Plex launches on the new Apple TV, streams your local media

After several years of hacking different solutions into previous Apple TV set-top boxes, Plex has finally been able to launch an official app for the 4th generation Apple TV. This was made possible due to the inclusion of the App Store within the Apple TV software. While Plex has already launched on devices built by companies like Roku and Google, this is the first official client app for an Apple set-top box.

Similar to other set-top box versions of the Plex app, the Apple TV version lets users stream local video and music as well as view libraries of stored photos. This media is stored on a computer within the home that’s operating on the same Wi-Fi network and running Plex Media Server, free software that’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux and FreeBSD. The app also opens up access to Plex Channels, a section of the app that streams online content from services like TED Talks, Vimeo and Revision 3.


Within the Apple TV version of the Plex app, users will be able to view details about movies and television shows such as synopsis, actors, director, studio, the Rotten Tomato rating, film length, genre, year of release, resolution of the video file and closed captioned options. The app also loads Rotten Tomatoes review snippets of films within the video library, ideal for getting an expert’s quick take on a film.

Using a similar interface for music, users can view a description of an artist as well as the genre of an album. Plex has included shuffle controls within the app as well, ideal for skipping around on tracks within a specific mix, album or artist’s entire library of music. There’s also a handy option for someone unfamiliar with a particular artist. The “Play Popular Tracks” option will stream all well-known tracks, thus increasing the likelihood of recognition simply by listening.


The app is free for any 4th generation Apple TV owner to download and use in combination with the free Plex Media Server software. However, users also have the option to upgrade to Plex Pass, a premium version of the software that unlocks a multitude of useful features. One such feature is GraceNote’s music matching software, the same software Apple uses to match music to artists within iTunes. If you have a music library of MP3 files stored outside of iTunes, it can be useful for identifying tracks, albums names and artist names.

Other Plex Pass features enabled on the Apple TV include access to Vevo’s library of music videos, options to load movie trailers prior to the start of a film and managed accounts to restrict content based on a user’s access level, ideal for families that want to keep the R-rated movies away from the kids. Outside of the Apple TV, Plex Pass includes two great options for mobile users; a cloud syncing feature to stream content from the cloud as well as a mobile sync feature to take content offline to areas without reliable Wi-Fi.

Home Theater

There isn’t a single good reason to buy Apple’s new AirPods

After nearly a three-year wait, Apple has finally announced a new version of its popular true wireless headphones, the AirPods. We had high hopes for vast improvements, but that's not what we got.
Home Theater

Hulu vs. Amazon Prime Video: Which streaming service is best for you?

It's hard to dispute Netflix's leadership in on-demand streaming video, it's not alone. Two great alternatives are Amazon Prime Video and Hulu; each with its strengths and weaknesses. Which one is better? We pick the winner.

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.

Looking to keep prying eyes at bay? Here's how to hide photos on your iPhone

People take tons of photos using their smartphones, but not all are meant to be shared or seen. Luckily, hiding photos on your iOS device is easy, whether you want to use built-in utilities or apps with added security.
Movies & TV

Netflix confirms it won’t be a part of Apple’s new video-streaming service

Netflix has confirmed that subscribers to Apple's new video streaming service won't have the option to view Netflix content on it. Apple is set to unveil its new TV service next week.

Amazon slashes prices on UE Boom and MegaBoom 3 Bluetooth speakers

With just the right combination of great sound, a rugged design, and an overall sleek aesthetic, the UE MegaBoom 3 is our favorite Bluetooth speaker. And Amazon is offering a rare discount on it right now.
Home Theater

Tipping point? Streaming subscribers outnumbered cable in 2018 for first time

2018 was a very good year for the entertainment business as a whole, but it was especially good for streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon, says a new report by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 is coming! Here’s everything we know so far

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in April 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. April 2019 brings Game of Thrones season 8, BlacKkKlansman, and Crazy Rich Asians to HBO.
Home Theater

TCL drops the price of its 75-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV to $1,500

March is a great time for TV deals, and we've got a whopper: TCL has taken $300 off the price of its superb 75-inch 6-Series 4K HDR Roku TV, making it $1,500. That's the lowest price ever on this affordable TV.
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch Apple’s March 25 product reveal event live

It's almost here: Apple's much anticipated March 25 event, where it is widely expected to announce several streaming services, including on-demand and live TV with original programming. Here's how to watch it live.
Movies & TV

HBO’s Deadwood movie rustles up a trailer and a release date

This spring, HBO's long-awaited Deadwood movie will explore what happened 10 years after the events of HBO's award-winning drama, giving the series a finale 13 years after the show was canceled.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.