Plex – the free software that lets people organise and stream their media files to phones, TVs, consoles and tablets – has taken a step in a very different direction. The company has added thousands of free movies and TV shows for anyone to access, with the promise of more being added “daily”.
There’s one hitch: it’s ad-supported, even if you’re a Plex Pass holder, but still not bad for a free service. The content appears in a section labelled “Movies & TV On Plex”, and hosts the work of MGM, Lionsgate, Legendary and Warner Brothers.
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So what content are you getting? Well, while the official blog post announcing the service mentions some heavy hitters – Raging Bull, The Terminator, Rain Man and Apocalypse Now, to name but a few – on our UK-based account none of these are available. Our selection appears a little more, uh, limited, as the screenshot sample below demonstrates. We’ve contacted Plex about this discrepancy and will update if and when we get a response.
Still, you can’t complain about free – or can you? After all, this is an ad-supported service, so just how intrusive are the adverts? We haven’t had time to check ourselves yet, but Reddit seems to suggest it depends on your region and the movie in question. One user experienced none in the first movie, then three 30-second ads every ten minutes.
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“Our goal is to bring this great content from big studios and independent producers from around the globe to you for free,” the post explains. “In exchange, we’re asking for a bit of your time to watch some ads. We think it’s a fair deal, but of course, you’ll be the judge. Besides – you gotta go to the bathroom sometime, right?”
And no, this doesn’t mean you’ll start seeing ads buried in your own media. “Absolutely not! That would be a really terrible idea for many, many reasons,” Plex writes. “Your media collection – including your recorded movies and TV shows, home videos, photos, music collection, and more – will continue to stream to all of your devices ad-free. Unless, of course, you just happen to collect TV commercials in your personal media collection.”
You can see what’s available for you by signing up for a free account at www.plex.tv.