Remember TV Guide? Like, the actual magazine? For a time, it was the most popular publication in the United States. You had to have it because—barring a truncated guide that might be published in your (physical!) newspaper—there was no other way to know what was on that night. TV Guide was small (with fluff pieces about Battle of the Network Stars strewn across the beginning) but the meat of it was the daily guide across all the channels that your little rabbit ears or puny cable could get. Now, of course, everything is digital—but it hasn’t always been better. That’s why we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to combine our two guides (called EPGs in the biz, in case you want to win points at tech conferences) into one single guide—meaning those of you lucky enough to be rocking an antenna with your Plex server can now see all your Live TV channels (local as well as streamed) together in one easy-to-navigate screen.
But what does that mean for you? Here are the three biggies:
- View channels from local live TV AND Plex Live TV in the same place.
- “Favorite” channels from either source for super quick access (and customize the order of those favorites).
- Browse your robust selection of Live TV quickly with genre filters.
Let’s take a deep dive into these new features below.
Link Up Your Live Local Channels and Live TV Plex Channels 🤝
Ready for the ultimate combo? Let’s say you have an antenna for watching local channels, so you can catch up on local news, those big football games, children’s programming, or even that public access show hosted by a guy named Richie who makes birdhouses.
As you may have heard, you also have a substantial number of Live TV options on Plex: from news, to gaming, to travel, to reality shows, comedies, classic movies, and more.
And now you can access all those shows in the same place on the Plex app. On the bus to work? Watch some faster vehicles on Racing America. Or, while planning your next vacation, you can catch some Anthony Bourdain for inspiration. You can even watch the big national games from your local broadcast stations (picked up with your antenna and tuner) on your phone while at your son’s pee-wee football game. All powered by Plex, no matter where you are (or how far from your antenna you roam).
As of today, you can find local live TV and Plex Live TV as tabs in your new guide in all of our big screen Plex apps (the updated guide will be available in the mobile and web apps soon). Local TV will be listed under your server name (and soon will be customizable to any name you choose). Both options, in the same place.
Live TV will never be the same again, and we’re here for it.
Get to Your Favorites Faster than a Speeding Hippogriff 🦅🐴
Now you may be asking: With all these channels coming together, how am I going to keep track of the ones I actually want to watch?
The answer is: Favorites. When you add your preferred local and Plex-provided Live TV channels to your Favorites, you can get to them quickly without endless searching. Perfect for those times you don’t have the time to explore and you just need a quick fix of Walking Dead Universe on your lunch break. That’s what Favorites are for.
Better yet, you can rearrange and intermingle your favorites, even if they’re a mix of local and Plex channels. The world of Live TV is now your oyster.
Find Your New Favorite Show with PinPoint Precision 🕵️
Favorites are pretty great, but what if you’re looking for something new to watch?
Sounds like a job for GENRE FILTERS!
Filter your browsing by genre and pick from a super-sized selection of telenovelas, crime thrillers, sitcoms, documentaries, or whatever else you’re in the mood for. It’s a great place to start if you’re not exactly sure what you want to watch. Even better, searching combines all your sources of live TV into one cohesive list, making your quest for new content even more fruitful.
And you don’t need a PhD in TV Science to do it…
But wait, you say. How do you get local broadcast TV into my Plex? Well it’s not that difficult – nor expensive, particularly when you think about what you can save by cutting your cable service.
1st: You need a digital antenna (usually less than a $50) that you can put on your window, or wall or wherever else gets the best signal.
2nd: You’ll need a tuner (usually less than $200). This is the box that takes all those signals and makes them into bits that computers can understand.
3rd: Download the Plex Media Server software on your home computer (and of course get yourself a Plex Pass) and you’re ready to go!
Now you can cut the cord with confidence and get FREE access to the highest quality HD channels in your local market: NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS, and other local affiliates.
BONUS: You can even use your Plex Media Server as a DVR to record and stream those local channels. And then watch those shows on whatever device you want, no matter how far from your home setup you roam.
So go ahead and cut That Cord with Confidence
To recap: Plex combines your antenna-based live TV with Plex’s on-demand Live TV onto one seamless screen. We’ve given you the tools to tag your favorite channels and to simply and quickly browse each for content via genre. We’re super excited to launch this new feature and hope you take full advantage of it. You can enjoy the new, beefy guide in your favorite big screen app today (make sure it’s updated and you may need to restart it). It’s also coming to mobile devices and web apps near you soon.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, head to the forums for more information. And thank you for being part of the Plex community – we appreciate your support.
—Your friends at Plex