I installed Plex a little while ago when I wanted to access my music using DLNA on my AV Receiver and Windows Media Player's implementation was just too slow and not up to the job.
I got Plex installed, libraries discovered and I was up and running with a fast and reliable server pretty much straight away.
Since then, I've moved my TV recording onto NextPVR, with MCE Buddy archiving recordings to MP4 as mentioned in previous articles and Plex just handles this without any major complications.
On top of simple set up and configuration, it ticks all of my boxes for Media Server requirements - it looks good, I have remote access and more recently (and pretty critically), there's an Alexa skill that allows me to play music directly to my Echo devices.
After installing Plex on your system, you will be asked to create an account with Plex - this seems a little strange when you are probably going to be accessing local content, but it handles authentication for you should you enable the remote functions.
The basic Plex account gives you basic access - there are some players and some advanced features that benefit from Plex Pass, but in all honesty, there are plenty of options for Plex that make Plex Pass unnecessary for many users. That said, if you do want to go down the Plex Pass route, keep an eye out for lifetime membership offers - they appear from time to time and make the premium features very affordable.
One of the nice things about Plex is that you can specify multiple Libraries, even Libraries for similar content types. I've configured it with five libraries so far - TV Shows, Movies, Music, Photos and Home movies. Although home movies are the same media type as tv shows and movies, Plex allows this, which means that this different content is listed separately.
Although there are no parental controls in the basic Plex account, you could work around that by creating a couple of libraries for Kids TV and Kids Movies - just move that content into a different folder on your drive and Plex will happily scan and keep that content in different Libraries.
Keeping Movies and TV shows separate is advised as Plex uses media agents to scan your folders - there are different agents for TV shows and Movies, so keeping them separate means each folder is configured with it's own agent and you're more likely to get the correct metadata downloaded. There are some tips for handling the agents and metadata which I'll cover a little later.
- Next >>