Getting the Most Out of Plex
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time using using Plex to organise and consume my TV Shows and Movies. Plex isn’t new, in fact it’s been around for ages. But if you are looking for a better way to consume your media, Plex could just be for you.
Here is a quick guide to getting the most out of Plex:
What is Plex?
Plex basically consists of two parts. The Plex Media Server is an application that organises your media library and matches artwork, descriptions and other metadata for all of your files. This is particularly great for TV shows. The other part of Plex is the Plex Client which is available for including Mac, PC, Chromecast, selected Smart TVs and set top boxes as well as all your iOS and Android devices.
Pro Tip: Plex also syncs your media across devices. So if you are halfway through a movie you watched on you laptop, it’ll pick up where you left off when you start watching again on your tablet.
Watch Your Media on Your TV
While it’s great to watch your media on your laptop or computer, it’s even better to watch it on your TV. You can get your media on your TV by connecting your computer or laptop to your HD TV through an HDMI cable. Alternatively, you can wirelessly stream your media to your TV through a Chromecast, supported set top boxes or through Plex apps developed for selected Smart TVs. You can even get Plex running on a Raspberry Pi, which is super impressive.
Stream to Your Mobile Device with the Plex App
You can also stream all of your media to your tablet or smartphone through the Plex app for iOS and Android via your local wi-fi network. This is one of the reasons I have fallen in love with Plex as I spend most evenings lying in bed with the electric blanket switched on, watching episode after episode of The Sopranos. Occasionally, chips are even eaten.
Another feature of the Plex mobile app is that you can use your tablet or smartphone as a remote to control Plex. That is great if you using Plex to consume your media on your TV. People who still watch TV on TV might not think that having a remote control is a big deal, but for cord-cutters, it’s awesome.
Pro Tip: If you are on Android, I would recommend using the Plex Remote app.
Access Your Media Remotely
With Plex, you can access your media remotely (i.e. outside your local Wi-Fi network). This is one of the more advanced features of Plex and requires you to forward a port on your Wi-Fi router (here’s how). To be honest, I’ve never had to make use of this feature so I’ve never set it up but it’s nice that you can do this if you ever need to.
Share Your Media Library with Family and Friends
If you sign up for a MyPlex account (it’s free) you can also share your media libraries with family and friends. This is another great feature but speed and playback quality may be affected by the speed of your internet. Once again, another great feature if you ever need it.
While you may have to pay a few dollars for Plex’s mobile apps, the majority of the Plex experience is 100% free. But Plex offers you even more if you sign up for a Plex Pass subscription. Some premium features include syncing files to your mobile devices for offline viewing and cloud syncing so you can stream your media from Dropbox when your home library is unavailable.
Plex is a great product for those that love their media. Hopefully after reading this post, you have everything you need to get the most out of Plex. You can find out more about Plex on their website and download the Plex mobile apps for either iOS or Android.