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Is there an alternative to PlayOn?
05-07-2009, 10:16 PM
Post: #1
Is there an alternative to PlayOn?
I'm curious if there's any alternative to Mediamall's PlayOn software out there? I'm trying to access my Netflix account and would like to have Hulu as well--I don't really care about the others at this time.

I'm having two different problems so far, and both seem to be show-stoppers. When I first tried PlayOn, it went only my Vista box. Since this is an infrequently-used computer, power management kicks in regularly, disrupting the connection to the PCH--which seems to be a real no-no. Once they stop talking, I have to reboot the PCH when the Vista machine is up in order for the PCH to even so much as see the PlayOn connection. This is neither convenient nor practical. I removed PlayOn from the Vista box and installed it on my business computer, running XP, which is up 24/7. So far, no loss of communication between the PCH and Playon software...BUT, this leads to more-serious problem #2.

What's happening now is that when I go into the PCH "media" section, I select the PlayOn server. The PCH "thinks" for about 30 seconds and comes back with "No content on server." Everything was working 100% until last night, after watching 3 Netflix movies. Now, I can't even see a PlayOn menu, let alone content.

When it works, I must say I like PlayOn, but keeping it working is almost a full-time job. Hence, the title to the thread. Are there any alternatives to PlayOn software that will run directly from the PCH to allow me access to Hulu and Netflix (even Netflix alone I'd be happy with). Failing that, are there any known tricks to making PlayOn play nicely with the A-110?
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05-07-2009, 11:47 PM
Post: #2
RE: Is there an alternative to PlayOn?
(05-07-2009 10:16 PM)w2irt Wrote:  When I first tried PlayOn, it went only my Vista box. Since this is an infrequently-used computer, power management kicks in regularly, disrupting the connection to the PCH--which seems to be a real no-no. Once they stop talking, I have to reboot the PCH when the Vista machine is up in order for the PCH to even so much as see the PlayOn connection. This is neither convenient nor practical.

I would suggest adjusting your power management settings on the Vista machine. A server machine needs to keep running even when there is no user activity, e.g. keyboard, mouse, which is what most power management triggers on.

As far as stopping and restarting the PlayOn service, I have not seen where that causes any problems. On the other hand, if your Vista machine was hibernating or otherwise shutting down mid-show, I can imagine that there are resynching issues. Clearly, you don't want power management to kick in while actively using the PlayOn service.

(05-07-2009 10:16 PM)w2irt Wrote:  Failing that, are there any known tricks to making PlayOn play nicely with the A-110?

Have a look at these links:

http://www.networkedmediatank.com/showth...?tid=18259
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/showth...#pid184447
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/showth...075&page=1

And do check out the PlayOn Support Forum. There are a few posts there specifically regarding PCH, but mostly it's a good place to see what issues are common to other platforms as well.
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05-08-2009, 02:58 AM
Post: #3
RE: Is there an alternative to PlayOn?
(05-07-2009 11:47 PM)MiniMe Wrote:  I would suggest adjusting your power management settings on the Vista machine. A server machine needs to keep running even when there is no user activity, e.g. keyboard, mouse, which is what most power management triggers on.

Since the Vista box is only needed maybe 10 to 30 minutes a day, I'd prefer that it hibernates, hence my decision to remove PlayOn from it and run it on my business machine, which never sleeps.

Quote:As far as stopping and restarting the PlayOn service, I have not seen where that causes any problems. On the other hand, if your Vista machine was hibernating or otherwise shutting down mid-show, I can imagine that there are resynching issues. Clearly, you don't want power management to kick in while actively using the PlayOn service.

Well, it's running on the XP box now and when it works it's wonderful. The problem is that it just fails out of the blue, for reasons I can't fathom. I'll finish watching a movie and then go to start another one and bam...No Content On Server. The "fix" so far is to reboot my business PC and the A-110. Fine once in a while, but not a proper solution.

What I'm really looking for is a way to do everything via the PCH and not have half the PCH's stuff feeding off of computers. Maybe put this another way, if I didn't have a computer, could I still access Hulu and Netflix using *just* the PCH and nothing else?


(05-07-2009 10:16 PM)w2irt Wrote:  Failing that, are there any known tricks to making PlayOn play nicely with the A-110?

Have a look at these links:

http://www.networkedmediatank.com/showth...?tid=18259
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/showth...#pid184447
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/showth...075&page=1

And do check out the PlayOn Support Forum. There are a few posts there specifically regarding PCH, but mostly it's a good place to see what issues are common to other platforms as well.
[/quote]
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05-08-2009, 04:07 AM
Post: #4
RE: Is there an alternative to PlayOn?
From that last thread sounds like a permanent solutions may be soon.
Meanwhile, I only turn on the PlayOn server when I want to use it and then it seems to work ok. If it hangs stopping and starting PlayOn again works. (Note this is with old firmware since the new firmware won't play nice with my NAS.)

PCH A-110 Firmware Version : 01-17-090221-15-POP-403
Windows 7RC Network (SMB)
DLink DNS-323 NAS
WD10EADS (Western Digital 1TB Green) Internal
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05-08-2009, 07:12 PM
Post: #5
RE: Is there an alternative to PlayOn?
Sure there are alternatives.. You can check out sites like Tversity as well as check out sites like thefuzznetwork.com Tversity runs as UPNP and works great on the Xbox 360 and PS3. I prefer PlayOn for Hulu and most of the internet sites. Tversity works better for playing local files. PlayOn requires 39.99 one time payment. Tversity is donation based. PlayOn has the advantage of doing third party plugins which I like because it allows other users to add content without waiting for them to add the content you need. TheFuzzNetwork has two things. There are step by step setup and configuration pages and a blog that gives information on new things happening with these kind of devices and configurations. You can use Windows Media Player 11 as well. And Media Center has a few plugins that work pretty good.

TheFuzz

The Fuzz
http://www.thefuzznetwork.com
Everything you need to know about Internet TV.
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05-08-2009, 07:25 PM
Post: #6
RE: Is there an alternative to PlayOn?
(05-08-2009 07:12 PM)TheFuzz Wrote:  Sure there are alternatives.. You can check out sites like Tversity as well as check out sites like thefuzznetwork.com

All good suggestions. I think if I keep having problems with Playon I'll give these a shot. I think the end-goal for me is just Hulu and Netflix, though. I'm not really interested in much else content-wise. Ideally, I'm looking for something that runs self-contained within the PCH. I'd really like to be able to shut down the PCs in the house or put them into hibernation for energy savings, yet still have my PCH fully-functional.

Thanks for the info.
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