Technology

Plex DVR Debuts A New Commercial-Cutting Feature

Plex DVR has added a new feature that would allow users to skip the commercials in the TV programs recorded using its software. With the new feature, the cable box-killing media player and DVR service have made its offering even more competitive.

Plex DVR
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Forget fast-forwarding commercials with Plex DVR

The new feature was introduced a few days back, and was first reported by Cord Cutter News. To access the new feature, users would need the Plex Pass subscription. To use the feature, a user needs to manually activate the commercial snipping in the DVR settings, but after that, the advertisements would be cut automatically from the files itself.

Users would see “Remove commercial” option in the Plex server settings for Live TV and DVR. The feature would work with all the platforms except FreeBSD and devices that cannot transcode, notes TechCrunch.

The process, however, is time-consuming and CPU intensive as well. So, it is advisable not to use it on laptops powered by old chips.

“This process may take a long time and cause high CPU usage. Portion of your recordings detected as commercials will be completely removed from your video files,” read the description of the new feature.

Another issue with this new feature is, in case it cuts the important portions of the video believing them to be commercials, users would then have no option but to buy or arrange another copy of it.

Plex initially offered home media software for streamlining personal collections, but recently, the company has expanded its offering to watch live TV streamed via a connected antenna and also record those programs. Plex live TV service differs from regular live TV streaming service because it picks the signals from a digital antenna and does not stream the shows over the Internet, notes TechCrunch.

To use a Plex DVR, users need a dedicated setup where the USB Tuner of HDHomeRun is required to connect an antenna to the computer to get the OTA (over-the-air) signals. Initially, the hardware options were limited, but now Plex has expanded the hardware options and has listed the supported hardware on its website. A Plex Pass Subscription costs $5 per month, $40 per year or $150 for a lifetime subscription.

Google Assistant support for Android TV

Plex has constantly been improving its offering to offer better customer experience. A couple of weeks back, the company updated its app to add support for Google Assistant on Android TV. Google Assistant came on Android TV in late September, and Plex was quick to add the same to its app to better its service.

Using Assistant on Plex allows users to search for content, select between the episodes they want to watch and more. Along with adding support for Google Assistant, the update allowed users to check the hardware transcoding status, background scanning and thumbnail generation for local playback. Further, users also got a personalization screen for Plex News on Mobile among other features.

Plex’s live TV service has been witnessing steady growth. As of November 2017, the service had 15 million registered accounts, up from 13 million in June. However, how many of them are paying subscribers is not known.

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