Clever hack brings Plex to the Apple TV, no jailbreak required

Apple (s AAPL) hasn’t opened up its Apple TV device to all third-party developers yet, but instead just added apps from a few high-profile partners to the platform. But that didn’t stop two avid Plex fans, who were able to bring the media center software to Apple TV, thanks to a clever hack. And the best thing: There’s no jailbreaking involved, meaning that Plex users won’t void their warranty or brick their device.

The hack, dubbed PlexConnect, uses Apple’s own movie trailers app as a kind of trojan horse to bring Plex to the Apple TV. Users simply have to fiddle with their Apple TV’s network settings to route traffic through a computer running a python script that swaps Apple’s movie trailer data with data from a Plex media server.

The result is a working version of Plex that serves up all kinds of local content through the Apple TV. Check out this YouTube video for a quick demo:


Users are reporting that Plexconnect isn’t just working for local content, but also for some internet media channels, including a few live streams.

Plexconnect is admittedly a workaround, and Apple can presumably put an end to this through an Apple TV firmware update. But it once again goes to show that Plex is getting a lot of support from a dedicated community, which has allowed the startup to iterate at a rapid pace and expand to a wide range of platforms.