PlayLater Records Internet TV & Movies to Play Later
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
February 06 2012 01:44 PM ET
Fans of streaming shows now have a backup when a Wi-Fi connection is not an option. Say you're traveling and don't want to pay the price for a day of Wi-Fi in your hotel or for a few hours of service on a flight, or Wi-Fi is unavailable. If you have your laptop and use a new service called PlayLater, you're in luck.
Internet TV shows and movies to play back later on your computer or mobile device. You'll need an Internet connection to record the shows, but you won't need one to watch them. Essentially, it's TiVo for the Web.
PlayLater offers a two-week free trial. Afterward, you can opt to pay $5 a month or $20 a year for unlimited service.
PlayLater works only with Windows PCs at this time. The company says it’s developing a version for Macs and iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad, as well as for Android phones and tablets.
Once you've downloaded the PlayLater software and opened the app, you'll see all available channels in a clickable running line across the top of the window. You can browse or search for a title. When you find the show you want, select it and press record. Shows are archived in your queue to watch later and the files themselves are stored on your computer .
PlayLater currently has 32 channels, including Hulu, ESPN, Comedy Central, MTV and Netflix . The company has opened its software to independent developers to create plugins for additional channels. The company’s app store offers free plugins for Bravo, CBS College Sports, HGTV and others.
But is it legal?
"Whether the video is delivered to the consumer over the airwaves to a TV screen, or over the Internet to a PC screen, the law states that they have a right to record it for personal time-shifting use," Jeff Lawrence, the company's CEO, said. "PlayLater allows a consumer to do just that."
The paragraph, which reads, "You may not download…modify, copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, duplicate, publish, license, create derivative works from, or offer for sale any information contained on, or obtained from or through, the Netflix service, without our express written consent," seems to indicate that Netflix would not allow recording.
Lawrence, however, said it’s common practice for media companies to lead people to believe that they are prohibited from making copies through the use of such legal notices and terms.