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Building & Configuring the Ultimate Plex Media Server

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Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Plex

Plex Overview

If you’re a fan of digital video and music, you’ve likely heard the name “Plex” floating around. Plex (not to be confused with EVE Online’s in-game subscription commodity) is free media center software that lets users manage and stream a wide array of videos, audio files, and pictures to virtually any computer and a growing number of mobile devices and electronics. As a Plex user from the very beginning, I’ve seen the software change and evolve over the years into the versatile and powerful service it is today.

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My goal with this article twofold. First, as an avid Plex user, I’d like to introduce the software to users have yet to hear about or try it. Second, for those already using or experimenting with Plex, I hope that I can provide some “best practices” when it comes to configuring your servers, managing your media, or just using the software in general.

Before we dive into the technical aspects of Plex, let’s look at a brief overview of the software’s history and the main components that comprise the Plex ecosystem today.

History

Although now widely supported on a range of platforms, Plex was born in early 2008 as an OS X fork of the Xbox Media Center project (XBMC). Lovingly named “OSXBMC” (get it?) by its creators, the software was initially a simple media player for Mac, with roughly the same capabilities as the XBMC project from which it was derived. (Note: XBMC changed its name to “Kodi” in August, although you’ll still find plenty of people referring to the software by its original name).

A few months into the project, the OSXBMC team decided to change the name to “Plex” and things really started to take off for the nascent media software. Unlike the XBMC/Kodi community, which focused its efforts primarily on the playback client, the Plex team decided to bifurcate the project with two distinct components: a dedicated media server and a dedicated playback client.

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The dedicated media server made Plex unique among its media center peers. Once properly set up, it gave users with very little technical knowledge the ability to maintain a server that was capable of delivering their movies, TV shows, music, and pictures on demand throughout the house and, later, the world. We'll take a more detailed look at each of the Plex components next.

Plex Media Server

The “brains” behind the entire Plex ecosystem is Plex Media Server (PMS). This software, available for Windows, Linux, and OS X, manages your media database, metadata, and any necessary transcoding, which is one of its best features. Although far from error-free, the PMS encoding engine can convert virtually any video codec and container on the fly to a format requested by a client device. Want to play a high-bitrate 1080p MKV file with a 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack on your Roku? No problem; Plex will seamlessly transcode that high quality source file to the proper format for Roku, as well as your iPad, or your Galaxy S5, and many other devices, all without having to store multiple copies of your video files.

Continue reading our story on setting up the ultimate Plex media server!!

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Aside from very limited functionality, all of the Plex clients that we’ll discuss today rely on PMS to function. This is therefore the first app you should install and configure when starting out with Plex. The installation and configuration steps are covered later in this article.

Plex Home Theater

Plex Home Theater (PHT) is the Plex team’s flagship app, and once the only component of Plex. It runs officially on Windows and OS X, and there are some community-supported unofficial Linux builds. As its name implies, PHT was built for the living room, and features a “10-foot interface” that works equally well with remote and keyboard.

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Compared to the Plex mobile and device clients, which we’ll discuss next, PHT offers two primary advantages. First, it can be customized with a number of skins, giving the software a unique look and feel. It’s important to note, however, that skin support for Plex Home Theater version 1.0+, which debuted earlier this year, is still relatively limited compared to older editions, thanks to a major code overhaul.

The second advantage of PHT is that it supports “direct play.” We’ll talk about direct play again later on but, in short, it means that PHT is the only Plex client that supports the full, non-transcoded playback of all files. This is particularly important for users ripping lossless copies of their Blu-ray collections. If you’re going to store all that extra data, you likely want to actually watch the full quality version of the film, and not risk losing any detail via unnecessary transcoding.

But PHT has its shortcomings, too. You’ll need dedicated hardware to run the software, and it lacks robust mouse support that makes navigating large databases easier. These caveats make one of the mobile clients, or Plex/Web (which we’ll get to in a moment), often a better choice for getting up and running with Plex quickly.

