How to add channels to Plex: a step-by-step guide

Plex is a digital media server that allows you to collect all your favorite videos, pictures, and music on one computer, then stream it over any compatible device. Unlike other streaming services, say Roku, you can find/provide your own content.

Most people use Plex to curate and store local media (i.e. their digital copies of movies, TV shows, music videos, and other content). However, Plex also offers a Live TV feature, which allows you to add channels like Comedy Central, SyFy, Nickelodeon, and others.

With these channels, you don’t have to curate your content. You can stream available content from their libraries.

This article will look at how you can add various channels to your Plex platform and stream their content. We will also go through troubleshooting steps for any problems you might encounter while adding channels.

Is Plex Live TV legal?

Since its launch, Plex has gained popularity and is considered one of the best streaming platforms due to its content curation feature. However, it has also attracted a lot of backlash from content providers for allegedly promoting piracy.

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But worry not! Plex is perfectly legal – as long as you use it legally. This means that you should not add content to your Plex platform that you have no rights over, nor should you share it with others.

Also, when adding live channels to Plex, make sure the channels are legally free, and if paid, you have an active subscription for them. Here is a list of some of the top channels you can add.

Requirements

To add live channels to Plex, you require a few items. These include:

1. Plex Media Server

The Plex Media Server will allow you to set up your library and streaming platform, from where you can access all your content.

But, first, you will need to download the Media Server application and install it on your PC (Windows, Mac, Linux) or a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device.

2. A Plex Pass

Plex Pass is a premium Plex subscription that gives you access to many features not available on the free platform. Among these features include the ability to access and record Live TV channels.

3. A DVR tuner

A DVR tuner will find the Plex channel you want and allow you to watch it or record and save it on your Plex account.

There are several Plex compatible DVR tuners that you can use, but one of the best ones is HDHomeRun Quatro from SiliconDust.

4. An antenna

Gesobyte HD Digital TV Antenna
Image: Amazon/Gesobyte

Lastly, you will need an OTA (over-the-air) antenna, which will receive the live broadcasts of local channels in your location.

There are several OTA antennas to choose from, and Plex is compatible with most of them. We recommend the Gesobyte Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna.

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How to add channels to Plex

Now that you have all these requirements, you can set up your Plex Media platform and add channels. Below is a look at how to do it:

1. Download and install Plex Media Server

Download the Plex Media Server software and install it on the desktop computer (or NAS device) you will be using. After installation, launch the application and register your Plex account.

2. Sign up for a Plex Pass subscription

Go to plex.tv/plex-pass and purchase a Plex Pass subscription to upgrade your Plex account from free to premium.

3. Install your DVR tuner and OTA antenna

Connect the OTA antenna to the input port on the rear panel of your DVR tuner. Next, ensure that the tuner and antenna are placed in a strategic location with great reception – for example, near a window.

Lastly, ensure that the DVR tuner is connected to the same local network as your Plex Media Server for automatic detection.

4. Launch the Plex app and start watching Live TV

With the DVR and Plex Media Server set up, launch plex on your PC and log into your account.

From here, you can start streaming content from your library.

5. Add more channels to your Plex account

Aside from Live TV channels, you can find more Plex TV addons that give you access to more content.

Below are steps on how to add them:

  • Log into your Plex account
  • Click on the Channels section located on the left side of the screen
  • Click on the Install Channels button to bring up the channels directory from the channels screen.
  • Browse the directory for all available channels
  • Click on the channel that you want to install. A dialogue button will appear for the channel.
  • Click on the install button to add the channel to your account and start streaming its content.
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Plex channels are not working? How to fix

While adding channels to your Plex account, you might encounter some problems.

Below is a look at some of the most common issues and how to fix them:

1. Plex channels are missing not loading

Are some installed channels missing on your Plex channels list? Or are the channels not responding when you click on them?

Well, there might be an issue with these specific channels. To fix the problem, uninstall the channels that are not working, then re-install them and test.

2. Plex channel scan not working

If you use an OTA antenna and DVR tuner for local channels, you might experience an issue with the channel scan. The problem seems to be a bug that affects many Plex users.

One way to fix it is to exit the Plex app, re-launch it, then try the scan function again.

Conclusion

Are you tired of limited libraries offered by various streaming services? Then, plex is just what you need.

A bring-your-own media streaming platform, Plex allows you to curate your custom content and stream/share it with any other compatible device. On top of that, you can add channels to your Plex account, accessing more free or on-demand content.

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