Forget Hulu Plus, PlayOn Works on iPad (Sort Of)

By  |  Monday, August 2, 2010 at 8:52 am

While Harry was writing a short post about PlayOn’s iPhone web app, I immediately started trying to run the streaming video service on the iPad as well. I’m happy to say that with a bit of trickery, I’m now able to watch videos from Hulu, CBS.com and more from the iPad, without paying for Hulu Plus.

To do this, you’ll need a Windows PC, the latest version of PlayOn (you can try it free for 14 days, and the paid version is much cheaper than Hulu Plus), and Atomic Web Browser, an alternative iPad browser that costs $1. You’ll also want a bit of patience, because PlayOn doesn’t officially support the iPad right now and the workaround isn’t flawless.

The trick is simple: In Atomic Web, go to “Settings,” then hit “Identify Browser As,” then select “Mobile Safari – iPhone.” This fools PlayOn’s mobile website into thinking you’re visiting from an iPhone, so it won’t redirect you back to the PlayOn homepage.

Now, run PlayOn on your computer, then visit m.playon.tv on the iPad. Press the button to connect with your PC, and you’re in. Just look at all that content!

Fair warning on some glitches: Each menu page may take a couple seconds to load, and you might stare at a black screen momentarily before videos start playing. Don’t start tapping buttons wildly, just wait it out. Also, my computer slowed down considerably and my router dropped its connection after using PlayOn’s mobile site, but I haven’t experimented enough to say whether those are one-time bugs, critical flaws or total coincidence.

I’m now seriously considering a lifetime PlayOn license (as an aside, I’m thrilled that PlayOn now offers a flat-rate alternative to its yearly subscription plan). PlayOn only works over a home network with a PC in tow, so iPhone support doesn’t really interest me, because I won’t watch video at home on such a small screen. But with iPad support, I can watch Hulu in bed, or subscribe to MLB.tv without also having to buy the $15 iPad app. Until PlayOn adds iPad support officially, or Apple approves PlayOn’s native apps, this workaround is going to be great.

 
20 Comments


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20 Comments For This Post

  1. Tracy Burman Says:

    Hey PlayOn here – the iPhone app works over 3G or when you are on another wifi network as well! Try it :)

  2. Horace Grabapple Says:

    Not working for me — saying no PC found!

  3. Horace Grabapple Says:

    Also want to add that Playon is running on my PC and I am able to use it on my PS3

  4. JaredNewman Says:

    Horace,

    Are you updated to the latest version of PlayOn (v 3.0)? My PC wasn't getting found either, until I updated. You also need to enable mobile access in your PlayOn settings.

  5. hulu downloader Says:

    With a bit of trickery, Hulu Downloader app is is much cheaper than Hulu Plus) to download Hulu videos and convert the video to iPad. From http://www.huludownloader.org you can get the software . Free download trial supported. That is a nice gaget.

  6. barry Says:

    As of yesterday, August 19th, Playon no longer works on the Ipad with the user agent, Safari Iphone, set on the Atomic Web browser. The developer said they “changed something” , so this “trick” doesn’t work anymore. They apologized for the inconvenience, and say they will (soon – no specific timing given) be launching a native Ipad app. I feel I wasted my $40.

  7. Mikr Says:

    Simple workaround using just Safari. In PlayOn make sure you are using the manual method of port forwarding and then direct your browser to that port. E.g. 192.168.1.5:53371, where the first part is your computer's local IP address, and that after the colon is the port. enjoy.

  8. Mikr Says:

    Here is a way to work around. Set your user agent on Atomic Browser to WAP device and then go to m.playon.tv on the Atomic Browser. You will be able to visualize the server, but not access anything, THEN go back in a change the User agent to the Mobile iPhone setting and return to the browser. You should be able to navigate and play files then. Working for me. Cheers.

  9. Mikr Says:

    In fact, if you use Manual port forwarding, I am able to access the server through Safari by directing Safari to the WAN page index.html (e.g. 75.90.150.250:53371/index.html, you can get this by looking at the diagnostic info in PlayOn settings). At least it is working for me right now.

  10. Love My Ipad Says:

    That suggestion is great….thanks

    What i tinkered with and it works is setup your atomic browser to mobile iphone like you suggested and then use the IP address of your computer and port number 54479. (eg xxx.xxx.xxx:55479/index.html. ) this take you directly to the playon page. You may have to open the port on your router for this but it works. Put your atomic browser in full screen mode and it's great

  11. Love My Ipad Says:

    I just tested the above with the safari browser on the ipad and that works too.

  12. ahsan Says:

    I was able to access using atomic browser with wap agent & changing it to safari iphone agent as mentioned , but no luck with sound!! any idea?

  13. Mikr Says:

    Never had a issue with sound. Do you use PlayOn on other devices. Does the sound work on that other device?

  14. Jimi Says:

    I can get playon to come up on iPad but playing anything get the 'Install flash' message??

  15. Jimi Says:

    Just tried it on iPhone same thing. Load flash player

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