Plex is a popular service for hosting your own server of media content (or using someone else’s) and streaming it to all your devices. Plex got its start on HTPCs, and now it’s returning to them with a brand new app.
Home Theater Personal Computers, or HTPCs for short, are computers connected to a TV and intended to function as media centers/streaming devices. They’ve become less popular over the years as dedicated streaming devices (like Chromecasts and Roku players) have caught on, which is why Plex was planning on discontinuing the aging Plex Media Player TV application. However, due to popular demand, the HTPC app stuck around while Plex built a new version.
The new Plex HTPC application looks and works almost exactly like Plex’s other TV apps. That means many newer features that weren’t backported to the old HTPC app are available for the first time, like the free library of movies and shows, skip intro support, and Live TV.
The app is intended to work with remotes and gamepads (such as an Xbox controller or DualShock 4), but you can also use arrow keys on a keyboard to navigate. It worked just fine on my Surface Laptop running Windows 11 with keyboard navigation, except that the app is locked to 16:9 aspect ratios.
Plex HTPC supports Windows 10 or later, macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later, or a Linux OS with Snap support. You also need a 64-bit operating system, which might exclude some older HTPCs. Plex is also working on a Flatpak version of the Linux port, for people who don’t like dealing with Snap packages. A regular desktop app for Linux is also now available.
You can download Plex HTPC from the company’s site. It’s still labeled as a ‘Forum Preview,’ so there might be some bugs, and it won’t replace the older HTPC application if you already have it installed.
Source: Plex Blog
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