Plex takes on video on demand: in over 200 markets, including Italy, there are "thousands" of films, TV series, concerts, documentaries, sporting events and much more for free viewing, supported by advertisements. First of all an important clarification: the advertisement will be shown only in the films made available by the streaming service, not in its own private collection.
The catalog predictably does not include the most recent and successful titles, but there are some timeless masterpieces like Apocalypse Now, Terminator, Rain Man, Raging Bull and Ghost in The Shell … at least in the US. We did some quick research and did not find any of the above titles; the most famous is 1997: Escape from New York. The only two TV series are Starhyke and Spike Team, two series from a few years ago with limited success. All contents are in English and no other languages seem to be supported; that there are no subtitles is certain, but Plex said they will arrive in the future, at least on part of the catalog. Some technical details on the video stream are missing from the announcement post. We do not know the resolution and video codecs used. It seems legitimate to hope at least in the FHD 1080p, while the 4K does not seem very likely.
The interface looks very well taken care of and well studied. The contents are organized into thematic lists, similarly to what is seen on other services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, there are indications of appreciation of Rotten Tomatoes and all the details you could want. The Chromecast protocol is supported by the mobile app, to wirelessly transmit video content to your TV. For those not interested in using the service, Plex ensures that you can hide it completely and continue using the app as a media center on your miniPC, smart TV or any other device.
The on-demand video market is certainly not short on alternatives today: just last month, two new high-profile services, Apple TV + and Disney +, arrived. The sector of Free services supported by advertising is less crowded, but neither desert. The Plex team, however, has great ambitions right on the catalog side – which, at least for us, is currently the least convincing aspect: it says it wants to add content from all over the world – not just old Hollywood glories. In all this we have no specific details on the duration and frequency of advertising breaks.
Plex is available on a wide range of operating systems and devices, including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Xbox, smart TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and PlayStation. The new streaming service is already available also in Italy.