Plex has now jumped into live TV streaming and in a big way, thanks to the addition of no less than eighty channels for viewers to choose from. What’s more, the service says this is the start of things to come with additional channels due to be added in the future.
Live TV is not strictly new to Plex, considering the service already offered a way for consumers to access channels over-the-air and even stream to other devices connected to the same Plex account. Although inherent with that approach, Plex users still needed to have an antenna installed, at a minimum. Likewise, Plex has previously added web shows and other live-esque shorts to the platform. However, what’s on offer now through the service is very different and far more en vogue.
Plex has now added more than 80 channels to the service with the promise of “more common soon.” Furthermore, this is a feature that Plex is touting as for everyone, considering the live TV access is available to users in more than 220 countries.
In terms of device support, Plex has confirmed that its apps on most platforms are currently in the process of being updated to add the new feature. This not only includes the Android and iOS mobile apps, but also Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku. With consumers also having the option to access the channels through the web browser version as well. Notably missing from that list is smart TVs and game consoles, with Plex stating their support will be coming soon
The March Of ‘Free TV’ Continues
While live TV streaming services continue to escalate in price, the other major trend that has developed in the last couple of years is the rise of free TV. At one level, there are dedicated services like Pluto TV that offer consumers unlimited access to free TV. Then there are the Tubi services that provide streamers with what is, in effect, a Netflix-like free service with on-demand access to a wide variety of movies and shows. This is another area that Plex has also recently gotten involved with.
At the other end of the free spectrum there are the services that have been looking at ways to integrate free into their existing products as an additional feature. At the on-demand level there’s Vudu with its selection of ‘free with ads’ titles. At the live TV level, there’s the services like Redbox that have branched out to offer access to a limited selection of channels.
While Plex technically falls into the latter camp – adding channels as a feature and not the purpose – it is part of a much wider move that the service has been slowly working on over the years to offer a one-stop solution for streaming. Whether it is web shows, local live TV, free live TV, on-demand content, or simply access to the user’s own video collection, Plex is looking to check all the cord-cutting boxes possible.