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Plex Android TV app not playing videos? Disabling this setting may fix it…

Plex Android TV app error message

Plex is testing a new video player interface but is enabling it by default. Unfortunately, it is causing playback issues with some Android TV devices.

So I’ve got Plex running on a number of devices in my house. Up until recently, it was running just fine. However, on the JBL LINK BAR, which runs Android TV, I started to have issues with playback.

Before we dive too deep into this, I also have the Plex app running on my Xbox One X with absolutely no issues. The interface loads up and playing videos works just fine. Because of this, I was positive that it wasn’t my Plex Server that was the issue.

On the JBL Link Bar, the interface also loads up as expected. I can navigate the interface to select a video to play. Once I select it and then click the play button on the screen that follows, the video starts to load then I get the following error message:

Plex video playback error message.
Plex video playback error message.

In fact, I was even getting the same message when I try to play the trailer for said video. I tried a couple of Plex’s streaming titles and received the same message as well. I checked to make sure I had the lastest version of the Plex app, which, according to the Google Play Store, was the case. So I started to mess around with the settings.

After toggling a few options off (or on) and trying again, only to get the above error message, one setting — turning the Enable new video player setting to OFF — worked! As it turns out, Plex is testing a new video player interface but is enabling it by default. There are plenty of threads on the Plex forums with users complaining about this. Not only the fact it’s enabled by default but also the numerous issues the new video player interface has on various Android TV devices.

Finding and disabling this setting is easy:

  1. Open the Plex app on your Android TV device
  2. Navigate to and click on your login name on the left side of the screen
  3. Select settings
  4. Scroll down to Advanced
  5. Scroll to the right until you see the Enable new video player setting
  6. Click it and turn it off
The Plex Android TV settings screen
The Plex Android TV settings screen.

Unfortunately, if you update the app, it will likely re-enable so you’ll have to disable it again if you have issues. The good news is you know how to easily find it to fix Plex Android TV playback issues. After you’ve disabled it, the first time you go to play a video, you will get a popup asking if you want to enable it. Obviously, you don’t want to so select that option and you’ll be on your way.

As mentioned above, disabling the new player fixed the issue and videos that weren’t loading at all before load just fine now.

Have you been having Plex Android TV app playback issues? If so, did the fix above work for you? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, or MeWe.

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