Tags Posts tagged with "Plex"

Plex

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Since the NVIDIA Shield upgraded its firmware to include a full Plex server I have been receiving questions that sound something like this. “I have an NVIDIA Shield with a Plex server included. Why can’t I get to the Plex channel store like I do on my PC?” This is a good question and one that I recently had a chance to broach with a representative from Plex on a recent call. Here is what we found out about the Plex app for NVIDIA Shield as well as other Plex news.

Why Doesn’t Plex On Shield Have Channels
Yes you can add channels to the Plex server on the NVIDIA shield but in order to do so, you must access the server from the web application. We discovered that this method worked after the upgrade went live but only now have confirmed that the web-based accessibility is exclusive.

Can you access the Plugin’s Folder on the Shield
Those that enjoy Plex on a PC know that there are tons of channels to choose from in Plex’s official store but that there are also numerous channels available for users in places like GIT Hub. In order to add something from GitHub to Plex one must be able to access the Plugins folder for the server. At this point, that is not an option on the NVIDIA Sheild. In fact, even when you access the Plex Server via the apps section of the console it lets you know that you can only access Plex through the Plex app.

Does this mean that you can’t get third party channels?
Without access to the root folders of Plex you can not drop the files into place and add third party programs. NVIDIA would have to change the way that users interact with the system in order to allow for that. Even with the use of various file manager systems, which we explored extensively, you will not be able to add third party programs. Will continue to check on methods for this.

The Plex App Has Not Been Updated To Reflect The Change
NVIDIA has had a Plex app since the device debuted. At its launch the app like Plex apps for other devices required a separate server running in order to access local content. Thus the app was designed with this in mind. The way the app operates with the internal Plex Server is identical to how it operates with external ones. Keep you eye on this app as both NVIDIA and Plex will be working to improve the user experience. It would be great to see an app on the Shield that worked in the same fashion as the Plex for Home Theater. Because this is an Android platform all features found on PC versions of Plex might be difficult to recreate on the console.

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The Shield TV will be the first Android TV device to get the new Tablo app

The NVIDIA Shield will be getting a major firmware update. likely later this month, that will install an exciting new feature to the device. The NVIDIA Shield Pro Can Be Your Next Plex Server. It will be the first Android-powered device to be a standalone Plex Server. This means that as opposed to supporting a Plex app like hundreds of Android devices on the market, the NVIDIA Shield Pro will now operate in the same way as a full Windows or

NVIDIA SHield Pro Includes Plex Server.
NVIDIA Shield Pro Includes Plex Server.

Mac computer does. Users will be able to access all of their media using the NVIDIA Shield pro without the need to run a full server on a separate machine. And more so the NVIDIA Shield Pro will act as the Plex backbone for other devices in the home.

What About My NAS?

The NVIDIA Shield Pro will also support the use of a NAS (Networked Attached Storage).  Shield Pro will also support playing media from an attached hard drive. For the first time this configuration will allow users to add and subtract Plex Channels and all of the other features unique to a PC setup on a non PC. Users can also still use any NAS via the Plex App. That just means you will have more space than you did before.

How is this different than Plex on Roku or Fire TV?
Plex has been a mainstay on a number of devices for some time and has been a very popular option for the Roku.  But the significant thing about Plex on the NVIDIA Shield is that on other devices like the Roku family of products, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Smart TV’s and numerous wireless devices Plex requires a separate computer to be running in order to access media, Plex channels and other features. While users have been able to access information from shared servers online the bulk of other Plex features depended on access to at least one other item. Once the firmware update is out that will no longer be the case. 

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The New Plex interface is a total departure from its original Roku channel

How do you get the new Roku Plex Channel? It is very easy. Until now the new Plex channel with it’s updated interface was only available for Plex pass members but the good folks at Plex sent out those registered with Plex an email informing them of the good news. Updating is very simple. For a video demo click here or the video at the top of the page.

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Plex in its mission to become the ubiquitous personal media medium of the streaming world has announced a major agreement to have its app included on Tivo DVR devices. Tivo, which offers DVR’s to both cable users and cord cutters has been expanding its app selections of late. Including Plex, which allows users to view their own digital content via a TV interface is a big win for the digital content distributor that has seen huge growth in the past two years. Tivo joins, Roku, the Fire TV, The Google Nexus Player as a set top box option for the app. For more on Plex see our article here.

The Plex application will appear on the TiVo Roamio™, TiVo Mini and TiVo Premiere devices.  The app will also be available to TiVo users who receive a TiVo box from their cable provider. Plex will be available on the TiVo T6, Quad, Preview, TiVo Mini, and XG1 devices.

