Online media streaming has become a staple of our entertainment world in recent years. People are shifting from conventional media services such as TV and print to online subscription-based services in unprecedented numbers. And there is a good reason for this paradigm shift. Online services offer a level of flexibility and convenience that traditional services simply could not. Now you can watch a movie, play your favorite music or read a book at the touch of a button on almost any of the devices around you.
The popularity of such services brought with it a plethora of service providers. Although there are many services that offer access to individual media types, such as books, movies, music or games, there aren’t many that combine them all in one subscription. Playster does just that, however.
It is essentially an online service that bundles all the different media platforms into one subscription. When I came across the platform for the first time, I was thrilled by the idea that I could have all of my content in one place. By logging into one account, I could enjoy whatever I felt like. I quickly decided to give Playster a try and, after having used the service for quite some time now, I couldn’t be more impressed! I mean, I had my doubts in the beginning, but what the Playster team has come up with is remarkable.
In this detailed review, I will take you through some of the key features and my personal experience with Playster. I have been using Playster as my only streaming service for a month and have explored it in quite a lot of detail. There are a number of reasons why I am so impressed with this service and as you will soon see, it is quite compelling.
What is Playster and what makes it unique?
As I said earlier, Playster is an online subscription service. Although it bears some resemblance to a few of the streaming services on the market in terms of what it has to offer, there is much more to discover under the hood. First of all, Playster is a true all-in-one service and there are five types of multimedia that Playster offers:
- Movies and TV shows
- eBooks and Comic Books
The subscription model that Playster employs is also quite unique. The service offers true flexibility to the consumer. If you enjoy all of the above multimedia platforms, Playster allows you bundle them together as one subscription and save. However, if you want to pick and choose between them and make your own bundle or use any one of them as a standalone service, you are free to do just that! It makes a lot of sense to me that I can create my own bundle and don’t have to pay for services that I simply don’t what.
Another great feature that sets Playster apart from other services is the fact that you are not confined to one specific device in any way. Playster can be used on almost any device that you already have. You can enjoy Playster on your iPhone, Android phone or laptop. What’s more, you can use Playster on three different devices at the same time! This means that if someone in your family is watching a movie on Playster, you can simultaneously read a book on a different device. I personally love this feature. My four-year-old son can play a game on an iPad while I read a book on my iPhone at the same time!
If you’d like, you can view Playster’s library of content before you sign up at: https://play.playster.com
The signup process and pricing
The signup process for Playster is quite simply. You have the option to signup with your existing social media accounts, such as Facebook or Google+. Don’t worry: Playster will not post anything on your behalf! If you prefer to use your email, you can do that as well. Signing up is a streamlined process and after just a few clicks, you will be up and running.
If you are a new customer and want to try the service out, you can do just that, risk-free, for 30 days. Although you must provide the details of your preferred payment method, your card will not be charged for the first 30 days and you can cancel the service at any time during that period. The subscription will, however, start automatically after the initial trial period ends.
If you become a fan of the service (and there are good chances that you will), there are a few options to choose from. Playster prides itself on offering options to its subscribers and it shows in every aspect of the service, including the subscription cost. Accordingly, there are a few plans to choose from.
The best plan is the bundle plan that includes everything: movies, audiobooks, books, music, and games. This is the best plan that Playster has to offer and it will cost you a very reasonable $24.95 a month. You can play any movie, read any book or listen to any audiobook or song or play any game in the catalog as much as you like with this plan.
However, if you want to have an individual service or build your own bundle, you can do that as well. The movie subscription that lets you watch all the movies and TV shows in the catalog costs just $3.95 a month! If you want books or music, the subscription costs just $9.95 a month. And if you are interested in just the games, you can subscribe for just $4.95 a month.
With a little math, you can see how the bundled service is the best deal. However, if you want individual services, the costs are quite unbeatable as well.
Yet another great offer from Playster is the Combo Box. If you love the service and are ready to commit for a year, Playster will send you a sweet Android Tablet and a pair of headphones for free! All you need to do is pay the shipping that comes out to be $9.95. This is too great a deal to miss. The cost of the contents of the box is around $250, which means that you get to use the Playster service for a whole year for under $50! I will talk more about the contents of the Combo Box in a later section.
Cancellation of the service
One of the things about online subscription services that annoys me the most is the cancellation process. They make it so difficult to cancel that it can become a real headache. Well, Playster delivered a sweet surprise in this department as well. Cancellation of the service couldn’t be any easier. If you are not satisfied with the service for any reason, you can cancel it online with a few clicks. However, if you have committed for the whole year and received the Combo Box, you will need to cancel by phone.
The Playster Combo Box
The Playster Combo Box that you will receive when you sign up for 12 months contains a few items. At the center of the box sits a shiny 8-inch Android tablet. In addition to the tablet, the package also contains a pair of noise isolating premium headphones, a USB cable, a power adapter and some documentation.
The Playster tablet included in the Combo Box is an 8-inch Android tablet that looks and feels premium. The tablet is loaded with features and is easily comparable to some of the mid-range Android tablets on the market.
The tablet features a solid Quad-Core processor built by Intel. Based on Baytrail architecture, the processor is snappy and can handle most routine tasks, such as browsing the Web, playing HD content, reading e-books and playing games. Clocking in at 1.33 GHz, the processor is capable of turbo-boosting up to 1.83 GHz to handle taxing tasks. Although the processor is not the latest and greatest by any means, you will be more than happy with its day-to-day performance.
The Playster tablet features an Android 5.1 operating system. It is a stable and very popular version of Android that is compatible with most of the apps and programs that you will be using.
