Plex is now offering everyone access to free live TV to help with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Unlike the live TV many will be used to, Plex’s version is a local live TV solution and some additional hardware will be needed.
Plex live TV is a recent addition to the service compared to some of its other features, although it can be a highly useful one. Once up and running, users get access to all the local channels and networks in their area. While these channels are free to access anyway, Plex simplifies access with its interface, making live TV feel more like a streaming service.
Previously, to access Plex live TV users would need to be a Plex Pass subscriber. While that’s a fairly low-cost Plex subscription to begin with, Plex is now waving the requirement and making the live TV access available to everyone and for free. The company says this is its attempt to help with the coronavirus outbreak.
Although free, you’ll need some equipment
While Plex is now making access to its live TV feature free, things are not quite that simple. This is not a streaming service (although you can stream to other devices) like Locast which looks to offer local TV that’s streamed over the internet. Instead, it is local live TV and that includes all of the hurdles that come with it. The most obvious one being the requirement of an aerial. If you don’t have an antenna then using Plex live TV won’t be possible. What’s more, the radius the antenna covers will greatly determine the number of channels you get, as well as the quality and reliability of the connection.
Besides an antenna, a tuner will also be needed to make use of the service and this is especially true if you want to record one channel while watching another as that will mean a dual-channel tuner is needed. Although, to record, you will also need to have a DVR handy unless the tuner comes with one of them built-in.
However, if you do have all of these different moving parts, then the last part of the puzzle, the Plex Pass, is no longer a problem. Users will be able to navigate an interface very similar to live TV streaming services, get show and movie information, and access their recordings all from within the Plex app.
Speaking of which, while you will also need the Plex app, that should be less of a problem considering how many platforms and devices Plex is supported on.