How to Install Plex on Apple TV Without Jailbreaking

Apple-TV

Thanks to two Plex enthusiasts, Apple TV 2 and 3 owners can how install Plex on their device without the need of jailbreaking (via GigaOm)– as ATV3 jailbreak still miles away.

The neat hack, called PlexConnect, uses Apple’s movie trailers app as a “trojan horse” to inject Plex to the Apple TV. The catch is that you need to ensure your PlexConnect machine always has the same IP address.

All you need to do is configure your ATV3 correctly by selecting the settings button and configure DNS settings manually. You will need to change the IP address to that of the local IP of the device that you are running the PlexConnect application on, and then click on the “Done” button. If you are using firmware prior to version 5.2, and it asks you to configure the IP address of the router and subnet mask, leave them unchanged.

The hack will route traffic through a computer running a python script that swaps Apple’s movie trailer data with the one from a Plex media server. You can download PlexConnect from here. (Mac / Windows)

Installation guide for Mac/Windows users

Note: Before you start downloading PlexConnect, Windows users should download and install Python 2.7.x (download link). Please note that PlexConnect is not designed to work with Python 3.x. Also, if you are running a firewall (Windows or otherwise) create a rule for python.exe.

1. Download the latest version of PlexConnect (Mac / Windows)
2. Unzip and open the “Settings.py” file with TextEdit (Windows: Notepad)
3. Replace the “8.8.8.8” with your DNS server (the one you noted down from the ATV before you changed it). You will find this number is the line “return ‘8.8.8.8’ # google public DNS”. Save the file.
Windows users: Double click the PlexConnect.py to start PlexConnec and skip steps 4., 5. and 6.
4. Open terminal and change its directory to that of the PlexConnect folder (by typing “cd”, without the quotes and then dragging the folder to the terminal window and hitting return.)
5. Type sudo ./PlexConnect.py and hit return
6. Enter the your password for your Mac, and hit return
7. Navigate to the Movie trailer application on your Apple TV and find the Plexconnect Interface. Enjoy!

The result can be seen on the video below:

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • JB

    Your windows links for PlexConnect appear to simply point to Python rather than the PlexConnect script…

  • IstvanFekete

    Fixed, thank you!

  • JB

    You should add a step for Windows users to install Python as it’s not standard on Win…

  • Beekr25

    I am getting a DNS error
    Failed to create socket on UDP port 53: [Errno 48] Address already in use
    PlexConnect : DNSServer not alive. Shutting down.

    What am I doing wrong?

  • Beekr25

    I had DNS turned on via the server app. Once I turned that off it moved on but now I’m getting the following error

    Failed to connect to port 80 (http): [Errno 48] Address already in use

    PlexConnect : WebServer not alive. Shutting down.

    DNSServer : Shutting down.

  • Anthony W

    Thanks. I need to try this.

  • Mo

    Hmm – I followed your simple guide – got my DNS server from the ATV setup – didnt understand your line about before you changed it in step 3.Anyways replaced the 8888 bit only
    Plexconnect connect starts on the mac – and uses the DNS port I got from ATV
    I restart the ATV

    And zilch

  • Marcus Zettergren

    Is this correct:

    ATV=Choose your wifi and change the DNS to the same number as the IP adress of the Pc you are running the plex server? Lets say it is 192.168.1.17
    Then you alos say you have to change the ip adress to the same as the server, now that would create a network crash. You actually mean the DNS, right?

    In Settings.py, you change the 8.8.8.8 to what you normally use, that would be the same as your router usually. In my case 192.168.1.1, correct?

    You install the program as usual, but you also save the zip file and extract it, for example in the same catalogue as the plexserver. You never actually edit anything in the plexserver, right?

  • Christopher Hellman

    i am getting Trailers not available , Try later

  • Zaloz

    I get no internet connection error. plexconnect runs on mac, but when i choose manual ip i lose internet, using ethernet cable. should I use wifi instead?

  • Elvys

    It’s working as expected on my Mac, but am I supposed to launch it from Terminal every time I restart my Mac?

  • Elvys

    Same problem here, updating ios fixed it.

  • eyot08

    Have that same error, anyone a solution?

  • khan

    i have 2 different errors

    plex media server not found

    if i change the ip in setting.py (plex ip )that i have installed on my pc it shows a differnt ip,THEN I GOT PLEX SETTING on my atv but shows no trailers found

    any help thanks

  • Maxim Bulat

    writing to confirm that it is working with my ATV3. Now, for step 3 just look for 8.8.8.8 in Settings.py and replace that with the router ip (if one has a router). As it is originally said in the text there is no more “return 8.8.8.8” there, I think it has been rewritten.

  • f00b4r

    You need to either turn off your web server or change it to another port (there are also ways to show your web server on port 80 to the internet, check out the Plex forums for details).

  • inge

    Hi! Movies are playing, but no 5.1 sound, just stereo. Testet both DTS and Dolby Digital

  • MacNuss

    Hi! I am able to navigate in my folders, but getting an error when I try to watch a movie. I changed the DNS on the ATV to the same IP as the mac. I had to do this to even get the two speak together. Any solution?

  • Steve Gentile

    Worked fantastic – thanks!

  • Macdatho

    Did you ever find a fix?

  • Olle

    Hi, did you get a answer regarding this issue?

  • hav

    can someone help me i am having trouble

  • hav

    mate can u help me ? i have no idea mate

  • hockey87

    i get trailers not available, i need help

  • hockey87

    tried that didt work for me

  • Hugmup

    There’s a lot more to it than this, and the details you don’t cover tripped me up.

  • James Jin

    I got the same problem, any solution?
    Thanks

  • Fredrik

    Incredible!! Works perfect with my Apple TV3. Finally I am able to play *.mkv-files without converting into *mov. Thanks!