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An Ideal Home Media Setup

An Ideal Home Media Setup

I love movies and have a bunch of them but I didn’t want to always have to go upstairs and grab a DVD/Bluray each time I needed access to my movies or any other media that I have so I began searching for an ideal home media setup. I think I’ve found it and figured I’d write about it.

Everything  is moving towards streaming so of course you need a streaming device on all your home tv’s. You can do this with a Smart TV(all TV’s are smart now, although the independent streaming devices are usually much better), Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, XBox One etc… I went with Roku it’s one of the best rated streaming devices and supports numerous apps. You can get a  simple Roku Stick for 49.99 at Best Buy. The sticks are also very convenient for travel because you can stick them right into the HDMI port at your hotel and get access to all your streaming apps.

Now that you have your streaming device what app should you use to host your media at home. After doing some research I went with Plex  it has apps on most streaming devices and will essentially turn your movie collection into a Netflix like interface. Plex is setup in your traditional client server setup. You’ll need to run Plex server on your laptop/desktop/NAS device. Your media should be accessible from the machine that is hosting the Plex server. Plex server will provide you with a Web Interface that you’ll be able to add libraries to representing the directories your media is stored at. Assuming your movies have appropriate names(i.e. a title representing the movie) Plex will find the movie and all the necssary metadata for you. For optimal performance you should follow the suggested naming format:

Once you have the Plex server running all you’ll need to do is install the Plex client on your favorite streaming device. The Plex client then displays all your media in a well organized format for your viewing pleasure.

With this setup you’ll be able to sit anywhere in your home and have access to all your media. With the right setup you can even have access to your home media remotely or share your home media with family and friends through Plex.