What is Plex: Everything you need to know about the media streaming app

In the nebulous world of home streaming, the various platforms within devices with enigmas can get a little confusing. Simply put, then, Plex is a piece of all-in-one software that lets you stream your own media onto a range of mobile and set-top devices.

What is Plex: Everything you need to know about the media streaming app

Why would you want it? Other streaming services are angled towards content you don’t actually own, but Plex is great for getting flexible access to your own movies and tracks on mobile, TV, laptop, tablet and games consoles. Here’s a basic rundown of what it can do.

What does Plex do?

The free version of Plex Media Server essentially treats your home computer like a central hub, with your video, music and photo collections stored on the PC and streamed to TV and mobile devices running Plex on the same network. This is known as a Home theatre PC (HTPC) setup.

The paid Plex Pass adds in a handful of exclusive features, including the ability to sync your media onto an external cloud storage provider, create custom restrictions (potentially useful if you have kids at home) and free access to paid Plex apps. This package costs £3.99 monthly or £31.99 yearly.

What can Plex play?

Plex is primarily aimed towards media content you own. In a digital landscape inundated with streaming services, it can be a very useful tool for collating your own movies, song and photos, then watching them on devices throughout your home.

To help arrange your media, Plex boasts a simple interface that automatically pulls on item descriptions, pictures and album covers. Plex also picks up your viewing progress across devices, so if you start watching a film on your PC but want to switch to your iPhone, it will carry on where you got up to.

There are also a number of third-party Plex Channels, which grant extra flexibility to your viewing. This side of Plex isn’t as established as the open-source media player Kodi, but a list of various channels can be found at cordcutting.com and on the official Plex channel forum.

What’s compatible with Plex?

Plex Media Server can be installed on Windows, Mac and Linux computers, and there are Plex apps for iOS, Android and Windows devices. Plex also works on Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nvidia Shield, and a number of smart TVs.

READ NEXT: Kodi vs Plex: Which media-streamer is best?

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