Plex Live TV and DVR is a versatile option that caters to a specific demographic of cord cutters. Ideal for those who enjoy customizing their TV setup and possess a collection of burned DVDs or music, Plex offers a unique solution.
Table of Contents
- What Is Plex? Understanding the Software Hub
- Pricing: How Much Does Plex Live TV and DVR Cost?
What Is Plex? Understanding the Software Hub
Plex is a software hub designed to consolidate your DVDs, burned movies, and digital collections into a single, Netflix-like interface. It also enables users to watch live over-the-air TV and record shows via a TV antenna, though summarizing Plex’s full capabilities is a challenging task. Here are some of its standout features:
- Watch and Record Live Over-the-Air TV
- Remove commercials from recordings
- Hub for Music CDs and DVD collection
- Organize digital photo collections
- Streaming for Tidal
- Search/Listen to Podcasts
- Regional and National News
- Discover web shows
By integrating Plex with streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, or NVIDIA Shield, you transform a hard drive or home server into a customizable entertainment center. Plex also offers apps for iOS and Android, with a subscription to Plex Pass unlocking all features.
My Experience with Plex
As a long-time user of Plex in my cord-cutting setup, I’ve explored various ways to utilize it for watching and recording live TV, and managing my music, photos, and DVDs.
Pricing: How Much Does Plex Live TV and DVR Cost?
Plex offers both free and paid options. The Plex Pass, providing channel guide and DVR functionality for live TV, is priced at $4.99 per month, with a lifetime pass available for $120. Plex’s free features include News and Podcast sections.
Organizing Your Media Collection with Plex
Plex excels in helping users organize their collections of CDs and DVDs under one virtual roof, without any charge for using its software. I use a WD MyBook 4TB hard drive for storing most of my movies and music.
Setting Up a Plex Media Server
Understanding servers and clients is crucial for setting up Plex. Your Plex Media Server can be an external hard drive or a section of your desktop, serving as the storage location for your media files. Clients can be any device used for viewing or listening, like Apple TV, Fire TV, or smartphones. I have multiple servers in my home, including a NVIDIA Shield Pro and a Predator Helios 300 laptop connected to a WD MyBook.
Other Plex Media Server Setups
There are various options for setting up a Plex Media Server. Some prefer used PCs with robust processors, while mini-PCs like Intel NUCs offer energy efficiency and reduced wear on daily-use PCs. The choice of processor in a mini PC impacts its performance as a Plex Media Server.
Plex Live TV and DVR Features
Once your media server is established, adding Plex live TV and DVR is possible with a Plex Pass. This feature offers a channel guide and DVR capabilities for over-the-air channels. Essential equipment includes a TV tuner, hard drive space, and an antenna.
Choosing the Best TV Tuners for Plex Live TV and DVR
How to Set Up Plex Server with HDHomeRun
HDHomeRun tuners connect to a WiFi router and work with a range of devices. Plex software operates as a web-app, allowing easy access to DVR settings and channel scanning.
Plex on the Web: Maximizing Your Experience
Using Plex on a PC or laptop enhances control over settings, scheduling, and content management. Tidal integration on Plex blends your personal music collection with Tidal’s offerings for a seamless experience.
Podcasts, News, and Web Shows on Plex
Plex’s Podcasts, News, and Web Shows sections are accessible without a Plex Pass. These features provide a convenient way to access regional news, national outlets, and curated content, though the Web Shows section may have room for improvement.
Is Plex Pass Worth It? Making the Decision
Plex is a worthy cable alternative, even with its free features. For those considering a DVR setup for OTA channels, the Plex Pass is a valuable investment. When selecting equipment, consider reallocating your cable TV budget towards durable, long-lasting hardware.
Conclusion and User Interaction
I hope this guide has been informative. Are you a Plex user? What’s your preferred setup? Share your experiences in the comments below.
This article was originally published on May 25, 2017, and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.