How to Set Up Plex Media Server and Connected with Chromecast, iOS, Android, Apple TV, NAS
Plex is already available on a wide variety of platforms like Chromecast, Apple TV, NAS device, Android, iOS, etc. In this article we’ll show you how to set up Plex on your home network and start streaming over your home network using your PC, Mac, Android/iOS tablet and smartphone, Chromecast, Apple TV and even NAS device.
Set Up the Server, Install the Apps, and Start Streaming
The setup process should just take a few minutes. Install the Plex on your system of choice and set it up to point at your media. Plex offers an optional account system, which can simplify signing into the mobile and TV apps and connecting to your server remotely over the Internet.
First and foremost, you need a computer that houses all the media files and runs Plex Media Server. You can install Plex on Windows, Linux, OS X, and even on dedicated server software like FreeNAS and on NAS hardware like the Synology system (you can see how to rip Blu-ray and DVD to Synology here). But regardless of what platform you choose, it’ll have to be a computer that’s always turned on.
Step 1. Download the Plex Media Server software
There are options for Windows, Apple OS X, a wide variety of Network Attached Storage, and more. We’ll be using the Windows version in this tutorial.
Step 2. Install the media server software
Plex Media Server can be installed on some NAS devices, including models from Netgear, Qnap and Synology but support is limited (a full list of NAS devices that support Plex check out the Plex NAS Compatibility Google Doc). NAS devices traditionally don’t have very powerful processors, so they’re not all capable of transcoding video. Synology has the best overall support, with the DS214play and DS415play, which can transcode video up to 1080p; some other NAS models can transcode video up to 720p; the cheaper models can’t transcode at all.
You can either run the Plex server on your main desktop computer or laptop or use an old or unused one. If opting for the latter you’ll need to make sure it is fast enough. The minimum system requirement for Plex varies depending on whether you need transcoding or not. Transcoding is the process of taking a file and making it playable on another device – either in another format or at a different resolution. Taking a full HD file and playing it on a smartphone, for example, will require transcoding in most cases.
During installation, Plex will ask you to name your server. When the Installation is complete, Plex Media Server will now run in the background, even if you restart your computer, unless you tell it not to. Plex will ask you to create a login ID. This allows you to view your content and make system changes from any internet connected browser.
When you want to make changes to the server settings, simply login at plex.tv, or right click on the taskbar icon, and select “Media Manager.” All the configuration is done through a simple web interface.
Step 3. Add meida files to libraries.
Libraries are how you add and organize your content in Plex. You simply select what type of library you want (i.e. Movies, TV Shows, Music, Photos, or Home Videos, for Blu-ray / DVD rips you’d better choose Movies), and then tell Plex which folders it should pull that content from.
Then ou can then install the appropriate apps on Chromecast, iOS, Android, Apple TV, NAS. Use them to access your streaming media. This part is fairly easy. If you have a Chromecast, remember that you don’t need any special Plex or Media Browser app on your TV — you can install the appropriate app on your smartphone and then use it to cast media directly to your Chromecast. However, some Plex services cost money. The iOS Plex app costs $5, and the Xbox and PlayStation app both require a “Plex Pass” subscription that will cost you $5 a month.
Plex and Apple TV
Watching Plex on Apple TV requires the Plex iOS app, as the Android, Windows Phone 8 and desktop apps do not support transmitting via AirPlay. Once installed on your iOS device open the app, connect to your Plex Media Server and find what you want to watch. Hit the Cast/AirPlay button (the TV with the wireless signal) and select your Apple TV. Plex will then fetch the file from the Media Server and send it through to the Apple TV, letting you use your iOS device as a remote control. You can also use your tablet or phone normally without interrupting the stream.
Streaming from Plex to Chromecast
In order to use Plex with Chromecast you can use mobile apps, which you have to pay for, or a computer, which is free. For mobile, you can use the iOS or Android apps (the Windows Phone app currently doesn’t support it). Just open up the app, browse to the content you want to play, then tap the Cast button (like a TV with a wireless signal). You can then choose the Chromecast that you want to send the content to.
The grab above shows Plex playing a video on Android. From here you can tap the button in the top-right corner to send the video to your Chromecast. Once the content’s playing on Chromecast you can control playback and use your phone or tablet for other tasks.
If you want to use a computer you can only do it through the web browser, as the desktop apps do not support Chromecast. You’ll need to use Chrome and the Google Cast Chrome extension. You’ll also need to link your Plex Media Server to a Plex account. This will allow you to remotely access Plex via Chromecast. On either the computer running the Plex Server or any other computer on your home network go to https://plex.tv/web and login to your Plex account.
Plex will now be able to see your Chromecast, allowing you to watch anything on Plex. Select what you want to watch or listen to and click on the Chromecast icon in the top right corner. Select your Chromecast and the content will start playing on your TV. If you have any problems check out Plex’s own Chromecast support pages. When playing through Chromecast your device becomes a remote control.
The software tools you may need
DVD Ripper: Want to watch your DVD collections in the backyard on your iPhone? Brorsot DVD Ripper is a best tool let you rip all of your DVD(no matter it is commercial protected or not) into digital copy and store in the Plex library, and then you can watch the DVD movie on your Chromecast, iOS, Android, Apple TV, NAS anytime.
Blu-ray Ripper: as the name implies, you can rip the Blu-ray for personal use. Here, Brorosft Blu-ray Ripper are high recommended, with it you can rip all the Blu-rays as well as DVDs for transfer to Plex in digital copy.
All-in-one DVD/Blu-ray/Video Converter: No matter what media files you want back up in Plex library, Brorsoft Video Converter Ultimate will handled easily. It can rip/copy/backup all the Blu-ray/DVD, as well as video files in any format, such as HD camcorder shoted XAVC or MXF, MTS files.