Plex introduces Hardware-Accelerated Streaming and makes Auto Quality available for free

Plex, the popular media player for streaming your own media collection to all of your devices including the Fire TV, has made a couple of announcements that should make for a better experience. First off, all customers can now use the “Automatically Adjust Quality” setting for their streams without needing to be a Plex Pass subscriber. If you are a subscriber, then you now get access to a new hardware-accelerated streaming option that uses dedicated hardware, that your server probably already has, to more efficiently transcode your media. Read more ›

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Plex News adds aggregated news clips to the popular media player app

Plex now offers local and national on-demand news videos directly within their app for free to all customers. The media player maker acquired Watchup earlier this year to promised to integrate it’s stand-alone newscast aggregator capabilities into Plex. Read more ›

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Plex updates Fire TV app with new UI and support for Live TV and DVR

Plex has just updated their Amazon Fire TV app with a significant interface overhaul. In doing so they’ve also added support for Live TV and DVR capabilities to Fire TV devices. This means you can now connect a TV tuner to your Plex server and stream live programming to all of your Fire TV devices with recording and time shifting capabilities. Read more ›

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Plex’s add-on for Kodi is now free for everyone — Plex Pass no longer required

One of the best things about Plex, the popular media center app, is that it has always supported a huge range of devices and platforms. That support even includes a Kodi add-on, which you can install directly from within Kodi by navigating to the Video Add-ons section. To use Plex’s Kodi add-on, however, you historically had to be a Plex Pass subscriber, which costs $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year. That changes today because Plex has announced that their Kodi add-on is now available for anyone to use for free. So if you’re running a Plex server, you can now get the full Plex experience right from within Kodi, without having to switch apps or pay anything.

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Plex DVR now available for all with support for additional tuners and live TV

Plex first launched their DVR service in beta late last year and today the feature is being made available to all Plex Pass subscribers. When the service first launched, it only supported HDHomeRuns’s networked tuners, but now Plex has added support for additional USB and PCI tuners from Hauppauge and AverMedia. Additionally, the DVR feature now allows users to view live TV on select devices, which unfortunately does not yet include the Fire TV. Read more ›

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Plex Cloud exits beta and is now available to all Plex Pass subscribers

Plex Cloud has exited beta and ready for all users to use. You still need to be a Plex Pass subscriber to use the service, but if you are, you can host all or part of your personal media library in the cloud without needing to run a local Plex server. The service first debuted last year with support for Amazon Drive, but now only supports Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. Read more ›

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All the voice commands understood by the Plex Alexa Skill

The newly released Plex Alexa Skill is a great way to control the Plex app with your voice using a voice remote on the Amazon Fire TV or through an Amazon Echo. Here’s the full list of available voice commands that Plex understands. Read more ›

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Plex releases new Alexa Skill for full voice control of the media center app

Plex is one of the best media center apps on the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick and it just got a lot better with their announcement today of a new Alexa Skill that grants complete voice control of the app. The Plex Alexa Skill allows Plex users to use their voice for simple tasks like controlling playback, by saying something like “Alexa, tell Plex to pause” or “Alexa, ask Plex to play season 3, episode 4 of Breaking Bad,” and more complex tasks like switching media servers, by saying “Alexa, ask plex to change my server.” The Plex Alexa Skill can also suggest content, by asking “Alexa, ask Plex recommend something,” and tell you what’s been recently added to your library by saying “Alexa, ask Plex what’s new?

These new voice control capabilities are a great new addition to Plex on the Fire TV since Alexa is already built into the device. Apart from having to say “Ask Plex…” or “Tell Plex…” before every command, it feels like the app itself now has native voice control through the Fire TV’s voice remote. Those of you who are diehard Kodi/SPMC/MrMC users may want to give Plex a look for this new feature alone.

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Plex acquires streaming news service Watchup

Plex, one of the most popular media player apps on the Fire TV, has aquired Watchup, a streaming news service, which also has a Fire TV app. Details of the transaction were not disclosed, but Plex will absorb Watchup’s team of engineers and technology. Plex says they’re building out a content ecosystem in 2017, and this acquisition adds Watchup’s over 150 news sources to the lineup. Watchup allows users to customize their newscasts based on their interests. Plex CEO Keith Valory says this personalization technology will be used for other content within Plex in the future.

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Plex releases official Kodi Add-on

Plex is the most popular media center app in the official Fire TV appstore and Kodi is the most popular one not in the appstore. Both have unique features, so many people use both apps. If you’re among those people, you’ll be intrigued to hear that Plex has just release an official Kodi add-on that provides access to Plex from within Kodi. Since the add-on uses Kodi’s media player, Plex says it “enables powerfully advanced knob twisting and lever sliding to fine tune playback.” There were always ways to combine Plex and Kodi, and MrMC even added built-in Plex support a few months back, but it’s always nice to have official support from Plex themselves. The new Plex add-on is currently only available to Plex Pass subscribers, but it will be available to everyone soon.

