You may remember that last year I blogged about how I ditched my cable company. I got rid of all cable services and watch 100% of my television streamed to my tv via the Internet and a little program called “PlayOn.” It’s been well over a year and I am EXTREMELY pleased with it. I get pretty much everything I ever want to watch, with a few exceptions, through PlayOn.
I can’t get live sporting events if they are not on local TV. Some cable premium content, like HBO series, I can’t get. I’ve found, though, that I really don’t need them. If I want to see as live sporting event not on broadcast TV I go to my favorite watering hole and watch it there. As for HBO and other premium content series, if I want them badly enough I can shell out a dollar or two to watch them.
A few weeks ago I got a GoogleTV and threw it into the mix. Specifically, I got the Logitech Revue. I really, really like it. The ability to easily surf the web and get dynamic web content via the Revue is awesome. I find myself watching music videos, listening to Pandora, or even playing interactive games via my iPad, Android phone, and iPhones with the family. Heck, I can even use my Andoid or iPhone as a Google TV remote, and not use the supplied keyboard at all if I don’t want to.
The one major issue with Google TV is the blocked content. Many studios provide a license for streaming of content to a computer. Not to a television. And, since Google TV is designed to stream web content to your television, it is blocked by many sites. It’s all about distribution rights. This is annoying, especially in the day and age where all of your devices work together to create a single media experience in your house. So, using the PlayOn configuration I set up last year I bring this blocked content right to my TV through the Google TV.
If you read my original blog post on this subject you’ll remember that I used my XBox 360 as the intermediary between the computer and my TV. That allowed me to get Hulu, and other web content, streamed to my TV. The interface on the XBox used the XBox native folder interface, though, and is not very pretty.
With my Google TV, I just use it as the intermediary instead of the XBox. Your PlayOn installation creates a web page on your local network that you can access via Google TV to get to your PlayOn content. I simply point Google Chrome to that page and viola! My content is available for my viewing pleasure.
This web page has always been available via PlayOn, but the XBox could not access it. My Wii could, but it can’t stream in HD. Now, via the Google TV, I can access this web page on my PlayOn server and stream my HD content to my TV. This web-based interface provided by the PlayOn server is very intuitive and easy to use and makes streaming f web content to my television a pleasure.
And, PlayOn just got better. They have added web DVR to their offering in a beta app called PlayLater. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will probably download it and play with it this week.
So, for those of you who have Google TV and want to stream Hulu – you can do it. It’s not free, but it is cheap. All you need is a PlayOn server running on your local network and you’re golden. Good luck!