PlayOn Cloud

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  • (Edited)
So I know Andy is no longer here (but he still might read this), and I know M.E.M. and Stephen use PlayOn, and Old Labs was considering it, but I want to give my endorsement of PlayOn Cloud.  I was having too many problems recording directly with PlayOn desktop, in particularly with HBOGo.  It would always "lock up" on me while recording.  I suspect it is because Viasat fails to provide me a reliable, consistent stream to record.  So I bit the bullet and tried the Cloud feature.

My first impressions are it works as advertised.  I queued up some content and it recorded (1GB for one hour of HD).  You do have the option to record in SD also.  Then you get an email with the link to download.  I am not sure if this could be automated to download during the free zone or not.  I think it might be possible for someone savy enough to built a script to do it. 

Anyhow, for those on those "unlimited" plans that want to defeat the video resolution downgrader, this is the way to do it.  Would I give up my Freedom plan for a 30Mbps Viasat-2 Gold Plan?  I am not sure I am there yet, but being able to defeat video resolution restrictions is a step in the right direction for me.  I only watch about 50 hours of streaming content a month.  So the Freedom Plan should hold me for now, but it is good to have options. 

So thanks to all who got me working with PlayOn, Roku, and the PlayOn Cloud!  Good stuff!
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Posted 7 months ago

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I watched Chariots of Fire last night. Good movie.
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Boring. But has a classic score.
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fmj77

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What happened to Andy?
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Bad Andy was a mischievous Muppet character created for a Domino's Pizza advertising campaign, Bad Andy. Good Pizza. The spots were created by advertising firm Deutsch Inc. The character was "specially conceived for Domino's by The Jim Henson Company," and the puppet was built by Tennessee puppet workshop Animax Designs.

In the ads, which launched in May 2000, Bad Andy was a bad Domino's employee who interfered with various aspects of the pizza baking and delivery process. By correcting his mistakes, the other employees in the ads would highlight the importance of those elements.

For example, according to a Domino's press release, "in the ad spot titled Sockets, a Domino's Pizza team member notices that all the "Domino's HeatWave Hot Bags" have been unplugged, and the electrical sockets have been filled with other plugs. After following a tangle of electrical cords, the team member discovers Andy relaxing in a massage chair surrounded by a fan, blender, two televisions, a lava lamp and a stereo. As the Domino's team member explains to Andy the importance of the HeatWave Hot Bag for delivering hot, great-tasting pizza, Andy turns up the intensity of the chair until he blows the fuse."

Eventually, Dominos had to let Andy go. It was simply too risky to keep him around.
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So to actually explain what happened to Andy, things got a little contentious between him and Viasat on what all he was posting.

He wont be back on HERE, but he is still around. Who knows where he might resurface on the internet. Time will tell!
(Edited)
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fmj77

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That's too bad. He was a lot of help to folks here and has a lot of useful information for all of us.
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Indeed. Very much missed because he was both an installer and user of Viasat with a ton of good knowledge.

If you remember we lost an installer from the old site too, because he refused to join and post on this site.

I guess somebody needs to take the initiative and create a site independent of this one. It could happen!
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fmj77

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There used to be an "unofficial" wildblue forum years ago that was very informative and easy to use. Maybe we need something similar.
(Edited)
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.

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DSLR Viasat forum is already there. Not a dedicated site, but already set up, and "the Dr" has been keeping it alive by posting frequently.
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Yea. But I block all his posts so nothing to read there!
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True.  But a few positives.  1, it's already there.  2, it supports private messages.  3, friendly off topic chat is more lenient (and people can be helpful and offer recommendations without (much) fear of punishment if "the man" doesn't like the advice).  4, not too difficult to figure out.  5, it supports blocking....
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M.E.M.

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VSU,

PlayOn desktop and PlayOn Cloud add a nice extra dimension for those who have cut the cord from satellite TV, which usually costs about $100 per month for many channels not wanted.
I have been using it with Netflix and have found the selection of movies to be underwhelming.
For instance, I downloaded and watched a 2014 movie called "Falcon Rising" (which Netflix recommended to me). I thought it would be an interesting action thriller. After watching it  I went to the website https://www.google.com/search?q=falcon+rising+box+office&oq=falcon+rising+box+office&aqs=chr...
The box office for this movie was $11,774. I thought that had to be a misprint but further investigation proved it to be true. Many people pay more than that per year to rent a two bedroom apartment or pay their annual mortgage. The budget was 4.5 Million dollars. Such is the quality of many Netflix selections. I have watched several  other Netflix movies of that quality.

On the other hand I also downloaded from Netflix 10 episodes, which has 18 hours run time, of  the 2017 Viet Nam documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novack. It is very well made.

I may not continue with PlayOn Cloud unless someone comes up with a way to schedule the download during the LNFZ. The link provided by PlayOn Cloud is temporary but can be recreated indefinitely so long as the subscription is active.
PlayOn desktop also has some issues for me, but I can live with them. Sometimes the scheduled download will not start and finish during the LNFZ. Perhaps that is due to Viasat issues at the time of download. Also, the PlayOn desktop downloads take approximately the running time of the movie. Because my LNFZ is only 3 hours, two movies often exceed this so only one can be downloaded per night, if it occurs at all. The Classic 10 plan had a more generous LNFZ but I gave it up. I wish I could go back to it.

