Plex offers a mix of free content through its platform, but to access all of the service’s features, like Live TV, you normally need a Plex Pass paid subscription. Today the company has announced, in light of the global coronavirus crisis, that it will make its Live TV feature free to Plex users for three months. Follow along for how to get set up with the functionality.
Plex detailed the thoughtful offering in a blog post today:
Quite a few of you have reached out to share how much Plex has helped over the past weeks and how it fits in to your shelter-in-place regimen, whether it’s keeping kids from tearing each other’s hair out, or keeping family and friends fed with a steady stream of media to pass the time. To be clear, we’re on the far fringes of being able to make a meaningful contribution to returning things to normal. While we’re not working on the cure*, we’re incredibly honored to know that we’re working on something that may make the mitigation a little more tolerable for all of you. It gives us a renewed sense of purpose. We won’t let you down.
If you have an HD antenna and tuner, then now you can stream your free live TV to all your devices without Plex Pass through the end of June (DVR and other premium features still require a Plex Pass). And if you don’t, we got some of our hardware partners to offer them to Plex users at a discount for a limited time. You can stream reruns, new shows (treasure them!), news, or kids programming. Stream it all around your home or while you’re away. Maybe it will help educate, entertain, enlighten, or another e-starting-word.
How to watch Live TV for free on Plex with limited time offer
- If you don’t already have one, get Plex Media Server running on a compatible device (free download).
- You can do this with your Mac, Windows, or Linux computer. We also have a detailed tutorial on getting it set up on a NAS device. Keep in mind you’ll need to set up a Plex account if don’t have one.
- Make sure you’re running Plex Media Server 1.18.8 or later.
- Pickup a Plex compatible tuner and HD antenna if you don’t have them yet.
- For macOS or NAS Plex Media Server setups, all of SiliconDust’s HDHomeRun tuners/DVRs will work and they’re also all compatible with Windows, Linux, or Nvidia Shield Plex setups. And highly rated HD antennas can be found in the $20-$60 range.
Plex does note that the free Live TV offer doesn’t include DVR, so you’ll need to pick up a Plex Pass subscription if you want that feature.
One other fine detail: “The free Live TV functionality will include 48 hours of guide data. (Plex Pass subscribers will continue enjoying the normal ~2 weeks of guide data.)”
- To set up Live TV with your Plex Media Server, head to Settings> Live TV & DVR to get started with the process
- Here is Plex’s collection of support articles on Live TV if you need more help.
- Once you’re set up with Live TV through Plex, you can watch it on any supported Plex app including on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and more.
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About the Author
Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, Electrek, and DroneDJ. You’ll find most of his writing on 9to5Mac where he covers news, reviews, how-tos, and more.