Web video from Hulu, CBS, ESPN, etc, is great, but it is generally stuck on your PC. Sure, you can hook up a PC to the TV, and some web video is available on set-top boxes, such as YouTube on TiVo, but it is still limited. There are are some devices which allow access to more of the sites, like the D-Link DSM-520, but then you need Yet Another STB in your A/V stack. What to do? Well, PlayOn from MediaMall Technologies can help.
PlayOn installs on your Windows XP or Windows Vista PC, and acts as a kind of transcoding proxy for web video. It retrieves the web video and streams it to DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) compatible devices such as the PlayStation3, Xbox 360, and HP MediaSmart TVs. While those are the officially supported devices, they state that they will work to expand the list, and since they’re using DLNA I’m thinking may work on other DLNA devices even if not officially supported. They currently tout support for Hulu, CBS, YouTube, and ESPN, and promise Netflix support “just down the road”. They’ve also promised playback on the Nintendo Wii “by the end of 2008″. PlayOn is currently in beta, and MediaMall plans to charge $30 for the final product when it is ready for release.
MediaMall also has a blog where you can keep track of their development efforts. In a post there they reiterate that Netflix will be added before GA (that’s general availability, aka the official release for the non-geeks), and also state that CNN will be in before GA. MediaMall also develops the ActiveTV platform that powers the above mentioned DSM-520, which supports a plethora of web video sites, so it seems logical that they’d be bringing that know-how over to PlayOn to add more sites over time. After all, PlayOn was only released to beta on Monday.
Picked up from EngadgetHD.