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Plex offers plenty in a package of sprawling features. If you can configure everything right, it will become your new best friend as a home streaming savant or a platform-agnostic pirate. The streaming media world grows more and more crowded every day. But what if - and hang in there with me - you want to stream your own media? What if you don't want to pay for something you've already paid for four years ago?
What do you do then? Plex is essentially more software than server, in that it uses your computer as a hub to access media you already have on devices you grant it access to. It's been around for over eight years now, and is pretty much a staple in any media connoisseur's arsenal.
The HTPC you've always wanted starts with Plex
But should you shell out for the paid version? Should you pick this over a rival service? That's what we're going to help you figure out. Plex is divided into two versions. Plex outlines the differences between its free and paid tiers , but among the starkest contrasts is the that paying for the pass also unlocks the live TV DVR, Sonos integration and virtual reality support.
Once you've decided which service is right for you and your household, it's time to run the installer and set up a Plex server. Note that there is a difference between the Plex Media Server app for PCs and Macs, and the Plex apps available on a wide array of devices and platforms.
Installing the media server software is quick and painless. But the act of actually adding media to Plex - which requires setting up specifically named folders and subfolders and naming video files in a certain format - is best described as tedious, irritating and at points downright ridiculous. Stick with it, though, and you'll be rewarded ten-fold once your server goes live for the first time.
There's nothing quite like the disappointment of buying a new piece of kit, only to learn that your favorite service isn't compatible with that hardware.
Plex App on Xbox Live | Plex on Xbox | Watch Plex on Xbox
But, despite how many times that has happened in the past, that won't happen with Plex. It's available pretty much everywhere you can think of.
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Heck, now it even works with Amazon Echo. You can ask Alexa to play music from your Plex server, or ask for the latest film to be added to your collection.
How to Download and Install Plex on Xbox One & Xbox 360?
Ask Alexa to play the film and it will pop up on your screen. Of course, having the platform to install it on is only half the problem. The other half is having the platforms talk to each other in intelligent ways. Thankfully, Plex excels at this. If you stop at 20 minutes, 23 seconds while watching a film on your mobile device, Plex will give you the option of starting over or picking up where you left off on whatever device you use next.
When your PC needs to transcode a video to play on a platform it requires a bit of CPU processing to get the job done. Streaming across platforms - or Direct Stream, as Plex calls it - can cause some slow down. This didn't impact me as much as other users, but it's worth mentioning.
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Sometimes our gut reactions are wrong, however, and if you're ever looking for a shining example of that, this is the place. Server : 43 .
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