A service called PlayLater has recently been brought to my attention and while it's not the first service to act like a web DVR, it is the first one I've seen to encompass such a wide array of content and function fairly well.
As anyone who consumes video content from several different places is aware of, navigating several websites and then locating and playing video content can be annoying when repeated consistently. I mean, your goal is to watch the content not waste time tracking down the contents of your desire right? Right. Let's say you want to keep up with the extended interviews Jon Stewart posts on The Daily Show website, some of the Syfy web series and online original movies as well as Aqua Teen Hunger Force on adult swim. PlayLater seems like a viable solution so hit the break to get the good and the bad.
We'll start with the good. The user interface is easy to look at and user friendly: two attributes a potentially successful product should have. Their access to content is rather impressive with CBS, Syfy, Comedy Central, ESPN, Spike, Hulu, Netflix, Youtube and a lot more all at their disposal, kind of. All the content here is strictly whatever these companies post online, so you are somewhat limited in that respect but it shouldn't leave you wanting for much. The price point is also a plus, so long as you're willing to pay for a service like this. At $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year you can get all PlayLater has to offer but there is a bit of a downside as the content available to you can't be guaranteed.
PlayLater is a bit of a hack as far as how the service works. Basically when you select content to download, the player goes out and downloads the streaming content from the source in real time. What this means is that you shouldn't expect download times that fall too short of the length of the content. This also means that any available content can become unavailable at any time without warning. Given this information I wouldn't go out and purchase a 1 year subscription but it would be worth it to check out the beta and get a free month to mess around with it. That is, so long as content provides start getting wise to PlayLater's act and start cutting them off or until Facebook, Youtube, or Hulu starts a cross platform service of their own.