Saturday, October 02, 2010

Playon vs TVersity

I have been a Playon customer since their early inception as an alternative to cable TV but now I have switched to TVersity. Playon and TVersity are basically web content retransmitters. They are server software programs that reside on an internet PC Windows computer and plays, on demand, web video content from such sources as Hulu, CBS and YouTube (amongst others) onto your other intranet systems such as Xbox, PS3, Wii, Itouch and Microsoft Windows Media Center devices.


Web retransmitters are a difficult application to create and update because systems like Playon and TVersity must rely on other sources for programming which may or may not approve of their redistribution methods. Web video sources by nature are constantly changing sites and technologies which means Playon and TVersity must be flexiblily written or needs frequent updates. Additionally the host computer where Playon and TVersity run on must be on for the other devices to be able to access the AV content.

Recently Playon has been getting more complex and difficult with, in my experiences, more frequent lockups. Playon uses plugins to allow users to customize the sources of video material. The user relies on Playon to provide a directory like structure to select the source content. Additionally, Playon has begun to withhold otherwise free internet content for a monthly premium charge. This completely defeated my intended use and purpose for using Playon.

I found out about TVersity in a Playon forum where there were multiple similar complaints to what I was experiencing with Playon but there were no answers beyond the users network connection was at fault. TVersity has a windows based interface that allows users to select the internet program content and make it available to all of the intranet connected devices. This gives me the freedom to put into a 'playlist' most any programming I desire. Additionally it has hooks into the subscription components of Hulu and Youtube which are then automatically updated.

Another very cool part of TVersity is it's ability to stream to my Itouch or any wireless mobile device with a browser. This means I can also watch on demand my playlist of Internet programs anywhere within my home wireless operates.

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