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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CaptTPT

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Is the buffering gone on playback?
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ExSatUser

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Yes. No buffering.

PlayOn Cloud allows you to record content "in the cloud" in 720p. Then you simply download a mp4 file to your computer or tablet that you can play. And if you want to watch on TV, a multitude of ways to play that mp4 file.

I can't stress enough want a good product PlayOn Cloud is.
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CaptTPT

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Am I correct in assuming there is no way to simply connect up in line between gateway and TV?
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ExSatUser

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With Roku very simple. Or if your TV accepts a thumb drive that works too.
(Edited)
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Harvey Mueller

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To record your shows in real time you need to get it without gaps and buffering which is the original problem. The device between the gateway and TV is your pc or other device.

I don't know of an out-of-the-box solution to merely plug in but you could run Plex media server on a Synology NAS to play the content on your TV. I believe it will also schedule downloads so you *may* be able to download during off peak for playback later. You still need to download content as a file and not record streaming content. I've not tried or tested this but it should work.
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ExSatUser

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It does work. Need PlayOn cloud. Then run the Plex media server on your PC to share MP4 files.
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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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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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CaptTPT

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Not much help for a movie or other show. I turn 75% off because Viasat is incapable of providing a system that will download a watchable TV show. 
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Michael McDowell

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Playon TV is kind of confusing.  There are two versions. 

1. Playon Desktop resides on your PC and records programs as they are streamed to you over your Internet connection.  You need a good stable internet connection for this to work properly.  Recordings can be set to occur late at night but still use your data.  If a recording fails, the data used to that point is just lost.  If you try to record the program later, it starts all over.

2. Playon Cloud is an app that resides on your mobile device.   Recordings are scheduled using the app and occur in the Cloud.  When the program is finished recording,  you are notified by email or within the app, that it is ready to download.  It can be downloaded onto your PC or onto your mobile device.  It is a standard mp4 file.  It still uses your data when you download it to your device.  

Plex works well but that is a whole 'nuther topic!  Playon Desktop also has a media server with a matching app for a Roku.  In my experience,  the Plex setup works better!
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ExSatUser

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Plex does work better.
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CaptTPT

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Got it. Thanks for that explanation. Now what is Plex?
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CaptTPT

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Ok. Found the Plex system. This is going to take a bit more research I see. Thanks for the suggestion. T
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ExSatUser

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Get PlayOn working first before you worry about Plex.
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CaptTPT

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Ok thanks. I’ll give it a go. Now on another note I read an article several months ago that about 1250 new satellites will be up and running in 2020. Don’t know where we are at with that now. Covid19 May have shut that down. Sure would be great to redirect to a new satellite. My dish is aimed virtually horizontal through the trees. Is there not a satellite with a direction above the horizontal available on the west coast?
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Homeskillet

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Those 1250 are low orbit and aren't functional yet, that is part of an undertaking of Starlink. Viasat only has two satellites.
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ExSatUser

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You must be in the upper part of the left coast?

With Starlink the system will be low earth orbit satellites that work different from the Viasat birds.
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Snuffleupagus

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As said, those sats. are a different system and won't work with the existing dish.

Where the dish looks like it is pointing is not where the signal comes from.  The signal comes in from a higher angle.  Basically like the pic on Gabe's post here. https://community.viasat.com/viasat/topics/success-manually-pointing-dish-after-new-installation

Plex is pretty easy to set up.  I didn't use a guide, but not too hard to find one.  https://support.plex.tv/articles/200264746-quick-start-step-by-step-guides/

I'm going to guess this promo is expired by now.  https://www.playon.tv/blog/2020-04-save-your-bandwidth-free-recordings

Edit:  Well, guess I could look at the main blog, new month, new code.... https://www.playon.tv/blog/free-recordings-in-quarantine  Maybe both still work, but I doubt it....

