Plex has updated its smart TV app with a clutch of new features, the company announced earlier today. In a typically chirpy blog post, the company pointed out the TV app is available to millions of users around the world who own smart TVs from Sony, Samsung, Vizio, LG and Toshiba TVs, as well as Opera TV-based devices. (A comprehensive list of supported TVs can be found here.)
As a result of this update, you can finally access your photos and music collection via the smart TV app, which now boasts powerful discovery features, support for photo slideshows, and a music mini-player. The app's users can also access and play their music playlists, the company said, promising similar support for video playlists in a future update.
Finally, around five months after it was first introduced, Plex Home support has come to the TV app. This means you can use so-called "managed" user accounts created by the Plex Media Server admin--say for your children--and switch between both managed and regular user accounts quickly without having to manually sign out and sign in again.
Please note, however, that the aforementioned features are only available to Plex Pass subscribers. A Plex Pass subscription costs $5 a month and comes with a slew of benefits, including cloud sync, mobile sync, Plex Home, free client apps and much more.
Why this matters: This is yet another reminder that there is more to cord-cutting than skinny bundles and on-demand streaming video services, especially for those who have a large personal media library lying dormant on a PC or a NAS. Plex can breathe new life into all that carefully curated (and we hope duly paid for) content, mobilizing it for quick and convenient on-demand access from around the home or even remotely.
Plex allows you to turn your networked PC or storage device into a personal media server, effectively giving your local media library wings. Install the Plex Media Server on the PC or NAS box housing your content and the appropriate app on the client devices on which you want to access the said content.
You can use Windows, MAC, Linux and FreeBSD machines as servers, as well as a wide selection of NAS boxes, including various models from Seagate, Netgear, Qnap and many others. The list of supported client devices is similarly long, with there being dedicated apps for everything from game consoles to smart TVs to streaming hardware.