Plex Releases New Media Rental Service

Plex, a popular streaming service alongside Netflix and HBO’s Max, recently launched their own movie and TV rental service. The digital rental service looks like a potential competitor for Apple and Amazon’s popular rental services, however Plex may have some obstacles to overcome before their version catches up to the big names. Already, some users are complaining about limitations and compromises with the new service. Let’s take a closer look at what Plex’s new release has to offer, and where it may fall short.


As far as selection goes, the array of content available for rent seems to be one of the positives for the service. Big name titles like 2023 releases Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and Barbie can be found on the site. Plex also seems to be price-matching their competitors, with many titles being priced the same as other popular rental sites like Amazon Prime Video.

We’d also like to give some praise to Plex’s friendly user interface. The site is simple to navigate, has all the features you would need from a rental service, and looks just as sleek as the competitor sites. Similarly to their media streaming, users can see all titles’ cover artwork while browsing, and hovering over a title reveals details and a short synopsis to get an idea of the title at a glance. Clicking on a movie or show reveals an expanded description, critic and audience reviews, and a Rotten Tomato score. Here users can also find information about the director and cast, as well as the option to add the title to their watchlist.

This may seem like nothing special, but these small conveniences that we’ve become accustomed to are the key features of a quality digital media service and can determine if Plex sees any success with their new rental service.

That being said, there are other basic standards that digital media providers should meet if they want a desirable service — the two most important being picture and sound. This is where Plex’s new rental site may be falling short. Picture and audio quality standards are constantly and rapidly improving, along with consumer expectations. Now, many people want 4K video and compatibility with their home audio systems, which sometimes includes Dolby Atmos support and full 7.1 or 9.2 speaker systems. With the new Plex rental service, video quality is limited to 1080p HD and audio only supports formats up to 5.1 surround sound. While this is standard for many, it doesn’t make the cut for thousands of users out there. To top it all off, the service only offers content in SDR. Yes, you read that right, there are no rentals available on Plex with High Dynamic Range support in any format.

Although this is the service’s only shortcoming, it is arguably the only one that really matters. With Plex’s video and audio quality falling short of the standard for every other major media provider, we can’t see many users opting to use this service. For those who want to do their own investigating, the new Plex app can be downloaded on Roku, Android TV, PlayStation, Xbox, and a handful of other select smart TV systems.