Continuing the trend of media servers that play nice with home video game consoles, PlayOn! has apparently raised the bar. With the new beta software released to the public yesterday, Windows XP and Vista users can now stream video from sites like Hulu and YouTube directly to their Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and HP MediaSmart TVs.
The technology is fairly simple; the software grabs RSS feeds from video content providers and pushes them through over your home network. With support already encompassing ESPN and CBS, it would appear that PlayOn! brings us a few steps closer to officially ditching our cable or satellite boxes. Netflix support has also been promised to be included in a new version of the software as well as Nintendo Wii compatibility by year's end. There does seem to be a catch however--after the 60-day trial period, you'll need to pay $30 if you want to keep the software.
We had a chance to quickly set up PlayOn! with our Xbox 360 last night and were surprised as to how easy it was to get going. We were able to watch plenty of Hulu content but couldn't access any of the movies the site has to offer--only TV programs were available. Image quality was acceptable for streaming, but we did notice an occasional lag in playback. Look for more impressions and how-tos using PlayOn! in the coming weeks.