Plex Launches ‘Plex News’ With Free Content From 190 Providers

Plex today announced the launch of Plex News, a new personalized streaming news service that's available to Plex users. Plex News includes national, international, and local news from 190 providers like CBS News, CNN, A+J, IGN, Cheddar, Financial Times, Mic, and more.

Plex News is a free service and it does not require a Plex Pass or other subscription fee, but it is supported by ads. Over time, it learns about your interests based on news channels you choose to watch and those you choose to skip, providing a personalized news hub.


After opening up Plex, there's a "News" section that's been added to the home page, with a series of short news clips that you can flip through on a range of topics. A "Personalize News" feature lets you select a location and topics of interest to narrow down the selection of news sources that will be displayed. News can be browsed by category or from the home screen suggestions.


The new feature is built around Watchup, a news startup that Plex purchased earlier this year. Watchup, like Plex News, offered up a selection of news channels in one easy-to-watch location.

Plex says Plex News is rolling out to all users over the course of the next 48 hours, starting with Plex Pass subscribers first. It is available on Apple TV and iOS devices, along with Android TV, Nvidia Shield, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Android Mobile.

The Plex app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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Plex Launches Live TV Support for Apple TV App

Two months after rolling out Plex Live TV to iOS and Android TV devices, Plex today announced that its live streaming TV feature is now available for users on Apple TV, although the app will lack DVR support.

In addition, on any app where Plex Live TV is available, Plex Pass users will be able to use a new "Time Shift" feature, meaning they can scrub back and forth through any live broadcast, as well as pause it.

We’re thrilled to bring Live TV to Apple TV and Live TV and DVR support to Android mobile, joining iOS, Android TV, and our lovely Plex Web app (DVR only).

We can’t quite include a TARDIS with your Plex Pass yet, but we can do the next best thing, which is allowing you to time shift Live TV! That’s right, with our latest enhancements, you can now time-travel (well, pause or skip around) when watching Live TV. No longer will you be forced to choose between getting more Cheetos and seeing who gets voted off the island. Life is hard enough.
To gain access to Plex Live TV, users must be a Plex Pass subscriber (beginning at $4.99/month), and then install a digital antenna, connect a digital tuner, and sync everything to their Plex Pass subscription account.

Plex Pass subscribers can watch live HD content on channels available over-the-air, including major US networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CW, as well as local programming, news, and sports. For apps that support DVR, Plex also said that the feature is officially out of beta.

For a list of compatible tuners and antennas that enable Plex's live broadcasting and DVR features, check out the company's list here. The Plex app is available to download from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
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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.

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‘Plex Cloud’ for Accessing Media Anywhere is Now Available to All Plex Pass Users

Plex today announced that its new Plex Cloud service has officially launched, making it available to all Plex Pass users. Plex Cloud has been in beta testing since September of 2016, but is now ready for a wider release.

Plex Cloud is designed to allow Plex users to store their media in the cloud so that it's accessible from anywhere without the need to set up a local server.


Using a compatible cloud service, Plex Pass subscribers can create an always-on Plex Media Server that can stream any media content to any device with Plex installed in 60 seconds or less. As with a standard local server, media is organized using the Plex app for quick access to TV shows, movies, music, pictures, and more.

Because Plex Cloud relies on cloud storage, Plex Pass customers will need access to Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. A subscription may be required, based on how much storage space is required for an individual's media library.


A Plex Pass is also required for access to Plex Cloud. The Plex Pass, which includes access to other upgraded features as well, is priced at $4.99 per month, $39.99 per year, or $119.99 for lifetime usage.

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Plex Acquires Watchup to Bring Curated News Videos Into Streaming Media App

Streaming media application Plex today announced its acquisition of Watchup, a free app that offers viewers a collection of local, national, and world news videos from 160 trusted news sources that they can further personalize by liking and disliking each news story (via TechCrunch).

Watchup originally began as an iPad app back in 2012, and since launched apps on iOS, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Android, and Wii U. Similar to Apple News but with a focus on video, users can pick which category of news they're most interested in, as well as specify the organizations they want to see news from, and the app presents a curated list after the settings are specified.

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Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Plex said that the Watchup news feature will be added into the Plex app as its own section sometime in the second quarter of 2017. Investors in Watchup include news veterans and former executives of The Wall Street Journal, and all are now strategic investors in Plex.

According to Plex CEO Keith Valory, the personalization features of Watchup will be integrated into a variety of content categories within Plex moving forward, with the plan to focus on the kind of curated content the company believes that cord cutters need.
“There are a number of other content categories we’re looking at,” he noted. “The key decision criteria for us on that is to what extent do we think it helps round out a cord cutter’s needs?”

“It could be things like kids’ content, documentaries and podcasts – those are the things that haven’t been done well in the top 15 apps, and we think there’s an opportunity where we can solve that,” said Valory.
Plex began as a media server and personal library for content like TV shows, movies, and music, but recently began expanding into areas that focused on supporting users who lack traditional cable subscription packages. Last year, for example, the company launched a DVR feature that can record shows on free digital broadcast channels for those subscribed to Plex Pass.

The acquisition of Watchup is another step towards becoming a true cord-cutting companion, according to Valory, who also said more acquisitions and partnerships could be coming down the line. Plex Pass can be subscribed to for $4.99 per month, $39.99 per year, or $119.99 (currently a limited time offer) for a lifetime subscription. Users can download Plex on the iOS App Store for free [Direct Link].

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Plex Media Player for Mac Now a Free Download for All Users

Media management service Plex has announced that its Plex Media Player app is now free to everyone. Previously only available to Pass subscribers, the Plex app for Mac is a home theater-style media browser and player for content stored in personal media libraries.

The now full-screen desktop interface features a large array of configuration options and can search online metadata for users' media and integrate relevant files into the library, including artwork and movie subtitles. In the latest update, it also allows users to queue up movies and music.

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Maybe you pine for stuff like Plex Media Player’s silky smooth playback, complex subtitle rendering, and lightning fast seeking on your desktop. Maybe you have a lower-powered NAS server that doesn’t like to transcode. Or maybe you’d just like to rock out to some FLAC while you work. Until today, your only option was to find some place to stash a little baby Media Player window and muddle through the TV UI to queue up your background music of choice.

Well, no more: we’ve harnessed our incredibly powerful Web app and wrapped it up inside our lovely Plex Media Player shell to give you a full-fledged “desktop mode” experience right out of the box. With Plex Media Player running in a window, you can now use your mouse and keyboard as nature intended, and switching to the TV UI is as easy as going full-screen.
In addition to making Plex Media Player a free download, Plex also announced the long-awaited Plex for Kodi add-on. Kodi is a fully extensible, community driven software media center with wide support for playing a range of media content. Exclusively for Plex Pass members, the Plex add-on brings users' Plex-processed media libraries to the Kodi interface for the first time.

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