Don't look now, but PlayOn is starting to emerge as a major player in the TV-streaming world. It's not only one of the cheapest alternatives to a cable-TV subscription, but also a provider of more content than just about any other service.
A one-year subscription normally runs $39.99, but through November 15, you can get a one-year PlayOn subscription for just $19.99.
Each year after that will run you another $19.99, or you can nab a lifetime subscription for the sale price of $54.99 (normally $79.99).
How does the service work? PlayOn slings shows from your Windows PC to all kinds of devices: game consoles (Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3), networked media servers (like the Netgear EVA2000 and Roku boxes), and, as I recently examined for iPhone Atlas, your iPhone, iPod, or iPad.
What kinds of shows can you watch? Just about anything available from Netflix, Hulu (the free, non-premium version), Amazon VOD, CBS, Comedy Central, ESPN.com and ESPN3, PBS Kids, CNN, and, if you have a subscription, MLB.tv. (Here's the complete list of PlayOn content channels.) (CNET is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.)
If all this sounds too good to be true, it's not--PlayOn is just as awesome as it sounds. And for 20 bucks, it's an outright steal.
A few caveats, though. First, you have to leave your PC running, as it's the server that streams the shows. Second, PlayOn has an interface only a mother (or programmer) could love. Without a search option, finding the shows you want can be maddeningly difficult.
Finally, PlayOn doesn't support HD, at least not yet. While the content looks great on an iPhone or iPad, it's definitely on the SD side when viewed on a big TV. If you want to see for yourself before plunking down your $20 (or $55), grab the free 14-day trial.
Bonus deal: Real-time strategy gaming goodness. GameStop has Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight (PC) for just $9.99 (download version), the lowest price I can recall seeing. This wasn't the pinnacle of the C&C series (I think that honor goes to Generals), but it's still a sweet deal on a pretty new game.