The popular media streaming app, Plex can now support Google’s Daydream VR (Virtual Reality). The company made this announcement on January, 24th.
The Plex app allows organizing all your media content, such as movies, TV shows, music, and photo collection and streams it to your smartphone device. With the latest Daydream VR functionality, now you can enjoy your media content in a virtual environment.
You don’t need a high-end PC to enjoy the VR experience. All you need is a Daydream compatible Android smartphone and the required headset, you can enjoy a movie or your favorite TV serial from any media server linked to your Plex account in virtual reality. Plex offers several virtual reality environments including a plush apartment and a drive-in theatre. The content takes a large percentage of your visual field once you start playing something.
Enjoying a movie in VR is no big deal now, however Plex gets an edge with its social component. You can add or invite up to three friends to watch the movie or serial with you. Each person will have an avatar and you can voice chat with each other using your Daydream remote. Albeit, this feature is exclusively limited to Plex Pass subscribers, but you can enjoy it for free in the first week of using Plex VR.
Plex CTO and Cofounder Elan Feingold wrote in a blog post, “Once you gather up your friends, everyone’s avatars will appear together in the selected scene. Head positions are updated in real-time, so you can see what everyone’s looking at, and you can click the remote button to talk to the group. There is a ton of fancy technology behind the scenes, but to anyone using it, it’s just an incredibly engaging and (dare we say?) intimate way to watch media together, regardless of where in the world everyone is.”
Enjoying the movie or a show in VR is free for everyone, but few virtual reality environments, such as the Drive-in scene is limited to only Plex Pass subscribers. The Plex Pass subscription is available at $5 per month, or $40 per year, or you can also avail a lifetime subscription for only $120. With your Plex Pass subscription, you can save your content to a third-party cloud storage service for safekeeping, connect your camera for automatic photo uploads, and view premium movie and music channels from partners like Vevo.
The virtual reality environment isn’t static and allows you few movements like moving you popcorn and keeping your coffee mug on the coffee table in your virtual reality apartment.
Plex offers you browse through your entire media library on the server and you can also check media library of your friend who has shared access with you. With the help of smart queue management, Plex allows you to stack individual artwork cards for movies on your sofa in the virtual environment for quick access. It also supports local media on your Android device, this includes 3D and 360/180 videos.
Alex Kebyl along with a team has built this VR experience for Plex. Kebyl had previously created a VR experience for Steam and Plevr. The team at Plex had originally dismissed the idea of VR but Plevr changed their minds. Now the project creator, Alex Kebyl, is working with Plex on Plex VR. According to Plex, “the latest member of our amazing community to join us full-time in building great stuff for all of you.”
As of now, Plex VR is exclusive to Daydream. To enjoy this experience, you need to install Plex VR app apart from the main Plex app. You can download these apps from Google Play Store on your Android smartphone or inside the Daydream interface.