Plex will now let you keep your ‘private’ videos hidden with new Plex Home feature

plex home allows privacy managed users hide content music screen
We all have our guilty pleasures, and for many of us, they come in the form of movies, TV shows, or videos that are, shall we say, of questionable taste. Privately, you may relish in the Real Housewives of insert city name here, terrible B-rated Sci-Fi flicks, scandalous Anime, or compilations of kittens in knitted bodysuits (hey, we’re not here to judge), but we’re willing to bet you aren’t interested in sharing this stuff with your curious children, taunting friends, or worse, your judgemental mother-in-law. For those who use Plex as a media server, this has been a problem — the software has lacked any kind of parental controls or privacy measures, so when you grant someone access to your collection, you share your entire collection — the good and the bad. But recently Plex announced a new feature coming to its software, called Plex Home, which makes it possible to pick and choose exactly who sees what through its media server.

Announced on its blog, Plex says that Plex Home has been over two years in the making, and that it aims to bring fine-grained parental controls and more to users by moving server management to its Plex web app. Users will now be able to easily specify exact content ratings accessible by all their friends and family. It is important to note that some basic Multi-user features and Now Playing features will be available to anyone who uses the free version of Plex, but the really good stuff will be limited to Plex Pass holders. Recently, Plex hiked up Plex Pass rates, and they are now as follows: $4.99/month, $39.99/year, and $149.99/lifetime.

Plex Home app screen shot

What’s the “good stuff” we refer to? For one:  Label-based sharing will make specifying who can see which content extremely easy. For example, you could choose to share only certain family videos with your parents and in-laws, and share only your recently-acquired Miles Davis box set collection with your jazzer buddy.

Managing content for those living in the home in which Plex is hosted will also be made extremely easy, especially for those kids who don’t have a username, email, or password. Plex promises switching between users will be extremely quick, and that PINs will only be required where specified. So, for instance, those under 13 in the home would be able to access their approved content by simply selecting their profile, not additional actions needed, while accessing Dad’s account will require the use of a PIN as a password.

Finally, Plex promises access to any of the apps that come with a Plex Pass for everyone in the home. This should come in useful for those in a single home that operates separate Roku accounts, or those who opt to use several different kinds of media streaming hardware, such as the Google Nexus Player, which requires users to have a Plex Pass if they want access to Plex at all.

Just chalk this up as one more reason to choose Plex as a media server, and perhaps the most compelling reason to throw a chunk of change down for a paid subscription. Plex’s development has always been user-driven, and this is yet another example of its developers answering its supporters’ call.

Smart Home

LaMetric teased Sky, an upcoming app-controlled mosaic light panel, at CES 2019

Smart home startup LaMetric put a light in the eyes of guests at this year's CES 2019 with a prototype of a coming product called LaMetric Sky which uses multi-colored LED panels to form app-controlled artwork.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Photography

From 11K to just OK: The biggest photo gear announcements at CES 2019

From 11K cameras to 1 TB media cards, CES 2019 brought a peek at new gear for photographers and videographers. But what photography gear grabbed our attention the most? Here are the biggest photo gear announcements from CES 2019.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Computing

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Home Theater

Leave the charger behind: Wireless headphones will get epic battery life in 2019

From wireless in-ears to noise-canceling over-ears, virtually every headphone manufacturer has seriously improved wireless headphone battery capacity, making fears about charging up for long listening sessions a thing of the past.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Home Theater

Roku adds automatic sign-out mode, for those with regular houseguests

Being able to use a Roku device while staying at a hotel or Airbnb is awesome. What is less awesome is leaving yourself signed in after you leave. With a new automatic sign-out feature, Roku is making it easier to relax.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Apple

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.
Home Theater

Cord-cutting has grown by 48 percent in 8 years, according to Nielsen

People are continuing to ditch cable but not all cord-cutters are the same. In fact, there are two distinct groups within the cord-cutting universe, with a very small, yet growing third group that's worth paying attention to.
Home Theater

All of the TVs getting Apple’s AirPlay 2 in 2019

This year, Apple made it clear it was done keeping its AirPlay wireless streaming technology to itself. With an open API, the way is clear for a plethora of third-party devices, including this growing list of TVs.