Playster – Subscription Entertainment Service
Update 2/5/2017: As it turns out Playster does have a Cast function, as well as an HDMI cable in the Box, to connect the tablet to the TV. Also, each tablet comes with a built-in screen protector and you don’t need to pay in advance to receive the Combo Box. You sign up for 12 months and they will ship the Combo Box right away, then you keep paying the monthly fee each month like you would otherwise.
To use the cast function: Simply connect to wifi, then from the Playster8 home screen, pull the settings menu down from the top, select Cast Screen. Find your cast device (e.g. ChromeCast) and connect.
Playster is an all-in-one, or ala carte, entertainment subscription service giving access to everything from movies, musics, audiobooks, books, and games. One awesome incentive to sign-up is if you pay for a full year in advance for the full subscription package they will send you a free starter kit called the Combo Box, just pay shipping, that includes an Android tablet and Headphones. You can still install the app on your own tablet, phone or access the service via a computer too. The full unlimited service is $24.95 a month and ala carte services start as low as $3.95 a month for just movies, and each account allows for 3 simultaneous users, which is great for most families.
The Playster Combo Box
The playster combo box is a nice selling feature and and a good reason to purchase the full subscription package if your looking to add another tablet into your electronics mix. Just pay upfront for a full year, almost $300, and just pay $9.95 for shipping and get a Android tablet and headphones — pretty cool! Well…minus the fact that they don’t include a case or screen protector. From what I’m reading the branded tablet is actually a Polaroid tablet but without knowing all the details –its hard to get the protection for the tablet.
The tablet is a 7” non-hd Android tablet and while not a super fast tablet I did not have any issues with it from a performance perspective, however a comparable tablet in the store would probably sell between $50 and $70. And as mentioned earlier you don’t have to use their tablet — you can download the app from Google Play or iTunes to use on your own equipment too
The Entertainment Options
After using the service for a few weeks I think overall it’s a great idea but not there just yet as far as what content partners are currently working with Playster. I was able to find some known movies, but not many — so unless you like to discover and watch tons of B movies the movie options were not blowing me away — at least at the time of testing. Additionally the movies can only be viewed in the app on a phone or tablet or on desktop — there is no Roku, FireTv, or AppleTv app — just yet nor could I use it with my Chromecast — that was a total fail for me but I am told they are working on apps.
The unlimited Music library also seemed to be lacking, while I found a good amount of known artists in the searches it seemed that much of the music was random tracks from the artists, not full albums, and they were placed in playlist. Green Day’s Dookie was available — so I liked that! If you are into artist discovery this would be a great option to find new music.
I found the best features of the service to be the ebooks, audiobooks, and games. While I’m not a huge reader there were plenty of titles available in tons of genres and same goes for the audiobooks. While i’m not sure if anything is exclusive to Playster in those libraries, I would say from what I was finding the selection was pretty big and comparable to some ebook and audio book competitors.
Games was another nice feature — and you know if you have kids they are always asking to download some new game. The game library had tons of stuff — much of it had Playsters logo on the icon but I don’t think it was exclusive to Playster as I saw some titles that looked familiar. However, from the titles I did install it did seem like they all had “no ads” which is nice not having to worry about a purchase because of a in-app ad.
I think the Playster platform is a great idea but a little pricey for the full subscription, especially with so many other subscription content services available. However, one great thing is the option to get ala carte subscriptions to the different services — but of course the full subscription saves you some dollars for the bundle and remember if you pay for a year upfront you get the combo box,
My biggest complaint is the lack of decent music and movie content and no third party apps or casting support for watching on my TV. And yes, I know some of the other services out there also have some odd movies but most of the ones I saw seemed like the low budget b films.
If you are looking for a service for audiobooks and ebooks, I think it’s worth checking out and same goes for games but until they can secure some better movie and music content partners I don’t think that part of the service is for me, at least at this time. While that’s my take away of the service Playster does offer a free trial and I recommend checking it out to see what content is available. They are also constantly working on bringing in new content partners and building their library… so the future hopefully holds much more and a better content selection
I think Playster is off to a good start and while they are in a very competitive market if they can secure the content and really differentiate themselves from some of the other services out — I think they could have some great potential and a great product.
To learn more check out Playster’s current available content