Plex compatible TV tuners

Plex compatible TV tuners that work with Freeview

23rd August 2018 Off By

Plex now features ‘live TV & DVR’ functionality, allowing TV received over-the-air to be viewed live and recorded from any device with a compatible Plex app. That includes your web browser. All you need is one of the Plex compatible TV tuners listed below.

With one connected to your Plex server, you can set any TV show to record and be automatically added to your Plex library. You can set series links, so new episodes are recorded and added to your library as they are broadcast.

You can watch, pause, and rewind live TV from anywhere in the world, and set recordings remotely, provided your Plex server is configured for remote access.

These work globally, except North America, which has a different list of tuners

North America uses a different TV broadcast system, but the compatible tuners listed below should work pretty much anywhere else in the world. They use the DVB-T and DVB-T2 standards, which here in the UK means Freeview and Freeview HD.

You might get away with using an indoor aerial, but you’ll probably end up with some failed recordings unless you hook your Plex server’s TV tuner up to your main TV aerial. 

There is only a very small number of Plex compatible TV tuners. The Plex developers have chosen to limit compatibility to high-quality tuners from known brands, of which there aren’t many to start with. We’ll run you through all of them below, and identify which is best for your setup.

Single, dual, or quad tuner?

Most of the Plex compatible TV tuners are actually dual-tuner devices. The number of tuners in a device translates to how many channels your Plex server can stream or record at once. With just a single tuner, nobody will be able to watch anything live PlayStation a recording is taking place.

A single tuner can stream the same channel to multiple Plex users, and record it. But if your Plex server is shared by a lot of users, you’ll definitely need a dual-tuner device and may even want to consider a quad-tuner.

Windows, Mac, Linux?

All Plex compatible TV tuners will work on Plex servers running Windows or Linux. That includes nice things like unRAID built on Linux. Only some are compatible with Plex servers running on Mac, NAS, and NVIDIA Shield devices.

Though whatever tuner you choose and whatever operating system your Plex server runs on, it won’t affect which devices you can actually watch live TV and recordings on in the Plex app.

USB, PCIe, or Ethernet?

The cheapest devices connect to your Plex server via USB, and look like a chunky memory stick. Higher end TV tuners connect to your router via Ethernet, also allowing you to stream TV around the world using their own app. You can also get PCIe TV tuner cards that reside inside your Plex server.

Plex USB TV Tuner: Best entry-level option

Hauppauge WinTV soloHD/dualHD

Plex Compatible TV Tuners WinTV-dualHD
Image credit: Hauppage

Hauppauge are the big name in TV tuner devices. These chunky USB sticks are their entry-level devices and usually the most affordable Plex-compatible TV tuners on the market.

Connecting one of these to your Plex server, and the other end to your TV aerial, is the quickest and easiest way to add Live TV & DVR functionality to Plex.

It’s available in both single and dual-tuner versions, being the soloHD and dualHD models. It’s probably worth getting the dual-tuner version, as you’ll often be frustrated when unable to watch or record more than one channel at a time. Particularly if multiple people will be sharing access to your Plex server.

The Hauppage WinTV USB stick is compatible with Plex servers running on Windows or Linux, and oddly only the dualTV version works with the NVIDIA Shield. It won’t work if your Plex server runs on a Mac or a NAS device.

They’re also compatible with DVB-C, and so is Plex, if you live in a country that uses digital cable. It’ll be supplied with a little USB extension cable, so don’t worry about the fitting the device into your server’s USB ports.

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Plex Network TV Tuner: Best for device compatibility

Silicondust HDHomeRun Connect Duo/Quatro

Plex Compatible TV Tuners Network HDHomeRun
Image credit: SiliconDust

HDHomeRun is the leader in TV streaming devices. These tuners connect to your home network via ethernet cable, which could be useful if you can’t get a TV aerial connection to your Plex server itself. Note that they need an ethernet connection, not wifi.

If you’ve got a device which isn’t yet compatible with live TV through Plex, like a Playstation 4, you can use HDHomeRun’s own app to stream live TV directly from the tuner.

They’re also the only type of TV tuner that are compatible with Plex servers running on any operating system. As your Plex server connects to the HDHomeRun tuners via your home network, rather than via USB or PCIe, specific drivers PlayStation for each operating system.

That means the HDHomeRun Connect can add live TV & DVR functionality to a Plex server running on Windows, Mac, and Linux, in addition to NAS devices and the NVIDIA Shield.

It’s available in Duo and Quatro models, with two and four tuners respectively. For their added functionality, and the convenience of placing anywhere with a network connection, they’d be our choice out of all the Plex compatible TV tuners.