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Netflix's quality is on its series, many of which are most excellent! The Crown, Ozark, Stranger Things, etc. Better than anything any of network pr company produces. Now Amazon can do darn good movies. I mean Academy Award winning movies, but their series work is a notch below Netflix, just like Netflix movies are a few notches below Amazon.

I guess with the PlayOn Cloud, I am guaranteed top notch video quality with no recorded buffering, and that is important to me.
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I might have a way to schedule PlayOn Cloud downloads. I need to test some things first. Only a theory at this point, but I got a plan.
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Update:  My test to schedule PlayOn Cloud downloads appeared to work.  Others with PlayOn Cloud might want to try this.

1)  Install Firefox.
2)  Install this add-on to Firefox.  https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/manodestra-download-scheduler/?src=userprofile
3)  Once installed, in the upper right corner, click on the "download scheduler" and set your downloads to take place during your assigned free zone.
4)  Open the email from PlayOn with the cloud link.  Copy that download link into Firefox and click "download" (you might have to log into your PlayOn Cloud account here).  The download will start, put it will quickly pause.
5)  Once the appropriate time hits, your download should resume.
5)  Check back the next day and see if your download completed!

Appreciate what others will find.  I only tested this for about a half hour delay, but hopefully it will work.
(Edited)
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I keep wondering why people don't just use Internet Download Manager to schedule downloading from Playon Cloud.

It works great for everything else, I don't see why Playon Cloud would be any different.
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This is much simpler than any download manager.
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I wasn't suggesting to substitute IDM for Playon Cloud.  What I was saying, is use Playon Cloud like you normally do, then when you receive the email with the link to download the content from the cloud, let IDM schedule the download.

On my computer, IDM automatically pops up when I click on a download link.  It then asks me if I want to download the file  now, or download it later. 

I think I paid $50 for the software and its well worth it.  

Last month I only used 7.3 GB of my 12 GB.  Needless to say, my internet never slowed down for the entire month.
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I think the problem is that, when you follow the link to download the recording, you have to log in to Playon Cloud, before the download will start.  Don't know if anyone has figured out a way to get around that yet!
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No you dont. Sign in once to queue up the link in Firefox. Firefox then pause the link with the scheduler I have above. Then resumes the download later. Now, I only tested it was an hour delay. I dont know what it would do with a multiple hour delay.

As far as IDM, I am sure it works well. It costs $$$$ too. The solution above is free :).
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I don't have a LNFZ so it doesn't really matter to me when they download. FWIW, I just downloaded the entire first season of Jack Ryan from PlayOn Cloud recordings in less than 15 minutes.  That was over 40mbps! I have the Unlimited Gold 150.
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Doesn't matter to me either anymore because I have no free zone, but just trying to help people who might still have it and want to download from the cloud during that time.
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IDM doe cost money.  They way I see it, it is much cheaper to pay a one time $50 investment for IDM and stay on the $50 Liberty 12 plan, than it is to pay$100 a month for Unlimited Silver.
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Or install a free Firefox extension and save $50 :).
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Does Free Download Manager still work ok?  Seem to recall it had a scheduler, I think, haven't used it in some time.  I know it wouldn't be as good as IDM, but, ...free....
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Well, the way I see it, I one time cost of $50 is way cheaper than paying an extra $50 a month for "Unlimited" internet on a 24 month contract. 

My $50 investment in IDM, my $50 for Playon Unlimited software, my $100 for a 4 TB hard drive, and taking an old laptop out of storage, paid for itself in just four months.  

I'm on a $50 Liberty 12 plan that is honestly more unlimited than the unlimited plans.  
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For what it's worth, a HBO subreddit that I follow has seen a few increased threads about the app buffering on tablet and phones (I personally use a Firestick so I haven't had an issue). I don't know if that's how you've been trying to watch it and you could totally be right why you had issues getting it to work but that's a little something that might be related.

Also @Stephen Rice. Domino's hasn't had the best luck with spokescharacters eh? Noid didn't work out too well for them either.
(Edited)
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That's possible. About the only time I use HBOGo is when I am traveling. Hotel wifi is usually plenty fast for streaming.

Anyhow, cloud recording seems to fix the issue.
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M.E.M.

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I had tried Free Download Manager shortly after getting PlayOn Cloud.
I used VSU's method of starting and then pausing until the scheduled time. I initially had high hopes of success but the next morning I saw an "Access Denied" error. Apparently the temporary link had expired during the intervening time. In my case, the operating system was Windows 7 and the delay was about 15 hours. I abandoned this approach after this failure.

I now have Windows 10 and am going to try again.

I appreciate any feedback and their results from those who try the above method.  The trick is to get the temporary link not to expire.

VSU, you indicated that your attempt had worked so far with a short duration delay. Is that still your belief?
If one wants to start the download at 3:00 AM but schedules it before 3:00 PM the previous day, then the delay has to be at least 12 hours for the link to remain active.