Mobile Clients and Devices

Once confined to Macs, Plex has exploded in recent years to cover a huge range of devices and electronics. These clients are occasionally limited to basic media playback, and many of them aren’t free (charging for mobile clients is one of the ways that the Plex team is able to offer the server and desktop client for free), but they’re easy to set up and offer great convenience for enjoying your content on the go. Here’s a rundown of many of the Plex clients as of the date of this article (items with asterisks require a PlexPass subscription):

Each app is a little different in terms of look and feel, but they all offer full access to your server’s media library. With a free Plex account, you can also set up remote streaming without having to worry about static IPs, port forwarding, or firewalls. It’s a simple process of merely creating an account at the Plex website and logging into that account on both your server and your mobile device. The server negotiates the connection and, boom, you’re watching your own personal Netflix-style video library from a hotel on the opposite side of the country.

Plex Web

Plex Web (PW) is an HTML5-based web client that aims to bridge the gap between PHT and the mobile clients. Available for free, PW lets users browse and play back their Plex library, as well as manage it, from anywhere. This gives Plex users who don’t want to shell out for a paid mobile app the opportunity to watch their content from any modern Web browser. Just as with the mobile clients, the magic of remote access is handled by your Plex account.

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Just about everything sent to Plex Web needs to be transcoded, so keep that in mind as you plan your server build, which we’ll get to in the next section. The Plex Web interface also now allows users to manage their PMS libraries, which means the ability to scan for new content, edit metadata, and organize media from anywhere.

Plex Pass

Mobile apps and hardware aside, you can create a great Plex experience without spending a penny. But if you want access to a bit more functionality, early software releases, and the satisfaction of supporting the hardworking Plex team, you can sign up for a PlexPass.

Introduced in August 2012, PlexPass is a paid premium tier ($4.99 per month, $39.99 per year, or $149.99 lifetime) that gives members some pretty slick exclusive features, including a cloud-based automatic camera upload function for mobile devices, the ability to sync select media to cloud providers for faster remote streaming, a multi-user option, and, just added, integrated movie trailers and extras.

PlexPass definitely isn’t required, and I recommend that you give the software and service a thorough look before deciding. But if you love Plex, and want the most out of it, I’d recommend you consider a PlexPass to ensure the best experience.


December 10, 2014 | 11:04 AM - Posted by Lorash651

The laptop I'd been using as my HTPC with WMC7 and XBMC recently died. I was crushed, but I planned to get an NUC to replace it.

Then I realized: My OTA tuner is network-based and I already had 2 PC's on the network. I use WMC to record my local channels and use the Plex Server to send everything around the house. My living room TV's (a Sony from 2010) DNLA picked Plex right up, and I bought the Android app for my GoogleTV box in the bedroom.

Adding a couple of apps (Channels), like YouTube (the tv's app drives me up a wall) made finding and displaying my media a breeze.

I've had to do some tinkering to combat audio sync issues, but the server's browser-based interface makes it really easy.

December 10, 2014 | 11:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

One alteration to your build suggestions. I have an RSV-R4000, which is great EXCEPT I had to buy an expansion module to fit additional drives. The RSV-L4500 is only a few dollars more and comes with all the bays necessary to support 15 drives. Hindsight being 20/20, I would have bought the RSV-L4500 instead. Also, if you need hotswap, the RSV-L4411/L4412 are decent options, but only hold 12 drives.

I have attempted to make the jump to Plex from XBMC, but what I like about XBMC is that it requires no additional software on my server... it's just a preference. Just point XBMC to the shared directories and that's the extent of the setup. I may change my mind, however...

December 10, 2014 | 02:41 PM - Posted by larsoncc

XBMC supports a PVR front end plug in (and you can use something like NextPVR on the back end). Does Plex have an interface like that, or is it compatible with any of the XBMC plugins at this point?

December 10, 2014 | 02:56 PM - Posted by Ashphalt (not verified)

Awesome review!
I had problems with plex finding some of my tv shows.
Never knew what it needed to find the correct match.
Thank you
love the write up!

December 10, 2014 | 02:58 PM - Posted by Ashphalt (not verified)

Oh and Jim i could always use a share :)

December 10, 2014 | 05:06 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

This is one of the best articles i've ever read on PCper.