One of the key hardware features that determines the speed of a tablet is the RAM. With 2GB RAM, you will never feel a lag, even when multitasking on this tablet.
The tablet has an internal onboard storage of 16GB, which is more than enough to install all the apps you want. You can also expand the storage with an SD card.
The tablet features an 8-inch screen with a resolution of 1280X800. Although there is no retina display, seeing as the screen is just 8 inches, the pixel density is good. The screen is quite bright and looks impressive even in the daylight.
The tablet sports two cameras: one front-facing camera for video chat and another camera at the back. The front-facing camera has a resolution of 2MP while the rear-facing camera has a resolution of 5MP. Although you won’t be able to take super high quality pictures with the rear camera, it is not that bad at all.
The Playster tablet has a massive 4000 mAh battery based on a lithium-ion polymer design. The large battery guarantees uninterrupted power for the whole day without having to scour for an outlet.
The Playster tablet is quite impressive by itself and when you consider that fact that it is free with a 12-month subscription, it seems even more so.
The next item in the Playster Combo Box is a set of high fidelity, noise isolating headphones that fit snugly over the ears. I am quite choosy when it comes to headphones. I did not expect much from these headphones as they came free with my subscription, however, when I tried them out, I was happily surprised.
The headphones have great bass and are ideal for watching a movie or listening to music. I could not tell the difference in the audio quality between these headphones and some of the more expensive ones that I use regularly.
The headphones are designed with comfort in mind. I could wear them for hours on end without having any sort of discomfort. They also feature in-line controls that make them easy to operate. The noise isolation also works well and I don’t have to watch my volume even if someone else is close to me.
All in all, the Playster headphones are some of the better headphones that I have used recently. And need I remind you that they are actually free?!
What about the content?
Well, Playster has a lot going for it in the content department. Playster has chosen to aggressively market its subscription service and, as a result, has successfully brought some big names on board. Playster has had especially good success signing deals with big names in both the book and music industries.
Some of the names associated with Playster include Sony Music, Paramount Pictures, HarperCollins, Harlequin, Findaway and Simon & Schuster.
The content is updated regularly and there is always something new to enjoy. The collection of books, movies, and music that Playster has is at par with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Ebooks and Audiobooks
When it comes to books, there is no shortage of titles to pick from. You can find many classics, as well as all the biggest New York Times Best Sellers, like 50 Shades of Grey and the Twilight series.
The interface of the app is intuitive. I used both the iOS app and the Android app and I found that the experience on both is quite enjoyable. There is no lag while turning the pages and the layout of the catalog is also good.
The one thing that I had a problem with was the Web version of the reader. It is somewhat difficult to filter books based on authors in the web app. Although there is the ability to easily search by genre and topic, the overall search experience can be improved.
Playster also has a huge collection of audiobook titles. If you are into audiobooks, you will be able to enjoy countless titles on both iOS and Android. Although the platform could use a dedicated audiobook widget on Android, it is not that big a deal. Maybe Playster will have a widget in the next update!
Overall, I found the experience quite rewarding, especially on my tablet. I liked the book service and I am seriously considering trading in my Kindle subscription for Playster.
Playster has deals with some of the biggest music labels in the world, including Sony Music, and it shows in the catalog. With millions of songs to choose from, I could easily find most of today’s best contemporary artists, as well as timeless greats, such as Elvis.
The music app works great and I had no issues skipping through songs and searching for specific titles. I love the fact that Playster does not compromise on the quality of its music as well. All the tracks offer a crisp and clear listening experience and I had a great time listening to music on Playster. I did not miss my go-to music service at all and that says a lot!
Movies and TV Shows
When it comes to movies and TV shows, there is quite a bit to choose from as well. The official site states that there are over 15,000 movies and TV shows on Playster. Although I was not able to go through all of them, I can say that there are some great movies in the collection.
I especially like the fact that they have a dedicated section for children’s movies and documentaries in the educational section. Again, a deal with Paramount Pictures, one of the largest distributors in the world, means some great hits are available on Playster.
The movie player is also well designed. You can easily skip ahead, even on a smaller screen, such as a mobile phone. In my personal experience, the Playster player was less resource-hungry than, say, the Netflix player, so a job well done!
Playster has a roster of over 6,000 games for PC, Mac and Android to choose from and the only small downside I found was that you must first install a Playster game player on your PC if you want to take advantage of this section.
On Android, though, I was able to play many popular games without a problem. The games can be downloaded onto your device and hence run natively and not through a web interface. This makes the gaming experience quite smooth. Again, how smooth a game runs will depend on your device.
Playster and the community
Recently, Playster announced a great initiative that I must talk about. On December 15, 2016, the company sent out a press release to let the media know that it is pledging at least $100,000 per year to the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Charity.
The BBBS program is a non-profit that is dedicated to helping children in need. This is a great initiative by Playster and they are giving their subscribers a chance to get involved as well. As a Playster subscriber, you can give back to the community at just $1.25 a month and all that money will be donated by Playster to BBBS.
Playster is also committed to working with authors and publishers to curb the menace of piracy. The company realizes the threat piracy poses to authors, especially the smaller ones, and is trying everything within its might to fight it.
Playster is a great service that is really one of a kind. It is the only service on the market that offers an all-in-one model and my experience has been more than satisfactory. I am loving the freedom that it gives me as a subscriber!
I like the content and the platform as well, but most of all, I am loving the affordability. I mean, I can get all the entertainment I want at just $24.95 a month. Playster has not only got a loyal subscriber in me, but a vocal one too!
I would highly encourage you to go ahead and sign up for the free 30-day trial today and see for yourself. I guarantee that you will love the service as much as I do!