• The media server app Plex has joined a growing list of companies offering free goods and services to Americans hunkering down as the novel coronavirus continues to spread — and the pandemic leaves millions of Americans quarantined at home.
  • Plex is offering free live TV for the next three months, through June 30. So while the coronavirus impact has been profound and far-reaching, at least this is one way to make your shelter-in-place compliance a bit more bearable.
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The team at Plex, a media server app that’s become something of a favorite of cord-cutters, says they’ve heard from plenty of users of the past few weeks about how the service has been a key piece of users’ shelter-in-place regimen amid the growing spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

And in a newly published company blog post, Plex adds that it’s making something available so that users can find a little more enjoyment in the moments spent hunkering down at home because of coronavirus quarantines when they might otherwise be out enjoying the world: The service is offering free live TV through June 30. For the next three months, the company’s post announces, live TV will be free of charge without the requirement of a Plex Pass.

“If you have an HD antenna and tuner, then now you can stream your free live TV to all your devices without Plex Pass through the end of June,” the post explains, adding that DVR and other premium features still require a Plex Pass. “And if you don’t, we got some of our hardware partners to offer them to Plex users at a discount for a limited time.”

This means you can stream things like reruns and new shows, plus kids programming as well as news content. “Maybe it will help educate, entertain, enlighten, or another e-starting-word,” the company muses in the blog post.

“For us, the reason we built Plex was that we always loved getting lost in stories. Movies and TV shows, documentaries and anime, old favorites as well as wild new experiences … Whatever your go-to jam is, we hope you get a chance to take a break every now and again.”

Plex is also helping people deal with the effects of the coronavirus quarantines in other ways, such as the fact that a number of schools have apparently used Plex to stream licensed and teacher-generated videos. The company says it recently helped a San Francisco Bay Area school that suddenly needed to figure out how to distribute its content remotely via tablets and web browsers.

Plex was able to donate the costs associated with the remote software, as well as provide early access to a new feature — single item sharing — so teachers can now share their playlists or specific content directly with their classes.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.