I do want to give a tip to some people too. If you dont have 2x RJ45 gigabit ethernet ports available on your motherboard you can grab a USB 3.0 adapter on amazon for only $19.
http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-SuperSpeed-Gigabit-Ethernet/dp/B00BB...

In the past you couldnt get gigabit speeds but USB 3.0 fixed that.

December 10, 2014 | 05:15 PM - Posted by thezfunk

I have a multi-terabyte library and have used both Plex and XBMC/Kodi quite a bit. I use both since some devices can do one and some can do the other. I much prefer Kodi. Plex on my Samsung devices is pretty awful. I can get it to work but it's so slow. I have a Chromecast and it's mostly a failure there too. I also have a FireTV and an Ouya. Running Plex and Kodi both head-to-head in that scenario shows that Kodi is much smoother with better playback. Plex is a great idea but I prefer Kodi. I will look into PleXBMC and give that a try.

One other note, I was running Plex Server on a Windows Server 2008 R2 box and have since moved everything to my new Synology NAS and my opinion has not changed.

Good article, though!

December 10, 2014 | 05:40 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

Can you please tell us the specs on your main computer where the transcoding is done?

I just bought a synology last week and plan to run that with 6tb connected to my network and then PLEX or something else on either my deskto (i5/32gb GTX 970 etc) or on my HTPC (Celeron G1620/8gb etc). Want to basically be able to watch 720p or 1080p files from the server over to my chromecast in my bedroom or my fireTV in my family room.

December 10, 2014 | 05:22 PM - Posted by Rick (not verified)

One option not mentioned here is running pms on a freenas box. I currently am running freenas with pms running on it. It is capable of doing transcoding provided you have the hardware to do it. My system is a Haswell pentium with 16gb ram.

December 10, 2014 | 05:42 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

I'm not sure if you read all 4 or 5 pages but it definitely covered all different types of NAS including a link to a page that has all supported NAS brands. One of the supported NAS brands was freenas. The big difference between a regular nas and a media server is that most standard NAS boxes use ARM processors that cant support high end (1080P) transcoding. You may happen to have one of the higher end freenas units that has the built in x86 CPUs that does support 1080p transcoding. Most of those are $700+, which is a complete ripoff considering you can build it all yourself for much less.

December 10, 2014 | 06:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

FreeNAS is an operating system built on FreeBSD, not an appliance like a Synology, etc. You install FreeNAS on you own hardware, just like any other operating system. You can buy systems that run FreeNAS from IXsystems (the FreeNAS developer and sponsor) but they don't represent the same value as doing it yourself. I have Plex running on a similar FreeNAS system (Z87, Haswell Pentium, 8GB) and it is fantastic. Simultaneous streams to phone/tablet, roku and web browser all work flawlessly all via wireless N. Sometimes I find I do have to do a bit of management of my files (make sure the filenames are Plex compatible) but other than that it requires next to no maintenance which is awesome.

December 10, 2014 | 08:46 PM - Posted by fade2blac

For those who like a more hands on approach, I have been running a home media server using a Debian Linux-based distro called OpenMediaVault (www.openmediavault.org) for over two years now. Several months ago a Plex Media Server plugin was created which makes set up pretty painless. Of course, prior to that one could install a Plex server via SSH using Debian repos since OMV is essentially a headless Debian machine under the hood.

OMV basically sets up a PC to run as a NAS/media server with a web interface that allows for configuration and management of general server functionality/services as well as to install dozens of plugins (unofficial plugins are available, which is where one will find Plex Media Server). This is similar in many ways to the FreeNAS and unRAID OSes, but the key difference for me is that it is both Linux-based and completely free to use. Additionally, there is an active community of users and developers continuing to refine and expand functionality.

I originally started running this on a Core2Duo E8400 with no problems, but idle power draw was quite high (~80W as I recall) for something that one could just leave on most of the time. Eventually, I switched to a Celeron 847 ITX board to try and minimize power use. The processor is perfectly capable for basic NAS duty and direct play, but it does struggle/choke with high bitrate transcodes (think 5GB+ 1080p encodes w/5.1 audio or raw BluRay rips). The upside is that idle power with the drives spun down is down to about 24W and max system power is typically about 45W.

