Users of Google’s $35 Chromecast TV adapter now have access to more than 100 channels of free web video — including shows from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Comedy Central and Hulu — on their HDTVs, along with a guide-like interface to navigate them through MediaMall Technologies’ PlayOn.
The PlayOn media server software uses Chreomcast to streams online videos to TVs. The PlayOn service is available in annual ($29.99 per year) and lifetime ($59.99) subscriptions. The company also sells PlayLater, DVR-like recording software for storing shows for later playback.
Chromecast doesn’t include an on-screen guide. The PlayOn software provides one for its channels slung to Chromecast, giving users a way to browse channels.
Google launched Chromecast last July with support for Netflix and YouTube, Google Play Music and the ability to play content purchased through the Google Play store. The device quickly sold out, and Google has said it has sold “millions” of the small dongles.
Since its launch, Chromecast has picked up a slew of other partners, including: Pandora, Hulu Plus and HBO Go, Vevo, Songza, The Washington Post’s PostTV, Viki, Discovery Communications’ Revision 3, Red Bull.TV, BeyondPod, Plex, Avia and RealPlayer Cloud. Next month, Aereo — which is currently awaiting a Supreme Court ruling about whether its service is legal — plans to add support for Chromecast.
“Chromecast is a great, inexpensive device for cord-cutters but is somewhat limited in its content and casting capabilities,” MediaMall CEO Jeff Lawrence said. “PlayOn gives Chromecast users a universal interface for TV-watching and vastly expands the list of available channels, and with very little fuss, it also brings a full-screen cross-browser web casting experience that users can’t get with the Chromecast alone.”
To use PlayOn with Chromecast, users must download and install software on a PC and get the PlayOn app on their mobile device. They can then use their mobile device as a TV channel guide and remote control to browse and search for movies, shows and clips.