Video Download Workaround

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I have noticed some discussion in the last few months about video download workarounds.

I bought a new Windows 10 computer that comes with One Drive. I can rent space from MS for a few dollars per month.

I currently use PlayOn to download videos during the LNFZ but I seem to be limited to about 1 video per night because PlayOn will not start the next video in the que if there is not enough time left with the LNFZ.

Can I download videos from Netflix or other streamers to a rented MS One Drive account during non-LNFZ hours without being charged by Viasat for that data? If so, can I then set up PlayOn to download these videos from my One Drive account to my Windows 10 PC during the LNFZ?

Thanks for your input.

 
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M.E.M.

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Posted 1 month ago

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Roy Munson

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When your movie downloads to your system it's thru Viasat's equipment so it's probably a charge? I enjoy a free zone if you have that option you're good to go. 
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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I wouldn't see why not. Unfortunately I haven't personally used any of those services but we do have a few forum regulars that do that can probably give more insight. If anything is done in the LNFZ hours you will not be dinged for usage as long as it's in that time frame. 
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Bev, Champion

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MS One Drive is the Microsoft Cloud, uploading to it or downloading form it will use data, it's a cloud service best turned off. To avoid using data, the movies would need to be downloaded to a device or drive inside your home during the LNFZ.
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Andy Schack

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Keep it simple, use PlayOn Cloud. I recorded 4 movies yesterday and downloaded them last night. 

Andy
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M.E.M.

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Isn't PlayOn Cloud an iOS platform only?
My PlayOn is Windows 10 based. I cannot find any Cloud setting on my app.
However, in PlayOn Settings, I can choose to save recordings in OneDrive.
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Old Labs

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PlayOn Desktop would still have to do the recording on your Windows 10 machine. You'd wind up taking a data hit on downloading, uploading and then possibly downloading again to watch - potentially consuming 3 times the data you currently are depending on how you setup OneDrive.

As noted by Andy, PlayOn Cloud is the best option for something like that. You buy recording credits that work out to 25 cents per recording (if credits are bought in bulk). Recording occurs in the cloud (on their servers) and you can then download the recording (mp4 format) at your leisure within 7 days - if you want to keep them in the cloud greater than 7 days you can buy an optional cloud storage plan - https://www.playon.tv/cloud

To use PlayOn Cloud you currently do need to use their Android (4.4 and up) or iOS (8.0 or later) app to schedule recordings, but can download them to anything for later viewing. I'm tempted to buy a cheap Android tablet just to try it out... 

(Edited)
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Andy. What is the minimum subscription for Playon Cloud? Is it a monthly or by recording or what?

My Playon desktop is failing tonight because Viasat is delivering me pathetic speeds. Ughh.
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Andy Schack

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First, I was one of the folks who donated to PlayOn when they were working on the Cloud format so I got a ton of credits in my acct.
However, I now am subscribed to the plan that gives me 100gigs of cloud storage and 20 credits per month, cost me 4.99mon. The next step up is quite a leap.....19.99/mon which gives 1T of storage and 40 credits per month. 
The best part is that you can re-watch a show or movie and you aren't burning up more data. 
My newest tv will "see" an ext hd....my last one could only read thumbdrives...so I migrate them from my laptop to that ext hd. 

For movies, it's a no-brainer.....25 cents each is an unbelievable deal. For a series, like Longmire....it's cheaper than buying them on dvd is the way I look at it. 

Andy
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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So $5/month gives you 20 shows of content?
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Andy Schack

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Yes, but you can buy more credits for 25 cents each in "bulk" ....100 cost your $25. The $5/mon gives you monthly credits AND 100 gigs storage, otherwise they auto-delete after 7 days. Now if you download them, who cares if they delete them. I'm primarily subscribing because I like the service they provide and want to support it. 

