Plex and the Future of Television

We’re working with LG Electronics (the second largest TV manufacturer in the world) to integrate the Plex platform into their 2011 lineup of Netcast™ connected TVs and Blu-ray devices. So early next year, when you buy an LG Netcast™ TV or Blu-ray player, you will have Plex functionality built-in. Specifically, it will connect to a cloud version of the Plex platform for online content, and, if you happen to have a Plex Media Server running anywhere in your house (after all, who doesn’t have a computer in their house?), you can access your local and online content, in a rich interface, with full metadata. I’ve seen it, and it looks awesome.

I’ve been talking a lot about the importance of getting the architecture right for our platform, and this is a perfect example. Thin clients (LG TV, iOS devices), a smart media server, and plug-ins that can run in the cloud. A single integrated interface to access online content, local content, and personal content.

I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting this is to us. LG chose our platform in no small part because it is OPEN, and that is what makes it special. We have developers all over the world creating plug-ins, helping us evolve the platform, and using it creatively. We wouldn’t be here without them, and it’s been an absolute pleasure working with them over the years. I also have enormous respect for LG, who have great products, massively talented engineering, and forward-thinking management. I’ve been to Korea twice in the last year, and their engineers are super-smart, highly knowledgable, and a delight to work with. They “get” where TV is going, and I have to make a confession – the first time I saw their Plex interface, talking to a remote Plex Media Server and flawlessly streaming content, I had to pretend I had something in my eye. This is a team completely committed to revolutionizing the way we enjoy content, and clearly willing to take chances in doing so, as evidenced by working with a small team like ours.

This is also a massive win for content providers. Yesterday, writing a Plex plug-in would make their content available on a Mac, or a television powered by a Mac. Yesterday, they could suddenly make their content available on 100 million iOS devices. And tomorrow (early next year, technically), they will be able to get their content onto millions of LG TVs and Blu-ray devices. This, friends, is an unprecedented time in history. The distance between content provider and consumer has never been this close or frictionless, and it’s incredible to be a part of.

So what does this mean to you, our dear users? You’ve been so supportive over the years, and this is great news for you as well. It means, first and foremost, that we’ll be able to focus more resources on the development. This will be a full-time job for me and others on the team, which is – honestly – a dream come true. The Plex Media Server is the heart and lungs of the platform, and we’ll be making it rock solid and adding some really, really cool new features. We’ll be bringing it to more platforms, to make it available everywhere. There will be more content providers investing in writing Plex plug-ins, so your online content choices will grow. And next year, if you’re upgrading your TV, or or buying an LG Blu-ray player, you’ll have the ability to get Plex, built in, at no additional cost. Fully integrated into killer consumer electronics gear, exactly as it should be.

And *that* is cool.

via Plex.


2 thoughts on “Plex and the Future of Television

  1. What about the 6 month old LG 46LD550 I just bought? I have heard nothing about plans for LG to add this functionality to current Internet capable TV. Is this something they add to my model? I am VERY exited about the possibility of having everything I need in ONE device!

  2. it’s all coming in February, as announced at CES. you can add to your current model but not the full features …

    “First some bad news – if you’ve had your interest piqued by the new LG Smart TV Upgrader (a small set top box that brings the company’s Smart TV platform to any TV set) then note that it will not deliver the full Smart TV experience. LG are reserving the full Plex-powered Media Link application for their own TV models, and as you’ll see from the video below, the Media Link application is missing from the Smart TV adaptor and LG’s new connected Blu-ray players. An LG rep confirmed that this was not a technical restriction, but purely a marketing decision.”

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