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Plex just launched free movie and TV streaming service that’s actually pretty great

Published Dec 4th, 2019 10:38AM EST
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Image: Plex

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Plex, the media server app that has become a favorite of cord-cutters, is boosting its own digital content offerings today by adding a ton of TV shows and movies that can be streamed to any Plex-capable device for free. The service is supported by ads, so it works a lot like the video-on-demand services you’d get through a cable or satellite provider, only in this case you don’t need a subscription to anything.

A free Plex account is all you need to access the new library of free streaming content, and the library of movies and TV shows is already pretty impressive.

Plex made a name for itself among DIY home media enthusiasts who wanted all of their own movies and TV seasons in one place. Ripping your own personal library of physical disks to a hard drive is trivial, and directing Plex to a folder packed with content takes about two seconds. Plex does a great job of identifying and labeling videos, grouping TV shows into seasons and adding box art for movies automatically.

It’s a slick system for managing the content you already own, but not everyone wants to rip discs or download videos from the web. By adding a whole bunch of ready-to-stream movies and TV shows, Plex is giving people who are unfamiliar with the service a big reason to check it out.

The movies and shows added by Plex include brief commercial breaks, and that’s why you don’t have to pay for any of it. It’s a convenient trade-off, and in a crowded streaming space where every subscription sets you back anywhere from $5 to $15 or more, dealing with a few ads in exchange for free streaming seems like a welcome trade-off.

For those who already use Plex to manage their own digital content, the new ad-supported additions are a nice little bonus. Plex promises it would never stick ads in movies or TV shows that in users’ own libraries, which is good, and if you’ve run out of your own movies to watch, there’s now a whole bunch more to consider.

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