September 11, 2016
Lately people have been discovering how much better the on demand streaming model of Netflix is than normal cable television. The biggest downside though is the limited selection. The solution is to run your own media streaming service, and the best way to do that is by using Plex.
The first step is to get a Plex server running. It runs on many different NAS services as well as on regular Windows/Mac/Linux computers. I used to run it on a Synology NAS but, after running out of space one too many times, have since migrated to a full-blown Windows server.
My server consists of the following parts:
In the living room we are using a Vizio TV which I chose because it has a decent Plex app that runs on it.
In the bonus room we are running a full HTPC which runs the Plex app as well as video games.
On our mobile devices we use the iOS and Android Plex apps.
The beauty of Plex reveals itself when you fully embrace it. The fact that your watched status is stored on the server and every device gives you the same window into your media is life changing. What episode are we on for Stranger Things? Plex knows. Want to finish the show that you’re currently watching in the living room on your tablet in bed after washing up? Plex will resume it from where you were. Have a family? Plex will remember each person’s watch status.
Written by Mike Cousins who lives and works in Calgary building useful things. You should follow him on Twitter