View Full Version : Plex Media Server and Client .95

Plex media Server is a Streaming and Transcoding solution for the majority of popular platforms. It got it's start in a Mac port of XBMC, and quickly spread from there, first to iOS, Roku, then to Android and Windows, and even an unofficial, but endorsed port to the jailbroken ATV2.

Transcoding and Streaming video aren't really new to iOS users. They have had for years now several well done solutions (Air Video being the most popular, but Stream2Me was easily as good) While Android users have had VLC Stream, and more recently Emit (which has the awesome feature to cache video's to your device, which can be handy) However Plex now offers automatic network configuration via a single plex login, which is new to Android users.
XBMC users will be right at home, with Plex feeling quite a bit like the fork it is; Plex uses the same sources to collect Meta Data on all your shows, and worked extremely well figuring out my personal naming conventions for my TV show collections; Besides organize and name my files, there was no setup. After plex media server is installed, you only point it at the directories where your files will be, and login through myplex.
Also new in Plex is the ability to Share you library with friends through email. The email contains everything they would need to get started with Plex. It's a nice little touch, As well as Airplay support, for those iOS users wishing to push their video's out to bigger screens.
The (new) Downside
The Downside to having Plex auto configure your network through myplex is it becomes totally reliant on their authentication servers to login to your own hardware. Gone are the days when poking a little hole in your firewall and giving Plex an IP will work, Which means if their authentication servers go down; your out of luck.
Plex like other streaming media solutions; offer's channels of 3rd party content. Which can be fun for a vimeo stint; however i don't know anyone who uses these for serious media play back, and in my view seem like an after thought. The implementation isn't bad, the content just isn't there.

i've found Plex to be Flexible, Easy to use and setup; and quite fast, well worth the $5 (per platform) entry fee. It transcodes well, and has the best support of platforms for any video streaming solution.
The Bad:
Requires login Token from Plex's servers to login to your own server. Android performance is no on par with iOS (streams initialize 6-7 seconds faster on iOS; at a higher bit rate)

Great post Jesse, Plexx right now is one of the biggest factors that affect which TV I choose this holiday season. LG includes Plexx in their Smart TV software so it’s a huge boon for someone like with with a lot of media stored on mountains of hard drives.

stream2me doesn’t involve any servers for a password token, they are iOS only at this point in time however, but it’s updated constantly; and i think the streams start faster than plex still at this point

i just can’t take the iOS only part anymore:(