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I am not using a temp link though. I am trying it with a permanent link. I bought a monthly sub of 10 credits to test. It was only $2.99 and I could cancel. $4.99/month would be a good plan for most people. An added cost, yes. But think of it as avoiding the extra cost of a Viasat "unlimited" plan and sticking with Liberty.

But you could try the temp link method though the Firefox addon I noted above and see if that works, given a 12 hour possible delay.
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PlayOn Cloud does allow you to schedule downloads of your recordings to the app during off peak.  Look under download options in the settings.  Just curious, how are people getting their PlayOn Cloud recordings to their TV's after they download them? Do they cast well? Are you just directly connecting to the TV? 
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There are various methods. I have found the easiest method is via a Roku. Streaming that way is seamless and I have found it works well.
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I use Plex to manage my video content.  It streams directly to my Roku via wifi.
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"PlayOn Cloud does allow you to schedule downloads of your recordings to the app during off peak. "

PlayOn Cloud allows scheduled downloads only to the device that PlayOn Cloud is mounted on, unless things have changed. In my case, that is my iPad.
However, I want to have the mp4 file on my PC. That is where the emailed link comes in handy. This link leads to another link, which is temporary. The temporary nature of this redirected link causes problems in scheduling a download. I have not yet found a way around this which mean I have to be physically present during the LNFZ to initiate the download. Otherwise I would get charged for data.

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Not familiar with iPad, but is it not possible to copy files directly from an iPad to a PC? By directly I mean via a USB connection and not having to go through some cloud storage application which obviously defeats the purpose of using Playon Cloud to begin with. Or does Apple have a what happens in the iPad stays in the iPad philosophy?

With my limited exposure to Android devices a while ago, I recall it was quite easy to do there. Connect via USB and use Windows/File Explorer.
(Edited)
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My iPad is several years old and is an iPad 2. It does not have a usb connection.
To confound this issue, I have not been able to locate a downloaded video within PlayOn Cloud. IPad has a section for videos but the PlayOn Cloud videos are hidden somewhere else. Otherwise, if I could find the file, I would try using local network traffic to copy it to my pc.
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You can download files to your PC from an iPad via iTunes, but to M.E.M.'s point, the files are not necessarily easy to find in PlayOn Cloud even when you directly connect to your PC.  
I prefer to cast to my Roku.  Airplay for Apple TV is also supported.  I'm told by PlayOn that Roku support is coming soon.  Does the ability to cast replace the need/wish to download the videos to your PC?  It seems like a much easier option and Chromecast/Roku are both pretty inexpensive these days. 
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PlayOn works with Roku today.
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True.  I meant casting support from PlayOn Cloud.  I know there is the PlayOn Cloud channel in the Roku Channel store. That streams from the cloud though, no current support for local files on a phone or tablet. 
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Okay yes. You have to download from the cloud to the computer.
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Netflix etc, buffers even a high speed off peak times
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Then record to the PlayOn Cloud. You wont get any buffering that way. Then download the mp4 from the cloud to your device and watch away in HD with no buffering. This also bypasses any video resolution restrictions your plan places on you. Works great!
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My apologies if this has already been shared.

I can't help with iPad or other Apple devices, but I can with Android devices.

I record in PlayOn Cloud, then download from the cloud to my Android device (in my case, I currently use a Samsung Galaxy S8). After the recording has been dowloaded, I use the File Commander app to connect my phone to my PC over my home network to transfer the files from my phone to my PC. The path the recordings are stored in is Android -> Media -> com.playonrecorder.cloudapp. Be sure to make note of whether you've set the app to record to your internal storage or to your SD card. 

The File Commander app is fantastic. I've used it for years, and am quite pleased with it. I use it instead of using a USB connection - my PC has a conniption if the files I'm trying to transfer over USB are too big. But when I use File Commander, my PC sees it as a download and merrily transfers the data that way.
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Yep. That would work.

Have you tried the beta download zone with PlayOn? If you got a free zone that would be handy!
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I'm currently on unlimited Silver - I do my downloading when I'm at work or I use my mobile data (grandfathered unlimited from waaaaaaaaay back in the day). I also download from home, as I rarely get anywhere near my cap.

But for folks with the LNFZ, that could come in right handy indeed.

(I use PlayOn Cloud because I have trouble with video/audio sync when I try to record using PlayOn Desktop.)
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I too have trouble recording with the PlayOn Desktop. I think that is related to the variable speeds and high latency that occurs with the Viasat network combined with what provider you are trying to stream from.
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I would recommend PlayOn Cloud. It's easier and for this particular situation it's the no-brainer choice. If you need to do get your videos to your PC without downloading them you can get them from your device to your PC or Mac. 

Install iTunes on your PC, connect your phone or tablet, select it in iTunes, Go to File Sharing, then select PlayOn Cloud (or whatever app has your videos) and drag and drop the videos to your PC.  

You still need the video files on your device fo that to work, but as mentioned, you can set them up to auto download to your phone/tablet in the middle of the night. 
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Not to mention if you are on one of the the "unlimited" plans, using PlayOn Cloud you can still record, download, and watch movies in HD!