DVR

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Does anyone know of a DVR solution. I cannot even download a Spotify song without interruption and buffering. Impossible to watch a movie. DVR download at 0200 would possibly work when fewer people consuming the bandwidth. Anybody know?
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CaptTPT

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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Harvey Mueller

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Search old threads on here for PlayOn, theres PlayOn cloud and desktop versions. Cloud is probably the version you want. It has been asked before and there are multiple threads.
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CaptTPT

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Thanks
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ExSatUser

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Yes. PlayOn Cloud is what you want. The desktop version doesn't really help as you ate still recording content over the Viasat network, which will subject you to buffering, video resolution downgrading, etc.
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GabeU, Champion

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With PlayOn Cloud I just copy the files to an external USB HDD or USB flash drive and watch them directly on my Smart TV using the USB port.  My Blu Ray player will do the same.  I can also write the files to a DVD or Blu Ray and the player will play them as well, as it plays mp4s, though I normally only write them to disk for long term saving/storage.   
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CaptTPT

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Thanks. Would you please explain this a bit more. My TV does have a USB port. Where do you plug the PlayOn Cloud device in the system? I also have Blue Ray.
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GabeU, Champion

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PlayOn Cloud is an app that you install on your smart phone or other iOS or Android based device.  You use it to choose the items you want from the streaming services you're signed up to, and you can either download them to that device or manually download the items to a computer by the email link sent to you.  The service itself is free, but you buy recording credits.  

The movies or TV shows are actually streamed to a "cloud based DVR", then converted to mp4 files, which you download.  You can then put those files onto a flash drive or external HDD, then plug whichever you use into your Smart TV's USB port.  Chances are your Smart TV has a built in app that can play mp4 files, so you'd watch them directly from those devices.  And your BluRay player may be able to do the same, like mine can.  I'm not familiar with Plex, so I don't know how to use that with the mp4 files.  

https://www.playon.tv/cloud
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ExSatUser

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What Gabe says. Chances are your TV and Blu Ray player can play mp4 files.

1) install PlayOn Cloud app
2) record content via PlayOn Cloud. The most popular streaming providers are on it. You will have to purchase recording credits. (Not that expensive)
3) Your content will record "in the Cloud", having nothing to do with Viasat at this point, and be saved on an mp4 file (no buffering. 720p)
4) you download the mp4 file to your computer (doesnt matter how slow or fast, the file when you play wont buffer)
5) copy mp4 file to thumb drive, plug it into blu Ray or TV, and select mp4 file to play.

That's it! You get 720p content (regardless of the Viasat plan you are on and no buffering). Then you downgrade your plan to the lowest possible (dont pay Viasat any more than you have to) and watch all the recorded content you want in a higher resolution with no buffering.

I haven't had Viasat in over a year and I still use PlayOn Cloud. It is THAT good of product to record content to take on the go for trips (of course who goes anywhere now).
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Bob Lexus

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Exsat - Thanks for the step by step
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David Kingman

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With regards to Spotify, I have created multiple playlist and mark them as download on my phone. If I want to download a lot of songs, I drive to a McDonalds parking lot to do the download. Voilà, all stored on your phone.
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ExSatUser

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That is your best option. Fight to get on that fiber!
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Homeskillet

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Cell wireless is expanding, keep an ear to the ground for that coming. My cell phone service is spotty, yet my internet works fine.
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Homeskillet

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Cell wireless is expanding, keep an ear to the ground for that coming. My cell phone service is spotty, yet my internet works fine.
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CaptTPT

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No cell signal here. I am a surgeon. Get a call at 0230. Get up. Put cloths on. Walk out on patio and down the way to make a call. A lot of rain in Eugene, Oregon. Not ideal.
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ExSatUser

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A lot of rain and satellite internet dont mix either. And with low line of sight and distance from the satellite, that will make things worse.
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CaptTPT

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Thank you all for your help with this. Giving a go with Play On Cloud tomorrow.
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Michael McDowell

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Once you get signed up, keep an eye on your emails for promotions.  They have been having some pretty good sales on their recording credits.  I think the standard price is $0.25 per credit but I have recently been able to purchase some for $0.11 per.  Point being, don't jump right in an buy a bunch of credits at the std. price.  
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ExSatUser

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Let us know how it works for you and if you have any questions.
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CaptTPT

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So far, not so good. First night set to record 5 programs 12:01 to 6:00. . Two recorded. Trying to Cast to smart TV. Everything set up and recordings recognized on the TV. Start play and message says file type not supported. Plays fine on desktop PC. I thought this would simply be streaming from the PC player?
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Old Labs

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So far, not so good. First night set to record 5 programs 12:01 to 6:00. . Two recorded. 

