PlayOn Cloud and Desktop

PlayOn Cloud and Desktop.

PlayOn is a legal system that allows you to download movies, TV shows and clips from common streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Disney+ , Prime Video or ABC iView.

It offers two services: PlayOn Cloud, and PlayOn Desktop.

PlayOn Cloud records your content into a “cloud” server initially, using its own data, NOT yours. You then schedule your content to download to your own device or computer at times that suit you – such as the nbn™ off-peak period of 1am to 7am of your local timezone.

PlayOn Desktop lets you download content directly onto your computer. You will still need the cloud app to schedule recordings.

Those movies and TV shows are then available for you to watch at any time.

It is relatively cheap and simple to use, you don’t have to be very tech savvy and it’s an excellent way to use your off-peak data that often goes unused.

It’s also useful where you might be experiencing network congestion, slow equipment, or to download movies, clips, and TV shows for times when you need to watch offline (for example, travelling).

This page primarily covers the PlayOn Cloud service. For details on using PlayOn Desktop, see the PlayOn Desktop User Guide.

How does it work?

PlayOn Cloud

Your selected movie or TV show is recorded into the PlayOn Cloud server. This doesn’t use up any of your data.

You then download the file from PlayOn Cloud at a time that you schedule, using the PlayOn Cloud mobile app or desktop downloader. This is when you use your internet data.

Once the file is in your computer or device, you can watch it at any time, on any device; this includes Roku, Chromecast, FireTV or Apple TV. This uses no internet data.

Be aware:

  • The recording works in a “streaming” fashion, meaning that if a movie is 3 hours long it will take 3 hours to record.
  • Cloud recordings are stored for 7 days. You must download them to your local computer or device before the 7 days expires.

PlayOn Cloud downloads during peak times too! If you find yourself at the end of your billing period with some leftover peak data and not enough time to use it up, you can use PlayOn Cloud to record content to watch later.

What do I need?

  1. A PlayOn account. There may be a free trial available for you to test the service. After that, you’ll need to buy “recording credits” (for PlayOn Cloud) or upgrade to a paid account (PlayOn Desktop).
  2. One PlayOn Cloud credit equals one whole movie or TV show, regardless of length, and costs anywhere between 10c and 75c. You buy credits through the app.
    1. Recording credits packs. For example, a “starter pack” is a
    2. Monthly plans. There’s a range of plans, depending on how many recordings AND how much storage space you need in the cloud. For example, 100Gb of space will hold up to 160 hours of video. It depends on how much you need to record at once before you download it.
    3. Plans may be on sale. This can be very cost-effective indeed, if you can find a sale.
  3. Accounts with participating streaming service providers, such as Netflix or ABC iView.
    1. Some providers don’t need accounts, or allow you to see a limited set of shows without an account.
    2. Some providers have paid accounts, but may have a free trial (for example, Amazon Prime Video generally has a 30-day trial period).
    3. Others may just require you to sign in with a free account – for example, BBC iViewer.
  4. The PlayOn Cloud app for iOS or Android – this is where you control your downloads. The app is free.
  5. (Optional) The PlayOn Cloud downloader (for either Mac or PC). This allows you to download your recordings to a folder on your computer, instead of your device. This is different software to the Windows-only PlayOn Desktop software.
  6. Enough space on your device or computer to download the shows to.

     What can I download?

At the time of writing, the app lists the following providers:

  • ABC iView
  • Netflix
  • YouTube
  • Disney+
  • Amazon Prime

Some services need you to create an account and log in to access all content.

You can suggest alternate channels via email to

How to start with PlayOn Desktop

We recommend the easy-to-follow instructions on the website for the Windows PlayOn Desktop software.


How to start with PlayOn Cloud

You can also look at the PlayOn Cloud Quickstart guide.

Create account

Note: you must use the app to create your PlayOn Cloud account.

  1. Download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

Image credit: BIRRR

  1. Create a PlayOn Cloud account through the app.
  2. You may be able to test the service for free for a week. This will allow you to record and store a relatively small number of recordings, while you work out whether the service is for you.
  3. Once you’ve finished any trials, you need to buy “recording credits” to record shows. One credit is valid for one show or movie of any length. One episode of a show would use one credit, for example.
  4. There are two ways you can get recording credits:
    1.  Buy recording credits packs.

Image credit: BIRRR

    1. Buy a monthly plan. There’s a range of plans, depending on how many recordings AND how much storage space you need in the cloud. For example, 100Gb of space will hold up to 160 hours of video. It depends on how much you need to record at once before you download it.

Image credit: BIRRR


  1. Check with your service provider if they offer discounts or plans for PlayOn Cloud.

Check settings

This is where you tell PlayOn Cloud what your recording times are. This is the vital part of the app for using off-peak data.

