Stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and More to Your Xbox 360

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A Windows utility called PlayOn has just left its beta phase and is now available for everyone to try. With this installed, you can stream video from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, as well as video from TV networks like CBS, CNN, and ESPN right to your Xbox 360. Of course, if you’re primarily interested in Netflix, there’s no need to get a special utility – the recent update to Xbox adds Netflix streaming as an option on the dashboard. However, being able to stream from Hulu and YouTube is the sort of thing that makes you sit up and take notice.

To use PlayOn, you just install the software to any networked XP or Vista machine (they don’t specifically say “Windows 7” but I’m going to give it a shot this weekend – let me know if I shouldn’t!). The software, once installed behaves as a DLNA/UPnP media server and browser that pulls RSS feeds from content providers, and presents them to DLNA-compliant networked media devices. In other words, the PC software pulls in the media streams from the web sites and services and then sends them over your home network to your Xbox.

The only downside to PlayOn is that it’s not free – after a 14-day trial, you can purchase the program for $30.00. A little steep for these budget-conscious times, especially considering that there’s already a free plug-in for Hulu (install XBMC plus the XBMC plug-in for Hulu) and Xbox already does Netflix. That means you’re paying mostly for YouTube and the miscellaneous TV networks. That may or may not be worth $30 to you – it’s a personal decision. However, there is something to be said for having it all in one easy-to-manage software package. And at least the $30 is a one-time fee. Hmmm, maybe I just talked myself into it.

(via LifeHacker)

The Discussion

  • User profile image

    We need more services like Hulu to work with Media Center and Extenders (thru Media Center interface).

  • User profile image

    I totally agree.. We need more of these type apps for MediaCenter.. Media Center is such a great product but it seems to be orphaned by Microsoft. Media Center needs a Web Video Search Feature like the Windows Live Video Search one.

  • User profile image
    Alvin Ashcraft

    It runs on Windows 7 with no issues so far... for my anyway. Good luck!

  • User profile image
    heck yeah, looks like they are coming!
  • User profile image

     Where can I buy this for $30 at, the website itself states $39.99? Otherwise I love it, nice to watch tv shows back on tv.

  • User profile image


  • User profile image

    Nov 21, 2010 at 10:35 PM
    [/quote]$39 is an annual fee for the license. $79 is a one time fee. also check out ROKU starts at $59 one time fee for a stand alone that does mostly the same thing.  Just type ROKU in search engine to find out more about it.

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