Last update on 2018-11-21 / As an Amazon Associate Fuseboxed earns from qualifying purchases / Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.co.uk, Inc. or its affiliates / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Plex PCIe TV Tuner: Best for professional setups

Hauppauge WinTV-quadHD PCIe

Plex Compatible TV Tuners PCIe quadHD
Image credit: Hauppauge

The big brother of the Hauppauge USB tuners, this PCIe TV tuner actually packs four tuners inside. That means up to four different channels can be watched or recorded at the same time. Perfect if you share your Plex server with your friends and family.

It offers a tidier, more permanent option than the USB tuners. You’ll need to be using a server with a free PCIe socket, but if you are, this could be your best choice.

Its four Freeview HD compatible tuners are fed from a single aerial connection, and the only sign of the tuner will be the addition of an aerial socket to the back of your server. 

Like the other Hauppauge WinTV devices, it’s also compatible with DVB-C cable TV broadcasts.

Last update on 2018-11-21 / As an Amazon Associate Fuseboxed earns from qualifying purchases / Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.co.uk, Inc. or its affiliates / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other Plex Compatible TV Tuners

DVBLogic TVButler 100TC: The only Mac-compatible USB tuner

Like the Hauppauge WinTV-soloHD, this is a single-tuner USB stick. It’s the only one of the Plex compatible TV tuners to be compatible with Plex servers running on a Mac or a NAS device, other than the network-based HDHomeRun devices.

Unfortunately for those running Plex on something other than Windows or Linux, and determined not to use HDHomeRun, it’s only available in a single-tuner model.

Fortunately, that single-tuner is DVB-T, DVB-T2, and DVB-C compatible. So it will work with Freeview, Freeview HD, and cable networks.

It can also be used to add TV tuner functionality to any Android device, including an Amazon Fire TV, with the use of a suitable USB On-The-Go cable and the supplied app. Only if you’re not using it for Plex though, of course.

It’s not widely available, but it can be purchased direct from the manufacturer DVBLogic through Amazon below.

Last update on 2018-11-21 / As an Amazon Associate Fuseboxed earns from qualifying purchases / Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.co.uk, Inc. or its affiliates / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hauppauge Xbox One TV Tuner

Sold as a single-tuner USB device for the Xbox One, this is really just a different version of the Hauppauge WinTV-soloHD tuner. It even looks pretty much identical. If you plug it into your Plex server rather than your Xbox, it’ll work as a Plex compatible TV tuner.

We wouldn’t recommend it, as it’s only a single-tuner device. However, if you’ve got one lying around already, it’s definitely worth trying out Plex’s live TV functionality with this thing.

It’s often available heavily discounted, which could make it a great way to add live TV to Plex on the cheap. If you’re set on a single-tuner device anyway, it’s often possible to save a few quid on the soloHD by going for this version, as the prices can fluctuate.

Like the WinTV-soloHD, it’s only compatible with Plex servers running on Windows or Linux.

Please note that this is different from the ‘Official Xbox One TV Tuner’ sold by Microsoft, and often found really cheap on the high street. Only the Hauppauge branded Xbox One device will work with Plex.

Last update on 2018-11-21 / As an Amazon Associate Fuseboxed earns from qualifying purchases / Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.co.uk, Inc. or its affiliates / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 2200 Series

The HVR 2200 series is an older set of Hauppauge PCIe TV tuners, no longer widely available in the UK. You may be able to find second-hand devices on eBay, but they’re no longer available new, having been largely superseded by the WinTV-quadHD featured above. 

They might be a good option for cheap Plex compatible TV tuners, if you can find out of the many 22xx numbered models on eBay.

Don’t get them confused with the WinTV-HVR 5500 series tuners. They’re also PCIe, and the model numbers can get confusing, but the 55xx devices aren’t Plex compatible at the moment.

It’s probably no coincidence that as the 22xx series are the only old Plex compatible TV tuners from Hauppauge, there’s a shortage of them on eBay. Meanwhile there seems to be an abundance of incompatible 1000 and 3000 series tuners listed for sale.

Compatibility: What devices can I watch Live TV on through Plex?

You can watch recordings from any Plex app on any device, as they’re accessible within the TV Shows library.

Full live TV functionality, with access to a TV guide to manage recordings, is currently available on the following devices:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android (mobile)
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • iOS (iPhone & iPad)
  • Plex Media Player
  • Plex Web App
  • Roku
  • Smart TV (LG webOS UHD models)
  • Xbox One

Plex claim to be expanding this list all the time. Live TV functionality was recently added to the Plex Web App, meaning those users that access Plex only from their web browser now have full access. Samsung Smart TV’s and PlayStation consoles remain notable exceptions from the list.

Main image credit: Plex

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