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.