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Playon Tutorial

By Robert Gapen

Playon Is a home server that installs on your computer that delivers video to many devices. Basically it becomes the middle man between your computer, the internet, and your device. While it can deliver to many devices, we will be covering the roku player here. For information on other devices please visit

Before we get into too many details on how to use playon it's a good idea to cover how it works, that way you know if it is fit for you and your home network. Playon, while delivering content in its core is a "server" so unlike
other software you may have on your computer, it sends and receives information from both ways constantly "contacting the website the video is hosted on" delivering it back to your computer "then delivering it to the roku".

Not all firewalls will work with playon. Because of this you must white list, or allow on all networks "media Mall/playon" in order for it to work. Without internet access it cannot function!!

Your home network must be able to handle the information load that will be traveling on it otherwise you will experience long load times/constant rebuffering/freezing/time outs/ or just degraded video quality. It is recommended that you have a long distance or wide range router if you will be using wireless internet in a larger home or through walls and floors. They can handle a heavier traffic load on the home network and the distance.

Your computer is the main server Playon uses. It uses your computer’s processing power to transcode the video into a playable format for use on the roku player, so it is important that you do not have a lot of programs running in the background while trying to watch tv. It is best if you have at least a dual core processor, and at least 5 GB free hard drive space & 512 MB RAM. Of
course more is always better. Playon will only work on a Windows based computer- unfortunately this means you MAC!

The speed of your internet is essential. Without speed your Playon server will not be able to deliver efficiently. I recommend at least having a 12 mbps broadband connection but 15 or above would be best.

The distance between your computer and the roku player is important. The further away your server is the faster your internet must be to deliver quality video content as video degrades over distance since the further it must travel the weaker it gets unless you have a repeater set up!

To download the Playon server please visit

You will get a 2 week free trial for testing it out then it’s a monthly or yearly fee after that, at this time (4.99 a month or 39.99 a year)

Once you have it downloaded just follow the installation instructions and if your firewall pops up make sure you allow it!

Once you have it installed go here to add it to your roku player, or just log into your account and click the link for adding a private channel and enter the code MYPLAYON. You may have
to enter and exit the channel store on your box to speed up the process of adding it to your channel line up. At this point you should be set to use it.

Playon comes ready with many channels included to watch, but there are others you can add.
I'll cover that in a minute.

In order to use many of the more wanted channels like Hulu or ESPN you must get into the server on your computer and enter your account information
in the channel section, to make sure it has access to deliver your videos. This means you must have an account with their websites in order to use it. The
great thing about Playon is for example, with Hulu they have a free version or a paid version for premium shows. With Playon you will have access to both
on your tv as long as you’re a paying member and running it through Playon. This is a major benefit for a lot of people, also since Playon can be used on
many other devices. Say netflix/hulu or even ESPN may not have it set up to use that device with your account, but with playon you will still get access to it.

For the other hard to find channels:

You will notice a Tab on the server on your computer that says Plugins. Playon has many hundreds if not thousands of third party developed
plugins (some work better than others) to allow you access to a lot of hard to find content. You just need to visit the websites and search to find them.
Here is one of the websites but a google search will turn up many more.

Once you have found a plugin you would like you need to install it. This is as simple as downloading it and double clicking to install it. It should automatically install into the plugin section on your software (as long as it was built correctly,) though you will need to restart the sever in order to have it show up on the tv.
In the general settings tab you will notice a button that says “stop." Click “stop” then let it do its thing. Once the status turns from green to grey click “start."
Now you have just rebooted the server and as long as you didn’t have Playon running on the tv it should show up when you open it on your roku player -if you have it running then just exit and re-open it.

good luck and happy watching !


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