Plex DVR adds option to automatically cut out commercials

Plex live TV
Plex live TV screenshot (Plex)

Plex has quietly added new functionality to its DVR for Plex Pass subscribers that will allow them to have commercials automatically chopped out of recordings.

Spotted by Cord Cutters News, the new “Remove commercials” option doesn’t promise efficiency but does promise to get rid of ads. According to the description, the feature will:

“Attempt to automatically detect and remove commercials from recordings. This process may take a long time and cause high CPU usage. Portion of your recordings detected as commercials will be completely removed from your video files.”

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The option to remove commercials from DVR content comes after earlier this year Plex announced that it was integrating live broadcast TV via an antenna and digital tuner. Plex live TV launched with support for iOS and Android TV, and over the past few months has added support for Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and the web.

RELATED: Plex adds live local TV for Plex Pass subscribers on iOS and Android TV

Plex’s new feature sounds similar to the Dish Network’s AutoHop service that allows users to skip commercials in digital recordings.

That feature famously set off a bitter conflict between Dish and broadcasters including NBC and Fox.

"I think it's an attack on our ecosystem," said former NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert during a press conference in 2012.

Fox Broadcasting filed a request for an injunction but that was rejected by U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee. Eventually, in 2016, Fox Broadcasting and Dish settled the suit. While the companies did not disclose terms, they revealed in a joint statement that the AutoHop feature would not be available for Fox stations until seven days after a program airs.

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