Frequently Asked Questions - DVR & Live TV

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

Frequently Asked Questions

There are some common questions that come up related to the DVR functionality in Plex.

What does "Beta" mean?

This is a big, brand new feature that also relies on external, third-party tuner devices. We expect that there may occasionally be some issues as we make DVR and Live TV functionality available to a much wider user base. We'll be working hard during the beta period to resolve issues and refine our DVR functionality.

Related Page: DVR (Beta) forum

What version Plex Media Server is required?

The beta DVR functionality is currently available when running Plex Media Server v1.4.1 or newer.

Be aware that if you run your Plex Media Server on a low-powered NAS device that doesn't support transcoding, many apps will be unable to play recorded content. Over the air broadcasts are often in MPEG2 or other older formats, which few devices or apps can play directly (and would thus require transcoding in those cases).

Related Page: Forums: DVR Beta access
Related Page: Supported DVR Tuners and Antennas

Does it require a Plex Pass subscription?

Yes. DVR functionality is one of the many features and benefits that are available to our Plex Pass subscribers. The subscription enables our customers to enjoy premium program guide data for their Plex DVR and the very best Plex has to offer, including Mobile and Cloud Sync, Premium Music, full access to all Plex apps, parental controls, and much more.

Related Page: Plex Pass Features
Related Page: Plex Pass

Do I need to buy the HDHomeRun DVR Guide Data/Subscription?

Nope! Electronic program guide (EPG) data is provided as part of the Plex Pass subscription; nothing separate required for guide data.

What about live TV or time-shifting?

Both Live TV and time-shifting are available on supported Plex apps. See the dedicated article for details.

Related Page: Watching Live TV

What DVR tuners are supported?

Plex currently works with many TV tuner devices that are compatible with many areas of the world. We'll continue investigating the possibility of supporting additional tuner devices as we move forward.

Related Page: Supported DVR Tuners and Antennas

What about antenna support?

To receive over-the-air (OTA) TV programming, it is necessary to use a digital antenna with your HDHomeRun. HDHR does not require a specific antenna and works with all brands and types. Different antennas may be better for different users and can vary due to a number of factors.

Related Page: Supported DVR Tuners and Antennas

Are Channels encrypted with DRM supported?

Channels encrypted with DRM of any kind are not currently supported.

How much space does a recording take?

The amount of space required can vary by a wide margin and will be affected by a number of factors: the resolution being recorded, the length of recording, and whether the raw video signal is being recorded or it is being transcoded to H.264 (either by the device or Plex Media Server).

Over-the-air broadcasts are usually done in MPEG2 encoding (particularly in the United States), which is an older video format and not as efficient. In some rare places, broadcasts might be in the newer, more efficient H.264 encoding. HDHomeRun EXTEND users can also have their device transcode to H.264 for them and users can enable experimental support to have Plex Media Server do similar transcoding to H.264 for many other models. The following are some very rough guidelines to help you understand how much space a recording might take:

  • 1 hour of 480i as MPEG2: 1-2GB
  • 1 hour of 720p as MPEG2: 3-5GB
  • 1 hour of 1080i as MPEG2: 6-8GB
  • 1 hour of 1080p as H.264: 4-6GB

Related Page: DVR > Set Up and Configure a DVR

Can I add more than one DVR tuner?

Multiple tuners can be added from within the Plex Web app, provided you are using version 2.10.5 or newer. Tuners must be of the same type; all OTA or all cable, on the same Plex Media Server

How do I configure and use Plex DVR?

While recorded DVR programs can be viewed from any Plex app, scheduling recordings and DVR configuration can only be performed from within the Plex Web app. You can always access Plex Web at https://plex.tv/web and manage recordings, even when you're away from home.

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

Is DVR available when running on NVIDIA SHIELD?

Yes, the DVR feature is available for Plex Media Servers running on NVIDIA SHIELD. In almost all respects, it is identical to when running the server on a regular computer. The main difference is that NVIDIA SHIELD is limited to where it can write/save content - there are limitations on where content can be written when not using "internal storage". See our NVIDIA SHIELD support information for more details.

Related Page: NVIDIA SHIELD > Media Storage Options for NVIDIA SHIELD

How often is program guide data updated?

By default, your Plex Media Server will refresh program guide data daily as part of the Scheduled Tasks maintenance period.

What countries are supported?

The DVR functionality is a feature of Plex Media Server and so is technically available for download anywhere. However, to make use of DVR, you'll need to ensure:

  1. You have a compatible DVR tuner
  2. Electronic program guide (EPG) data is available for your area

We currently have EPG data available for the following countries:

  • Anguilla *
  • Antigua and Barbuda *
  • Argentina *
  • Aruba *
  • Australia
  • Austria *
  • Bahamas *
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados *
  • Belgium
  • Belize *
  • Bermuda *
  • Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
  • Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba *
  • Brazil *
  • British Virgin Islands *
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada *
  • Cayman Islands *
  • Chile *
  • China
  • Colombia *
  • Costa Rica *
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao *
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark *
  • Dominica *
  • Dominican Republic *
  • Ecuador *
  • Estonia
  • Finland *
  • France *
  • Germany *
  • Grenada *
  • Guatemala *
  • Guyana *
  • Honduras *
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy *
  • Jamaica *
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Mexico *
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway *
  • Panama *
  • Peru *
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico *
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis *
  • Saint Lucia *
  • Saint Martin *
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines *
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain *
  • Sweden *
  • Switzerland *
  • Trinidad and Tobago *
  • Turkey
  • Turks and Caicos Islands *
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom *
  • United States *
  • Uruguay *
  • Venezuela *

While we have EPG data for all of the countries listed above, the completeness and quality of the data can vary. Countries marked with a * above are likely to have higher quality EPG data today, but we are focused on improving EPG quality over time.

Note: We have EPG data for the above countries, but in some cases we may not have data for all providers (broadcast companies) in the country.