Rather than run RAID5/6 which would keep the drives spinning all the time and require matched drives to create/grow an array, I use a combination of Greyhole and SnapRAID (both are available as OMV plugins as well as for other platforms). Greyhole allows one to pool any number and size of drives which can be formatted with just about any mix of file systems and then access them via a single CIFS/Samba share. Similarly, SnapRAID can handle any mix of mounted drives (both size and file system) to build parity across all data drives such that if a drive fails or a file gets corrupted, one can rebuild the drive or file. Multiple parity disks can be used to protect from multiple drive failure scenarios. Unlike RAID5/6, both Greyhole and SnapRAID allow one to freely add or remove drives and the drives can even contain existing data. The biggest difference is that parity is not generated on the fly, but rather it is generated as a snapshot which needs to be updated regularly. This is perfectly fine for media storage since this does not change often. Also, in addition to block-level parity, SnapRAID creates file-level checksums to detect bit rot, corruption, and even file duplication.

I am in the process of planning an upgrade of both hardware and software. My OMV install is quite outdated (v0.3), so I plan to start again from scratch now that OMV v1.x is available. As for hardware, I am moving to a Core i3-4130 and ECC RAM via a Lenovo TS140 that I picked up for ~$175 after rebates, etc. Plex should run much better and I expect that idle power draw should remain ~25W with proper configuration.

December 11, 2014 | 12:31 PM - Posted by MarkT (not verified)

Protip:

Chromecast or Nexus Player

+

Plex server for desktop computer + plex android app for tablet

+

TV
=
Done

your welcome

March 7, 2015 | 11:18 PM - Posted by lazyninja (not verified)

agreed.

December 12, 2014 | 07:20 AM - Posted by James (not verified)

I've been using plex media server for about 18 months. Server side I have a homebuilt NAS running FreeNas. I had tried both windows and ubuntu server but i found both two unstable and complicated for day to day use. While Freenas was slightly difficult to set up initially, it's been a dream ever since. In terms of power, I use very modest hardware. I have a cheap mini-itx 1155 motherboard, a Celeron G1610, 8GB of DDR3 and 4tb of HDD's running in ZFS(the reason for having 8GB RAM). I couldn't be happier with it, the only thing i plan to do in the future is add more HDD's. I only really ever run two streams at once, but even if they're Blu-Ray rips streaming to a Roku, it manages it with no problems. I would recommend Freenas to anyone prepared to spend a couple hours reading tutorials and guides.

December 12, 2014 | 09:26 PM - Posted by hoxlund

for naming LOTS of files like seasons of tv shows. nothing beats therenamer

google it and install it. it names tv shows using the industry standard

tv show name sxxexx episode title

ie

Breaking Bad S01E05 Gray Matter

just drag and drop an entire season at a time and click go, or an entire show with multiple seasons for that matter.

December 12, 2014 | 09:29 PM - Posted by hoxlund

btw im running plex media server from my netgear readynas rn104 on 4x4TB WD Red Drives in RAID 5

and i even manually patched the version since netgear has/still has a very outdated version on there apps server

tutorial - https://forums.plex.tv/index.php/topic/88187-how-to-update-plex-on-a-rea...

December 14, 2014 | 03:31 PM - Posted by MolsonFL

Just a comment on the various apps:

A PlexPass subscription is NOT required for Roku use. Since the Roku is easy to use, I put three around the house to access my Plex server. It makes so my wife and kids can watch what they want without having to know how to use anything but that simple Roku remote.

I canceled my PlexPass some time ago and my Roku devices all still work just fine.

(As an aside, I'm thinking of getting it back now that I travel again. As well, I personally use my phone with Chromecasts on three TVs. Much more enjoyable since you can jump from room to room as quickly as tapping a screen.)

