The Xbox One will receive the Plex app on Tuesday, October 7 to allow streaming of their personal video library to their console of choice. Microsoft and Plex made the announcement Monday following months of requests for support by fans.
“We’re launching an app on Xbox One that we’re extremely excited about and Xbox owners have been asking for,” Microsoft wrote on Xbox Wire. “Xbox One is the first major gaming platform Plex is available on and allows Xbox LIVE members to enjoy movies, TV shows and other videos from their personal library on the big screen, regardless of where the files are stored.”
I’ve been using Plex for a couple of years now through a Roku device, iPad, and the Xbox 360’s DLNA interface for video playback from a local computer on my network. The appeal of being able to rip your DVDs or Blu-rays to a local computer, along with your home movies, and watch on any device is a strong selling point. It allows me to keep the discs safely stored away from dirty kid fingers.
The Plex media server is easy to setup on the computer you want to use as the host for your video files. You then add the directory or directories that host your videos and begin sharing. The device app then automatically recognizes the server is running and will display the movies in your library along with their poster art, cast and crew information, and review ratings.
A member of the Plex team posted the following in the comments of the post announcement blog post to confirm what file formats will be supported on Xbox.
“We currently support what Xbox supports, which is MP4, H264, AAC, and AC3. MKV will not Direct Play at the moment, but Plex Media Server will make sure it gets packaged in a playable format on the fly.”
Microsoft will be adding support for MKV to the Xbox One with a later update. The yet to be released October update for the console is also adding a new media player that will allow users to browse for and play movies stored on a local network through the console. It will not be as full featured and friendly as Plex, however.
“Plex for Xbox is an exciting milestone in our continued effort to help people enjoy their personal media, wherever they happen to keep it, on all of their screens.” says Scott Olechowski, Chief Product Officer and Plex Co-Founder. “It also happens to be the platform most requested by Plex enthusiasts, and we have worked hard to design an experience that will delight them and Xbox fans alike.”
The app will be released to the Xbox 360 soon as well. The one catch with the Plex app is that it will require a Plex Pass subscription at launch. This costs $4.99 a month, $39.99 for a year, or $149.99 for a lifetime subscription. The app will be sold for a one-time fee sometime later.
Have you used Plex before? If you have or have not, let us know if you plan on using it with the Xbox One and Xbox 360 in the comments below.
[Images via Plex]