15 April 2012

Get Plex Media Center: Stream iPlayer 4oD etc

Plex is an application for Mac and Windows which will allow you to control your computer as if it were a media center via a Ten Foot Interface (nice and big so you can do it from a sofa). It's a good replacement for Front Row especially on Lion when the remote doesn't work anymore.

Plex comes in two parts: Server and Center.

Install the Server first to add your 'local' media i.e. stuff on your computer, then install the Center and it loads as a full screen interface (which can be controlled via the remote on Mac, even on Lion).

Once the server is installed load up the admin interface and add Channel to add the iPlayer plugin (it calls sources channels):

Then select All Categories, TV and BBCi (or 4oD or whatever) to install it. Then go to Plex Client  main menu (Menu key on Mac remote) and select 'Channel Directory':

Then select your chosen plugin and off you go:

Get Plex!

Handy Hints

  • On Mac to toggle full screen mode press Apple F
  • Enable mouse: Preferences, System, Input Devices
  • On a Mac if the remote starts controlling iTunes I found to disable then enable the remote stopped it.


  1. hi Phil,

    thanks for the article, it's very useful having this kind of overview. i find the App sites often get too cluttered with specifics and details to get this wider view across.

    i tried Plex a few years ago, but didn't really take to it. it seems to have moved on in scope now though so i might try again.

    One reason it wasn't very useable in the past was my magic mouse range, despite claiming 33ft, it struggled with 15ft across my living room. Do you think i'd be able to use a USB extension cable and a bluetooth dongle to extend the range physically ? How would it interact with the bluetooth antenna already in my mac mini ? if you think it would work, any recommendations on a good dongle ?

    many thanks


  2. Hi Rich, Glad you find it useful. I do try to write them without any asumed knowledge as I find that vey frustrating myself. Re your mouse I found the mouse didn't seem to work on the plex interface at all even though it does work on other screens, I don't know if it's a configurable setting or a deliberate choice by plex as part of the ten foot interface thing... I've only just installed so have't had much time to play yet. I'm currently using it on a Mac mini with a Apple remote which works very well. You could try a dongle to extend range but I would suggest it might well cause interferance with the inbuilt one, also the extending cable may not be entirely compatible:I've had a wireless dongle fail to work on an extension. An alternative might be a new mouse. I have a Logitech bluetooth mouse which I find has an excellent range and would heartily recommend it, a V470: