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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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