(Edited)
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CaptTPT

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The satellite can’t be much higher than the horizon because every time it rains, and it rains a lot in Oregon, the signal is gone. Big fir trees in Oregon. Rain falls, branches sag, and signal gone. May as well read a book because you are not watching TV or doing internet work.
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Old Labs

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In Oregon and depending on which Viasat satellite you're on, you'd be looking at around 16 degrees elevation on Viasat-2 vs. 37 degrees or so on Viasat-1. "Supposed" to be 10 degrees line of sight clearance on all sides. 
(Edited)
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CaptTPT

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Ok that Is very interesting. I would guess the dish points to about 0 -5 degrees to pick up satellite #2 at 16 degrees, which is where my dish is pointing. It looks to be almost horizontal. How does one switch to satellite #1? If I were able to access satellite number 1 at 37 degrees it may improve things significantly.
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CaptTPT

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Sorry, forgot to ask. What Is the direction of satellite #1?
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ExSatUser

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It won't improve things. If anything it could be worse on Viasat-1.
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CaptTPT

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Why is that? Is satellite #1 different than #2, other than location? Like older junk? Number2 points through a forest of fir trees. I am not cutting them down just for Internet! Number 1 would be unobstructed sky at 37 degrees, as long as the direction works.
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ExSatUser

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Viasat-1 has been in service for 8+ years.  So yes, it is older technology. 

They should have never installed you on Viasat-2 to begin with if you couldn't get a signal that worked. 
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Old Labs

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Go to dishpointer.com. Enter your address and select Viasat-1 and or Viasat-2 from the satellites list -  it'll provide you with elevation and azimuth, and the general line of sight displayed on a map.

That being said, it's up to Viasat to install you on one or the other satellite - differnet equipment needed on each. 
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CaptTPT

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That sounds like a real crap-shoot.
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Old Labs

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Not if you can demonstrate you didn't have a clear line of sight to Viasat-2 - they should only have only considered Viasat-1 as an option (if it is clear). Viasat-1 may be older technology but is still viable (some might even argue  better than the newer Viasat-2 in terms of the plans offered).

Go to dishpointer and it allows checking potential line of sight issues on each bird.
(Edited)
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Old Labs

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Then again satellite is a crap shoot to begin with for most ;) That's why a close reading of your contract will show the service is sold "as is" with now warranties.
(Edited)
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CaptTPT

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Any thoughts on Starlink? Estimated to be available in November.
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Old Labs

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Not until I see it - it was just a couple years ago that Viasat-2 was being touted as the next great thing by some subscribers here and that didn't age well - I'm more of a "show me" type - even then with Starlink you could have line of sight issues.
(Edited)
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CaptTPT

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I don’t have any issues with my personal line of sight for the Fiberoptic cable hub that is 40 ft from my property line that I cannot gain access to. That is really infuriating. Fiber hub to terminal at the head of my driveway connected with little tiny copper wires. Have to make application and be on waiting list for bandwidth. The kids on the streets of Mumbai have better internet than I do!
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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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Are you casting wirelessly directly to your TV from your PC?  If so, it shouldn't matter what the file type is.  

Do you have a USB flash drive or external HDD that you could copy the files to and see if they'll play directly on the TV from that flash drive or external drive.  Many smart TVs have built in players that will play mp4 files.  

I'm not really sure about the scheduling.  I've never had a problem with it.  I've set it to record entire series, like all episodes from all three seasons from Stranger Things, and it worked without issue..  I download the files manually.  
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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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Old Labs

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The difference lies in where the recording takes place -  desktop records on your PC using your slow connection. Cloud records on the PlayOn servers using their more robust servers and connections - you then download once for local playback on any device. In addition with PlayOn Desktop, you'll be limited by Viasat's video stream detection if applicable to your plan - with CLoud you can set it to record in either 480P or 720P

Understand the difference between streaming and downloading - even ExSatUser didn't understand the concept at first but it sunk in after a month or so;) Don't think rationally like a surgeon - think like a geek.
(Edited)
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CaptTPT

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Wow I am really missing something here. It seems to me that it makes no difference where recording happens. At one point or another it still has to travel over the same crappy internet service. Correct? Is there a format difference that makes streaming work better?
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Michael McDowell

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The desktop version will work fine, as long as you have a "rock solid" internet connection with sufficient speed for streaming.  If you are able to watch the recorded programs on your PC, your connection is working ok.  Getting the programs from your PC to the TV is a different process.  I have tried using the PlayON software without much luck.  A Plex server on your PC and a Roku box with the Plex app hooked to the TV works great!. 

The point of recording in the cloud is that the recordings can be downloaded anytime.  Using Chrome to download, if the download "bombs out"  it can be restarted without loosing what has already been downloaded.  If a recording on the desktop "bombs out" it has to be restarted from the beginning  and any data used for the failed recording is just lost.
(Edited)
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CaptTPT

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Ok I get that. That likely explains why my recordings have failed the last 2 nights. Now why did I pay that $20 for lifetime service?
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ExSatUser

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Okay.  First of all, this isn't hard at all.

