PlayOn is an app that lets you stream audio and video from internet sites including Hulu, Netflix, and Comedy Central to devices that wouldn’t normally support them such as an Xbox 360 or a Nintendo Wii. PlayOn works by having you install a server application on your Windows computer which basically grabs the internet video and then streams it in a supported format to the appropriate device. Last year PlayOn released an app that works with the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. And this week the company launched an Android app.

Now you can download and install the server software on a PC and then use the PlayOn Mobile app to watch web video on your Android phone or tablet, stream music from Pandora, or stream audio and video content your PC to your mobile phone.

PlayOn offers a 14-day free trial, after which you can sign up for a subscription at $40 for the first year and $20 per year after that, or a one-time payment of $80.

Earlier versions of PlayOn supported streaming content to video game consoles or an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad even if you had paid for an older license which ran as little as $9.99 at times. That’s what I signed up for. Unfortunately after upgrading to version 3.2 of PlayOn’s desktop software to add support for mobile streaming to Android devices, I was informed that Hulu, Netflix, Amazon VOD, and pretty much every other online video source was now a “premium preview” feature, meaning that you have to pay for a new license to continue streaming after the trial expires.

Fortunately you can also stream local content using the My Media Beta feature for free.

When I first installed the PlayOn Android app, I was able to pull up a list of available channels and view programs available for viewing. What I wasn’t able to do was actually stream any content. It turns out PlayOn didn’t know how to automatically work with my WiFi router to support streaming to a mobile device, and after spending a good 20 minutes looking for a way to manually configure my router I’m about ready to give up. Interestingly, I’m having no problem streaming video to my iPod touch though.

If you do manage to get the app working, you should be able to stream content over a WiFi or 3G connection as long as your PC is running and the PlayOn desktop client is active.

The PlayOn mobile app for Android is available as a free download from the Android Market. It supports Android 2.2 and up. You can also check out a promo video from PlayOn after the break.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

5 replies on “Watch Hulu, Netflix, Amazon on Android with PlayOn Mobile”

  1. It’d make more sense to me if Hulu had apps that’d let mobiles connect directly, but except for the soon-to-be-out Android app for Hulu Plus subscribers, they seem to not want people watching directly from their phones. Too bad, seems like there’d be a lot of demand.

  2. You’re an idiot, and this is a horribly researched article. Playon is not free, it is either a subscription service, or a 1 time fee service. They don’t charge for mobile access, why would they, since you are serving content off of your server. The mobile apps are free, they just add clients to the system beyond the PS3, Wii, Roku, Xbox, etc. Finally, just because you can’t figure out how to set up your wifi at home, doesn’t mean its difficult. No setup is required for wifi, only for 3g streaming. Please retire.

    1. There’s a difference between being an idiot and absent minded. I’ve been using PlayOn for the past few years what I forgot when writing this article was that I paid a 1-time fee of $20 when I signed up.. and then PlayOn decided to add a new “premium” tier and severely limit features for users who paid for the earlier service.

      When I upgraded from version 3.0 to version 3.2, suddenly almost *every* content stream which had been available under my old plan now required a new, more expensive premium membership.

      I’ll update the post to reflect that the service was never free though. You’re totally right about that and I simply forgot that as a long-time user I had already paid.

      1. What I find interesting is the fact that owning an android device and having a playon account will not get you a free download of the mobile app. Y ou must have a google, facebook, or twitter account to log in for this download. Recent privacy changes made me close all these accounts and I will not reopen them, too invasive.

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