Plex just made the best video app for Google Daydream

VR continues to grow in popularity but one thing that's still not as awesome as it can be is watching your own content. Plex is here to change that with Plex VR, available starting today for Google Daydream. The app is free to download, separate to the main Plex app (opens in new tab) but with almost all of the same great features available.

There are added perks for Plex Pass subscribers, but no one is excluded from this party. Well, unless you don't have a Daydream-compatible phone, that is.

Same great Plex, now in VR

If you're a Plex user, then the translation to VR feels pretty much as you'd expect it to. While the whole interface has been designed from scratch for the immersive experience, nothing is out of the ordinary. Menus still feel familiar, and you can still access all your content in a large grid right in front of your eyes.

The only content you can't enjoy initially in Plex VR is live TV, nor can you schedule DVR recordings. But, any content already on your server or stored locally on your device can be enjoyed in Plex VR.

That means you can watch your existing 2D video content, along with now support for both flat and 3D 360-degree video as well as VR180.

The menus are entirely separate from the viewing screen, so even if you're watching something, the menu will float in front of the video player rather than taking it over. When watching 2D video, the player can be resized and moved around to anywhere within your virtual environment. So if you're laying in bed, you just move it up to the ceiling.

Watch together or watch alone

Plex VR

One of the best features of Plex VR is Watch Together. You and up to three other people can sit and enjoy a video together in complete synchronization for both voice and video. There's a push to talk option so you're not letting any background noise ruin your buddy's enjoyment, and even if you don't own the media that someone else wants to watch, you're given temporary access to it.

You'll see a 3D avatar of each other person you're watching with, and if any of those people start browsing the library to find the next thing to watch, only they will see the menu. Everyone else has an unobstructed view of the video.

It's even possible to pick up the popcorn or coffee cups off the table in the apartment and throw them at your friends. As you know you will.

Watch together is one of the few parts of Plex VR that requires a Plex Pass subscription. However, anyone can try it out completely free for a week to see what it's like.

An immersive environment

Plex VR

Part of what makes Plex VR so exciting is the attention to detail. I had the chance to check out Plex VR in a demo and things you might consider frivolous really make a difference.

For example, when you hit play on a video, the blinds in your apartment come down and the 'room' becomes darker. When you pause or stop, the blinds go back up and the room gets brighter again. You're not limited to the apartment setting either, something Plex is quite keen on. To ensure the experience doesn't become stale and boring, there are different scenes, three of which are available at launch.

Instead of building a boring playlist, you can pull cards out of your Plex library and toss them on the sofa.

Besides the luxury apartment, there's also the void, a minimalist floor with a starry night sky free from distractions, and there's a drive-in theater complete with a vintage car with a working horn and tumbleweed you can grab. As with watch together, the drive-in is a Plex Pass perk but free for a week to everyone.

It's not just the visuals where the detail persists. Your friends will be able to see the content you're watching, even whereabouts you are in the playback. You can resize the video window for 2D content by simply scrolling up and down on the Daydream controller trackpad, and 3D and 360-degree content is labeled as such so it stands out in your library.

And I particularly like that instead of building a boring playlist, you can pull cards out of your Plex library and toss them on the sofa or the floor or the table to simply pick up and watch when your current video ends.

Available immediately

Plex VR is a separate app available from the Google Play Store for Daydream supported devices and it should be available at some point on January 24.

Download Plex VR (free) (opens in new tab)

Richard Devine
  • Can't watch 3D content? Bummer...
  • Pretty sure that's not what the post says. "and 3D and 360-degree content is labeled as such so it stands out in your library." for one.
  • Yeah the video explicitly says "Plex VR, of course, supports playing of 360 and 3D video" and has Wonder Woman 3D in the clip...
  • To bad the actual android or Windows app doesn't get the same attention to detail.
  • Hey PLEX first fix the completely broken music SYNC before adding other things! Your app which I bought doesn't even work properly in its core functionality!
  • You are making an assumption that music playback and sync is a core functionality. I would argue it isn't, There is so much to this application that is directly video related music is more of added bonus then core functionality.
  • Looks cool, needs support for Cardboard though.
  • Now if only Netflix would let you lay down and watch. Was very disappointed when I found out that I couldn't lay in bed and watch as that was pretty much the one situation I might actually use Daydream semi-regularly.
  • Neflix already has had a VR for the longest time.
    i dont have netflix dont know how good it works there r other video apps on daydream
    1)skybox works with local video content on the phone
    -it doesnt support 3d or 360 content
    -but its pretty good 2)fulldive is a VR system within daydream VR but also works with cardboard VR
    - should work with all android phones even without daydream support
    -it supports 3d and 360 content
    - it seems to useless power and also makes the battery less hot apart from video fulldive has also the best browser for daydream even tho chrome now has VR support it still doesnt have k/b or voice search built in . fulldive has those useful features
    -utube has the best video VR interface
    -its so damn good u can place the video at any angle at any place very ideal when ur sleeping plex has some of the utube feel from the video i saw on utube u can plave the video at any place but i am not sure u can place it at any angle samsung vr might not work with daydream as the controller is different but u could use a mouse as some ppl have been doing. some of the samsung phones do support daydream but u would use a mouse i have seen ppl discussing doing that
  • Yeah I know, I'm talking about the Netflix VR app. It doesn't let lay down and watch. You have to be sitting up, can't move the VR screen vertically. When I got my free Daydream with my V30, the one time I thought I'd use it was to be able to watch Netflix while laying down. I'm prone to pinched nerves in my neck/shoulders so being able to lay flat while watching really helps. Plex is now the 1st app that I've seen that lets you move the VR screen around vertically. Tried it last night. Aside from a lot of random error bugs, you can comfortably lay down and watch.
  • have u tried utube VR u can put the screen anywhere i find it the best for video i wish all the video apps were like that i havent tried plex yet.
    utube VR has also has k/b and voice search i think thats the best app on VR
  • Do Daydream apps work on Samsung VR headsets?
  • Do both people have to have Plex Pass, or just the one hosting?
  • only thing so far that annoys me is i cant adjust the view up or down, but you can at least spin the orientation by clicking and dragging the remote right and left, if only up and down did the same thing... otherwise great app
  • You can do the same up and down too. I was doing it last night and was able to watch while laying flat. The remote gets a little wonky while in the Plex app though.