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Plex launches its free movie and TV streaming service

Plex has officially launched its ad-supported streaming service, which provides free access to movies, TV shows and documentaries from major studios and smaller indie producers. "As of today, Plex will deliver more content to more countries than any other free streaming service so far," the company wrote in a blog post – clear evidence of similar offerings like The Roku Channel.

The streaming service works on all devices that support Plex and appears in the sidebar. You may choose to move the section or hide the "Free to Watch" section altogether if you are not interested in viewing non-skippable content. As usual with these things, the selection contains a lot of recognizable movies, but also a lot of things that you've probably never heard of.

Plex indicates that your existing media library is used to provide recommendations for movies and shows for the service. However, to dispel concerns that Hollywood is snooping in its extensive collection of Blu-ray Rips, the company also insists that "neither Plex nor any of our affiliates have access to or insight into the content or metadata our users have in theirs personal media have collection.

Image: Plex

Content streams up to 1080p quality. Plex syncs your progress across devices so you can switch between them and pick up where you left off. "We wanted to provide more entertainment – both classics and new favorites – in a way that's high quality (for those who care about coding quality) while providing just about one-third the amount of ads you get expect cable TV, "the company wrote.

According to Plex, customers can expect improvements from Free to Watch in the future. Improved subtitle support, better recognizability and a watch list. There might be a way to include on-demand titles in your main library, though I'm sure many Plex users with carefully curated collections will want nothing to do with it.

Here's an early thing that could frustrate you: viewers will likely come across the same ad in the early days of the service. "When people start looking at content from around the world, there will be a wider variety of advertisers, resulting in a much larger pool of potential ads (and much less likely to see the same ad multiple times." [19659008] And yes, as with Netflix, the on-demand catalog may change and the titles are periodically retrieved from the service, and Plex has an FAQ for any additional questions you may have.

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