Plex is one of the most powerful home theater servers available. It allows you to stream your own music, movies, and TV shows, so it’s great for cord-cutters. Plex’s third-party channels add even more options.
And now, Plex is even more powerful. Plex recently announced support for live streaming TV through OTA antennas and compatible digital tuners.
If you’re interested in finding out how to watch live TV on Plex, read on to learn:
- How to watch live over-the-air TV on Plex using an antenna
- Tips for watching live internet TV via third-party Plex channels
- Where to go to learn more about Plex
Plex Live TV & DVR (Requires Plex Pass)
Plex Live TV & DVR is one of the newer Plex features. To use it, you need a Plex Pass subscription.
Plex Pass subscriptions can be purchased for $4.99/month or $39.99/year. There’s also a one-time “Lifetime” membership fee of $119.99. While Plex Pass does have some good features, it is pricey.
If you don’t want to invest in a Plex Pass, scroll down to learn about Plex channels. Plex channels give you a way to watch live web TV through Plex.
What you’ll need to setup Plex Live TV & DVR
- A supported DVR tuner and OTA antenna – A list of supported devices can be found here.
- An updated Plex media server – Make sure you’re running the latest version of Plex.
- A Plex Pass subscription – Available at Plex.com
Now that you know what you need, let’s dive into the setup steps.
How to set up Plex DVR & Live TV
Here are the basic steps for adding Plex DVR & Live TV to your Plex media center.
- Unbox your OTA antenna and connect it to your digital TV tuner.
- Connect your TV tuner to Plex Media Server.
- On your Plex Media Server, open up the main menu and click Settings.
- Click Server on the upper-right corner of the settings menu.
- Select DVR settings on the bottom-left part of the settings menu and press Create A DVR.
- Plex will automatically detect any connected, compatible digital TV tuners. Select your tuner and proceed to step 7.
- Enter your country, preferred language and ZIP code.
- Your Plex media server will begin scanning for channels.
- When channel scanning is complete, choose the channels that you want to either watch live or record in the future.
- Press Save. Plex will then add the channels to your Electronic Program Guide.
- Press View Program Guide to access your live TV functionality. You can browse all channels, or filter by a variety of categories including:
- On Right Now
- Starting Soon
- New Episodes Tonight
- My Upcoming Shows
- Recommended For You
- Upcoming Movies
- Upcoming Sports
- Next, simply select the show you’d like to watch. You can Watch it immediately, Record it for future viewing or Go To Show to learn more about the show and the episode.
That’s it! You’re all set up.
Next, let’s discuss some of the best features of Plex Live TV & DVR and find out whether or not it’s worth the price of entry.
Plex Live TV & DVR features overview
If you’re a dedicated cord-cutter, Plex Live TV & DVR streaming has some benefits you may find appealing.
Free access to local channels
With just a digital tuner, OTA antenna and subscription to Plex you can enjoy programming from local broadcast stations. This includes local news and sports programming, which is often hard to find via the web.
Mobile TV viewing
If you have your Plex media server configured to accept remote connections, you can watch both live and recorded TV on Android and iOS devices.
Integrates with Plex media libraries
Movies and TV shows that are recorded through the Plex DVR are automatically tagged with metadata and organized alongside the rest of your media in Plex. If you’re a Plex power-user with a large library of your own media, this is a great feature.
Currently, you can view Plex Live TV on the following devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android (mobile)
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Plex Web App (v3.20.4 or newer)
- Select Smart TVs
New platforms are added all the time, so make sure to check out this page from Plex for more information.
Is Plex Live TV & DVR worth it?
If you simply want to watch live TV, you may find it easier and cheaper to skip Plex Pass and just set up a digital tuner and OTA antenna on your television. But if you want to record shows for later, Plex Pass may be worth the investment.
If you don’t want Plex Pass, read on to find out how to watch internet video via Plex Channels.
What are Plex Channels?
Plex channels are video plug-ins that allow you to pull live TV from the web into Plex.
There are hundreds of channels available on the official Plex Store. These applications have been thoroughly vetted by Plex for legality and legitimacy and offer an easy way to enjoy a wide variety of free, streaming digital content.
Installing Plex Channels
Now that you understand the basics of Plex channels, let’s get into the details and discuss the channel installation process.
Plex channel browser
This is the easiest way to install Plex channels. Channels on the official Plex channel browser have been vetted for legitimacy and quality and you can install them directly from the Plex client.
Here’s how to install a channel using the official Plex channel browser.
- Open Plex media server and select Channels from the left-hand menu.
- Select Install Channels.
- You can browse Plex channels based on popularity, what’s new, recently added and more via the Channel Directory.
- Select the channel of your choice. A pop-up will appear. Select Install to begin installing your selected channel.
- Navigate back to Home and select Channels again. Your installed channel will now be present in your media server.
Recommended Plex Channels For TV Streaming
There are dozens of Plex channels available from networks like CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, VICE and more. All of these channels can be quickly installed from the main Plex channel browser, so give them all a try!
To get you started, we’ve compiled our top 5 picks below.
The BBC iPlayer is one of the most popular official Plex channels. It allows you to easily access content from the BBC and watch live television content from all across the UK. With plenty of both new and archived shows, the BBC iPlayer is a great addition to Plex.
- Note: You will need a UK IP address to access this channel. Follow our guide to unlock the BBC iPlayer on Plex.
USTV Now is focused on streaming live US-based television. It features easy filtering and sorting options and a huge variety of content.
While USTV Now is a perfectly legitimate channel, it’s not available on the official Plex store. You’ll have to use the Unsupported App Store to get this channel.
If you’re a cord-cutter who misses the daily news, the RT America Plex channel is a great choice. RT America provides a critical view on current affairs in American government. It broadcasts breaking news and discussions about American politics.
The CBC official Plex channel provides a wide variety of streaming content. It features live sports streams, expertly-crafted documentaries and even radio programming.
Note: You’ll need to use a VPN (recommended: IPVanish) to access CBC content if you’re outside of Canada.
The PBS official Plex channel is a great source for informative, interesting video content. Through this channel you can browse programs offered by over 350 member TV stations, sort by the most popular videos and access live TV streams of PBS member stations.
Learn More About Plex
If you’re just getting started with Plex, we have plenty of other great resources you can use to learn about installing new channels, including guides, recommendations, and more. Check them out below, and you’re sure to be able to make the most out of this powerful home theater system.
- How to Install Plex on Smart TVs – Quick Start Guide
- 10 Plex Media Center Hacks You Need To Try – Get The Most Out Of Plex
- 50 Best Plex Channels (Official and Unofficial) – Complete Guide
Eric Liston is a content writer based in Columbus, Ohio. Since 2015, he’s been writing about technology, cord-cutting, and helping everyday people save money. He also has expertise writing about medicine, dentistry, insurance, and a variety of other industries. No matter what he’s writing, his focus is always on simplifying complex concepts and making them approachable for everyone. When he’s not slamming away on his keyboard at his home office, you’ll find Eric reading sci-fi novels, improving his disc golf game (he just hit his first 400-foot drive) and playing video games on his gaming PC.