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Plex Cloud lets you run a virtual Plex Server using Amazon’s unlimited Cloud Drive


Plex has just announced Plex Cloud, which may be the simplest way to access all of your personal media from anywhere, without needing to leave a PC or NAS drive on all the time. Plex Cloud links a Plex Pass to an Amazon Cloud Drive account. This allows the Plex app to stream media directly from the Amazon Cloud Drive, without needing to have a PC or NAS running Plex’s server software. Read more ›

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Plex’s new beta DVR functionality now available on the NVIDIA SHIELD TV


Earlier this month, Plex announced that its server software could now function as a DVR to record content from networked HDHomeRun tuners. NVIDIA has now announced that its SHIELD Android TV box has received an updated Plex app that allows it to take advantage of the new DVR functionality. Unlike every other streaming box on the market, the NVIDIA SHIELD TV can function not only as a Plex client for content playback, but also as a Plex server which sends media to other devices. This unique capability, along with the updated Plex app, now allows it to also record content using Plex’s new DVR feature.

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Plex adds DVR functionality for OTA and CableCARD tuners


Plex has added DVR capabilities to their server software. A Plex server can now be configured to work with compatible tuners to record shows directly. The feature requires a Plex Pass subscription, which runs $4.99 per month, $39.99 per year, or $149.99 lifetime. Plex DVR is available right now through an open beta, but comes with several limitations that will hopefully be addressed before it’s official release in a few months. Read more ›

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Plex adds support for 4K playback on the 2nd-gen Amazon Fire TV


A few weeks ago, Plex added official support for 4K video files on the 2nd generation Amazon Fire TV with their v4.21.0.528 update. This means 4K videos can be directly played on the Fire TV without your Plex server needing to transcode the files. This includes support for H265 HEVC encoded files, however many users are finding their 4K files don’t meet the required specifications for direct playback by Plex. For starters, files must be encoded with a maximum bit depth of 8-bits per sample and contain metadata identifying them as having a Main profile level. Missing surround sound support is also an issue, so files should have an AC3 or AAC audio track present. Even if the file fits all the criteria, it still may not play directly due to a bug identified last week. Plex is working to improve 4K playback on the Fire TV, so look for better support with future updates. While the newly added 4K support is not perfect, it’s a good first step towards local 4K content playback for the Fire TV 2.

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Plex updating app with fresh new interface

Plex has just announced via their Facebook page that they’ll be updating their Fire TV app with a fresh new interface. According to their post, the new interface will be available on the 2nd-gen Fire TV first and will come to the 1st-gen Fire TV and Fire TV Stick later. Most likely, the new app will require Fire OS 5, so it can’t be released to older devices until the final Fire OS 5 software update gets released.

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Plex app goes Freemium — Now free with limited functionality

Plex is one of the most popular apps for the Fire TV. It ranked #1 on the list of most popular apps purchased by AFTVnews readers. The app organizes all of your personal media across your computers and makes it available to stream on your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, in addition to other devices. It may not be as powerful as Kodi, but it competes by being a breeze to setup.

Plex was a $4.99 app, up until today when it switched to a freemium pricing model. You can now instal and try the app for free with limited functionality. Mainly, music and videos streamed from your Plex Media Server are limited to 1 minute of playback; enough time to get a feel for the service and its stream quality. You can then unlock the apps full functionality through an in-app purchase or by signing up for Plex’s paid subscription service, Plex Pass, which provides even more features. If you’ve purchased the app before today’s change, there’s no need to worry. The app should detect that fact and unlock its full functionality.

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App Deal: Plex on sale for $1.99, was $4.99 [Expired]


Plex has just gone on sale for $1.99 in the Amazon Appstore. That’s 60% off it’s regular price of $4.99. Plex allows you to organize your personal media library and allows you to easily stream it to a variaty of devices, including the Fire TV. This isn’t the lowest price we’ve seen for the Plex app. It was once Free along with other paid apps during an Appstore promotion, but more commonly has dropped to $0.99 in the past.


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How to setup Plex (and XBMC) for Surround Sound Audio


Plex is probably the best app to easily stream media from your computer to the Amazon Fire TV. However, the app does have one major flaw. Currently, the video player built into the Plex app can only play surround sound from mp4 files with Dolby Digital (DD) 5.1 audio. It can’t play DD audio from mkv files and can’t play DTS audio at all. In this guide, we’ll show you how to setup Plex (and XBMC) to play surround sound audio from any file format. Read more ›

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App Deal: Plex media streaming app is currently FREE, was $4.99 [Expired]

Plex, a media streaming app that allows you to stream your personal video collection, has gone Free for two days. The app is one of several paid apps that are currently free, of which 5 are compatible with the Fire TV.

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Alternatives to the Amazon Fire TV YouTube app

alternative-youtube-apps-headerThe YouTube app for the Amazon Fire TV leaves much to be desired. This is largely due to the app being a wrapper for instead of being natively written for the Fire TV. If you’re not satisfied with the YouTube experience on Fire TV, here are some alternatives.  Read more ›

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