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A Comprehensive Guide on Plex Media Server

Plex Media Server

The Plex Media server helps you to access music, movies, television shows, and even images from any type of device. Even if you’re on a trip, you can stream shows to your iPad. The Plex model is quite simple to follow. You can store media on the computer loaded with the Plex server software and remotely access the collection with no hassles. Everything is managed due to the client-server architecture.

How to Set Up Plex Server?

Before you go about installing the server, you require a system with an Intel dual core processor or higher and at least 2GB RAM. In this case, we have considered the operating system to be Windows 7.

Downloading and installing Plex Server

Step 1: Launch the web browser and go to https://plex.tv/downloads and click ‘COMPUTER’.

plex download

Step 2: Once you’re directed to a new web page, you should click ‘WINDOWS’ followed by ‘DOWNLOAD ENGLISH’.

plex media server for windows

Step 3: Once you see the message box with ‘Setup Successful’ click on the ‘Launch’ button.

plex media server

Step 4: Agree the ‘Plex Terms of Service’ and proceed to the next step.

Step 5: You would then have to sign up with the Plex account and start the setup.

log in your account

Step 6: In case you can’t see the setup page, go to the notification area and search for the Plex icon. As you right click, select the option, ‘Media Manager’.

media manager

Step 7: You would then be provided with a sign up option. This would enable you to share local content over the internet. But, as of now, you can move on by clicking on the ‘Skip’ button.

Plex Server Configuration

Step 1: By default, the Plex server is denoted by “Friendly Name” (#1). Usually, the company’s name is used but you can rename the server with something you would always remember.

Plex server configuration

Step 2: You may or may not click on ‘Send Feedback’ or mention your email ID. Later, click ‘next’ to proceed.

Step 3: Click ‘+ Add Section’ for adding a library of your choice. You can make a selection between movies, TV shows, music, home videos, and photos. Once you’re done, click ‘Next’.

add Section

Step 4: Afterwards, you can browse the folders to add the collection as well as specify the drive.

add Library

add folder

The above two steps would give you a way on how to add movies to Plex.

Step 5: Repeat the steps for other categories. Either select the channels of your choice or hit ‘Skip’ to add them later.

Step 6: Finally, click on the tools icon for accessing the settings page.

Client Side Settings

The client side of the server can be managed by ‘Web’ settings. You need to adjust the settings accordingly if more than one client exists.

Step 1: Follow the path ‘Web >> General’ and select the checkboxes.

Play Theme Music – This option works great with television shows. Once the show is selected, you can enjoy the soundtrack theme in the background.

Show Unwanted Icons – This option helps you to keep a track of videos you have already watched and episodes you yet have to watch.

Enable Keyboard Shortcuts – To know more, hit the question mark sign ‘?’ on the keyboard.

client side settings

Step 2: Now, go to ‘Web >> Dashboard’. This tab would help you manage digital content on the ‘Home’ page. You can either select ‘On Deck’, ‘Recently Added’, ‘Channels’, ‘Queue’ or ‘Recommended’.

settings on web dashboard

Step 3: After you have saved the changes, proceed with ‘Web >> Search’.

Step 4: You do have to select the options and click ‘Save Changes’.

‘Search Shared Libraries’ – Allows you to search libraries which have already been shared.

‘Search Channels’ – Permits you to search channels with the right set of keywords.

search channel settings

Step 5: Now, go to ‘Web >> Player’ and set the stream quality. In this case, the local quality is set to ’20 Mbps 1080p’, Remote quality to ‘10Mbps 1080p’ and Channel Quality to ’10 Mbps 1080p’. Remember to set Subtitle size as ‘Normal’ and then save the changes.

streaming quality

Serve Side Settings

Apart from the client’s side, you can easily set up the server side of Plex media.

Step 1: Go to ‘Server >> General’ and name the server as you need.

server side settings

Step 2: Once you have saved the changes, go to ‘Server >> Connect’. Generally, you have to mention the port as 32400. Hit ‘Connect’ to map the port. This step can only be performed if you have a Plex account. For a public interface, you should select a random number between 20,000 and 40,000.

server connect

Step 3: Now, go to ‘Server >> Library’. In this section, select the ‘Update my library automatically’, ‘Update My Library Periodically’ and the ‘Empty trash automatically after every scan’ options. It’s better to set the time interval of 6 hours in case the content is shared over the network.

server library

Step 4: Finally, follow the settings under ‘Server >> Channel’ section. Please refer to the image below.

server channel section

How to Share Content Using Plex Media Server?

Step 1: Once you have logged in with the Plex account, you should first select the ‘Server’.

Step 2: Type the username and the email address (#1) of the person with whom you wish to share content.

Step 3: You can select the option, ‘Share all sections’ (#1) or select the desired libraries (#3).

share all sections

Step 4: Once you click on the ‘Share’ button, an email would be sent to the person. He can then access the content by acknowledging the email.

Step 5: Finally, the screen would look like the image as below. While on the left side you can view different libraries, the right pane would depict content from the Plex player.

finally content of the plex player

NOTE: A client is required for connecting to the Plex Server. While you can use Plex Home Theater, and Chromecast, apps for Windows and Android can be availed by paying a few dollars.

To conclude, Plex Media Server is the best alternative to Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV. Most of the times, the media server offers a great option to stream digital content on the television.

Written by Hardip Koradia

Hardip Koradia is a pro tech blogger with years of experience in writing resourceful articles on different tech topics like mobile apps, PCs, gadgets, software, how to guides, etc. His passion for technology inspired him to start Techbylws, a growing tech blog.