Forget about Playon Desktop if you are connected to satellite internet.  It may work, it may not.  But I found not all streaming services worked.  Netflix yes.  Amazon maybe.  HBO I never did get to work.  Just forget about it.  Not worth the hassle or the aggravation (not to mention you are most likely getting restricted resolution and eating more data).

Playon Cloud works perfectly.  Does it cost a little more?  Yes.  Is it worth is?  Yes.

Record content with the Playon Cloud app.  It will record fine with 720p, no buffering etc.

Then download the MP4 content from the cloud.  You can do this over your Viasat network or go sit in a McDonald's parking lot and use their wifi.  That works too. 

That MP4 file will then play fine through a number of options.  The simplest is to save it to a USB stick and plug that stick into a Blu Ray player or TV is it supports MP4.

If you want to get more sophisticated, you can setup a Plex Media Server on your computer combined with a Roku on the TV.  That can be more complicated to setup, but it is all very doable. 

I just used the Playon Cloud last night.  Recorded 8 shows.  Downloaded them to my computer.  Copied to a USB stick.  Now I am going to take the stick with me and play the content at my parents who don't have the internet but want to watch this series. 

Excellent product that takes the lack of good, high speed internet (or no internet at all) out of the equation so you can stream content whenever and wherever you want to in 720p with no buffering. 
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Michael McDowell

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Yep, same here.  I signed up for the desktop service and went with PlayON Cloud after having the same problem.  
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Old Labs

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At one point or another it still has to travel over the same crappy internet service. Correct?
Yes but with PlayOn Desktop it's streaming over that lousy connection. With cloud, your downloading the recording for offline viewing snd not subject to any loss of video quality recorded in - Playon Cloud gives you a choice - although I have noted some minor, very short buffering on some during playback likely due to congestion during recording during the pandemic.

In my case, I download all recordings (720p) to a 1TB USB drive, organizing things by folder and attach it to my TV's USB port. The TV lets me browse the USB drive contents selecting things for play. TV is not connected top internet (not a real good idea on satellite anyway). It "streams" off my USB drive at 100 MB/s.

Is there a format difference that makes streaming work better?
For all intents and purposes, no and in most cases you'll find downloading using PlayOn Cloud and watching yields a better playback experience with no buffering occurring over the internet.

Again understand the difference between streaming from the internet and downloading from the internet (and then streaming from a local device). The light bulb should eventually come on ;)

You shouldn't have paid for PlayOn Desktop - it's not worth the effort on satellite. Consider it a lesson learned.
(Edited)
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Michael McDowell

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The Plex setup works great if you have multiple TVs.  Just need the Roku box at each 
tv.
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ExSatUser

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Correct.
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Michael McDowell

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I once asked PlayON if they had a desktop client (play only) for PCs where you just wanted to play PlayON recordings.  They said no, (I think they did at one time.)  They recommended Kodi as a client to work with the PlayON server.
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GabeU, Champion

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In my case, I download all recordings (720p) to a 1TB USB drive, organizing things by folder and attach it to my TV's USB port. The TV lets me browse the USB drive contents selecting things for play. TV is not connected top internet (not a real good idea on satellite anyway). It "streams" off my USB drive at 100 MB/s.
That's exactly what I do, though I do sometimes use a flash drive rather than my main PlayOn external HDD to watch something I've just downloaded.  
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ExSatUser

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Playon recording are MP4 files.
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GabeU, Champion

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BTW, though it's just my preference, I recommend buying Anytime credits instead of signing up for a monthly PlayOn Cloud plan.  Anytime credits never expire, and you're not stuck paying a monthly fee even if you don't use the service in a given month.  
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ExSatUser

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Good suggestion.
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CaptTPT

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Are you aware of a means to transfer files downloaded from PlayOn Cloud directly to a memory stick plugged into my iPad. I have a combined USB3/Lightening stick but neither the program for the stick, nor the iPad directly can find the files. The files are hidden somehow. Would prefer not to have to do the additional step of transferring the files to my desktop and then to stick.
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Michael McDowell

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What ver of the Ipad OS are you using?  If you are still using ver 12.xx you probably need to upgrade to ver 13.xx.  I think the latest ver has support for that.  I'm not very familiar with it though, barely know how to turn one on, so maybe someone else can better advise you!
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ExSatUser

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I don't use Apple products so I am afraid I can't help you. 

I wouldn't think it would be difficult though.  You are just downloading files off the internet. 

Good luck!
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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!