Google TV is a sad clown right. All dressed up and ready to have fun, but performing in a cemetery. Hulu is blocked, along with all the network’s sites. Comcast’s Hulu-feed Fancast video portal worked for a couple of days but then the almighty overlords shut that down too. Google TV Search, which could be Google’s most useful and novel 2010 product, is pretty much useless right now. But there is one somewhat lame workaround if you must watch free online videos on Google TV: PlayOn.
Please don’t think this product restores the usefulness of Google TV. It doesn’t. But it is a reliable way to watch Hulu content, along with videos from other major sites, on Google TV.
The Google TV variant works the same way on this platform as it does on all the others. A DLNA server runs on a network-attached computer and serves up the video content through UPnP. The Google TV then sees the server through its DLNA client and provides a simple, graphical interface for video selection. It’s not pretty, but it works and is nearly impossible for the networks to block.
Since the service is through the DLNA client and not the web browser, Google TV Search does not work here. You might as well be using Hulu via a Wii or Xbox 360. The experience is no different, so please, do not use this to justify purchasing a Google TV now. The platform is still treading water. This is just a nice little workaround for current Google TV owners.