We’ve been watching and reporting on PlayOn for years now, all the way back to the Windows Media Center days when inventive developers built (unofficial) plug-ins to bring PlayOn’s services to your home’s big screen (though in all reality, the screens probably weren’t so big back then). PlayOn has grown and evolved over the years, but their core service of recording and archiving streaming content lives on and has expanded into mobile and cloud-based offerings. To be honest, every time we talk about PlayOn, we scratch our collective heads a bit and wonder, “but how is this le—” …never mind. They say it is, and they’re still here, so let’s just get into it.
Earlier this Fall, PlayOn introduced a new offering, PlayOn Cloud Storage, which supplements their current PlayOn Cloud service. PlayOn Cloud lets consumers record programming from select video services using their Android or iOS mobile devices. Unlike the now-named PlayOn Desktop, you don’t need to install anything in your home. With PlayOn Cloud, the recording and playback all happen in the cloud.
PlayOn Cloud, however, is oddly disconnected from PlayOn Desktop. If you run PlayOn Desktop on a home PC somewhere, you’ll notice they don’t interact or integrate at all. Your desktop files stay on your local PC, while PlayOn Cloud recordings stay in the cloud. Which is fine, unless you want to keep your cloud recordings around for a while. PlayOn Cloud recordings go away after 30 days. You can download them to your mobile device or, through a rather cumbersome email process, to your desktop.
Enter PlayOn Cloud Storage. This pay-as-you-go storage option lets you keep your PlayOn recordings in the cloud for as long as you’d like. Plans start at just under $5/month for around 80 hours of HD storage, going up to about $20 for around 1600 hours of HD storage—enough for nearly any digital hoarder. Each monthly plan also includes additional recording credits that can be used within the month—about one for every dollar spent—which you’d typically purchase in bulk from PlayOn for 20 cents apiece. These credits just help keep you topped off.
PlayOn Cloud’s channel offering continues to grow, now including all of the major networks and PBS, the major streaming services [bring your own subscription], and several service providers’ content, including Charter and DirectTV Now. If you’re looking for a mobile-first DVR solution without any home-based server or storage requirements, PlayOn Cloud’s Storage solution might just be perfect for you.