Frequently Asked Questions - 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.

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 an external, third-party device. We expect that there may occasionally be some issues as we make DVR 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?

During the beta period, DVR functionality requires installing a special beta release of Plex Media Server. This special release is being made available for download and manual installation from our forums.

The special release is not yet available for all platforms. Please see the Supported DVR Devices and Antennas article for details.

Related Page: Forums: DVR Beta access
Related Page: Supported DVR Devices 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

What about live TV or time-shifting?

It is not currently possible to watch TV live or time-shift it before the recording has ended. Recordings must complete before they can be viewed. Live TV/time-shifting is an area in which we're interested.

 

What DVR devices are supported?

Plex currently works with the SiliconDust HDHomeRun (HDHR) line of digital tuners. Compatible models are available for use in many areas of the world. We'll be investigating the possibility of supporting additional devices as we move forward.

Related Page: Supported DVR Devices 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 Devices and Antennas

Are Encrypted Channels supported?

Encrypted channels 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 device?

Multiple SiliconDust HDHomeRun (HDHR) tuners can be added from within the Plex Web app, provided you are using version 2.10.5 or newer. 

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 - it can only write to "internal storage" and not to a library location on a USB mounted as removable storage or to a network location. The large hard drive in the 500GB Pro model is very beneficial here, but any SHIELD model can also expand internal storage via a microSD card or USB drive.

Related Page: NVIDIA SHIELD > Limitations When Running Plex Media Server on NVIDIA SHIELD
Related Page: NVIDIA SHIELD > Media Storage Options for NVIDIA SHIELD

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.

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 device
  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.