Why pay a premium for something when you get it for free or at a significant discount? That is part of the idea of behind the cord cutting movement that has an increasing number of cable and satellite TV subscribers jumping ship into streaming TV services. As of today, you can add Plex to the list of options.
Cord cutting is still in its relative infancy. We have not seen the numbers, but we suspect a large number of early adopters are savvy users, which of course includes PC gamers. Hence why we're giving a heads up about this.
You could sort of see that Plex was headed in this direction when it added DVR functionality back in September of last year. Now Plex users can watch live TV in addition to recording TV shows and movies.
"Just think… you can now use Plex to follow along with your favorite sportsball team in real time! Or better yet, tune in to today’s episode of 'The Price is Right' right this second! No more waiting until the recording is done, which means no more Showcase Showdown spoilers!," Plex stated in a blog post (opens in new tab).
Live TV is built right into the Media Server and supported through Plex's Android TV and iOS apps. Bear in mind that this functionality is for broadcast channels that can be plucked from the air, such as ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and so forth.
Users also have to bring their own tuners. The good news here is that Plex is expanding support beyond just HDHomeRun tuners to include USB models from Hauppauge, AVerMedia, DVBLogic, and several others. Some of these even work directly with the Nvidia Shield. You can view a complete list here (opens in new tab).
According to TechCrunch (opens in new tab), once you're setup you can filter programming by channel, genre, year, content rating, or actor. There is also a "Shows on Now" section that lets you see what programming is currently available. These show up as large thumbnails.
To be clear, what Plex is offering here is not on the level of some other TV streaming services, such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now. However, it does fill a gap for users who might not care about premium channels.
The cost is pretty reasonable, too. A Plex Pass subscriptions runs $5 per month, $40 per year, of $120 for lifetime access.
Go here (opens in new tab) to subscribe and/or to check out what channels are available in your area.