SageTV HD200 and PlayOn

December 7, 2008 at 1:04 am Leave a comment

PlayOn is a product that basically starts a UPNP server on your network, reads the feeds from Hulu and a few other online content providers (like NetFlicks), lets you use the UPNP server to navigate through the available items, and once you select one, it streams it down to the PC PlayOn is running on, then transcodes it on the fly to a format the device understands (like Mpeg, Windows Media, etc.).

Since the HD200 lets you navigate and play content from UPNP servers, the HD200 sees PlayOn running on the network.  Navigating PlayOn, however, is very slow, and the possible feeds you can look through are numerous, it is not nearly the joy to navigate as Boxee’s Hulu interface is.  Using Boxee (running on an AppleTV), the Hulu interface is clean and it is easy to find what you want to see.  With PlayOn via the HD200, you must first select that you wish to see all TV Shows, then select the first letter of the shows you’d like to see.  Each selection seems to take 10-15 seconds or so before the next page of content is loaded.  While the HD200’s display is barren of artwork, Boxee displays a picture from the show, so that it might catch your eye.  When you want to select the content, Boxee has this beat hands down.  Picture quality goes to PlayOn, hands down, however.

Where PlayOn shines, though, is in the actual playback itself.  It’s crisp, clean, and smooth.  On the AppleTV, the playback is a bit on the jumpy side.  It’s doesn’t come off as crisp (though perhaps the minor jumps every few seconds cause this effect).  It turns out that if you select REW or FF on the HD200, it knocks you back to the very begining of the show, but at least pause works properly.  I’ve read that the latest version of Boxee lets you REW and FF on Hulu playback, but I haven’t tried to do that just yet.  Using PlayOn, I’d say you get pretty close to DVD quality.  According to Sage, each 1 hour show (which is actually about 42 – 45 minutes of content) is 1.7 GB, so if you do this a lot, it might cause issues between you and your ISP.

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Entry filed under: General.

HD200 Experiences so far… SageTV HD Theater can record Hulu too

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