Plex Media Server Review: Yes Have Some

Greg Burke has finally discovered the glory of Plex Media Server. Our review.


I first encountered Plex at CES 2018 when my boss set up an interview with the company. I hadn't really heard of them at all at the time, but I have spent the past month digging into the Plex Media Server. 

What is Plex?

Plex is a Media Server that syncs via your PC to a cloud. No, it doesn’t store your files on a cloud server, but it does allow you to play and access your media from literally anywhere with an internet connection via PC, smartphone, Xbox, or PS4. If it has an internet connection, Plex can work with it.

What Makes Plex Different?

Unlike home network HDDs that sync to your TV or iPad, Plex finds the posters and meta data for all the movie, picture, and music files on your drive. Plex generates an accurate picture of the movies or TV show with a lot better reliability than Apple’s iTunes Coverflow. Plex is free to download, and has apps on Xbox, PC, smartphones, Amazon Firestick and PS4. On top of this Plex, offers a lifetime membership for $120. This feature allows you to see trailers, reviews, IMDB ratings and actor bios right at the movie selection screen. 

Why use Plex?

Before I was introduced to Plex, I used to watch movies and TV shows I owned digitally a few different ways. The first was using Windows 10 “Cast to Xbox” feature, however this only worked 50% of the time and only with Windows 10 and Xbox One. The second was using a USB stick to transfer the movies that I wanted to watch. I could plug the USB stick into my Xbox, PS4 or TV and watch them that way, however this had problems with file extensions and some platforms did not recognize certain files types. The last way was plugging an external HDD with all my movie backups in directly to my router. This proved to work with my Smart TV, but it would just list the files by name, no pics or anything fancy. Plex takes all these problems and simplifies them and it works near flawlessly. 

Plex Media Server is Truly Awesome!

Plex is completely free to download, and it’s one of the best media server apps I’ve ever used. I’ve had zero problems getting started and it works throughout my home with my Samsung Galaxy S6, iPad, Xbox, TV, and my Amazon Firestick. I can literally watch my entire movie library from anywhere in the house, or on the road as long as my computer is on and connected to the internet.

For more info head over to the official Plex Media Server website.

Head of Video

Greg is the head of Video Production for Shacknews. If you've ever enjoyed a video on, it was most likely edited by him. Follow him on Twitter @GregBurke85

From The Chatty
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    February 9, 2018 7:00 PM

    Greg Burke posted a new article, Plex Media Server Review: Yes Have Some

    • reply
      February 9, 2018 7:11 PM


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      February 9, 2018 7:14 PM

      Been using plex since like 2010 or so. Its served me well through the years. Although i feel like lately the development team is a little scatterbrained with too much focus on making it work on too many platforms. Lets get some more polish on the big platforms and stop worrying about whether it works on a sanyo smartv.

      • reply
        February 9, 2018 7:46 PM

        But that model works as long as it gets the fundamentals right.

        I'm still waiting for Chromecastable live TV and a better live TV interface.

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      February 9, 2018 7:51 PM

      Most thorough review of Plex I've ever seen!

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      February 10, 2018 4:47 AM

      Love Plex, but the one issue I have is I can't play PC games and let someone watch a movie from my Plex Server... which is my gaming computer. I think it not only bogs the network down but the transcoding will bog my CPU down. In the future, I want to move my plex server to a NAS machine like Synology's DS418play or similar. I suppose at that point all I would need to do is limit bandwidth for plex usage while gaming.

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        February 10, 2018 5:07 AM

        If that NAS (with PMS) would be on your local network and you're gaming on the internets, and a third person (on the local network) would be watching plex, i don't think that will affect your gaming at all?

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          February 10, 2018 5:45 AM

          Yeah that’s the plan. However I do have situations where someone is trying watch a movie from outside the local network. I wonder if that will affect my ping too much to require a bandwidth limitation.

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            February 10, 2018 7:39 AM

            Oh that, it will screw up your upstream.

            Better go with the bw limit if your router allows for that kind of customization.

    • reply
      February 10, 2018 4:52 AM


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      February 10, 2018 5:30 AM

      Can I make folders in it yet? I want to see my list of movies but for james bond I want to see a single folder that contains all these films instead of having them strewn all over the list.

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        February 10, 2018 5:35 AM

        I think you’d have to create a separate directory and then add the contents as a new category. I just did this recently when I converted a stack of concert DVDs to mkvs. New directory holding the concerts and then added a category called Concerts.

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        February 10, 2018 6:34 AM

        Tag them into a collection. Then filter by collection. I do that with the MCU movies

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        February 10, 2018 7:40 AM

        There's a sort (show) by folders option on the web interface.

    • rms legacy 10 years legacy 20 years mercury super mega
      February 11, 2018 1:31 PM

      My Sony BR player sees the server on the PC, but no pictures -- jpg/gif -- show up. Is this a configuration issue on the Plex server?

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      February 12, 2018 10:14 AM

      I've been using PS3 Media Server for a few years now,and it works fine.I don't need to see posterized thumbnails. I like the idea of being able to access your library anywhere that has an internet connection,but what's makes it better than having an FTP site?

      Seems like it's meant for less tech savvy people that think they are being tech savvy,but I could be wrong.I just don't understand why I would want to pay a membership to something that I've been doing for free for years.

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