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Plex is a media streaming application for Android and Apple users. Plex makes it possible for its users to watch any videos from the central drives. Instead of depending on the content providers' rules, using Plex on Apple TV can create a more interesting viewing experience by making our own playlist and library.
Despite the fact that streaming services have become the people's first choice for entertainment, but streaming services still have some limitations. For example, every streaming service produces different types of shows and has different airtime. Also, there are a lot of advertisement clips that come with the content, interrupting the watching experience.
Plex came in 2008 as one of the media player platforms to organize videos, audios, and photos so users can play or view them anytime they want through one software, without any barrier and with different formats of files.
At that time, movie streaming was not a trend, so people tended to save the movie files on the hard drives or watch them using Blu-Ray formats. Also, the rise of the vlogger and YouTuber era has caused an increase in video-sharing platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and Metacafe. The internet makes it possible to download or save videos from those platforms to personal devices or computers.
Plex allows users to store any type of video file from their hard drive, so users can view their collections anytime, using mobile devices like Android phones, tablets, iPads, iPhones, and streaming devices like Apple TV. Users can enjoy their favorite videos without being interrupted by commercial clips and without worrying about content availability.
Basically, Plex is an app to create our own version of the streaming playlist. Users do not have to depend on what episode or new movie is made available by the streaming services. We can set our own content and stream it anytime we want. And this type of app is perfect for us, who have a huge amount of digital media collections in our movie, music, clip, and photo library.
Almost all features on Plex are free to use. The only homework we need to do is prepare a media center server to store all the digital content using a PC, laptop, or Mac. and then connect the Plex website or the app to the central server. Plex has an effective and helpful user interface and equips it with comprehensive guides.
This app is designed to help people enjoy their collections thoroughly and get an enhancing cinematic experience. Plex will show your library in eyes-catching views with the updated versions of information and pictures. Plex's appearance is on par with movie database websites and applications like IMDB, MUBI, or Rotten Tomatoes, if not better.
So how does Plex work? To be able to enjoy Plex, the first step is to prepare a computer as a central server, and the Plex app will ask for a folder where all the digital media files are saved on that folder. Plex will detect the computer or server every time it is activated and is used on another device or computer over a network. The central server needs to be turned on when we try to stream content using Plex on different devices.
To run the Plex app, you can use many devices as clients, including Android, Apple TV, Android TV, iOS, Windows, Xbox, macOS, and several smart TV devices. You can also run Plex from a mobile device plugged into a TV device. That way, we kind of "stream" our own content via a network, from our own library to the device available for viewing. And we do not need to copy and paste the files to our mobile devices.
Several steps need to be prepared so Plex viewing can run smoothly. The installation process is pretty easy.
One of the advantages of Plex is that it allows different users using different devices to connect and pull media from the same central folder. So Plex is perfect for family members who have the same PC as the central cloud of media files but use Plex in different places.
Plex has the authority to sort and manage all the media files in the source or central server belonging to users. But since 2019, Plex has added over a thousand movies outside users' libraries to let users enjoy them for free in its app. So, Plex gives some bonus to the users' catalog with several familiar titles like The Terminator, Spider-Man movies, and others. This is one of the newest features Plex serves, and some have been available for the paid system since 2019.
It is also possible to watch local TV channels through Plex. For example, by linking the tuner and antenna, users can watch a live TV broadcast. The number of TV channels that can be accessed by Plex Live TV depends on the region.
Some web shows, podcasts, and online music from TIDAL are available to stream via Plex. With an internet connection, users can stream these contents for free. But for the movies, web shows, podcasts, and other online content, there are some commercial clips included.
One of the most useful features of Plex is to let us watch many extra scenes, such as interviews, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes, blooper scenes, or trailers for movies. This is a very helpful tool for those cinephiles who have tons of film or TV show collections from DVD or BluRay. The extras and the main films will be integrated side by side, with a user-friendly and handy appearance.
To activate these features, users need to enable the "Local Media Assets" agent inside the server settings in the Plex app or web. The extra files need to be in the same directory as a movie, where users need to rename the files by following some rules. The files need some specific naming at the end of filenames, so Plex can detect them.
For example, rename the files from Batman footage by using batman-behindthescenes, batman-interviews, batman-trailer, or batman-featurette. Those associated files need to be dragged to be in the same folder with the main film for better organization.
In 2022, Plex had a beta update and integrated new features. Users can watch shows from some online streaming channels through Discovery and Watchlist.
With 4.99 USD per month, Plex gives a premium subscription in the form of Plex Pass. The Plex Pass can be used to download content available in Plex on mobile devices like Android and iOS apps. This way, even without the internet (offline), Plex Pass makes it possible for users to enjoy content outside the central library. Certain user statistics are featured in these premium features.
Plex Pass users can also record Live TV broadcasts streamed from the local channels to the hard drive. So Plex Pass can work as a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). A lifetime Plex Pass lasts forever, and it costs 119.99 USD. With this subscription, we can access the Local Media Assets (behind-the-scenes, interviews, and deleted movie scenes).
For many Apple users, file sharing has been done wisely for a long time by iTunes, which can sync one account library to many Apple devices. But since 2019, Apple has separated iTunes functions into different apps for different file formats. Plex, on the other hand, has its own loyal users that prefer its style and indexing rather than other similar apps.
Plex is also user-friendly and prioritizes file-sharing needs. It does not limit the number of users like the way Apple's original apps always do. A lot of files purchased in the Apple devices also will be stored only in the users' Apple library, so it is impossible to stream them on another device without help from apps like Plex.
How to get Plex on Apple TV devices?
1. First, you must launch your Apple TV and navigate to the App Store.
2. In the App Store, go to the search bar and type Plex. Then, choose Plex from the search result.
3. Click the "Install" button on the Plex info screen to download.
4. After it's installed, click the "Open" button to launch the Plex app.
5. Now you must sign in to your Plex account. You will also see a security code.
6. Visit Plex.tv/link in your desktop or mobile web browser.
7. Enter the security code that appears on the Apple TV. The Plex media server will be linked to your account within seconds.
8. Select the server on the subsequent screen to access Plex media on Apple TV.
9. Finally, choose your favorite content to watch on the big screen.
The other option to enjoy our library collection is to install a third-party downloader. The downloader can help bypass the Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection which often prevents file sharing on different devices. One of the apps is StreamFab DRM MPD Downloader. Any barriers about video expiration dates, the time limit to watch, or transfer problems are solved by StreamFab DRM MPD Downloader.
All DRM-encrypted digital files that can only be opened via Apple devices can also be downloaded using StreamFab DRM MPD Downloader. Install the StreamFab DRM MPD Downloader on a Windows or Mac PC to download and save the digital files into protection-free formats that eventually can be stored and shared via Plex on Apple TV devices.
With many choices of entertainment media streaming services, the Plex app has some advantages for us who have exclusive media collections in our personal digital library. We can stream those media via Plex on Apple TV devices. Plex has a user-friendly interface and indexing system which prioritize users to enjoy their own library, even though Plex still serves some online content in its app.
StreamFab DRM MPD Downloader can be the solution to overcome any difficulties, especially to get MPD files with DRM-encrypted protection like digital files purchased from the Apple store. With StreamFab DRM MPD Downloader, we can transfer any digital files to one central computer, so we can stream them offline on Apple TV devices via Plex.