Plex DVR review: Still the best option for power users

    Plex isn’t the best method to file stay broadcast TV, however it’s the most versatile.

    As a whole-home DVR for cord-cutters, Plex’s software program and subscription service ticks nearly all of the requisite bins, together with full broadcast TV high quality, numerous methods to handle recordings, and broad machine assist. It additionally permits you to stack a number of tuners to file many applications concurrently, and even features a highly effective ad-skipping characteristic—in beta, however nonetheless useful—that the majority different DVRs lack.

    However in comparison with different options like Tablo and TiVo, you’ll have to assemble and handle extra by yourself, and the outcomes aren’t all the time as seamless. For these causes, Plex DVR nonetheless looks like an answer for energy customers, fairly than one of the best DVR for everybody.

    Select your DVR journey… 

    Plex DVR requires a subscription to Plex Move, which prices $5 per 30 days, $40 per yr, or $120 for lifetime service. To set it up, you’ll be able to take a spread of approaches, from easy to intimidating.

    The trail of least resistance is to pair an Nvidia Shield TV streaming field ($200) with a compatible USB antenna tuner such because the Hauppauge WinTV-Twin-HD. Plug an antenna into the tuner, then join an exterior exhausting drive to the field’s different USB slot, and Plex’s Media Server software program for Protect will deal with the recordings. You possibly can then watch stay and recorded TV on the Protect itself, or stream it over Wi-Fi to the Plex app on different units, together with Amazon Hearth TV, Android TV units, Apple Roku, Xbox One, iOS, Android, and the net.

    Jared Newman / TechHive

    An Nvidia Protect TV ($200), Hauppauge tuner ($65) and exterior USB drive are the fundamental instruments you want for Plex DVR.

    In the event you don’t have nice antenna reception close to your Protect, you’ll be able to skip the USB tuner and as a substitute join an HDHomeRun networked tuner (the dual-tuner mannequin pricesabout $80 on Amazon) to your wi-fi router, which feeds over-the-air broadcasts to the Protect through Wi-Fi. (You needn’t splurge on HDHomeRun’s pricier Lengthen tuners, both, since Plex performs its personal transcoding to scale back bandwidth necessities and file sizes.)

    The Protect isn’t even essential if in case you have a desktop pc or NAS field on which to run Plex Media Server. Simply plug a USB tuner into your PC, or join an HDHomeRun to your router to get began, and you’ll stream broadcast TV to another machine working the Plex app.

    The good factor about Plex’s strategy is how extensible it’s. Wish to file extra reveals at a time? Simply plug in a second tuner. Run out of cupboard space? Simply plug in second exhausting drive or transfer your recordings to a bigger one. You possibly can even retailer recordings on a tough drive related to your router’s USB port, in order that anybody at dwelling can use the drive’s spare storage for different functions.

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