  1. Tap “Settings” and then “Download options”.
  2. Check the settings look like this:
    1. Auto-download on Wi-Fi. Leave this ON to have recordings automatically download from the cloud to that device during the hours you specify. Turn if OFF to start downloads manually or to use another device or computer to download the content.
    2. Allow downloads on cellular data and Auto-download on cellular data need to be OFF if you just want to use your satellite data.
    3. Restrict Downloads to off-peak is ON.
    4. Set the Begin and End times appropriately. The default is 2am and 8am – change this to 1am and 7am for nbn™ Sky Muster™ off-peak times.  PlayOn Cloud works in your local time.
  3. Tap “Video Quality” and change it depending on whether you need High Definition for a large screen (uses more data) or Standard Definition for mobile devices and less data.

Image credit: BIRRR

Image credit: BIRRR

Select and start recording content

You do this through the app only.

  1. Tap “Channels”. This displays your main page.
  2. Select a service – for eg, Netflix.
  3. Sign in as need be. You’ll need to know your service username and password. (This is where a Password Manager is very helpful).
    1. You can’t access services you don’t have an account with.
    2. If you want to access content from a service you’re not signed up to, visit that service on its own website or app to create an account, then go back to PlayOn Cloud to log in.
  4. Search for the content you want to record.
  5. Tap on your content. There will be an “Add to queue” button against individual movies or TV episodes, or “Record all” against whole TV series.
    1. Remember that one TV episode one one series is one credit! PlayOn Cloud will remind you of this before you start recording.
  6. Tap “Add to queue”.
  7. The content is now in the queue. It will start recording immediately. The recording time takes as long as the movie or TV episode takes.
  8. The recording is being saved into your PlayOn Cloud storage, located on the PlayOn Cloud computer. This recording is NOT using your data.

Download content

This is the bit that uses your off-peak data. It happens automatically, during the times you’ve specified in your device or the PlayOn Cloud Downloader software.

The content will download to your device or computer, depending on your preference.

Download to device.

    1. Ensure the device has enough storage space for the recording. One movie uses about 1Gb of space.
    2. Ensure PlayOn Cloud is open.
    3. Ensure your device is connected to the satellite connection via Wi-Fi.
    4. Plug the device into power.
    5. If “Auto-download on Wi-Fi” is ON, your recordings will automatically download between the specified hours.
    6. If it’s off, or you want to download it outside of those hours, tap on “Recordings” to find the recording you want, and start the download there.
  1. Download to computer.
    1. Ensure the device has enough storage space for the recording. One movie uses about 1Gb of space.
    2. Turn “Auto-download on Wi-Fi” OFF on your devices.
    3. Your content will automatically download to a “PlayOn Cloud Recordings” folder on your computer during your specified hours.

When the download is complete, the recording will be available under the “Recordings” tab in your device app, or in the “PlayOn Cloud Recordings” folder on your computer.

Failed recordings

Sometimes a record or download will fail. You can generally just add them back into the queue to try again.

If you continue to get failed recordings or have other problems, submit a support request under the “Settings” button.

Watching your recordings

  1. Watch them directly from your device or computer.
  2. “Cast” them from your device or computer to your TV, using a streaming device (such as Chromecast or AppleTV).
  3. Put the files onto a USB or hard drive and plug that straight into your TV.
  4. If you have downloaded onto a laptop you can also use an HDMI to plug your computer directly into your TV.

Mirroring apps (try Googling one that is compatible with your TV and device) are also an easy way to watch.

Other questions

Synching between devices

If you login with the same PlayOn Cloud account across all your devices or computers, your recordings will sync across all of your devices that have the app installed. Please ensure your settings are updated in each version of the app.

How much data does it use?

You can easily adjust the quality of your recordings (similar to adjusting the streaming quality on your Netflix account), which will reduce the amount of data that is used per recording. However, I find anything less than Medium quality to be unwatchable and if you have a decent sized tv then you may want to stick to a High-quality download setting.

  • Low Definition: reduced standard definition video quality, can use up to 300MB per hour.
  • Medium Definition: standard definition (SD) video quality, can use up to 700MB per hour.
  • High Definition: high definition (HD) video quality, can use up to 3GB per hour.

Recording failure

In the unlikely event of a recording failure, you’ll automatically be issued a replacement credit. If you encounter any further issues, contact the PlayOn support team at

Problems and tech support
PlayOn works really well the majority of the time. You can have issues where shows have not recorded properly or not at all (this can be from a minor Play-On glitch or a short Sky Muster™ outage or update).

The program will flag the ones that failed to record overnight so you can add them to the queue to record next time.

     More support and information

PlayOn Cloud FAQs

PlayOn Desktop FAQs

PlayOn Cloud Quickstart guide

PlayOn Desktop User Guide

PlayOn support