Plex, the team behind the go-to media streaming app of the same name, has unveiled quite a doozy in a completely new, revamped media player for home theaters. The new Plex Media Player will replace the Plex Home Theater app, bringing a completely revamped experience to dedicated home theater PCs all on top of a brand new, open-source code base.
Just like the previous Plex Home Theater app, the new Plex Media Player can live on a dedicated Windows PC that you have hooked into your home theater setup, delivering all of your own video and music content right to your tv. Plex Media Player represents a fresh start for Plex in the living room, however. Here's how the Plex team describes their approach:
We took a long, hard look at our current flagship for home theater enthusiasts, Plex Home Theater, and asked ourselves which bits we wanted to take to the next level and which ones we'd be happy sacrificing in a leaner, meaner, more beautiful, purpose-built high end Plex experience.
The final must-have list, written on an IPA-stained napkin, looked something like this:
Best media playback engine in the world. Needs to play every format under the sun. Needs to render hellishly complex anime subtitles without batting a tentacle, and support all the high-end features true Home Theater devotees want: refresh rate switching, display sync, rich subtitle support, popcorn maker integration, etc.
Most beautiful, efficient media library browsing experience in the world, scaled to any resolution (jagged posters and fonts are so 2002).
Truly cross-platform, with hardware acceleration, even on a Raspberry Pi 2. (How does a lovely 1080p UI on the Pi sound?)
Accurate determination/prediction of airspeed of various swallows (laden/unladen).
Cheeky Monty Python references aside, those are some lofty goals that the Plex team aims to hit by adopting its TV user interface from other platforms and basing the whole thing on the mpv playback engine.
If you're a Plex Pass subscriber, the new Plex Media Player is available as a download in preview form at the link below. Also be sure to read through Plex's full blog post for much more detail on the app and the Plex team's goals.