Thursday, July 3, 2014
So, anyone that knows anything about streaming their content from their computer to their TV, or various mobile devices knows what Plex is. As a newcomer to Plex, I am an avid user now. Let me tell you why!
Plex is a service that allows you to install a server application, called the Plex Media Server, onto your Windows computer or NAS device. This server application allows you to set up specific folders to monitor for streaming content, including photos, music, and videos, to any device. This program is actually free to use, and install.
On your Android, iOS, and Windows devices, you install the Plex App. The app is $4.99 for each platform. It can be snagged in both the Android and Amazon Appstore for Android for the same price.
If you have a dedicated PC attached to your television, there is also the Plex Home Theater setup. You can download the program for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This allows you to have a lot of freedom, and is specially designed to give you the freedom to watch various videos in a variety of formats.
There are even apps for Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV, and select Samsung smart tv's. The Android app is already set up to function with Chromecast, so no "app" is needed to install.
Set up is really easy, and a step by step guide is available on their website. The FAQ support is also very well fleshed out with many, if not all, of your questions easily answered. Even when I had an issue with my network not finding the server, I was able to go through the FAQ support to quickly fix the problem.
Where this service shines is if you have a large digital movie collection. You can literally watch ANY movie and television show you have stored on your hard drive from anywhere if you have the Plex app installed on your phone or tablet. You can even watch via the "web app" on another computer signed into your Plex account. Quality is great, and you can adjust it easily depending on viewing circumstances. Remember, the higher the quality, the more buffering may be required during playback on mobile devices. If you want the best quality, I highly recommend that you have a high "upload" speed on your internet service provider.
Of all the services one could want for their media content, this is the best option out there. You don't have to worry about making sure you have the space on your device for your movies and music. You will ALWAYS have it available for streaming. If streaming is not an option, such as going on a flight, or in an area with new mobile service or wifi, you can sync content to your device for offline viewing.
If you need more services to go with your Plex account, there is also a Premium service called Plex Pass. This include camera upload/sync, the app for free (Android and Roku), early access to new features, and more for a monthly, annual, and lifetime fee.
All in all, this is well worth it folks. I highly recommend this service.