Plex today introduced Plex VR, an immersive media viewer for Google’s Daydream platform that offers an interactive, social VR environment for viewing streamed, broadcasted, or recorded video content from your Plex DVR or Plex Media Server.
Plex, if you’re not familiar, is the “cord-cutter’s” dream. A Plex Media Server allows you to stream your video content from a local server to almost any device with a network connection. It also offers a subscription service called Plex Pass (opens in new tab) that lets you catch live digital broadcast television or capture your favorite shows to a virtual DVR system.
Plex offers apps for almost any device you would want to watch TV or a movie on. Plex is available for Xbox and PlayStation consoles, you can get it for Nvidia shield, and many smart TVs support it. Plex also runs on streaming devices including Android TV, Amazon Alexa, and Chromecast. And you can get apps for almost any mobile device, including Android, iOS, and even Windows Phone smartphones.
Until now, the one device category missing from Plex’s catalog was virtual reality. Last year, an independent developer released an application called Plevr that enabled you to view your Plex media in an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headset. Plex said it didn’t see the point of Plex in VR. That is until it tried Plevr. Upon seeing the light, Plex hired the creator of Plevr to help build an official application.
Plex didn’t build the Plex VR application for desktop use. For that, you can still use Plevr. Plex’s official VR application is currently a Google Daydream exclusive. Plex said that it was “fired up” about the accessibility of the Daydream platform.
The Plex VR app on Daydream gives you access to the content on your Plex Media Server, and it can play local videos that you have stored on your Android device. The Plex VR application isn’t just a content portal. It also offers virtual environments for you to kick back and relax in while you enjoy some video entertainment. The default space is an upscale apartment, but you can also pull up at the drive-in if you want the full theater experience, or float in the void of deep space.
The Plex VR environment also doubles as social VR experience. You can invite friends (up to four) into your virtual space to watch movies or TV together and chat about what you just watched. Each person in the virtual space is represented by a floating head, sort of like the avatar you get in BigScreen.
The Plex VR app is available now for free on the Google Play Store. To use the app, you must have a Google Daydream headset and a Daydream-ready smartphone. To use the live TV and DVR features, you must have an active Plex Pass subscription.