Media streaming app Plex has been around (and great) since before set-top streaming boxes were even properly a thing, but on Thursday it added Live TV integration and DVR capabilities, which make it even more useful. Nvidia is doing everything it can to make its Shield streaming Android TV box the best Plex partner around, too, and a new version of the Shield software adds support not only for Live TV and DVR, but also for writing to network attached storage and for both recording and watching recorded and Live TV right from the same place.
The Shield was “born to run Plex,” according to a quite from Plex cited by Nvidia in a release announcing the news, and it’s definitely true that the Android TV interface and Shield’s support for acting not only as a client, but also as Media Server for your stored content is a step above competing apps on devices like Apple TV and Roku.
With the Live TV upgrade, if you have a USB tuner like the WinTV USB tuner form Hauppauge, you can now grab over-the-air TV signals and and record up to two shows at once directly to your Shield, a NAS or any hardwired hard drives and USB sticks, with the only limits on storage being the constraints of your available storage space. Those stored shows can then be served up to your other devices with Plex client apps, including iOS and Android smartphones, and any PC with a web browser.
There are other solutions out there for live TV on settop devices, too, but this sounds like one of the best and easiest to set up and use, and Shield is hoping to entice more new device owners to give it a shot with a free six month Plex Pass subscription included with new Shield TV device purchases. Plex Pass, the paid subscription plan for Plex, is required to use the new DVR and over-the-air TV features. Plus, with Shield you also get Android TV in the mix, along with 4K output for available content.
Both Plex and Shield are things I honestly like and use all the time, so it’s great to see them working together on something like this. If you want an all-in-one settop box solution for a post-cable household, the Shield really is the best option out there right now and this only makes that more true.