Personal media collection app Plex today announced a new bonus for users subscribed to its "Plex Pass" service, introducing a DVR function that can record shows on free digital broadcast channels. The company calls DVR an expansion of its footprint in streaming media, and hopes it makes the premium tiers more enticing for its customers who might be unsure of upgrading from the free service.
To work properly, Plex DVR requires a digital antenna and an HDHomeRun digital tuner, giving users access to free over-the-air channels with "86 of the 100 most popular shows in the United States in 2016." In addition to major networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and The CW, users will also be able to tune into and record local stations, news, and sports.
“We’ve put a lot of time into this release, and the result is a really elegant DVR, which takes advantage of all the power and intelligence of Plex,” said Scott Olechowski, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Plex.
“Plex rounds out the cord cutting experience with a beautifully organized, easy-to-navigate interface that makes all your content available wherever you go. Now you can view TV in a living room or on your phone, using a streaming stick in a hotel, or even on a plane when you’re offline. The addition of DVR allows our customers to make Plex the heart of their media experience. No other solution comes close.”
Thanks to Plex's multitude of apps, users will be able to record and watch their shows from any device they have Plex downloaded on, including OS X, iOS, and Apple TV. Plex will continue to populate shows with artwork and plot descriptions, but the new DVR can also gather information on show descriptions, episode synopses, and season information.
Plex DVR also supports offline viewing, upgradable functions with the chance to add more tuners (to record more shows at once) or additional storage, and picture quality that "far surpasses the picture quality of cable and satellite." Over time, the Plex DVR will begin recommending shows for users to watch based on the series they've viewed and recorded most.
Plex Pass can be subscribed to for $4.99 per month, $39.99 per year, or $149.99 for a lifetime subscription. The cost for DVR features comes in addition to the price of the tuner and antenna needed for the service to work properly. Current Plex Pass subscribers can join in on the beta for the DVR feature right now, but the company didn't mention when it will launch to a wider audience.