Set Up and Configure a DVR

Tip!: Setting up and using a DVR is a premium feature and requires an active Plex Pass subscription. You must also be running the Plex Pass preview release of Plex Media Server.

Setting up and configuring a new DVR is easy to do. To start, go to Settings > Server > DVR in Plex Web App.

Related Page: Using Plex Web App > Opening Plex Web App

Create a DVR

To start the process, click the Create a DVR button, which will open the wizard to guide you through the setup of a DVR.

  1. When you first open the wizard, your server will automatically search the network to try and find any compatible devices. Any devices found will be listed.
  2. If your DVR device isn't automatically detected, you can click the link to allow you to manually specify the device's location.
  3. Select the DVR and you will see any channels that have been found. You can also choose to Scan Channels manually here. In addition, you can choose whether the input is via Antenna or Cable.
  4. Once you have the channels scanned and you continue on, you will need to specify your location so that an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) can be found for you. Select your country and language, then input your postal code and continue.
  5. We'll quickly search and find the best program guide to match your channels and location.
  6. Once the appropriate program guide is located, you will see a mapping of the channels from your device alongside the channels from the program guide. You can uncheck a channel to not include it for your DVR as well as adjust which channel from the program guide maps to which channel from your DVR.
  7. Once you save, your server will begin downloading data for your Program Guide. You can wait until it completes here or you can close the wizard and continue using your server as normal.

Manage the DVR

Once you've added a DVR, you can adjust a few things.

Manage Channels

After you've added a DVR you can go back and manage your channels, if desired.

You can adjust the channel mapping or uncheck channels that you no longer wish to show up in your Program Guide.

Device Settings

You can open up Device Settings related to the DVR that you set up. Available options can vary depending on the particular DVR you have.


The HDHomeRun EXTEND model has its own built-in transcoder, so it is capable of converting the content itself.

Transcoder Quality

You can adjust the quality used when the EXTEND transcodes the content. If enabled, it will transcode the video stream to H.264. Available options:

  • Original format
  • Highest quality
  • High quality (30 fps limit)
  • Medium quality (540p)
  • Medium quality (480p)
  • Low quality (360p)
  • Low quality (240p)

Tip!: Original format means the device will not transcode to H.264 at all and instead use the native stream (usually MPEG2). We recommend using the Highest quality setting.

Process video while recording

When enabled, this tells Plex Media Server to remux the recording into a standard MKV container (rather than the .ts file you would otherwise get.

Other HDHomeRun Devices

Other HDHomeRun models do not have a built-in transcoder.

Convert Video While Recording

This is an experimental feature with the following options:

  • Off - Don't do anything to the recordings at all. For most devices, that means you'll end up with .ts files encoded with MPEG2 in your library.
  • Remux Only - Remux the recording into a standard MKV container. The content will remain in the original encoding (usually MPEG2).
  • Transcode - Transcode the video stream to H.264 and place it in a standard MKV container. This helps save space and make the content more compatible, but it requires a fast CPU. (Audio is always retained as-is.)

Browsing the Program Guide

Now that you've set up and configured a DVR, you can begin browsing your Program Guide, just keep in mind that more data may still be downloading. Particularly if you're setting up a cable-compatible DVR, it may take quite a while to download the data for all the available channels.

Related Page: DVR > Program Guide