December 15, 2014 | 03:18 PM - Posted by MikeKV (not verified)

My setup:

Server -
HP Z800 with two Xeon E5620's and 24GB of DDR3 RAM (12 2GB sticks).
2) Radeon 7470 video cards (DVI/HDMI)
2) Seagate 10k RPM 400GB 3.5" HDD's for the primary datastore
1) 1300 watt power supply (came standard with the workstation)
OS : ESXi 5.5

The Plex server is installed in a VM with four vCPU's and 4GB of RAM, under WHS2011. It has PMS, sabnzbd, and NzbDrone. I download my movies manually.

It has a number of HDD's attached (via PCI-passthrough of the internal 5 port SATA controller), which are all 'pooled' with CoveCube's DrivePool (works exactly like a Drobo, only far cheaper since I can use my own hardware).

It has a single vNIC connecting it to my network. The C: and D: drives (those familiar with WHS2011 will know of these drives) is actually a virtual HDD stored on a datastore made up of two 10k 400GB Seagate enterprise drives I picked up cheap on eBay.

NzbDrone has been told what shows I want, gets the needed info from my indexer of choice, tells sabnzbd to start downloading, moves them into the proper TV storage folder once sabnzbd unpacks, and renames them. PMS scans the database occasionally (I haven't gotten around to figuring out if it can notify PMS when it has processed a file, like I did with sickbeard).

Right now I'm using a Chromecast, but I have issues with it and 1080p/DTS movies (the movies I download are typically 12-ish GB). It will stutter / freeze within seconds of starting a movie unless I have a fan blowing over it. I hope the Fire TV Stick (which should come in today) won't have this issue. I also watch items in my library via my tablet, laptop, and web browsers, both local and away from my home.

---

In case anyone is wondering why I have this set up in ESX, before I picked up the Chromecast (and the Fire TV Stick), I had a VM configured with Windows 8.1, which was set to use one of the Radeon cards. I ran an HDMI cable (less than 50') to my TV. It was configured to log in / run Plex Home Theater automatically, so all I had to do was switch to the proper input and pick up my phone/tablet and use Plex Remote to control it (no RDP / Teamviewer / whatever needed). That VM has since been re-purposed for my 'gaming' table, which is connected to a projector that is aimed at my gaming table (for maps / etc). I also have a couple other VM's that run on the server. I'm actually thinking about taking my R9 270 out of my 'main' PC, installing it into the Z800, and creating a VM to see if it can act as my gaming PC (which is currently a second-gen i7, on which I really only play STO).

December 20, 2014 | 01:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Great article. I just set this up a couple of weeks and got a Roku 3 as a client, but don't care for it's interface. What do you think about using an HP Stream 11 or 13 as the client with the Home Theater software, a cheap IR remote, and a USB network adapter? For about $100 more than the Roku, I'll get a full on laptop plus the Plex client.

January 4, 2015 | 07:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Have you tried Media Browser recently Jim?

January 17, 2015 | 12:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm using Plex Server on my home PC to serve media out to Roku boxes on most of my family's TVs. The living room TV has a Tivo attached to it, along with the game consoles so I don't have a Roku there.

The key piece of software I have found to make my setup work is kmttg. This allows me to use Tivo to record cable shows then kmttg regularly scans the Tivo box, copies the shows I want off it, decrypts them and stores them with the proper metadata for Plex Server's new media scan to pick up. Shortly after Tivo has finished recording a show it's available to be viewed throughout my house on any TV thanks to Tivo, kmttg, Plex and Roku.

January 23, 2015 | 06:00 PM - Posted by Tedeo (not verified)

Following these build suggestions led me too checkout the passmark scores for various CPU in relation to price. One thing that stuck out was the AMD Opteron 2431, which is a "server" type CPU as opposed to the AMD Athlon X4 740k that the author suggested for the low end, which is a "desktop" type CPU.

When sorted by price, the 2431 curiously stands out against anything priced comparably.
Passmark: 4516
CPU Value: 75.48
6-Core
Power Consumption only 75w.
Priced at $59

The Athlon 740k is $75, Passmark is only 3936, is only 4-core, CPU value only 52.50.

Is there any reason the 2431 would not function better than the 740k in a Plex dedicated Server build?

