Plex is continuing its push into streaming. Originally a service that allowed users to organize their personal media collections and stream them from a PC or home server to a phone, TV, or other device, now you can use Plex to watch live TV.

The company has added a new Live TV tab to its user interface, with content from more than 80 channels available in more than 220 countries.

Plex Live TV
Plex Live TV on Android

The channel selection leave a lot to be desired — you won’t find any  major networks. But there is news content from Reuters, classic anime from Retro Crush, and a 24-hour stream of the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross.

Plex Live TV works much like any other live television service. You can browse a channel guide to see what’s on, select a channel, and begin watching a show that’s streaming live. There are no DVR functions so you can’t pause, rewind, or record shows. But you will see a progress bar at the bottom of the screen to let you know how much time is left in the movie or TV show.

The service is free and ad supported and works on all platforms that Plex supports including PCs (via a web browser), smartphones and tablets (via Android and iOS apps), or smart TVs (through Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV apps).

You can still use Plex to access your personal media. But it seems like that feature is becoming a smaller and smaller portion of Plex’s functionality.

Late last year the company launched an ad-supported, on-demand movie & TV show streaming service. And that move came a few years after Plex added a “Web Shows” feature.

press release

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2 replies on “Plex adds live TV streaming (80 channels and nothin’ on)”

  1. Yeah, as a long term PlexPass customer I got the email this morning. I’m not gonna lie, this seems dumb as toast. /Maybe/ they can (metaphorically) sell this to Boomers that A) will put up with commercials and B) don’t need their regular channels.
    But to their standing audience of nerds who run servers at their house so they can watch TV shows and movies without commercial interruptions this seems daft.
    Guess we’ll see!

    1. Yeah, it feels to me like they’re desperately trying to become an all-in-one platform and move beyond their media file server roots in an effort to:

      a) Attract new users (you don’t even need to set up a Plex server to use the streaming features, just install the Plex app)
      b) Show that they’re not just providing a handy tool for pirates.

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