The Streaming Advisor will have more on the full feature set for the Tivo app upcoming. According to a press release from Tivo the new app will:

  • Keep track of personal media by showcasing recently added content front and center, so users easily can pick up from where they left off, or play the next episode of their favorite show stored on their PC or media server.
  • Free themselves from single-screen viewing. With Plex, users can fling great content from the Plex app on their mobile device to their TiVo devices to watch on the big screen.
  • Effortlessly share media and exchange precious memories among friends and distant family members, to discover and enjoy even more content.
  • Easily save online videos from favorite sites to watch later, even on the big screen. Or share the experience by recommending videos to a friend.

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Los Gatos, Calif., January 5, 2014— Plex, the all-in-one personal media solution across home and mobile devices, has announced the addition of several new music features to be rolled out in the coming weeks. The Plex music experience allows users to effortlessly stream songs, albums, and playlists from their entire music library to all of their devices. New features include music videos powered by Vevo, automated organization and recommendations, enhanced artist info, and more. Plex will offer an early look at its premium music updates during CES 2015.

“Until now, music players like iTunes have been limited in their ability to consistently and easily organize, identify, and play all types of music files, anytime, anywhere, and on any device,” says Scott Olechowski, Chief Product Officer and Plex Co-Founder. “With improved music file identification, the best possible metadata, and integrated music videos, we’ve created a truly seamless music and video platform. We worked hard to create an amazing experience for accessing your entire personal media library, be it at home or on the go.”

Plex’s interface is consistent across all devices making it easy to use, and providing one window into all of your personal media. It’s the only fully featured media player that allows you to simply manage and play all of your stored music, movies, TV shows, and photos on any phone, tablet, TV, or PC—no matter where the content is stored. Plex is compatible with Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Mac, Windows 8, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Xbox, PlayStation, many popular NAS devices, and more.

Plex’s new premium music experience delivers the following:

Audio Fingerprinting plus Enhanced Music Recognition and Artist Info via Gracenote
Plex now uses Gracenote, the leader in music metadata and discovery technologies. Gracenote is the industry standard for music recognition and is supported by the largest source of metadata, featuring descriptions of more than 200 million tracks.

Plex has added Gracenote’s world-class matching via audio fingerprinting to ensure the accuracy of the information associated with the music in your library, such as artist, album, and genre. Regardless of the original source and associated metadata (or lack thereof), songs can be appropriately tagged.

Plex now also fully supports one-click import from iTunes, so you can easily import all of your iTunes playlists, smart playlists, ratings, and more.

HD Music Videos from Vevo
Now, Plex Pass subscribers can watch their favorite music videos matched with music from their personal library. Taking advantage of Plex’s rich audio and video streaming capabilities, these HD music videos can be streamed to any mobile or home device using the Plex app to create the ultimate music experience.

 Mood and Genre-Driven Playlist and Listening Recommendations
Plex will now allow you to create personalized Plex Mix playlists with the click of a button based on Gracenote’s descriptive information about a song such as genre, mood, and tempo. It also features a robust recommendation engine for re-discovering songs in your music library.

 Best-in-Class Format and Streaming Support
Plex natively supports all major audio formats, including full support for FLAC. Plex transcodes your music files on the fly, if needed, automatically adjusting format and quality based on bandwidth to give you the best playback experience from any chosen device.

Plex is becoming more and more popular as a tool for streaming community created channels as well as organizing ones’ own media. With Plex you can convert physical media in to digital media and access it all through Plex. It can almost eliminate the need for DVD and Blue Ray players. As Plex builds partnerships with more vendors the grey and yellow logo is becoming as easy to spot as Pandora or YouTube. While not at Netflix level yet the company is certainly rising as more and more people

Fire TV offers users a quad core streaming experience. How long will Roku writ before it pushes back?
Fire TV offers users a quad core streaming experience. How long will Roku writ before it pushes back?

begin to think of media consumption as an on demand and app driven commodity.

In the set top streaming world there are numerous ways to access Plex. Android boxes have wonderful Plex apps based on the tablet apps, there is a Plex port for XBMC called PleXBMC and there are dedicated Plex apps for the Roku line of products and the Amazon Fire TV and the Google Nexus player. In today’s feature we will be comparing Plex for the Amazon Fire TV and Roku, in our case a Roku 3.

Graphically
Fire TV: Plex on the Fire TV looks great. The menus are very colorful giving the app a distinctive Black and gold Plex feel while integrating a very friendly and inviting look. Slick

Plex on the Fire TV has more shinny things to enjoy. (Click for larger image)
Plex on the Fire TV has more shinny things to enjoy. (Click for larger image)

and modern, it is very visually appealing. Exploring various network channels presents large poster sized images of TV shows. The same applies to individual episodes of a give series.

Roku: Plex for Roku began as a private channel and has grown to be one of its most popular by far. But it is not because of its looks. The Plex Channel itself has a very basic look dominated by black and yellow with carousel styled channel selection. The networks and individual apps are given

Plex for Roku has pre refreshed Roku feel,
Plex for Roku has pre refreshed Roku feel,

their own branding but once inside a selection the pictures and art are small and a bit blurry.

