Enables use with third-gen Apple TV
A new hack dubbed PlexConnect allows the third-party Plex media server to run on second- and third-generation Apple TVs without jailbreaking, the creators of Plex say. The technique involves running a program on a computer which disguises itself as the Trailer app; changing a setting on the Apple TV is then all that's needed to put everything into motion. The Plex team notes that PlexConnect uses the latest transcoder, supports iTunes DRM, and can also handle AC3 5.1 sound when using the current preview release of Plex.
PlexPass subscribers gain access to beta software versions
Media streamer Plex received some significant changes on Thursday. Beyond a litany of bug fixes in today's server update, Plex has announced PlexPass, an optional subscription service giving users early access to features in-test and premium additions. The first of the new features available for PlexPass users is the new web client, which tests nearly as fast as the native OS X media manager, but also offers full media playback in-browser.
Plex branches out to Roku for first time
Plex on Tuesday said its custom media interface had reached Roku's Internet Players for the first time. The new version shows as a Roku Channel Store option and brings a new, streamlined version of the interface within its self-contained section. All subscribed channels are available, as well as access to audio, photo, and video from a local Plex Media Server.
Plex talks about native Google TV app
Plex, makers of a media sharing app for the home, has brought out details of its upcoming native app for Google TV. The app now falls under the entertainment app category and, on a basic level, lets owners playback local media onto HDTVs connected to a Google TV device over Wi-Fi or Ethernet. The app will tap into the myPlex cloud service to sync with the Android app, resuming playback where users left off on their smartphones.
Mac OS X Lion drops Front Row and PowerPC
More discoveries in Mac OS X Lion have shown Apple is cutting out two of its older implementations. The developer preview no longer has Front Row, Apple's early answer to Windows Media Center. It had originally launched in sync with the last Power PC iMac, the iSight-equipped G5 model, and was a staple feature of early Intel-based Macs.
Set up allows iOS device mobile access, control
Other World Computing has launched a home theater package centering on Apple's Mac Mini, the OWC Media Center Solution for the 2010 Mac mini. The new service, which was previewed at the Macworld Expo, will preconfigure a 2010 Mac mini with Plex's digital media front-end app, add 4GB of RAM to the machine and bundle a portable Blu-ray burner and an OWC Mercury Pro Qx2 RAID 5 external drive, with either four, eight or 12TB of storage space. Combined with either an Elgato EyeTV Hybrid or HD DVR, the package can record and store Live TV, seek out streaming video via Plex apps, like Netflix, Joost, Hulu, Vimeo and YouTube, and back up DVD and Blu-ray movies for later streaming.
Vuze unveils Fanhattan video portal
BitTorrent app creator Vuze today gave a quick preview of Fanhattan, a new company and home theater portal in the vein of Boxee or Plex. The project is based on the Open Movie Database and aggregates not just regular, free web video but also paid content. With services such as Amazon VOD and Netflix, it will not only get and let users search through metadata but allow a purchase or a rental without having to exit the interface.
Plex to build into LG TVs and Blu-ray players
Plex at IFA has revealed that its media front end is being integrated into new LG TVs and Blu-ray players. Any Internet-capable devices made in 2011 will access an online version of Plex. Although they won't have the usual local storage, they will recognize any Plex Media Servers on the local network and share their content much like the Mac and iOS clients.
Plex/Nine due at midnight Eastern time
New versions of the Plex media player are en route for Mac and iOS devices, the developers have revealed. The updated Mac app is being dubbed Plex/Nine, and should be launched at midnight Eastern time. The major addition is a separate Media Manager for Snow Leopard, which should make it easier to populate Plex with content. It scans selected folders, and automatically assigns names, art and metadata to files using online databases.