Over the years there have been a few things I have been trying to get around to doing. You know, those things that you’ve been putting off until next week, and next week never comes. Well, one thing that has been on my to-do-list for the longest time is building a home media server. I’ve always wanted a way to stream my collection of movies, pictures, and music around my home and mobile devices. Of course at this point in the game, there are some standing technologies already out there like Apple TV, but I always like the DIY-Free solution if at all possible. The solution that I have is Plex. So. let’s learn how to build your own media server with Plex.
1. First, you need an old PC that can be used as a server. It doesn’t have to be “beefy”, but just something that can connect to your local network with at least 1GB of RAM. Keep in mind that the more memory and processing power the better. I used a decent PC that I had around the house. I believe that it was a Pentium 4 with a Gig or two of RAM running Ubuntu (13.04).
2. After you have your system the way that you want it, go over to the Plex website and download the server install. Now, if you’re running Ubuntu or any other Linux Distro, make sure you go over to the app store to find the latest version of the Plex Server.
3. Ok, now it’s time to install the server. The installation is a very simple process. You will find slight differences depending on the OS, but over it is straight forward. The Plex website has step by step instructions on this process.
4. Now that everything is installed properly, it’s time to get this bad boy setup. The configuration process is fairly simple. You are able to access the configuration page through your browser using the local address that is provided. Make sure that you at least have some videos available for testing.
You’re going to want to name your server. If you do not give it a name, it will default to the computer’s name. This name is going to appear in your Plex accounts, clients, and Roku apps.
There is also an extensive name convention that you are going to want to adopt to ensure that your videos and music are being displayed and categorized properly within the server (e.g. The Movie (2013).avi).
Plex will automatically reach out to the internet and download the movie’s title images and descriptions when it is named properly. Check out the Plex website for instructions.
5.Lastly, have fun! With this setup you will now be able to stream from your server to your Roku or mobile devices using downloadable apps. If you’re like me and have extra PC’s and devices lying around, you can plug those into your TV or display and start watching your favorite movies.
Let me know if you have any questions. Please leave comments
Build your own media server with Plex