Friday, August 19, 2016

Plex Media Server | Setup and Configuration

Sometimes I go to visit with friends, and notice their lack of ability to watch and be entertained by great content. Technology has surpassed that of most people, and without instruction or guidance, millions of people are "missing out" on the next generation of Home Entertainment.

In this post I guide the reader through how to download and setup a PLEX(c) Media Server (PMS) as I have mine setup. The hardware I use, other options available, and configuration examples.

Choosing your hardware

Network Attached Storage devices are the best way to go in my opinion. I haven't ponied up the $$ for one yet, but if you are starting out new and have the spare change it's the optimal solution. It puts all the computing and storage needs, all into a simple box of hard disks, that sit in the corner of your house with no complicated operating system to manage like Linux or Windows. 

A list of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices that support PMS, and have been verified to work and supported, can be found here : NAS Devices

You may already have some hardware at home acting as a media center. Perfect! You are half way done.. PMS will run on just about anything, but you will want something with enough power to do some HD transcoding on the fly should you require it. 

If you currently have a server running Linux or Windows with your media on it, and don't want to make drastic changes, go to PMS Download Page and grab the software that is compatible with your operating system.

My setup is as follows:

Home Media Server Setup

This may all sound foreign to you, but for the techy folks out there it will make sense. It allows me to restart servers without affecting services to my household. By virtualizing the servers, I can spin up new ones, make changes, and backup the configurations relatively smoothly.