Hmmm and just for clarification since some don't initially grasp the PlayOn CLoud concept... maybe it's the terminology you've used here, but that sounds like the experience you would get using PlayOn Desktop not PlayOn Cloud. PlayOn Desktop has all of the disadvantages of normal streaming over satellite internet - it'll even record all of the buffering that occurs on slow connections juust to make you feel at home ;)

With PlayOn Cloud there's no need to schedule recordings for any time period. You simply queue up the recordings on PlayOn's servers where they will occur and once the recordings complete you download them for offline playback later. The PlayOn  mobile app is used to queue up recordings in the cloud, provides notifications when recordings complete, and allows you download them at your convenience whether that be during a free zone or on a public WiFi connection. A list of your recordings can also be accessed for downloading from a desktop browser to your PC.
(Edited)
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Michael McDowell

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Just as a side note, part of a response from their (PlayOn TV support) reply to a recent support request:

      Also, we have some good news to report. We have a new download scheduler built for Windows and Mac computers and we'd love for you to check it out. The app will allow you to automatically download your PlayOn Cloud recordings to a computer.


You can download the Windows version here: https://appdownload.playonrecorder.com/PlayOn_Cloud_Downloader_windows-x32.exe

Skip

PlayOn Support
www.playon.tv

Part of my response to them:

       I have downloaded and installed the new download scheduler.  It took me a while to figure out that I had to access the program from the tray.  After installation, when I clicked on the desktop icon, it seemed like nothing was happening.  After I went to the Task Manager and killed the program, I could see the program start up when I clicked on the desktop icon but the message disappeared from the screen to fast to read it.  I guess this was because I was still logged in.   When I figured out that the program was running from the tray, I chose the option to log out and quit.  The next time I started the program by using the Desktop icon, I had to log back in.  When I did that, the message box stayed on the screen until I clicked the OK button.  I really think that the login and reset buttons should be reversed on the login box!


(Edited)
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Old Labs

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Cool. About time they got around to that - been requesting that forever it seems.
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Michael McDowell

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This was the rest of my response:

     I think this will be a useful tool!  Now, if you would just make a Windows Desktop Program to access ALL the PlayOn Cloud functionality,  you would really make my day!!!


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Old Labs

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Yeah, this should help us all beat the heck out of our free zones making them useless ;)

Once that happens I anticipate becoming a heavier internet user in the McDonalds parking lot.

Time to signup for another free trial supported by Playon channels...
(Edited)
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CaptTPT

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Direct hardwired on my home network. The app is recognized on my new smart tv. The recordings are recognized that are on my PC. The recordings play on my pc properly. When I play the recording on my tv it gives me a message the the file type is not recognized. Should it not be simply streaming what the pc is playing?
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GabeU, Champion

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Good question.  I'm not really sure with that setup.  Hopefully ExSatUser can shed some light.  

The only time I've used my PC to play the files on my TV I did it with an HDMI cable from my laptop to my TV, and once while wirelessly casting from my laptop directly to the TV, and I used the Windows Media Player to play them.  I've never used the PlayOn app to actually play them.  I only have the app on my phone to set up the recordings.  

Again, hopefully ExSatUser can help to figure out what's going on.  

If you do have either thing that I mentioned (USB flash drive or external HDD) it might be worth trying.  This is the easiest way I find to watch the files.  If I'm using the USB flash drive I just copy a few of the files to it, or however many can fit, and when I insert it into the USB port on my TV and switch to that input, the built in player automatically pops up.  My TV's an LG, but I imagine the player other brands have is similar.  
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Snuffleupagus

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I've got an old smart TV, about a '12 Sony.  Good tv, didn't work great playing directly off a stick.  The Roku works much better though, better to have a "player" of some sort to get better updates anyway.  The Playon app also worked, but buggy.  Plex works better and I like the setup much better.  More options generally with a stick/box/dongle/cube/whatever.

edit: The Nvidia Shield has a newer model that does upscaling better (like some tvs, but better).  The few reviews I saw said it worked fairly well most of the time.  They cost money, but if you are getting something different, they might be a different Android TV option.
(Edited)
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CaptTPT

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I’m going to try that tomorrow. Four memory sticks around but all 1 GB. 512 GB stick on the way. I don’t get it though. Should work as is. Why can’t shit just work? It’s such a time suck!
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GabeU, Champion

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512 GB stick on the way. 
In that case I REALLY hope it works.   
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CaptTPT

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It is not clear to me why PlayOn Desktop would be any different than PlayOn Cloud. They imply in the ad for it that it works the same. Maybe I missed something. When I watch the desktop download on my pc, there are no gaps or buffering interruptions. Live on tv I cannot go 2 minutes without interruption. Have not tried the cloud version yet. Night 2 set 5 recording and zero recorded.
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Michael McDowell

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There is a Playon Cloud app for the iPad.
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ExSatUser

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Regardless of the app, you should get a downloadable URL sent to your email if you have it configured correctly. Simply download from the browser of your choice to the location of your choice.
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Michael McDowell

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I think what he is getting at is that he wants to be able to just download the file once and then copy it over to his other devices.
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ExSatUser

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Yea.  You download it to a USB stick. 