Andy
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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I might have to look into that. HBO to Go is giving me fits. It records so far and then Viasat hiccups with the speed and the system gets stuck in an endless loop. Has to be the speed because I have tried to record three different times the same program and it sticks at different places. Once it almost completed. Ughhhh!
(Edited)
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Hfcomms

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I use either a download manager or a torrent.  Set it to start at 3am local with no up/down restrictions and I can d/l several Gb in that time period every night.
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Andy Schack

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Don't know if it will do any good but I emailed PlayOn Cloud and asked about coming up with a download scheduler for the recorded files. We'll see. 

Andy
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Old Labs

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Does the email link (url) sent upon completing the recording require a login? If it's a direct link to the file and no prompt for login occurs, just about any download scheduler should work from your Windows devices. Of course some care must be used when using these download managers to ensure no other data usage occurs since the device must be left on - but where there's a will there's a way.

In M.E.M's case since he has that ASUS RT-AC3200 router he may also want to look into the Download Master application on his router - I haven't used it other than testing a small PDF download (scheduled during the free zone). It worked but I found it to be a bit cumbersome and often unreliable - but did allow downloading on a schedule with only the router powered on. When do schedule (rarely these days), I use Free Download Manager on Windows but for the most part I simply setup the list of downloads paused, take the laptop down to the library or McD's and let her rip on their dime (and fiber).
(Edited)
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Andy Schack

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Yes, the emailed link does have a login associated with it. However, it remembers my login credentials and I've only had to re-login once.

Andy
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Old Labs

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Was afraid of that which yields some complexity on some download managers (a browser based one might help - really depends on authentication method). M.E.M. doesn't want to get up in the middle of the night during free zone to initiate those download(s) manually. He's on Liberty 12 and has a three hour free zone from 0300 - 0600 - he's a late sleeper ;)

Addressing the gorilla in the room, M.E.M. indicates there is in fact a beta scheduler in that mobile app and he was going to try it out (which must automate the login) - his issue there is how to get the downloads off his iPad to his PC, I believe. I'm sure it can be done but don't speak apples (or oranges) - most of the search results I get suggest using iCloud or OneDrive to transfer - sure if you want to triple your data usage - down to iPad, up to cloud, down to Windows - that's about as useful as Apple's recommendation to save data on your phone use WiFi ;)
(Edited)
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M.E.M.

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The iPad PlayOn Cloud application did successfully start downloading at 3:00 am and stopped at 6:00. I had 4 movies in the que which were about 2 hours each. Two movies did download to the iPad. I assume time ran out for the other two.
That means that about four hours of video downloaded in three hours. Not great, but better than the download speeds on the PlayOn on my PC.
The PC based PlayOn downloaded three one hour documentaries at approximately the same time as the  PlayOn Cloud IPad downloads, so the iPad and PC downloads were simultaneous. The only minor exception to this is that the iPad downloads began at 3:00 am vs the PC downloads beginning at 3:05 AM. The download speeds on the PC Playon were close to the actual running time of the documentaries. That is, three hours of running time downloaded in three hours.
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Old Labs

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I would recommend trying without the PlayOn Desktop recording during the same period and yielding contention for your shared amount of bandwidth - you might see better results with the PlayOn Cloud downloads.  Then again it may not make much difference  if the Playon Servers are incapable of delivering the download at your maximum speed (at 25 cents a pop, I'm guessing we're not talking a robust set of servers with load balancing but who knows - it does take two to boogie down). How big were the two that did download? Do they provide the sizes prior to download in their app?
(Edited)
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M.E.M.

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By simultaneously downloading on both devices I got 7 hours of viewing material during 3 hours of downloading. I am happy with that.
The iPad videos appear to be saved within the PlayOn app. They are not in the normal video location for iPad. As such, I can watch them through the PlayOn Cloud app but not find the actual files to look at their properties. Maybe I will eventually stumble upon them.
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M.E.M.

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There appears to be at least one solution to the above issues.
Playon Cloud send me and email concerning yesterday's recording in the cloud so far with no Viasat involvement.
This is what they sent me.

