Hands-On With the New Plex App for the Apple TV

Earlier this week, Plex released its highly anticipated app for the tvOS App Store, making Plex officially available on the Apple TV for the first time. Given Plex's popularity, we decided to check out the new app and do a quick video overview for those who might be interested in getting a new Apple TV to use with Plex.

Plex is a media server and personal library that's able to organize the media stored on your computer, like videos, TV shows, music, and stream that content to iOS devices, the Apple TV, and other set-top boxes.

When you install Plex and let it organize your content, it'll add artwork to movies, TV shows, and music, along with information like cast members, plot summaries, and Rotten Tomatoes ratings. On the Apple TV, this turns into a nicely organized media library that largely resembles iTunes or Netflix.

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Plex has been available for a long time on set-top devices like the Chromecast and the Fire TV, but it has not previously been available on older versions of the Apple TV in an official capacity. Those who have jailbroken an Apple TV in the past have been able to unofficially install the Plex software.

The Plex app for the Apple TV can be downloaded from the tvOS App Store. The app is free to download, and unlike the iOS version does not require a $4.99 in-app purchase or Plex Pass subscription to unlock functionality. Apple TV and iOS App Store apps are universal, so if you've already downloaded the app for iOS, it can be found in the Purchases section of the tvOS App Store. [Direct Link]

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Tag: Plex
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

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11 months ago

Plex just didn't live up to my expectations. I installed it on my NAS and only asked it to share out one folder. It goes and catalogs everything which is mess. I'm not a fan of it's slow buffer speed and recommendations littered about.

I would highly recommend Air Video HD over Plex, even with the $4 cost. It has a very simple interface which allows for quick browsing and playback. It can play more file types than Plex and every type of subtitle, something I was surprised Plex can't do.

Plex sure does look better and has some nice extra features but if you have lots of movies that need subtitles and loads up files in an instant, I would recommend Air Video HD.


Your problem is running Plex Server on a NAS with a slow processor.
Rating: 9 Votes
Avatar
11 months ago
Plex is super speedy running on a Mac Mini as the server and the Apple TV 4 as the client (my Synology NAS just acts as storage). Using a NAS as your server is always a bad idea.
Rating: 8 Votes
Avatar
11 months ago

If it needs a server process to be executed on a Mac or a NAS then it's worthless. We need an app that runs the server on the TV itself, that can scan network for media files during all day's idle time in background, so there's no need to keep a computer turned on. Having a Mac AND the TV running at the same time it's nonsense in 2015. Talk about sustainability and power savings too. Sorry Plex, I think I'll pass.


Please tell us more about this magical storage device that sits on your network serving up files, without using a CPU, or power.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
11 months ago
Plex is the reason I bought the new Apple TV. It is hands down the best server-client combination I've used, and to have one device that supports Plex, iTunes purchases, and Netflix is awesome.

Amazon, get your app on there.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
11 months ago

Yeah, you should really go with the Air Video tvOS App of you want something easier and quicker.

How so...? You didn't back up your statement with any examples of 'easier' or 'quicker'...
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
11 months ago

Plex is super speedy running on a Mac Mini as the server and the Apple TV 4 as the client (my Synology NAS just acts as storage). Using a NAS as your server is always a bad idea.


Yes same here. Super fast. :)
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
11 months ago
Plex just didn't live up to my expectations. I installed it on my NAS and only asked it to share out one folder. It goes and catalogs everything which is mess. I'm not a fan of it's slow buffer speed and recommendations littered about.

I would highly recommend Air Video HD over Plex, even with the $4 cost. It has a very simple interface which allows for quick browsing and playback. It can play more file types than Plex and every type of subtitle, something I was surprised Plex can't do.

Plex sure does look better and has some nice extra features but if you have lots of movies that need subtitles and loads up files in an instant, I would recommend Air Video HD.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
11 months ago
Yeah, you should really go with the Air Video tvOS App of you want something easier and quicker.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
11 months ago

How do you make sure they are encoded so that they can direct play them? Which program should I use? And what output format?

I use the "Normal" setting on Handbrake ('https://handbrake.fr/'), which has served me well so far. YMMV.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
11 months ago

- SRT files does not always work

Previously a know issue that fixed a couple days ago in a Plex Media Server ('https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/191506/subtitles-srt-dont-work/p1') update.
Rating: 1 Votes
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