This isn't hard!
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Michael McDowell

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Back up about 6 posts and read it again.  8 hrs ago.
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CaptTPT

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I am using an iPad with the latest update, version 13.4.1. Using Apple store iPad version of PlayOn Cloud. Memory stick is a 256GB iPlugMate. It has a USB3 connect on one end and a Lightening connector on the other end. Running IPlugMate App to make it work. Doesn’t matter where I look, whether it’s the iPad files or in the PlayOn Cloud app. The files are hidden. The TV show I have download3d is there and it plays but there is no means of accessing it to transfer to the memory stick.
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Michael McDowell

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Look in the Photos app under Albums.  I downloaded a PlayOn Cloud recording and it showed up under Recents.  Or scroll down to Media Types/Videos.  The file didn't have the same name as the PlayOn recording, something like "IMG_0524~video.mp4" but I copied it to my SanDisk iXpandflash drive and it played fine on my PC.
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CaptTPT

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When I ask For a download on the PlayOn Cloud app it automatically downloads the complete file onto my iPad. It appears that I can only watch the show on my iPad. At the same time they send a link to a download to my email. I can download that but now I have downloaded the file twice! There must be a way to transfer the file from my iPad to a memory stick. I’m going to try to mirror the show from my iPad to my TV.
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ExSatUser

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Don't autodownload to your iPad. That is the problem.

Just download once when you get the email, and download to your USB stick.
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GabeU, Champion

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I don't have an iPad, nor any other Apple product, but for those who have an iPad and a Windows PC, is there an option on the iPad for revealing hidden files like there is on the PC?  The MP4 files have to be somewhere on that unit, and very likely within the PlayOn folder tree.  
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Harvey Mueller

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"I have a combined USB3/Lightening stick but neither the program for the stick, nor the iPad directly can find the files. "   

I too am not familiar with Apple but is there a special program required to access the stick?  Is there some special encryption/decryption  going on to secure the drive?   Is this not just a USB thumb drive to move data with a Lightening connector?   What does iPlugMate App do?   I and others are not understanding the Apple difference. 
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CaptTPT

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Ok I have it working. But... it still requires file transfer from my iPad to my pc and then file transfer to memory stick. What a pain. Of course I can do all the search from my pc, download via email, then transfer to memory stick. Same pain. Should be able to browse on iPad, then download to iPad, and transfer to memory stick plugged into iPad directly. That would make things much easier. The iPlugMate in an app for iPad that runs the memory stick which plugs into the lightening connector on all Apple products. The same memory stick has a std USB3 connector on the opposite end to plug into PC. That allows you to transfer files from iPad to PC in one easy step. Like new photos you take on your iPhone. Everything works great except for PlayOn. The files downloaded seem to be hidden from access.
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Michael McDowell

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Look in the Photos app under Albums.  I downloaded a PlayOn Cloud recording and it showed up under Recents.  Or scroll down to Media Types/Videos.  The file didn't have the same name as the PlayOn recording, something like "IMG_0524~video.mp4" but I copied it to my SanDisk iXpandflash drive and it played fine on my PC.
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GabeU, Champion

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Wow.  That you can't just transfer the file to the flash drive is crazy.  What a pain.  

I still hope you find it worth it, though.  I hadn't used PlayOn in a couple of months, but I felt adventurous last night and tried it with a movie I rented from Amazon Prime.  It was a little tricky setting it up, but it worked perfectly.  I nearly forgot to change the PlayOn Cloud app's video quality to HD in the settings, as it's the first time I'm using it on my new phone, but I remembered at the last minute.  $2.99 this way vs $14.99 for the BluRay.  Granted, it's 720p with PlayOn Cloud vs 1080p with the BluRay, but I can't tell much of a difference, so it's fine.  

I was surprised that it worked with a Prime rental, but that it does will open up other options.  :)

Edit:  I was typing while Michael posted his reply.  I hope you can find the files with his suggestion.  
(Edited)
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ExSatUser

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I haven't found limitations on what you can record. Now, Netflix and Amazon have put on restrictions on what you can download to a tablet, but PlayOn makes it look like you are just watching from a tablet or TV real time and just happen to record it too.

Great product. And a good way to bypass video resolution restrictions imposed by the Viasat plan you have, with no buffering!