I checked one of my Firefox Extensions called "Free Download Manager" which automatically places the download link into the FDM.

Here is what I got.


So the download should start automatically during the LNFZ for me. The net result is no Viasat data is charged to me throughout the entire process. I do pay PlayOn Cloud $0.25 for this convenience.
Download speeds or freeze ups to be determined after downloading.
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Andy Schack

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Old Labs, you asked if PlayOn Cloud indicated a file size. Yes, after I click the download link, the file download bar appears at the bottom of my browser screen and it shows both the total file size and amount downloaded. Their servers seem to be "up to the task".....they download over 1mbps. 

I still haven't heard back from the email I sent PlayOn about this issue of scheduling a download time. Will post back when I do. 

Andy
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Use Internet Download Manager to schedule your downloads from the Playon Cloud during the free zone.
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Old Labs

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We're waiting to see if M.E.M. enjoys/enjoyed To Kill A Mockingbird on waking up after using Free Download Manager - we're all cheap but not easy ;) 
(Edited)
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M.E.M.

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OL,

Yes and no. You were correct in much of what you said. I can watch my movies but I ended up using a different approach.

Ultimately, the FDM did not work as I had hoped. It did work in the short term when I scheduled a download for about an hour later. I aborted this success because it was not in the LNFZ. I then rescheduled it for the LNFZ and went to bed. As chance would have it, I awakened at 3:20 am and checked on things. This time the FDM apparently tried to start but received an error 403. I suspect that the PlayOn Cloud credentials have a short term fixed life and then expire.

Here is the good news. This forced me to manually start several of the PlayOn Cloud downloads. I saved these mp4 files directly to my new Windows 10 laptop. I also set up my Asus router to the real time bandwidth measurement in the QoS tab. The download speeds were better than I have ever seen. They typically ranged around a steady 20 Mbps with occasional speeds of 150 Mbps. There were no kilobyte lapses in speed. When I used this metric in the past, the downloads averaged about 1 mbps with pulses up to 5 mbps and long delays in the 250Kbps range. It appears that the PlayOn (not PlayOn Cloud) download manager regulates the download speed to be just enough to deliver data JIT. On the other hand, the PlayOn Cloud downloader is unregulated and delivers whatever speed the system can handle at that moment.

Therefore, here are my temporary conclusions until better information becomes available.

1.     Multiple simultaneous downloads are faster if downloaded on the same device, in this case my Windows 10 laptop. I simultaneously downloaded mp4 files the previous day using both my Windows 10 and my Ipad. This method yielded far slower overall download speeds. I guess that the router has an easier time with downloads if it has to only worry about one device.

2.     There seems to be no need to use the pc based PlayOn to schedule or record since this method results in much slower downloads, although it does allow LNFZ scheduling..

3.     The Playon Cloud is the way to go to select and download mp4 files to the cloud, but it requires an iOS or Android.  In addition, it has a download scheduler that can be used for the LNFZ. However, the downloaded files end up on the iPad, which may present a problem to some people, like me.

4.     The final piece to this puzzle for people like me with a LNFZ who are not insomniacs is to find a pc based download scheduler that will download the PlayOn Cloud supplied link, including its access credentials.

5.     Perhaps we are beating this to death, but what else do we have to do that is more important. I am retired, my children are in their 40’s and living in other states, I do not like to golf, entertainment is too far away, church meetings are not my thing, and I have mostly given up alcohol. Besides, people who gravitate towards technical issues mostly have obsessive-compulsive disorders. Otherwise, we would be doing something else, like living in the city and joining social clubs to occupy our time.
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Old Labs

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Thanks for the update. PlayOn should just provide the equivalent PlayOn Cloud app for Windows 10 (or incorporate that logic into the PlayOn Desktop application) and save us all some grief  - let me think on this one. There's no way to copy files from and iPad to Windows? Don't speak Apple so can't say.
(Edited)