Updated: 2-Jul 2022
I have been contemplating on how do I store and view my media via my PC and came about PLEX thanks to Alex. What PLEX does is that it sorts out all of my TV Series and movie collections and updates its metadata and I have a beautiful view of my collection via my devices. Now, if you were wondering what is one doing when streaming services are aplenty, this article was written back in 2011 before streaming services were the norm.
The image above shows a typical setup on which how I set up my PLEX Home server. A PLEX home server is a device where my media files are stored in. It could be a PC or a Mac (at one time my PLEX server was a Mac Mini). You could even host your PLEX server on a NAS (e.g. Synology). As I use WIFI to connect to my devices, the network does get a bit congested as multiple devices are streaming from the PLEX Media server.
Find a device which will run your Plex Media Server. Better if the media was on that device to reduce latency. Download the version of Plex Media Server to suit your device.
Point the server to where your media files are located and the server will search the internet for the relevant metadata. It isn’t all accurate, so you need to manually fix some of them once in a while.
Download the client app and run it on the devices in which you want to stream your content to. This could be a Smart TV, an Apple TV, iOS, iPad OS, MacOS or Android device.
Currently, my old PC running a Core-i7 2nd gen processor and a GTX 1070 acts as my media server. In the past I have used my Mac Mini 2011 model as a server but it struggled to try to encode 4K videos hence I reverted to my old gaming PC with a GPU card on it to handle the workloads. There are several GPUs would work very well with the necessary encoding engine, which makes it better when handling multiple streams at once.
If you set up your PLEX Home server well, you can also access your home content whilst on the go as well. Whether in-country or out of country.