Install Plex Classic on NowTV Box

nowtv-plex

update: Sadly sideloading has been taken off the NowTV box so you can no longer user Plex with NowTV. See link here for details

NowTV box (Roku Player in disguise) is a great cheap set-top box that you can pick up for around £20. It has a good selection of apps such as iPlayer, ITVHub, 4oD and YouTube as well as the optional paid NowTV service which I also recommend. The only thing really missing is the ability to watch your own video on it.

I already use Plex for streaming my media and found out you can load a version of the Plex client called Plex Classic on to your NowTV box to add that extra functionality without needing a second media streamer.

It’s also worth noting that this works on the original NowTV the NowTV 2015 and the NowTV Smart Box.

Plex Client vs Plex Classic Client

While researching this I found two versions of the Plex client for Roku player; Plex and Plex Classic.

So what is the difference? Apart from the newer Plex client looks nicer?

Plex Roku Client
Plex Roku Classic
Plex Roku Classic

The Plex Roku client was originally developed as an open source project that can still be found on the GitHub page that is community developed. Plex however decided to make a new client in-house but decided not to make it open-source and only available via the Roku Store. A post from a Plex rep stated that the only way the new Plex app would be available is if Sky added to their list of NowTV apps (don’t hold your breath).

This means you cannot get the newer Plex Roku client without purchasing a Roku player.

Purchasing a NowTV Box

If you have the extra money I recommend purchasing a Roku Box as it has more apps and features, but if like me you don’t want to fork out £55 just to use the new Plex client then installing the older less pretty although very functional Plex Classic is a decent option.

You can buy the NowTV 2015 and the NowTV Smartbox online or from pretty much any electronics shop or supermarket.

What is the difference between the models?

All boxes have the same functionality as each other with the exception that the Smart Box you has a HD Freeview receiver that you can plugin to your aerial (which can mean less remote switching), plus can rewind live TV up to 30 mins.

So I have a SmartBox for the living room television and the standard one for the bed room and the kids room.

Another useful tip I found out is that it is normally cheaper to purchase a 5 month NOW TV Entertainment Pass that costs around £25 rather than paying £6.99 p/m saving you just under £10.

Here is a good article comparing Roku and NowTV.

If you don’t have a NowTV or Roku here are the links to the different models that you can purchase on Amazon.

NowTV 2015 NowTV Smart Box NowTV Passes Roku Stick Roku 2 Roku 3

Installation

Now for the fun part, I will now run though the full installation of Plex Classic on your NowTV box. The whole process takes less than 30 mins (15 if you are quick).

Turn on NowTV Developer Mode

Firstly, to install Plex Classic you need to enable Developer Mode on the NowTV box. Developer mode enables you to load one app on to the NowTV Box for development purposes.

Turn on your NowTV Box so it is on the home screen.

Using your remote press the following.
Home, Home, Home, Up, Up, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right

You will then come to the Developer Settings screen.
Take note of the IP address and username. Select ‘Enable installer and restart’
Office Lens 20151230-103012.jpg

 

Now select ‘I Agree’ to the Licence Agreement.
Office Lens 20151230-103157.jpg

 

Next you will be prompted to enter a password for the ‘rokudev’ username. Enter a password of your choice.
maxresdefault.jpg

 

Then you will be given a caution message. Select ‘Enable and restart’.
Office Lens 20151230-103252.jpg

 

The NowTV Box will restart and Developer mode will be enabled.

Access the Web Interface

Using the details from earlier you will now need to access the NowTV web interface from your PC.

Access the web interface by typing in the IP address you notes earlier into your web browser.
Now enter in the username ‘rokudev’ and the password you set and press Log in.
devlogin.png

You will now have access to the Development Application Installer on the (grey and boring) NowTV web interface.devinterface.png

Download Plex Classic

Finally, you will need to download and install Plex Classic.

Visit the GitHub page and download the latest release.

https://github.com/plexinc/roku-client-public/releases

In this example you need to download PlexClassic.v3.1.5.zip (do not download the Source code).
github releases.png

Install Plex Classic

Now you have downloaded Plex Classic you will need to install it on your NowTV box using the web interface.