Thanks for taking the time to answer

January 28, 2015 | 11:17 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

yOU MITE NEED A SERVER BOARD TO RUN THAT SERVER CHIP, PLUS BEEFY PSU? Passmark is not very good at looking at the strengths and weaknesses of chips. Server chips are quiote often quite low clocked vs desktop chips.

February 17, 2015 | 04:06 PM - Posted by Major_6 (not verified)

I use a laptop (see below) for my PMS. I have a external 4TB USB 3.0 drive attached with my media. I back it up to a drive on a my desktop.

The setup works great. It is fast, quiet, and power efficient. It can handle 3+ HD streams without issue.
I bought the laptop used specifically for using with Plex.

I am not sure why more folks don't recommend using an i7 mobile CPU for a PMS, seems like a perfect marriage to me.

Toshiba Satellite P875 Laptop as a PMS
Model Name: P875-S7102
OS Windows 8.1

Processor3 and Graphics4
 Intel® Core™ i7-3630QM Processor
o (6M Cache, up to 3.40 GHz) with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
 Mobile Intel® HM76 Express Chipset
 Mobile Intel® HD graphics with 64MB-1696MB shared graphics memory

 Configured with 8GB DDR3 1600MHz

March 11, 2015 | 07:29 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

this guide is very informative, but could someone take their time to build a parts list for me please on the items that were described. Some of the items on the guide are not specifically mentioned for the noobs that are just starting out. I would like to build a NAS system capable of streaming 1080p to at least 4 devices. I'm looking to spend around 400 with with hard drives. What setup can I get with this?

March 13, 2015 | 04:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

My opinion - basic system
-I5 or I7 processor
-4 to 8 GB RAM (should work fine in 4)
-4TB Disk (will hold 1000+ Movies, hundreds of TV Episodes)- GB Network - hard wire to internet router, or via switch
if home network set up.
- Video card with HDMI (< $50). Don't need anything fancy. This will have the 5.1,7.1 included).
- Connect to TV or AVR using HDMI
- Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 Pro
Better if internet router is 5ghz or dual band (2.4 and 5)

Run PMS and PHT on same machine. Works just fine. If expecting lots of remote clients go with I7 Processor

No need for separate PMS
Can expand by adding more disks, or USB 3.0 disks

------------
Can also run WMC and Live TV and TV-DVR if you have cable (assuming you get HDHOMERUN or similar)

-----------
Rip movies using MakeMKV
Compress them with HandBrake (use a profile (or create) for high bitrate hhigh quality.

Rips in MakeMkv for SD DVD of 5GB encode down to about 1.5 GB with no apparent loss in quality

March 29, 2015 | 01:01 AM - Posted by Mleuba (not verified)

Hi,
What do you use to control your "basic system" Htpc? I use Harmony One for my device control, have you factored that in too?

Thanks,
Mark

April 1, 2015 | 10:05 AM - Posted by GaryJr (not verified)

Mr. Tanous,

Thanks so much for the informative article. I recently bought a DS1815+ and I love it. I attempted to run PMS directly from it and found after much trial and sadness, it does not give me as much of a clear picture as I would like, even when direct playing the vides. It plays some of my videos well through DS Video, but the interface and such are not conducive for my children and wife. Also, I often get "the video format is not is not supported" even though all of my videos are mp4 transcoded through Handbrake.

All that aside, I have decided to repurpose a Windows 8.1 PC as a PMS only machine with all of the videos stored on my DS1815+. I would love to do just like your setup. You said...

" In my own personal Plex Media Server configuration, I have one of my Synology DS2413+’s Ethernet ports connected directly to the box running PMS. On the server, I map the Synology’s local IP address to a network drive and point PMS to exclusively to that location. I then connect the Synology to the rest of my network and the Internet via the second Ethernet port, so that I can access the NAS directly when adding new content or performing maintenance. This setup ensures that, regardless of what else is happening on my network, the media files will get from the NAS to the server unobstructed."

