Back in 2019, Plex gleefully announced the death of Plex Media Player, a clunky and outdated app for Macs and PCs. But customers went ballistic. The old Plex Media Player allowed people to build HPTC setups—home theater systems where a PC or Mac is connected directly to a TV or projector. So, Plex began work on a replacement.
You can now install the stable version of Plex HTPC, a dedicated home theater client for macOS, Windows, and Linux systems. This app is intended to run in fullscreen on a TV or projector, and it packs features like refresh rate switching, gamepad support, input mapping, and audio passthrough.
Just from a visual perspective, Plex HTPC feels much more modern than the old Plex Media Player app. It uses the new TV UI and supports features like the live TV DVR, intro skipping, free on-demand content, and extra screensaver options. (Offline downloads aren’t included in Plex HTPC just yet.)
But why would you run your home theater off a computer? While you could just use a streaming stick, HTPC setups are popular among power users who want a ton of control over their home theater. Also, if you play PC games on a TV, why bother adding a streaming stick to the mix?