Some cable packages offer a DVR option that allows users to record shows that they can’t catch at broadcast time and want to watch when they get the chance. A somewhat shorter list of providers allow users to sync their shows up and take them with them wherever they like, to be watched on any device. This is a feature that streaming service subscribers and other cord-cutters have either not needed or sorely missed, depending on how they choose to buy their media. Many cord cutters are familiar with Plex, a service that allows you to stream some shows on demand and catch others using live TV receiving equipment, then watch them once they’ve been recorded fully. Usually, users wanting to watch shows that Plex didn’t offer for streaming had to catch them as they were broadcast, but Plex is changing that with the rollout of a new DVR service.
A normal DVR service allows you to watch shows at home as you please, using the device that recorded them. Some let you walk from room to room. Others let you access the original device on the go, but leave you high and dry if your home internet falters for any reason. Plex takes things a step further by introducing the option to sync must-watch shows to your favorite devices or cloud services. Plex users have to buy a TV box such as HDHomeRun, but once the show is recorded and synced, they can watch the show on any device, no matter where they are, if the show is synced to a cloud service. Likewise, Plex users can sync shows automatically to a chosen device, such as their smartphone, and have them available at all times once synced, even if they happen to wander into a dead zone or run out of data for the month.
Plex’s new DVR feature is unfortunately not available for free users. Plex passes start as low as $4.99 per month, a price that handily beats most of the streaming services out there. While watching live TV broadcasts as they happen is not supported, the broadcasts can be synced live, if the equipment and connections involved are up to snuff, which means that programming your Plex box to record the 8:00 PM showing of Modern Family will allow you to watch it from the train station around 8:30 PM.