Plex Channels provide access to numerous sources of online content, like TED Talks, Vimeo, Revision 3, and more. No matter what your interests are, you'll be able to find something great to watch or recommend to your friends, all presented in Plex's gorgeous interface.I added the emphasis on the word "more" because this description does not do justice to what Plex Channels is actually capable of. Each Plex Channel physically exists on our home PC or laptop as a bundle of files and folders called a Plex plugin. In other words, a Plex Channel and Plex plugin are exactly the same thing. They are also all freely available. You just have to know where to look! With this post I want to show you how to easily locate ALL available Plex plugins online, and not just the ones available from the Plex Channel's directory.
Why you should care about Plex PluginsIf you have an internet TV box like a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Nexus Player, or NVIDIA Shield TV, the Plex app is cheaply available to install. We actually have four devices that run the Plex app: a Roku 3, NVIDIA Shield TV, ASUS android tablet, and a mini iPad. You likely have a device that can run the Plex app as well. The Plex app on an internet TV box communicates with the Plex Media Server, on a home PC or laptop, and allows you to use Plex plugins to stream online videos to your connected HDTV. Simply, a Plex plugin or channel is designed to search for and stream online videos from a particular TV network website. If you are not utilizing Plex plugins through your internet TV box, you are missing out. For example, the NBC Plex plugin searches NBC.com for freely available episodes of their most recent shows and allows you to stream them. NBC uploads their most popular shows to their website the day after they air on live TV. The CBS Plex plugin searches CBS.com, locates, and allows you to stream those episodes as well. CBS uploads their most popular shows to CBS.com the day after they air live. The vast majority of Plex plugins also strip commercials from videos on TV network websites. So most episodes are truly on demand and commercial free! If you do not have an internet TV box and would like more information about them, please read my post, "10 Brilliant Reasons You Need an Internet TV Box". I give more general information about Plex plugins in that post. Here is a short list of great plex plugins my family uses often:
- DIY Network
- Food Network
Locating Plex PluginsAfter you have installed all the Plex plugins you like from the Plex Channel directory, you will want to check out the unofficial ones. One place to start searching for unofficial Plex plugins is the Plex Channel Forums. It is where I started, and is the main Hub for discussion about Plex plugins. The best Plex Channel thread on the forums is the "Find My Plex Plugins" thread. A dedicated forum member has created a running list with links to forum discussion on all currently active Plex plugins! Ultimately in your search for Plex plugins, you are going to end up on the website Github.com. Plex plugin developers use the website Github.com to upload the most recent versions of their Plex plugins. Use the following link to search Github for recently updated Plex plugins: Recently Updated Plex Plugins The most recently updated Plex plugins are also the ones most likely to work correctly. I discovered there is a recently updated plugin for TVLand.com. My son loves old westerns and there are some great episodes of Gunsmoke and Bonanza we should watch soon.
Installing a Plex Plugin from Github.comThis process takes place on your home PC or laptop that is running the Plex Media Server. In my visual tutorial I will be installing the TVLand.com Plex plugin I discovered earlier. Step 1: After searching for and selecting the Plex plugin you want, click "Download Zip". Step 2: Open the downloaded zip file and copy the bundle-master file folder. Step 3: On your Windows tool bar open the Plex plugins folder and paste the bundle-master file folder inside. Step 4: Rename the bundle-master file folder by simple deleting the text, "-master". Step 5: Open the "Media Manager" of your Plex Media Server and your new Plex plugin will be installed. Step 6: Test out the new Plex plugin on your internet TV box using the Plex app.
Important Final Remarks about Plex Plugins
- You need to be careful when installing Plex plugins. Some unofficial Plex plugins will allow the access to illegal pirated content.
- Some Plex plugins still under development will not function correctly.
- The TV networks will change their website eventually and the Plex plugin will not work until the developer updates the plugin.