Using PlayOn with DirecTV

PlayOn has been around for several years now, but for most people it has remained on the edge. However, the app has managed to become more prominent and insinuate itself into more places. It can work with almost any DLNA-capable device and also works with other popular  hardware like Roku and Google TV. Since DirecTV’s HR line of DVR’s are DLNA-capable I decided to give it a shot.

There are a few things you need to take care of before getting started. First and foremost, you need to make sure your DVR is connected to your home network — mine is hardwired thanks to an ethernet jack I installed behind the media cabinet and network switch that feeds, not only the DVR, but the HTPC, Netgear NeoTV and Blue-Ray player.

Now you will need to install the PlayOn server on a computer on your home network. The free version contains home media access, Pandora, YouTube and HBO Go (subject to your  subscription). The paid service contains about 60 additional channels and costs $19.99 per year.

Enable the “My Media” feature and then point it to the folders where your media — pictures, video and music — is stored. It may take a bit of time to catalog everything.

Now, on your DirecTV DVR click the “Menu” button, browse to “Extras”, click “Music & Pictures” and you will find a list of the available channels and files from your PlayOn server.

Under many of the stations you will find sub-headings, including subsidiary channels like NBC Sports under NBC. While it work great with a DirecTV DVR, it really is more for those who are looking to cut the cord and PlayOn with a Google TV box may just be the way to go.