If you haven’t already heard, Plex is a free media server that enables you to stream all of your media to any device you own – even if you’re not on your home network. But what is Plex Pass and why should you care?
What is Plex Pass?
Plex is free to use. Kind-of.
You can install Plex Media Server on your PC or NAS (Network Attached Storage) or even on your NVIDIA Shield TV and watch your videos on it.
But the real power of Plex is to be able to play all of your media anywhere you want – whether you’re at home or on the go.
And for that, you’re going to need to spend at least a little money.
Each Plex client app costs $4.99 to use. That means, for every device that you want to use Plex on – Android, Android TV, Apple, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, Fire TV, etc., etc., – you’ll be paying $4.99 for each app.
Or you can get Plex Pass and get them all for free, plus a whole lot of other Plex Pass features as well.
Think of Plex Pass as supercharging your Plex experience.
What all do you get?
Plex Pass features
1. Free apps
I got into this a little bit earlier, but Plex apps aren’t free to use. They’re free to download. But you’ll need to fork over $4.99 each in order to unlock their full potential – in other words, to watch more than one minute of video.
If you opt for the pay-per-app method you’ll minimize your costs up-front. But if you’ve got more than one device you want to watch Plex on then the costs can quickly get out of hand. That’s where getting at least one month’s subscription to Plex Pass can really pay off.
2. Live TV and 3. DVR
This requires an HD antenna to really get the most out of it. One of the newest features is being able to watch and record live TV. Plex rolled out their Live TV and DVR functionality recently and right now, its exclusive to Plex Pass members.
The channels you get will depend on where you live and how good your antenna is. If you’ve cut the cord but still miss live TV and DVR functionality then this could be great news.
4. Mobile sync
Mobile sync lets you queue up content that you can watch offline. You’re probably not going to use this very often, but this is still a cool feature. Think if you’re going camping with the kids, but want to bring along a little entertainment (just in case). Now you can mobile sync some cartoons and have a safety net if the kids get bored.
5. Multiple users and Parental Controls
Speaking of the kids…
Plex Pass includes the ability to set up individual Plex users – each with their own versions of your media library. Want to create a user that just has access to your G-rated content? Now you can.
You don’t have to use this just for your kids. I’ve got different users set up for myself and my fiancee. That way I don’t have to page through her romantic comedies in order to get to my sci-fi movies.
6. Music extras
This isn’t a feature I use, personally. I think that with most people using some kind of streaming service like Pandora or Spotify, this may not be one at the top of your list, either.
If you have your CD’s converted to digital and stored on your hard drives (which should be all of you), then you can access music extras like lyrics, album art, artist bios and album extras – all from within Plex. If you like to create your own playlists, Plex can help with features like Plex Mix and mood mixes.
7. Cloud media sync
Cloud Sync lets you upload selected content to a cloud storage provider like Google Drive, Dropbox or Box. You’ll need a subscription with the service you want to use. However, online storage is so cheap nowadays, this is an easy way to have access to your media even if your home network is offline.
8. Trailers and extras
If you’re like me, you love trailers. For example, when the new Star Wars trailer dropped, it became a big social event for me and my friends.
You can set up Plex to play trailers before you watch your movie just like if you were at the theater. You’ll also get access to any extra features like interviews, behind-the-scenes videos and deleted scenes that normally come on the DVD version of your movie.
9. Plex Pass Perks
You need some extra stuff to make to most out of Plex.
Plex Pass Perks takes a little of the sting out of it with some pretty nice discounts on the stuff you’ll need (or want).
The discounts change over time, but you’ll find things like Mohu antennas, Drobo and Western Digital storage solutions and HDHomeRun media extenders.
10. Early access to new stuff
Plex is constantly improving. New features like Live TV and DVR roll out to Plex Pass subscribers first. Think of it like getting early access to the next generation of the Plex Media Server.
Bonus Feature: Stop bugging me!
OK. This one is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I still think it’s a great benefit. If you subscribe to Plex Pass, you won’t get any more annoying message boxes asking you to subscribe to Plex Pass.
I don’t know about you, but the less annoying messages I get, the better!
Is Plex Pass worth it?
If you’re a Plex user, you’re going to be spending at least $5 on just one client app. Each app is the cost of one month of Plex Pass – and you usually want to use Plex on more than one device.
And that’s how they hook you.
If you’ve got the choice of purchasing one Plex client app or one month of Plex Pass that will let you download all the apps you want, as well as a ton of other Plex Pass features…which would you choose?
Plex gives you enough bang for your buck to keep you as a subscriber long after you’ve downloaded the client apps you need. Whether it’s Live TV, DVR, Parental Controls or just the Plex Pass Perks, there are a lot of extra benefits.
To me, that definitely makes Plex Pass worth it. You can sign up for Plex Pass by heading over to Plex.tv.
Just be sure to come back when you’re done, ok?
What do you think? Do you have Plex Pass? Let us know in the comments below!