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Frequently Asked Questions for Channels

shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,414 Forum Mod
edited April 8 in Plex Channels

Most questions and issues can be resolved by reviewing the Plex Channels support documents at https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/categories/200109616-Channels.

Where do I find Plex channels to install?

All Plex channels are created by a community of volunteer developers. Channels that are considered the most stable and are maintained and supported by the larger volunteer development community are offered through the Channel Directory. Make sure your Region Setting is correct, so that any Plex channels offered that will not play in your region will only be listed in the Foreign (Region-Restricted) section. See Adding, Removing, and Updating a Channel

There are also many channels available from other sources like the Unsupported Appstore v2 channel, the Plex Channel forum, and/or Github. These channels are considered unsupported channels and are usually only maintained and supported by a single developer. Users should first consider the support options provided by the developer, as well as review the support thread (if the developer offers one) for any known limitations and issues, before choosing unsupported channels. See How do I manually install a channel? and How do I get support for unsupported channels?.

See Finding Plex Channels for more information on finding Plex channels

Where do I find Plex channels to watch Live TV, movies or TV Shows?

Plex channels cannot just offer access to any Live TV, TV show, or movies you want to watch. Each Plex channel accesses existing online content from a specific website for which the Plex channel is named. Plex channels just put the media offered by that website into a Plex-friendly format. And if you are unable to access media from the website and play it directly from your web browser, then you will not be able to access and play that media from the Plex channel for that website.

You cannot have the same experience you had with cable at no costs by just installing Plex and adding a few channels. Some TV network websites provide on-demand access to a few episodes for their most recently aired TV shows, but access to more extensive online libraries of content and live feeds are almost always only available online through paid subscriptions or TV provider accounts. Most Plex channels are written to only access content that is free to all users and does not require a subscription or TV provider. Many Plex users choose a paid service or two to fill in the gaps and use a set-top box like Roku, AppleTV, or FireTV that provide a Plex player app as well as native channels for the paid services and TV provider restricted content.

Also see Why Can I Not Get a Live Stream to Play on Plex? and Why do devices like Roku or AppleTV have a particular channel and not Plex?

Why doesn't Plex have a channel for a website?

For more popular websites, often the website uses DRM and/or other methods to limits access to their content. These website often only offer hardware specific apps, since the closed nature of the hardware environment offers extra content security. Plex users who want to access these larger paid content providers and/or content that requires a cable subscription choose a Plex player that also provides native channels for those websites through the devices' Channel/App Store.

For smaller or less popular websites, it may just be that no one with an interest in accessing the content on that website has chosen to write a channel for it yet. Plex has a great community of people who donate their time to create and maintain channels and they are always happy to see that community grow, so if there is a not currently a channel, feel free to look into the channel development forum and documentation and create one yourself. Also see Finding Plex Channels.

A Plex channel stopped working. When will it be fixed?

Due to the frequency of changes to websites, it is not unusual for a channel to stop working. All channels are maintained by a community of volunteers who donate their free time to maintain and support these channels. Some changes may only require a small change to the plugin code, while other changes may require the plugin to be completely rewritten. So, the time it may take for a channel to be fixed will vary and depends on the changes made by the website and the availability of developers in the volunteer community who are familiar with and have the free time to fix the channel.

In some cases, changes by content providers make it impossible to continue offering a Plex channel for that website. If a channel can not be fixed and/or is no longer able to be maintained, it will be removed from the Channel Directory. And sometimes unsupported channels will be abandoned if the developer no longer has the free time to devote to maintaining and supporting the channel. So if a channel that is not listed in the Channel Directory does not work and has had no activity by a developer on its Github site or dedicated support topic, it is considered an abandoned project.

If there is a channel that has been abandoned that you would like to see fixed, feel free to look into the channel development forum and documentation and take over its development yourself.

Why doesn’t Plexit work for videos from a particular website?

The Plexit bookmarklet only works on supported PlexIt websites. In order for the Plexit option to work with the media on a website, Plex must already have code, called a URL Service, that "knows" where to get the required information to make the video play. See the list of supported PlexIt websites and a current list of the URL Services available in the Services.bundle used to play the media of a website can be found at https://github.com/p...ts/Service Sets

Why are channels not listed in my Channel Directory?

The channels listed in the Channel Directory are ones that work most consistently, are regularly maintained, and available in your region. Plex channels for websites that have chosen to restrict access to user in your region will only be listed in the Foreign (Region-Restricted) section of the Channel Directory. By default, Plex uses "Auto-detect" to determine your region from your IP address. If sections of the Channel Directory are not showing any results or you think that more channels should be listed for your region, you should set your region manually. See Region Settings to properly set your region.

Why are channels I have installed not showing up on my Plex Client?

Some Plex channels may require PMS to be restarted to recognize the newly added channel. So you should first reboot Plex Media Server. And sometimes it can take a few minutes for Plex Media Server to fully load all of the data for channels that is needed for them to be visible on your Plex player/client. So if none of your channels are listed, try exiting and reentering the client.

If this is a channel you installed manually, it also could be that the bundle folder is not named correctly or was installed in the wrong folder. Refer to the Plex support article called How do I manually install a channel?.

Why won't any of the videos play on one or more of my channels?

Most issues users have playing the media in a Plex channel they installed from the Channel Directory are the result of region-restrictions, transcoding or other issues with Plex Media Server, and/or limitations/issues of the Plex player app.

Plex Media Server - Earlier version of Plex Media Server may have had issues that were fixed in later releases, so make sure you are using the latest public version of Plex Media Server to ensure you have all the most recent bugfixes. Also, often rebooting your Plex Media Server can resolve issues with playback.

Region-Restrictions - Make sure this is not a region-restricted channel that is not available for your region. If your region is set properly, channels that will not play in your region will only be listed in the Foreign (Region-Restricted) section of the Channel Directory. See Region Settings to properly set your region

Transcoding - Since no Plex player/device supports every format used for media available on the Internet, you must have a Plex Media Server that can handle transcoding or Plex channels that provide content that is not compatible with and will not direct play on your Plex player/device will fail. Make sure you have transcoding enabled and have Plex Media Server with the CPU power to handle transcoding. Often network storage devices (NAS) do not have the CPU power necessary to transcode media. For additional support for issues with Plex media Server like transcoding, refer to the section of the forum for Plex media Server on your operating system.

Limitations of the Plex player app - If you are having issues playing content from a Plex channel on only one of your Plex player apps, then that is not an issue with the Plex channel, but an issue with how that Plex player app is programmed to play that media. For additional support for issues with a particular Plex Player app, refer to the section of the forum for that Plex player.

Unsupported Channels - Since unsupported channels are less stable, require special instructions and my even no longer be maintained by its developer, if you are having issues with unsupported channels, even multiple unsupported channels, you must address each issue individually using the support options provided by its developer. See How do I get support for unsupported channels?

Live Streams - PMS is currently not able to transcode live streams. So the ability of any Plex player/client to play a live stream depends on the format offered by the website and whether or not that format is compatible with the client you are using to access it. Therefore, only clients which can natively play that particular live stream format will be able to play the live stream offered by a particular Plex channel plugin.

This discussion has been closed.