App of the Week: PlayOn Mobile for Android

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Ah, streaming media. Your promise is so elusive. The technology is here and robust enough to shoulder the burden, but the content companies have insisted that you be viewable first and foremost on big boy computers, with set-top boxes and mobile devices granted access on a case by case basis.

If this sounds like a conversation you’ve had in your own head, then you’re weirder than I thought perhaps you’d benefit from PlayOn’s Android app.

While it’s not exactly rocket science to set up, it won’t be a picnic for novice computer users either. The basic gist is that you load a little piece of software onto your always-on, always-connected desktop or laptop PC (sorry, no Mac client yet), which in turn grabs video from Hulu, Netflix, Comedy Central, MLB.tv, and several other streaming video sites and prepares it for easy streaming to your Android phone or tablet.

Streaming can be done over your phone’s Wi-Fi or 3G connections and, as a bonus, you can stream the same content from your computer to your home TV if you’ve got an Xbox 360, PS3 or Wii console.

PlayOn is free for two weeks, after which the first year of service costs $40, followed by $20 per year thereafter. If you’re instantly hooked, you can purchase a lifetime of service for $80.

Android Market Link: PlayOn Mobile

Product Website: PlayOn

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