We first launched support for Live TV and DVR with the stated goal of creating the best DVR on the planet: A totally seamless experience, perfectly paired with your Plex Media Server. Just add a tuner and antenna and you’re all set: Free broadcast HD shows and movies anywhere, any time, on virtually any device.
Growing Pains: turns out it’s more than just a seminal 80s comedy with a surprisingly nuanced performance by Kirk Cameron
Navigate effortlessly between program guide, info, and recording in our new Apple TV UI.
Fast forward a few years and we think we’re continuing to make good on that promise, but it is fair to say we’ve had a few challenges along the way. We’ve had our share of bugs: players would get cranky and refuse to “play from beginning”, or some live TV format in some specific region would make the Server trip over its own shoelaces. We also had to switch our source for program guide data early last year, which brought a few growing pains and regional differences. Throughout all of this, a loyal army of Plexians came together to help us identify these issues and work out the kinks. It would be impossible for us to test every device, format, and piece of program guide data on our own, and we’d like to extend a heartfelt Plex hug (or socially distant equivalent) for your help and patience.
Right, so… let’s see the new newness
We’d like to highlight some awesome improvements and some brand new features we’ve been working on in the past few months.
First, a few quality-of-life improvements: The time it takes to tune new channels should be greatly reduced, from twelve or more seconds in some cases down to just a few now. We’ve made lots of fixes around “watch from start,” seeking while watching live, and resuming in-progress recordings. We’ve improved the genre-specific recommendations, and added quick access to recently-watched channels.
We have also added several new featured rows, gathering similar kinds of programming together so you can see what movies are coming on later or what your kids can watch (once they’ve finished with school, of course). These are available on Android, Apple, Roku, and our web app.
Check out new featured rows that showcase what’s on later, whether it’s movies for you or shows for the kids. Superwings to the rescue!
We put your thumb on blast
Live TV now uses our new improved interface for some of our most popular platforms (with support for even more platforms coming in the future), which includes some specific improvements: the ability to kick off a recording directly from the player, and quick access to recent channels. Now you can fly around from show to show with blazing speed. Available on Android TV and Apple TV, coming soon to our other platforms.
Start recording a show or turn on those closed captions: with new controls on your play screen you can do more without missing a moment.
Press record while watching to automatically add the series to your DVR.
Channel previews so your eyes don’t get lonely
We’ve also made major improvements to the program guide. It’s prettier, way faster when scrolling around, and now includes a pretty cool picture-in-guide view of your currently tuned channel so you won’t miss a beat! Picture-in-guide is available on Android TV and Apple TV.
With our picture-in-guide feature (PiG! 🐷), you’ll never lose sight of what you’re watching, even when you’re peaking at that channel guide or setting a new recording!
Coming soon: we cast where others fear to tread
To pile onto the updates, our long-awaited Chromecast integration is out for iOS and is shipping for Android in the next few weeks. This has been a highly requested feature, and we’re excited to be able to continue to deliver on the promise of ease of access and interoperability across the rival factions of devices, operating systems and at-times-needy home speakers. At Plex, we think of ourselves as the Switzerland of Streaming. In that we’re a neutral player in the platform wars, we love the pursuit of engineering perfection, and we have a thing for giant sloppy dogs that like to carry tiny Malört kegs around their necks.
Cast whatever you are watching from your iOS to your TV with Chromecast—big screen power in the palm of your hand!
That Live TV tho
So maybe you’ve got a tuner and antenna collecting dust somewhere, or maybe you need to pick one up (here’s a list of our officially-supported tuners and antennas), and just maybe you’re stuck at home with a little spare time on your hands right now (and itching to buy some new hardware from our partners). Now with our newly shipped updates, you’ll discover that Live TV and DVR in Plex has never worked better. As we announced last week, for the next few months we’re making Live TV completely free through the end of June, with no Plex Pass required. There’s never been a better time to give it a shot.
Tell us below about your living room TV setup.