A few years back, I paid for a lifetime subscription to PlayOn TV. At the time, it seemed like a terrific idea and for awhile it actually worked. Since that time, Amazon and Netflix have gotten wise to PlayOn's business model and are assuming that every PlayOn user is trying to steal content and redistribute it illegally - at least that is what various forum contributors have shared.
As background, my primary reasons for using PlayOn are to move content to my NAS to watch when I have time (like after something has been removed from Netflix) or to transfer to my phone to watch on my very frequent flights across the US.
PlayOn is no longer consistently usable consumer software. It's now much more a hobbyist platform that requires constant tweaking and futzing outside the program and numerous support emails (sorry, no phone or chat) to make work. If it was free, I could see that being part of the equation, but if I pay for software that claims to provide specific functionality and consistently fails to deliver said functions, it should be free.
What functionality am I talking about, you may ask?
1. Seamless log-in AND recording to premium content sites like Amazon and Netflix. Over the past year, there have been consistent issues with recording after having verified credentials in setup. Right now, for example, setup affirms that my credentials are correct for both and in each case I cannot record from either. Instead I get a message saying either my username or password is incorrect.
2. Lack of HD or UHD content. Think $3K HDR TV's and 720p content. Ugh
3. Stereo sound only. Really? Do you guys at PlayOn really think that people that have invested in an awesome Dolby Atmos system want to watch some crappy sub-DVD quality video with stereo sound?
4. Clumsy, non-functional channel setup. Even National Geographic and FX don't work right after verifying credentials via PlayOn's browser. Extremely frustrating.
I suspect the problems come down to DRM and content protection battles between software developers like PlayOn and the content providers. Content providers are constantly trying to block programs like PlayOn and PlayOn is constantly trying to slap on patches to combat the blocking attempts. The result, PlayOn subscribers get an extremely inconsistent, frustrating, off-putting experience that drives them to alternatives or to just give up entirely.
Is PlayOn worth purchasing? No, not until it can provide software that works ALL THE TIME as advertised.