Best Plex Media Server



Best Plex Media Server

Here is what you need to know before buying your next Plex media server.






Plex is dedicated home media playback software that needs to run on a computer or NAS. This allows it to stream media to many Plex player Apps. The Plex media server software will run on many platforms like Windows, OS X, and many flavors of Linux, as well as many NAS devices like ReadyNAS, QNAP or Synology.


Why You Need a Plex Media Server


One of the best features of the Plex Media Server is that it's usefulness can be extended through many 3rd party plug-ins. These works much the same way as XBMC or Kodi add-ons, or Playon Scripts. 


Many of these Plex plug-ins are available through the built-in Plex Online digital distribution service and the Unsupported Plex App Store


Plex Media Server is the back-end media server component of Plex. Plex has two components to it. The front end runs on popular streamers like Android and Roku.

On the back-end is the Plex Media Server software which is used to host media content and plugins that are then streamed to Plex Media Center and Plex mobile apps or channels. 

The Plex client software can be located on the same machine, the same local area network or anywhere over the Internet.

Plex Media Server software can be setup to index content in any directory on the computer or NAS it's running on, as well as automatically indexing iTunes and iPhoto content. 


Transcoding with a Plex Media Server NAS: 


Should your devices require media files in a native format like mp4 vs mkv. This content will first need to be transcoded by the server before it is streamed.

A NAS besides a great platform to backup and store your media, can also make an excellent Plex Media Server provided it has the ability to perform transcoding.

Transcoding requires a more powerful CPU so only certain NAS models will be able to convert and stream your video files to many different devices in your home network or across the world over the Internet.


Another thing to consider is how many streams you will need transcoded at the same time. CPU requirements are much greater for those that need to only transcode one stream vs 4 streams concurrently.



Plex Transcoding CPU Requirements
    • Single stream 720p transcode: Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
    • Single stream 1080p transcode: Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz
    • Four streams 1080p transcode: Core i7 2.6GHz

    *Plex Transcoding NAS Compatibility Guide
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