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Plex is now in the movie rental business, with a catch or two

The rentals screen on Plex.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Plex — everyone’s favorite media server — has long been used to organize your home library. More recently, it’s been in the FAST (free ad-supported streaming television) game, serving up ad-supported content. And now it’s getting into the movie rental game, with titles starting at $4 a pop. And it’s all entirely separate from the , which adds all kinds of goodies to the Plex experience.

Devices supported for playback at launch include Amazon Fire TV, Android and Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, PlayStation, Roku, various smart TVs, and Xbox. If your favorite device happens to not work with the rentals just yet, you can always check things out in a web browser.

On which devices can you actually rent the movies? Well, that’s a little more limited. Mainly because iOS is a no-go so far. You can rent elsewhere and watch on your Apple device, but not actually pay that way. Same goes for Amazon Fire TV.

The payment mechanism varies a little on supported devices, too. You’ll go through Google Play on Google’s Android devices. Roku goes through Roku and Vizio (mostly) through Vizio. On platforms like PlayStation, Xbox, and some smart TVs, you will pay through Plex itself. None of that should be a deal-breaker, but it’s also not the most elegant of solutions.

One more catch: This is all limited to the U.S., for now. But Plex does say that it intends to expand internationally at some point.

Rented movies won’t have ads, which is nice. And you’ll have 30 days to actually watch a movie once you’ve paid to rent it. But as soon as you hit play, you’ll only have 48 hours to do so. That’s fairly standard for this sort of thing.

Plex says that movies will be served in 1080p resolution, and in 5.1 surround sound when possible.

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Phil Nickinson
Section Editor, Audio/Video
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
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