From the web interface select ‘Choose file’ and browse to the .zip you just downloaded. Once selected click ‘Install’.devinterface.png

When this finishes you will get a screen that will look like this.
webinstaller.png

Your NowTV box will also of loaded Plex Classic on screen.
Office Lens 20151230-110729.jpg

If you already have your Plex Server setup on your network, it should show up straight away.
To exit Plex and return to the main menu press the home button.
Plex Classic

To access Plex Classic simply select it from the list of apps.

  • Brendan

    Hi Daniel, That sequence of ‘Home,Home,Home,Up…’ doesn’t seem to work for me. Any idea why that might be? Thanks for the info. Brendan

    • Take your time with pressing the buttons and make sure you hear the button press sound. I got stuck when trying to do it too quickly. But I can confirm that the code is correct 🙂

      • Brendan

        Thanks Daniel, once I reset the box is worked fine.

  • TRIXXY DIXXY

    Worth noting that your Now TV box display setting needs to be set at 720p in order to sideload Plex. I couldn’t get it to sideload when I had it set at 1080p. If you click on Utilities on the webpage it says :

    HD mode 1280×720 image required for channel store upload

  • Chris

    Daniel, I am trying to download the lastest Plex zip file for NowTv onto my mac to upload it onto my NowTv box but when I go to download the zip file I have taken from your link does not seem to have any .zip files it it they are only just files like, sources, images manifest. Please help.

  • thomas chard

    When I trying to Access the web interface by typing in the IP address the username and password comes up and i type it in. nothing comes up. Any help please.

    • Kel

      Hi mine is the same did you manage to sort it

  • sandee

    when i type the 192. etc into the search box nothing comes up except a load of web pages ? no username etc. what do i do?

  • lee barrett

    Hi I have installed plex ok and got as far as putting in my pin for iptv but unable to see any movies or sports channels any ideas i am stuck?

  • Pingback: SIDELOAD NOW TV WITH PLEX. – EasyStreams()

  • Ben

    Hi Daniel i have installed plex on Now Tv and i can see the icon on home screen, but when i click on it all grid items (including channels, on deck library section etc) have got nothing in them so essentially i can’t view anything on plex. what can i do to remedy this please? Thank you.

  • Mark Brooker

    Late post but does anyone know how to change user profiles on the app using now TV box?

  • Sam Bailey

    In the latest update, NowTV have removed the ability to enter Developer Mode and install Plex. Spoilsports. This was totally brilliant for the last year or so I had it up and running. Let me know if you find another way?

  • luke

    I am in the same boat sam, plex has been removed from my box and I can not enter developer mode. so looking for a new way

  • Steve

    Hi, I was interested in joining the plex revolution, however with this new release from sky is there much point in purchasing a NowTV/Plex box ?

    • I would recommend looking at a Roku instead or amazon stick (if you dont use nowTV). They are much better than the NowTV but more expensive. I was a big fan of having a cheap streaming box for plex (as I got them when on offer in the super market for cheap nowtv codes) sadly Sky removing the feature has killed that. Both Roku and the Amazon stick are very good streamers and both have plex available.

      • Steve

        Ok thanks Daniel, so in your opinion which option would be best to buy ?
        I’ve had a quick look and there are lots of available models for both fire stick and Roku, I have no real experience with this media as I usually download from torrents and stream via my pc.
        Is the side loading process the same for both ?

        • Both have native plex apps so no sideloading is required. Its down to personal preference and budget. The fire tv for example is faster but much more expensive than the fire stick. Same apply’s to the Roku boxes, the more expensive versions are more responsive when navigating etc. If you already use NowTV Roku is a good idea as they have a native app. Whereas Fire stick does not support now tv. The firestick supports the use of Kodi whereas the Roku does not support Kodi. Im a fan of the Roku interface but I went with a firestick because I wanted to play with Kodi. Roku also has a much bigger app store than Amazon. So its swings and roundabouts really. Personally if Roku had Kodi I would of picked the Roku.

          My current setup is the nowtv smart box for freeview/nowtv and the firestick for plex and kodi. I would prefer just one streamer but sadly there isnt one with all the features I require. Hope this helps Steve 🙂