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Forget fast-forwarding, Plex DVR can now remove commercials for you

Plex DVR
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Over the years, Plex has grown from a relatively simple home media server into an all-in-one entertainment powerhouse. Notable feature additions include streaming personalized news, the ability to operate entirely in the cloud instead of on your server, and a full-fledged DVR. Now that DVR has gotten even more powerful, adding a new feature to automatically remove commercials, which was spotted by Cord Cutters News.

The feature was added in an update the Plex team pushed out over the weekend. While most of the update was focused on fixing bugs, this new feature was also included. You’ll need to manually enable the feature by heading into your Plex DVR settings and finding the option, labeled “Remove Commercials.”

You may not want to turn the feature on immediately without looking into reports from other users. The description in the settings warns that while the feature will attempt to automatically locate and remove commercials, this could potentially take a long time and cause high CPU usage. If you’re running your Plex server on a powerful computer, this may not be an issue, but if you’re running it on an old laptop, you might want to hold off.

This new feature also changes your DVR recordings permanently, removing commercials from the files themselves. This shouldn’t be a problem as long as the feature works as intended, but if it detects wrong portions of the file as commercials, you could end up missing out on part of your favorite shows.

Of course, to even use the Plex DVR, you need a fairly specific setup, using a USB Tuner or HDHomeRun to connect an antenna to your computer in order to receiver over-the-air (OTA) signals. Initially, hardware options were limited, but they have been expanding. Plex has a full list of supported hardware listed on its website. You’ll also need a Plex Pass subscription in order to use the feature, which costs $5 per month, $40 per year, or $150 for a lifetime subscription.

If you’ve never tried Plex before but think this seems like a great time to jump on board, you can get started by taking a look at our guide to getting Plex up and running on your PC.

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Kris Wouk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kris Wouk is a tech writer, gadget reviewer, blogger, and whatever it's called when someone makes videos for the web. In his…
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