PlayOn, the best streaming DVR, is now much more expensive

For a certain type of cable cutter, PlayOn has always been an invaluable tool.

With PlayOn’s desktop software, you can record TV shows from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney +, and HBO Max, allowing you to watch them even after your subscription expires or when they switch to a different service. Essentially, it is a DVR for streaming services that do not have their own built-in recording functions.

But earlier this month, PlayOn developer MediaMall quietly made a major change: The company is discontinuing its current desktop software and replacing it with a subscription-based service called PlayOn Home. While PlayOn Desktop still works at the time of writing, its recording capabilities will start to break down over time and the program will not work at all in Windows 11.

While the change may be necessary for the MediaMall business, it traps users who paid for PlayOn licenses for life and further complicates the question of how to record shows for viewing on their own terms.

PlayOn DVR explained

Until earlier this month, PlayOn offered two versions of its DVR service:

PlayOn Desktop is a Windows application that uploads videos to a hidden web browser and silently records them to your computer’s hard drive. It was available with a one-time purchase – officially $ 70, but often at a discount – and allowed for unlimited recordings.

PlayOn Cloud it is an online version of the service that does not require a Windows PC. Users queue recordings from their phone or computer, and PlayOn records them through its own servers before they are available for download. Each recording costs one “credit” for up to 720p resolution, or three credits for 1080p, priced at approximately $ 0.15 per credit.

In both cases, you end up with .MP4 video files that you can treat however you want. This is useful in several scenarios:

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