Plex Rolls Out Live TV Support for Over-The-Air Channels Within iOS App

Plex will today begin integrating a live television feature into its popular video streaming and personal media application for iOS and Android TV, allowing Plex subscribers to stream live TV on their smartphones wherever they are located. The company said that live TV is supported only under the Plex Pass subscription tier, which starts at $4.99/month.

To use Plex Live TV, users will have to install a digital antenna, connect a digital tuner, and sync everything to their Plex Pass subscription account. Once set up, subscribers will be able to watch live HD content on channels available over-the-air, from major US networks including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CW, as well as local programming, news, and sports. International programming includes CBC, BBC, ITV, Telemundo, and Univision. As with all live video streaming services, the channels available vary depending on your zip code.

That’s right, today we’re rolling out support for Live TV! And we’re doing it in a truly Plexy way. It’s built right in to the Media Server, so you’ll be able to stream live (starting with our Android TV and iOS apps, with more to come) anywhere in the world through the power of Plex!
Plex Live TV is launching only on iOS and Android TV right now, but the company mentioned that any content recorded to Plex DVR from a live broadcast can then be watched on any device that Plex supports. With the launch of live TV, Plex has also enhanced its DVR features, allowing overlapping recordings on the same channel, a "smarter" scheduling system, taped show management within the iOS app, and general improvements to the DVR user interface.


Plex has also expanded the supported DVR devices that work with the service so that it's easier than ever to begin using live TV and DVR features. Additionally, the company has rolled out support for a wider array of digital tuners including models from Hauppauge, AVerMedia, DVBLogic and more. Users can find a complete list of supported antennas, tuners, and DVR systems here.

Besides the low-tier $4.99/month option, Plex Pass is available in a $39.99/year tier and $119.99 for a lifetime subscription. Plex said that after launching on iOS and Android TV, more of its apps will gain the live TV feature sometime soon.

Tag: Plex


Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
24 months ago
Not sure why folks are complaining about the antenna. Local stations charge rebroadcast fees to cable TV providers like Comcast which is why we pay an extra fee every month on our cable bill. And the channels are only 720p or 1080i, and they are compressed. OTA channels via a simple, $20 flat antenna you can tack up on your living room wall are free and broadcast at 1080p with no compression. Cable nor streaming cannot hold a candle to OTA, quality-wise.
Rating: 7 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago

I got excited for a second, then read the details. Needs an antenna to catch OTA channels? Useless to me. Still waiting for a service that will stream local channels. Playstation Vue is the closest I have seen so far.

How else do you capture OTA channels? Were you hoping for this to work with your existing cable service?
Rating: 7 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago
For those complaining about the antenna component of the deal, you can thank SCOTUS for that. Aereo was exactly what was needed to stream local channels, but, sadly, they were litigated out of existence.
Rating: 7 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago

i could not figure out from Plex's site alone how something like this would be set up. Why don't they give step by step instructions for dummies? The service sounds interesting, but I don't know what a digital antenna or digital tuner is nor what all other equipment I'd need for DVR purposes. And Plex's site leaves all that totally vague, like they intentionally filter out potential customers who aren't already hard-core cable-cutting experts.


1-2-3 guide and Supported digital Tuners and Antennas here:

https://www.plex.tv/features/live-tv-dvr/

List of supported devices here:

https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/225877427-Supported-DVR-Devices-and-Antennas
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago
too much work just to pay plex $5/mo to watch what i can already watch "live" for free by switching inputs to TV and using its built-in tuner. what's the value add here?
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago
I love plex. Been a lifetime pass member for a few years and even at the current price I'd consider it a bargain. Barely a day goes by when it isn't used now, hardest part was ripping all of my DVD library which took over a year.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago
This may seem silly to a lot of people, but it's a feature I've been waiting for. Been using plex for years and am a lifetime plex pass user so for me the additions are free.

I jumped on their ota recording back in September when it was released and my first comment was that it can't show live tv? I already had an antenna in my home from ditching Comcast years ago so this was a no brainer

Plex is awesome if anyone hasn't gotten onboard. Yes it can be a bit confusing at first but I use it constantly especially for a large music collection to free up space on phone.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago

Not sure why folks are complaining about the antenna. Local stations charge rebroadcast fees to cable TV providers like Comcast which is why we pay an extra fee every month on our cable bill. And the channels are only 720p or 1080i, and they are compressed. OTA channels via a simple, $20 flat antenna you can tack up on your living room wall are free and broadcast at 1080p with no compression. Cable nor streaming cannot hold a candle to OTA, quality-wise.


OTA channels do not come in at 1080p, the broadcasters are the ones distributing the 720p/1080i signal. Yes there is compression via your cable provider so you do get a better picture OTA just not 1080p, at least not the major networks.
[doublepost=1496418195][/doublepost]

Unfortunately, it isn't much of a feature at this point. It's integration is extremely limited. Why they didn't flesh this out more before releasing it is beyond me.

Im guessing that them choosing to do iOS and AndroidTV first addresses their two largest bases, its not uncommon to roll features out in stages. Its a great free feature for subs that will only improve over time, find something else to complain about
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago

I am interested in this, but I have zero familiarity with the set up. If I get a tuner and antenna, am I able to set these up anywhere in my house and stream from there to each of my Apple TV's (once the app is updated)?

Yes.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago

But if we have a working antenna, why use Plex if it's limited to iOS or mobile devices?

How do I even connect a coaxial cable to my phone? /s


I'm sure they're going to expand it with time to other apps as well.

too much work just to pay plex $5/mo to watch what i can already watch "live" for free by switching inputs to TV and using its built-in tuner. what's the value add here?


I can do that as well, but it is stuck on that specific TV, where instead I have plex on many devices and would be able to watch it anywhere. Also, $5/month isn't for this feature alone, it's one of the options for Plex Pass in general. If you don't find the features of Plex Pass enticing or necessary for your use, no one is forcing you to pay for it.

I don't get it either.

There are solutions without this plex monthly subscription, like a Dreambox, or a clone of it.

This monthly $5 adds up quickly!


Again, $5/month (or annual or lifetime subs - heck, years back it was possible to get a lifetime sub for $50 or less) is for Plex Pass, which includes a variety of advanced features and options. There's nothing to "get" here. It's a new feature they're working on that will be available to Plex Pass subscribers.
[doublepost=1496340542][/doublepost]

I am interested in this, but I have zero familiarity with the set up. If I get a tuner and antenna, am I able to set these up anywhere in my house and stream from there to each of my Apple TV's (once the app is updated)?


Essentially yes, but it really depends on the OTA signal where you live. That can be highly variable. It would be best to research more of the OTA side before going this route.

Myself, I have a decent OTA setup at the office and at home (haven't had cable for years). Mainly did it to watch the World Cup a few years back, as well as some local stations the odd time (I installed it myself and the hardware is relatively inexpensive). Useful also in case someone wants to catch the odd awards show or some random sporting events throughout the year.
Rating: 1 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]