What you need to know
- Plex announces new features to become your go-to streaming hub for all movies and TV shows.
- It's now possible to search content listed on other streaming platforms with the ability to quickly launch the respective apps, making discovering new content much easier.
- A global wishlist is now possible to monitor when new content is listed on streaming platforms, letting you keep tabs on all the media you want to (eventually) watch.
Struggling to find something to watch on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video? We've all been there, scrolling for what seems like hours while everyone gazing at the big screen struggle to agree on what to watch. Plex has been leading the charge in collating media you already own, but now the platform is looking to bridge the gaps between all your favorite streaming services.
If you're somehow unfamiliar with Plex, it's a media streaming platform that offers thousands of shows and movies for free. The real magic happens if you have a server (or best NAS for Plex) to run Plex Media Server. Running your own media server using Plex allows you to store and stream music, movies, and shows you own to all your connected devices.
Plex wants to now be your search engine for movies and shows, akin to how Google crawls and curates lists of websites. There are two new features for Plex: Discover and Universal Watchlist. The former acts as the bridge between Netflix and other popular video streaming services, allowing you to search through and find new things to watch without hopping between three or more apps.
Plex Universal Watchlist is the next piece of the magical puzzle, which offers a smart wish list for you to add shows and movies that aren't currently available on any of the streaming services you pay for. Once Plex discovers a listing on one of the services you have a subscription with, you'll be notified that it's ready to watch. This is a game-changer for keeping tabs on upcoming or new content.
Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
I know Plex really wants to be all things to all people. But I don't. I wish they'd just focus on their core feature set, playing and managing local, user-owned media libraries. Make it so Plex can reliably cast to Chromecast audio groups. Make it so Plex can reliably transcode and download video files to a device for offline viewing. Make Plex so it can reliably scale up and down video compression based on bandwidth and processing power available. Make playing media on Plex as seamless as on any of the streaming services. Once all that is true THEN you can worry about making Plex all things to all people. But please make it easy to turn off for those of us who don't want it. Even with the above griping, I still think Plex is awesome. I just wish they'd focus more on the basics and less on expanding their market share or target market it whatever they're trying to do.
The thing is, less and less people are interested in owning their content and managing it on a server (like myself), and instead just use multiple streaming platforms. What they are trying to do now, is exactly what both my wife and i are looking for
This is a pretty good idea actually. It adds value to things you already have.
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