I have two routers, one that runs a VPN, with DD-WRT on it and a second router bridged that runs Netgear firmware with no VPN and has all of my home entertainment stuff connected to it. My question is, and please pardon my ignorance on this topic because I really have no knowledge on networking, but how do I exactly map the Synology to a network drive and point PMS to that location and then have Synology connect to the Internet thorough the other connection. When I got it, I plugged it in, via the manual instructions, with both Ethernet cables, into port 1 and 2 of my non-vpn router. I am assuming the DS-1815+ is connecting to the Internet via both ports.

Thank you for your patience, time, and help with this matter.

April 6, 2015 | 09:31 PM - Posted by GaryJr (not verified)

All,

After a little research, I was able to figure it out. I used this post, http://wolfig-techblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/connecting-ds212j-nas-direct..., to figure out how to connect my PC directly to my Synology and set up Plex to read directly from it. Now I can transfer files in a jiffee. I used a USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Cat 6 cable and connected the USB end from my PC and plugged the Cat 6 end to Port 3 of my DS 1815+. Then I followed the steps in the post I cited to configure the PC and NAS to communicate using the setup. I then created a few mapped network drives using the IP addresses I created and then set up Plex to read directly from them. Plex has never worked faster!

Thanks to all for the help and insight.

April 15, 2015 | 01:17 AM - Posted by cmar (not verified)

I am surprised about hardware req.
If transcode the best idea is use graprhics card and support ARM procesors with MALI .. its all about power consumption.
I use BananaPi as NAS and i was planned to buy Ondroid C1 www.hardkernel.com.. but and use PMS. So .. as i was reading in an article its not possible :-(

May 2, 2015 | 09:39 AM - Posted by Pacostaco (not verified)

I have a question about running PMS on my Sinology DS412+. I currently have the plea package installed on NAS and running fine but when I launch the plea app within DSM the plex home screen opens in another browser window and at the top there is a message saying a plea media server upgrade is available Download now. Do I need to do the upgrade? Normally if there is an upgrade DSM notifies me in the Package Center. If I click on the Download it takes me to a screen asking if i want the NAS version or Computer Version. Seems like it wants to install on my Computer.

October 31, 2015 | 02:11 PM - Posted by DavidB (not verified)

The official package from Synology can be quite a bit behind the packages created by Plex. I almost always download the package from Plex and manually install it on the NAS. Just click on Manual Install in the Package Center and then browse to where you saved the downloaded package.

May 18, 2015 | 10:58 PM - Posted by Maldoror (not verified)

Hi guys, a lotal IT store sells something totally illegal: a modified ROKU player which connects to a remote server and gives you thousands of TV channels worldwide. We can all do this ourselves using Plex/XBMC/FreeNAS, etc. But the guy charges his clients $180 per year to unlock their Roku. Each year, a new set of codes is needed to keep the link to the remote server alive.

Note to all: I DO NOT WISH to setup a business doing this. It is illegal and I would never do something like this. But I'm curious how these guys operate. Did they put their servers in Costa Rica? Do they change them regularly? Do they need one media server (Plex/XBMC/other) PER client? Technically, how do you go from what everybody is doing here, having their own media servers with their own data, to having a paid customer base connect to your servers online to get their channels. I don't believe that they stream films and other stuff from a server with terabytes of data. They only use their server as a relay to offer thousands of TV channels to their users.

Regards,
Maldoror

July 23, 2015 | 12:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Wow what a terrible waste of time. Sorry man but your title should have been everyone look I am advertising for Plex. I came here hoping to learn the configuration of plex using multiple devises like readynas and such, but get an advertisement instead. Horrible...

October 14, 2015 | 07:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It appears you didn't click the link at the bottom of the context that says "Building a Plex Media Server". This is just the first page where he gives an overview.

January 18, 2016 | 05:05 PM - Posted by Kate Fox (not verified)

I don't know about Plex....I tried to set it up and the whole process was such a hassle. I have way too much content to organize everything to make it so Plex doesn't blow up. I prefer younity, giving me instant access to my home media server from all my iOS devices without any complicated setup. Once they have more platforms released, they'll be a huge competitor to Plex. Has anyone else tried it?

January 7, 2017 | 04:06 PM - Posted by Morlock1112

What's the best software for burning the entire dvd or Blu rays to the computer. Either free or pay software?..

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