Watching Live TV

Tip!: Setting up and using a DVR for Live TV is a premium feature and requires an active Plex Pass subscription.

If you have a Plex DVR set up, not only can you record content, but you can also watch it live on supported Plex apps! So, now you can watch live TV on your lunch break, the commute to work, or while lying in bed where you don't otherwise have a TV.

Supported Apps and Plex Media Server

The following apps currently support watching live TV from your Plex DVR:

  • Android TV
  • iOS

We'll continue working to bring support to more apps as we move forward.

Live TV requires Plex Media Server v1.7.2 or newer and you must set up the DVR in your server.

Related Page: Set up and Configure a DVR

How to Watch Live TV

Watching live TV is super simple. When browsing the Program Guide in a supported app, if the item is currently airing, then you'll have the option to Watch in addition to Record. The specifics can vary from app to app, but as an example, here's how it works in iOS:

  1. Open the Program Guide and you'll see On Right Now content
    ios-programguide-onrightnow.png
  2. Choose an item to watch and you'll see details
    ios-preplay-watchlivetv.png
  3. Hit the Play button to start playing that item live
    ios-livetv-playback.png
  4. During playback, you can hit the button at the bottom right to see other content currently airing, allowing you to quickly switch to it
    ios-livetv-otherchannels.png

Similarly on Android TV, you can browse the Program Guide and then Watch from the item preplay screen.

androidtv-programguide-onrightnow.png
androidtv-preplay-watchlivetv.png

Limitations

There are some limitations when watching live TV currently:

  • Live TV viewing cannot currently be shared. Only the Plex Media Server owner account can currently watch live TV.
  • Live TV requires the ability to transcode the content, so you need to ensure you run Plex Media Server on a device capable of transcoding. (Some NAS devices may not be able to transcode.)
  • Closed-captioning or alternate audio channels are not currently supported for Live TV.
  • You cannot pause or time-shift (e.g. rewind) the stream. We're working to support this functionality soon.
  • Flinging or casting playback to another Plex app is not currently supported.
  • You cannot initiate a recording of what you're currently watching in the client. If you wish to start recording, you'll need to stop live playback and then start recording.