Plex revives its home theater PC app


Plex is a popular service for hosting your own media server (or using someone else’s) and streaming it to all your devices. Plex started with the HTPCs and now it’s back with a new app.

Home theater personal computers, or HTPCs for short, are computers connected to a television and designed to function as media centers/streaming devices. They have become less popular over the years as dedicated streaming devices (such as Chromecasts and Roku players) have become popular, which is why Plex planned to discontinue the old Plex Media Player TV app. However, due to popular demand, the HTPC app was kept while Plex created a new version.

The new Plex HTPC app looks and works almost exactly like the other Plex TV apps. That means many newer features that weren’t ported to the old HTPC app are available for the first time, like the free library of movies and shows, support for skip intros, and live TV.

The app is designed to work with remotes and gamepads (like an Xbox or DualShock 4 controller), but you can also use the arrow keys on a keyboard to navigate. It worked fine on my Windows 11 Surface Laptop with keyboard navigation, except the app is locked to 16:9 aspect ratios.

Plex HTPC is compatible with Windows 10 or later, macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later, or a Snap-supported Linux operating system. You also need a 64-bit operating system, which might exclude some older HTPCs. Plex is also working on a Flatpak version of the Linux port, for people who don’t like dealing with Snap packages. A regular desktop application for Linux is now also available.

You can download Plex HTPC from the company’s site. It’s still labeled ‘Forum Preview’ so there may be some bugs and it won’t replace the old HTPC app if you already have it installed.

Source: Plex Blog