On Super Bowl, Sunday my friend, Bob, invited me over to his house to watch the Super Bowl. I went over, and he opened Plex and pulled up the Superbowl, and we proceeded to watch the Chiefs make history in great HD quality.
He told me that he “has a sweet setup” because of Plex. It took him a while, and some work, but now he can access all the media he has ever bought, on any of his devices at any time. To do this, he ripped all of his DVDs, collected all his music and photos, and put them on Plex. While at the park, he pulled out his phone to show me and started playing Home Alone, one of his old DVDs. Pretty much, Plex is Dan’s personal cloud-based media library, where he put/s all the media he owns, and then can access it anywhere on any device that is connected to the internet.
How would you like to have all your own media neatly organized and easily accessible in one place? Sounds great huh? With Plex, this is entirely possible, and once you put in the initial work in, it is there forever. You will never have to search for a lost DVD or photo again. Once Digitized, you don’t need to worry about scratches, or any wear and tear.
What Does This Have To Do With Cable Cutting?
As you know, this website is for helping people find better and cheaper alternatives to Cable TV, and not for helping people organize media. Don’t worry, I am not straying off the path, I am still just trying to help you on your cable cutting path. I want to share how Plex along with 2 other devices can get you free TV and DVR for life. That‘s right, never pay for TV again and save over $1200 a year!
In order to do this, you first need an HD antenna, a compatible digital tuner, along with a subscription to Plex (I suggest try it out for a month, then if you like it, get the lifetime pass). Once you get all 3 items, it is easy! You just set up your antenna, install the digital tuner, and then set up the Plex Live TV on your server. For a more in-depth look on how to set it up, check out this explanation. Once it is set up you’ll have live TV and DVR free for life. The TV comes from the antenna, the tuner makes the antennas signals readable for the Plex server so that the server can act as a DVR.
2 Things Plex Could Improve On
Now Plex isn’t perfect. When I first understood the concept of Plex, I was excited. I imagined a place where I could sort through all my owned media and subscriptions in one place. But it doesn’t integrate with subscriptions like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or any live TV streaming service such as DirecTV Now. So if I have a subscription to any one of those, I can’t really have all my media on Plex. Plex only works with un-encrypted material, such as a downloaded song or an antennas signals. Considering Plex’s competition, it needs this change. There are DVR services such as Playon which do integrate with Amazon, Netflix, and DirecTV Now, and also have a cheaper lifetime price. Once Plex adds subscription integration though, Playon doesn’t stand a chance. It can’t integrate with antennas, external media, and isn’t as slick looking as Plex.
The second thing I think Plex could improve on is customer support. There is no readily available customer support such as call line or chat. Instead, there are forums. This was an issue for me, because I originally wasn’t able to access my server, and needed help troubleshooting. The troubleshooting advice in the forum wasn’t helpful. It took a while, but I finally was able to get the support I needed, but I wish it was easier. Luckily, there are plenty of tutorial videos on YouTube that are very helpful.
Cool Things Plex Does
Now that I told you the bad parts, I want to highlight some of the best and most unique parts of Plex. There are many services and which help you put your media in one place. That is why the little differences matter. First off, it saves you cellular data. When you access media through Plex, the server’s processor does most of the work for the phone. That means if you are watching a movie or show using data, you save a ton of data!
Another cool thing Plex does is it allows you to download movies or music locally to a device. This way if you are going on a plane flight, and won’t have internet, you can still watch your favorite show or movie during the flight as long as you remember to download them to your device beforehand!
The last cool thing I want to mention is that when you upload a movie or song, Plex scrapes the internet, and finds cool background information, images, and sometimes even extra video content for it.
Who Plex Media Server is Perfect For
There are a few types of cable cutters. There are the ones who find subscriptions such as Netflix, Amazon, DirecTV Now, or Sling to replace their Cable TV. Then there are the hardcore cable-cutters, that want to completely kill the monthly cable bill. These are the ones who are OK with just having locally broadcast channels because they know they will save thousands a year. If you are a hardcore cable cutter, then Plex is perfect for you. It will give you DVR capabilities, as well as a place to organize all your media. It is a cable cutting paradise.