Channels
Both apps appear to offer the same channel add-ons. But the edge sits with Roku in this category. The Fire TV does not offer a way to add new channels from Plex’s lineup of user created channels. The Roku channel does. Simply navigating to a conspicuous yellow plus sign allows the user to enter a channel store interface where new channels can be added based on type, newest, recently updated and more. Fire TV users will have to access Plex’s channels via a computer to from either the Plex website or apps like the Plex Home Theater.

It is simple to find Roku's search feature but it is less inclusive.
It is simple to find Roku’s search feature but it is less inclusive.

Search
Both Apps let users search the server but the Fire TV does it better. While the Roku app provides a simple basic Roku rectangle styled grid search. The Fire TV on the other hand a search for a given term even if it is not found will return results based on Movies, Videos, Seasons, Photos etc. If you have a vast amount of media organized with Plex it will be easy to find it with the great cross section search.

Navigation
Fire TV:
The Fire TV interface makes navigating a little complicated. Do you want to see channels click left select online and press OK. Did you add a new channel with a computer slick left select options and refresh. There are multiple steps and screens needed for what amounts to basic functions.

Roku: Plex on Roku is very basic so navigation is simple. The Roku app presents a separate

Finding something to watch on FIre TV is a much more visually stimulating experience.
Finding something to watch on FIre TV is a much more visually stimulating experience.

carousel for each thing on your Plex agenda. Qued media, Plex Channels, Your Media etc. Reaching the vast majority of the options can be done from the home page. Here we have to again give the edge to Roku.

Speed
This is where processors matter. The Roku 3 is the most powerful Roku on the market but the Fire TV is simply a more powerful device and it shows in how quickly apps and media load on the device. The Fire TV is a snappier and prettier display over all. Once you find what you are looking for you should enjoy it very much.

 

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Server adds cable content to the Streaming Box

USA Network the home of original series like Graceland, Playing House, Psych and Suits does not have an official Roku channel. But that does not mean that you cannot watch USA Network shows on Roku. If you have a networked computer or laptop there is a very easy solution. USA Network has a Plex channel that accesses all of the content on the USA Network website and packages it nicely for view on the Roku. If you are not already familiar with Plex we have a number of stories about the service/server. See an intro story here. If you do not already have the Plex channel on your Roku here is what you need to do to add it.

What you need

An Internet Connected Windows, Mac or Linux Computer
Plex Media Server Download here
Plex Channel for Roku 4.99 Click Here  OR Free Private Roku Plex Channel Click Here

Once you have set up Plex are almost there

How to Add USA Network to Plex

  1. Make certain that the computer running Plex Media Server is and connected to your Wi-Fi network.
  2. Make certain that your computer is running the Plex Media Server
  3. Open your preferred Plex Channel
  4. Navigate to the bottom of the menu to miscellaneous
  5. Click right to either the arrow or the Plus sign depending on your Plex app
  6. Click down to categories
  7. Click to the right and Choose TV (it is in alphabetical order)
  8. Click Right until you come to the USA icon and press ok and Install

 Enjoy Your favorite USA Network Shows on Roku

Once you have the USA Network channel installed on Plex you will now have access to any episodes that the network puts online with no hassle. Unlike the mobile apps that require cable provider authentication. Do understand though that USA swaps out its content quickly. So don’t put off watching a weekly series with the intention of one long Netflix styled binge session.

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The JynxBox Live set top box is a compact simple to use item with its own custom app store and proprietary operating system. Unlike many set-top-JynxBox Live Home boxes on the market today the “Live” does not run a full Android interface retrofitted for the TV. It does run on an Android based system but comes loaded with a group of apps optimized for TV and eschews the full Google Play store. The dual core processor powered machine offers a number of popular services and is easy to upgrade via software patches. This internationally loved system is available in the US via www.theaterinabox.com . 

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The Plex app for the Amazon Fire TV is is the #1 entertainment application on the new platform. The announcement came via the Plex Newsletter which also pointed out that users who already purchased the app for the Kindle Fire will not have to pay for Plex again on the Fire TV. This is a tremendous win for the company that already boasts one of the top channels on Fire TV competitor the Roku family of devices. The Plex app for Amazon Fire TV app for Roku has a graphically rich interface for a look at our feature on the app check it out here. Plex which began as a Mac port for XBMC has gained a great deal of clout in the marketplace as it’s app has become a fixture on numerous platforms including, Smart TV’s from LG and Samsung, Roku, Sony Blue Ray players and many more. 

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Updated 5/5/2014

Plex is a powerful media server with capabilities that allow users to organize their own digital media, Share their media across networks, cue content from the video sources anywhere on the Internet and watch multiple community created content channels that bring network television content to Plex along with numerous other options. The Plex unsupported app store is a versatile addition to Plex that adds a great deal of capabilities to the server.  Here is what you need to do to add the unsupported app store to your own Plex server. Continue for directions and video by our friend and contributer Vincent Russell.

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