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Isaac Hummel

"Do you want to be able to record Netflix (and other video) streams?"

How's that different than ripping a DVD you get in the mail? Other than the fact that in that case you don't have to spend any money (if you know what you're doing) and you get the files in a form you can do anything you want with? Yeah, I guess in this case MediaMall is the one who is open to legal liability rather than you, but in reality no one's ever going to sue you for ripping DVDs either (which I am NOT recommending BTW). Morally I see no difference.

Oh, and since the files you get are DRMed, when MediaMall gets sued out of existence does that mean they'll stop playing?


This kind of software are illegal so ... I won't pay for something that I know illegal and who will be probably shut down very soon after the official release, if it's not before.

Contents are available for a very long time on Netflix, a ok time on Hulu, I don't see why people would pay 5 bucks a month to record something that they already pay for.


The Supreme Court said that time shifting is legal in Universal City Studios, Inc. et al. v. Sony Corporation of America Inc. et al (otherwise known as the "Betamax" case).

Time shifting refers to the right of a consumer to record a broadcast or cable program to view at a later time or date.

How or if this applies to recording Netflix et cetera is not clear, but if I was MediaMall I would argue time shifting.

Robert Woods

Why would I pay for something that would hurt a business I support? Netflix has given me much more in entertainment value than the 9 bucks a month I pay. I hate to think that a portion of my fee will now have to go for legal fees to stop this.

Edward R Murrow

I think that the time shifting argument will come down to the contracts that Netflix has signed with the content providers. If it's streaming only, then lots of lawyers are gonna get involved. If Netflix signed contracts with content providers that allows for downloads, then time shifting won't be an issue.

Recorded stream = download


According their the site: Question, Is it Legal? Play Later's response: PlayLater is a legal technology that is designed to let individuals watch legal online content at a time of their choosing. Just like the broadcast DVR and the VCR before it, PlayLater is designed for personal use and convenience.

Robert Emmerich

"at a time of their choosing"

um, it's Netflix, it's ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO WATCH AT A TIME OF YOUR CHOOSING. Unless of course your off-line, in which case the legal argument will be whether or not you have to be constantly connected to view Netflix, not whether you can "time shift" as the whole POINT of streaming is NOT having to time shift, it's always available. That's what I'ld argue anwyay if I were Netflix, you have to be connected to Netflix. If you are "logged in" then Netflix should be HAPPY you are time shifting as it saves them bandwidth if you are repeatedly watchign a show.


I might like to record a stream if it would allow me to fast-forward and rewind right. I *hate* FF/RW on streaming - thumbnails, rebuffering - really? Much of what I watch on my Roku fits completely in the buffer; why can't it FF/RW through whatever is in the buffer like any normal device?

Unfortunately, as I understand it, this only works on PC so (even if it fixes FF/RW) no sale.


I just had a dozen titles expire yesterday that I'd been trying my best to watch but ran out of time. A lot of them were nice HD transfers of old releases that are only available on crummy letterboxed DVDs. I don't know how anybody can't see the point of this.

George Machen

This thing downloads & installs PlayOn Digital Media Server 3.4.4.


@robotskilledyou - Exactly! Plus, there's many titles (mostly old, but that's a plus for me) that are *only* available for streaming. So, when they expire, there's no getting the DVD. Then again, I'm not sold on it being worth $5/month. Maybe if it was a 1 time fee, i.e. application purchase. I'm going to play around with it, but I doubt I'll buy the service when I am forced to. Most streaming content goes on a sort of rotation, so I always figure if I didn't get a chance to catch it previously, I will likely get another chance in the future.


Well, all arguments are irrelevant for me, as I cannot get the downloaded movies to play back. WMP just gives an unrecognized format error and apparently, since the program is in beta, there is no discernable support that I can find... Anyone have any luck with this?


Guys, this is a beta. Why are so many expecting a beta to have all features and work perfectly? It's in beta so they can get it all working, and then I'm sure they'll add new features.

It doesn't play, and you say it's a dealbreaker. Remember that it's a beta. They have support: Look in the settings, you'll find it in there. They have been helpful to me.

Only plays on PC. They've said they want to have it as a channel in PlayOn, so I'm sure they will, once it's all working. Then it won't be PC only.

The point is to be able to watch something whenever and wherever you want, without Internet access needed when you want to watch. Is it useful for me? If I traveled, I'd love it because I could bring my laptop and not have to try to stream on a hotel connection or something. If I want to download at night and not use up the bandwidth on others during the day. But it won't be TRULY useful to me until it's a channel in playon.

Cool program, needs to be able to record new episodes like TiVo with a season pass like thing, and to be played through Playon itself, and I'd love it.


Can't this already be done without the need to pay a monthly fee for the use of this app? With either set top netflix ready devices or a pc output to the TV one could record using anything that can record could they not? Example a VCR? Though a digital type of recorder like DVR is more likely. Or what about a capture card on a PC? For those who use their PC as the recorder.


Macrovsion prevents you from recording video from Netflix, etc. There are screen capture programs that record but that's a lot of work.

I don't see Playlater as usefull to me since you have to leave your PC on. Also videos from Hulu are available to view for weeks, video on Netflix even longer.

As for the legality of PlayLater I would say it falls under time-shifting but I'm sure the studios won't like it.


I wouldn't want to record for copyright infringement (i.e. to keep), but I would want to record to potentially skip ads -- and even MORE importantly, to watch faster than realtime.

Though I'm starting to watch some streaming stuff, especially for things like documentaries, I watch on my DVD recorder where I can watch faster than realtime with sound. I do that for DVD commentaries and other things too.

Also, the idea that it's "always available to stream" is not necessarily true.. not all of us want to pay for cell phone data connection (very expensive).

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