Why it matters to you
Plex continues to add to its suite of services, making it an even more attractive option for potential cord-cutters.
Over the past year, streaming management platform Plex has been building a more holistic suite of services, adding dedicated apps for lots of devices, allowing users to stream their owned content just about anywhere. Earlier in 2017, Plex even added live-TV streaming to its list of offerings — if you subscribe to Plex Pass.
On Wednesday, the platform upped the ante by announcing that users can now pause and rewind live TV — which they call “time-shifting” — on any supported device, making Plex one of the most versatile ways to watch your favorite channels on the go.
The announcement also marks the official end of the beta period for Plex’s live TV and DVR services. As long as you are in possession of a compatible digital tuner and antenna, you can watch live TV on any supported device. Once they are connected with your Plex server, just download the Plex app on your desired device and start watching.
Anyone can watch over-the-air (OTA) digital channels with Plex; these vary by location, and there are more than you might expect. Apart from the Plex Pass fee — $5 monthly, $40 annually, or $120 for a lifetime license — and the costs of acquiring the tuner and antenna, this is absolutely free. However, Plex is also compatible with cable TV subscriptions; there are just a few catches.
To use Plex with your cable channels, you need a CableCARD tuner. Currently, the only such tuner supported is the HDHomeRun Prime from Silicon Dust. With it, you are able to bounce cable signals through your Plex server into your desired device. Some channels, though, may be encrypted, meaning there is no guarantee that you will be able to watch everything this way. Still, it’s a pretty cool feature.
That is not all, either; Plex also announced live-TV support for Apple TV (version 1.14 or newer), and live TV and DVR support for Android mobile devices. Considering the current cord-cutting trend and the widespread popularity of Android smartphones and tablets, this could prove to be a big step for Plex. It is a great platform, but it can be confusing to get started — if you’re interested, check out our guide to setting up Plex.