it will eventually support NetFlix (!!!).

I didn't get to test it extensively, but when I was watching Hulu videos the quality felt as good as digital cable. Unfortunately PlayOn can only run on a computer with XP and WMP11. I'd love a Linux or Mac port, but have a feeling the necessity of WMP11 is to deal with whatever DRM the sites have.

Just goes to show that the more software adopts open protocols and standards, the greater the possibilities.
(This post was last modified: 2009-05-01 21:29 by Gamester17.)
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bkmurphy Offline
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Thumbs Up  Hulu playback now possible in XBMC via PlayOn UPnP MediaServer (by MediaMall)
Post: #2
A company called themediamall.com just came out with a program called the PlayOn Media Server that you run on a Windows PC and allows you to stream Hulu, CBS, ESPN, and soon Netflix to DLNA/UPNP devices such as a PS3 and
xBox360. You can get the beta here: http://www.themediamall.com/playon

I have tested it with the latest T3CH release (using the PMIII skin, I had issues with playback using MediaStream for some unknown reason) and it works great with XBMC. You can browse and playback nearly everything on Hulu. It doesn not appear the FF/RW work yet, but hopefully that will come.
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ethanmcdonald Offline
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Post: #3
Sweet!!! Nod
Would you give some details on how you streamed the content from your PC to XBMC?


XBMC 11: EDEN | XBMC | HDDVD+Blu-Ray ISO playback & Blu-ray player
PC - HTPC CASE: APEX DM-318 Black Steel MB: ASUS M3N78-EM/NVIDA8300 | CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ RAM: 2gb DDR2 1066
HD: 70gb(System) DVDROM: LG GGW-H20L Blu-Ray/HDDVD OS: Win7 | NAS: 3-terabytes(RAID 5)
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ethanmcdonald Offline
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Post: #4
UPNP directions on XBMC Wiki...

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=UPn...es_in_XBMC

Big Grin


XBMC 11: EDEN | XBMC | HDDVD+Blu-Ray ISO playback & Blu-ray player
PC - HTPC CASE: APEX DM-318 Black Steel MB: ASUS M3N78-EM/NVIDA8300 | CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ RAM: 2gb DDR2 1066
HD: 70gb(System) DVDROM: LG GGW-H20L Blu-Ray/HDDVD OS: Win7 | NAS: 3-terabytes(RAID 5)
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sparkey Offline
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Post: #5
Wow - PlayOn is pretty cool. $30 is a little hefty considering I paid $60 for my Xbox, but it'll be fun to have Hulu on my Xbox for the 2 month trial anyway.
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quiller Offline
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Post: #6
The final cost is $30 for a one-time license. That fee looks to include any future upgrade (Netflix streaming is promised) as well. My main concern is the relationship with Hulu, et al., but this might be one of those situations where no open source solution could exist. MediaMall has an existing product that delivers Internet streams to your TV, so there's some reassurance that my $30 won't be wasted in 6 months when they (and their service) disappear.

I've had it installed for the last two hours. It's quite buggy, with every video I've played requiring two attempts at buffering. I've also had two lost streams just while writing this post, which wouldn't be so bad if you could fast forward or rewind. You can on Hulu.com, though, so perhaps that feature will be added eventually?

It looks like the entire library is there. You can go to "TV Episodes" and browse alphabetically, the same for movies, and they have other categories broken out nicely, as well.

Tip: I spent 15 or 20 minutes looking around on the Windows program interface for a way to enter my Hulu login/password. Eventually I just tried to connect to the server (browse UPnP and it shows up as PlayOn) and it worked without trouble.
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RebAlumni Offline
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Post: #7
knarx Wrote:I just found a cool piece of beta software that turns those internet streams into a UPnP server. It's supposed to be for streaming to a ps3 or xbox360, but since it's UPnP, there's nothing to stop XBMC from understanding it.

It's called PlayOn and can be found at:
http://www.themediamall.com/playon

I was messing around with it last night and it's pretty great, albeit still a little buggy. So far it supports YouTube, Hulu, and a bunch of others. They're also claiming it will eventually support NetFlix (!!!).

I didn't get to test it extensively, but when I was watching hulu videos the quality felt as good as digital cable. Unfortunately PlayOn can only run on a computer with XP and WMP11. I'd love a Linux or Mac port, but have a feeling the necessity of WMP11 is to deal with whatever DRM the sites have.

Just goes to show that the more software adopts open protocols and standards, the greater the possibilities.

@Knarx: Can you outline the steps you went thru to connect PlayOn to your XBMC? I'm almost there, but none of the shows will play. I've got PlayOn installed on my PC, along with WMP11. I've added PlayOn as a source under Video. When I select the PlayOn source on my Xbox, it shows folders for Hulu, ESPN, etc. and I can get as far as selecting a show to watch. But nothing plays... it doesn't even act like it's thinking about playing. I click and nothing happens. Any ideas?
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RebAlumni Offline
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Post: #8
Scratch that request... it's up and running now. It must have been the magical reboot. Although, I do have to select a show twice before it starts.
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51mmz0rz Offline
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Post: #9
Has anyone gotten this working in library mode yet? I can get the folder into the library, get it to grab an image from the web, but no episodes show up.
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knarx Offline
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Post: #10
Just an update. The latest version appears to support Netflix. I was testing it out a bit last night and it seemed to see any Watch Now titles from my queue. Like others before have been saying, playback is a bit inconsistent.

This could be do to my method using it though. My PC is in desperate need of a reformat, so most recently I've been running this through VMware on my MacBook pro. Be it the resource hogging from VMWare or connecting wirelessly, I can't seem to get a stable stream.

Hopefully xbmc can integrate the new netflix api in the future as mentioned here:
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid...ht=netflix

Maybe other sites like hulu will follow, and having a go between PC can be avoided. Has anyone here tested it with a PS3 or Xbox360 to get a feel for how much of it is PlayOn vs the Xbox?
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jerkychew Offline
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Post: #11
Step 1) Download the latest beta of PlayOn at http://www.themediamall.com/signupforplayonbeta/, install it on a Windows box and input your Netflix info

Step 2) Enable the uPNP client in XBMC

Step 3) Video - Add Source - Browse uPNP - navigate to your Windows box

Step 4) Enjoy!

This has worked pretty well for me, I'm watching Little Shop of Horrors right now Big Grin

Mac: White iMac Core Duo, Radeon mobility X1300 128MB video, Broadcom CrystalHD Mini PCIe OS X 10.5.6
PC: Mythbuntu 10.10, Dual-core Pentium 2.0GHZ, 2GB RAM, GeForce 9400 PCIe
TV: 60" Sharp Aquos connected via HDMI
...And a launch day Boxee Box!
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Hotkey Offline
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Post: #12
Abeerdrinker Wrote:Use http://www.themediamall.com/playon to stream netflix,Hulu, Youtube to xbmc from the pc. Works perfect, Havent had a problem yet

Works on 1st gen XBox? (website lists XBox 360)
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ericwc Offline
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Post: #13
Works on AppleTV w/XBMC Nod
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jakatak Offline
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Post: #14
Hotkey Wrote:Works on 1st gen XBox? (website lists XBox 360)

Yes, it works on 1st gen Xbox. I just installed it last night. FOllow the directions in the above post. Very nice layout of especially Hulu, my only complaint is when playing a movie, it pauses for 2 seconds about every 5 minutes or so... very annoying, although I go through wireless, that might be the issue.
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b0bx13 Offline
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Post: #15
Is there a way to pull a full list of a category (ie feature films, tv episodes) off of Hulu? This works great but it's a bit annoying having to sort through by letter each time.
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