What is Plex and how does it work on Smart TVs

plex

If you've heard of plex and everything it can offer to its users, it sure has piqued your interest. In this post we are going to explain what Plex is and how it works. In detail and with some interesting solutions to get the most out of it.

Plex is a complete real-time multimedia streaming service. Thanks to it, we will be able to view content from other devices, without having to have them stored on ours. In this way, for example, movies and series to music, photos and any other content hosted on a computer can be played on a smartphone.

The Plex project has its origins in a private initiative in 2010. The original idea came from the American startup Plex, Inc.. This company is responsible for the development of Plex Media Server and the app. All this software is registered under the "Plex" trademark.

What is Plex?

Plex is an application that allows us turn our computer into a great multimedia center. Its main function is to recognize all the multimedia files that we have housed in our folders to organize them later and in this way create something like our own Netflix.

plex

What is Plex and how does it work on Smart TVs

Well, maybe that is to emulate or compete with Netflix, a somewhat exaggerated statement, although the idea is the same. While with Netflix it is the platform itself that enables the content that we can access on its servers, using Plex we are the ones who add the multimedia content to our liking. And this can be a great advantage. This is done from the folder on the computer that we have selected before as "Root folder". The storage limit? The one that allows us the capacity of our hard disk.

The best thing about Plex is that it is compatible with almost all popular audio and video formats. No less important is the possibility that it offers us to organize our portfolio by themes or by type of content, to our liking. It is also interesting to be able to connect remotely with other online channels.

More cool Plex features: Once the software is set up, you can access it from any device. All you have to do is install the application of the Plex Media Server on the computer where the multimedia files are hosted and make sure that it is active when using the platform.

Another way to do it is by using Plex Client, which has specific versions for all platforms: Android, iOS, GNU / Linux, macOS, Windows, SmartTV, Chromecast and even consoles PlayStation and Xbox. Thus, we can see our videos in any of them.

Download and install Plex

The first step to using Plex is to download the app Plex Media Server since official website. You just have to access it and click on the button "Download". After this, a menu will be displayed in which you have to select the appropriate version for each operating system. We just have to choose ours.

Download and install Plex

After downloading, just before starting the installation process, we have the possibility to choose in which folder we want to install the application on the welcome page. For this you have to click on the button "Options" and select the destination folder on our computer. Once this is done, we can click on the button "Install" and the process will run automatically.

When this process is finished, just click on the button "Throw" to start the application. Next, a page will open in the browser in which we must register by entering a username, an associated email address and a password.

In the control Panel main we go first to the tab "Number", from which we access a menu in which we will write the name of our Plex server. After this we will press the button "Following" to go to the "Media Library". By default only two appear: photos and music, although we can create as many as we want simply with the option to "Add library". The view in the library mode is very useful for browsing the content through categories (genre, title, year, etc.), which we can create according to our own preferences.

After this we can start managing our content and, above all, enjoying it. Both on the computer and from other devices, as we explain below:

Use Plex on other devices (Smart TV)

This is precisely the feature that makes Plex such an interesting resource. It can be used on tablets, mobiles and other devices. The way to do it in each one of them is similar, with the differences of each one. It basically consists of downloading the Plex app and linking it to our server.

How to connect Plex with a Smart TV

smart tv plex

How to connect Plex with a Smart TV

The process is practically the same as the one used to link other devices such as tablets or smartphones. There are only a few differences. To perform the connection between Plex and a Smart TV you have to execute these two simple steps:

  • To begin, we must access our Smart TV, go to the app store and find the Plex app. You just have to download it, which will automatically be stored in the library.
  • Then you have to open the library (before you will have to log in with the account of this service, the same that we will have used to create the server) and enter our credentials user and password.

This is all there is to it. After this we will be inside Plex and we will be able to see all the content that it offers you from our smart TV. To access our own content that we keep on our server, you have to go to the option of «+ More».

Connection problems and solutions

Fix Failed Auto Detection of Videos

Although the process is very simple, it can sometimes present some problems. One of the most common occurs when Plex does not detect our content. It can be a bit irritating, but it is an easy issue to fix.

To do this, we will first go to the web service and enter the folder where the content that we cannot view is located. We will click on the icon of the three dots that is in the folder in question. A series of options will be displayed below, including those that interest us: "Find files in the library". Only with this we will force Plex to run an analysis of the local folder, showing all its updated content.

Another very common problem is failed auto detection of videos. Also in this case the way to solve it is simple:

  • In the versión web, you have to enter the binder where the video is hosted and click on the pencil icon that appears when we hover the mouse cursor over it. From there we can edit all the information regarding the video in question.
  • The one that interests us is that of "Poster", in which the identifying image appears. Just drag it to make it appear as available to change the cover.

Share content

There is the option of share content of our multimedia server with our friends. In this way, they too can watch our videos from their own Smart TV. To do this, we will have to access the web version and follow these steps:

  1. First we will click on the three point icon and we will select the option "Share".
  2. Then all you have to do is ask the email used in Plex or the username to our friends, to enter them in this option.
  3. Once this is done, a window is displayed with all the folders. select the ones you want to share.

Thus, after a few minutes of waiting (it will depend on the amount and type of content), our contacts will automatically have access to our server and the previously chosen content.

What if I don't have a Smart TV at home?

Not everyone has a smart TV at home, but that doesn't have to be an obstacle to enjoying Plex content on other devices and media. At the end of the day we are talking about a multiplatform service. And that puts before us many and varied possibilities.

So if your idea is have Plex on the home TV, but you don't have a Smart TV, these are others alternatives:

  • Amazon Fire TV.
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast with Google TV.
  • NvidiaShield.
  • Xiaomi MiStick.

Conclusion

As a summary, we can define Plex as the perfect tool for have our own Netflix at home. A way to have all our audiovisual content perfectly organized and classified to be able to enjoy it comfortably in our living room. Through our own Smart TV or with any of the aforementioned alternatives.


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