Build Your Own Beast Plex Server. You Need to Build Your Own Beast Plex Server Setup With Plex Media Server, you can watch Netflix or stream Hulu just like you do. Now you can easily stream or share your movie or music collection. No need to fuss. Just pour all your media on the server to any device. However, setting up a Plex server is easier said than done. Build your own Beast Plex server, especially when you have many different devices acting as Plex servers.
Build Your Own Beast Plex Server Learn all the products you need to set up a Plex server. There are many options for this. However, this is only a product guide. If you need help installing your Plex software, check out our Plex support page or visit our sister site How-To Geek for a detailed Plex installation guide.
The most important part of thePlex server is the computer that manages your media files and runs the Plex software. This computer requires a wired Internet connection and operates 24/7, so it needs to be small and energy efficient. Sure, you can save a lot of money by turning your old PC or laptop into a Plex server, but such machines take up a lot of space and consume a lot of power.
Which operating system should I use?
Plex works with Windows, Linux, macOS, and dedicated NAS systems such as Synology Diskstation. However, Linux is ideal because it is low maintenance and energy efficient. If you’re familiar with Linux, try a non-GUI distribution to save computer resources and maximize performance. The NAS solution is a bit tricky. Some people use NAS drives to store and manage media alongside their Plex servers, while others do their entire server and all processes on a single NAS drive.
Consolidating everything onto a single NAS drive makes your Plex server smaller and easier to manage. Still, a NAS drive powerful enough to handle the demands of Plex is a bit expensive.
All machines built in the last few years must meet the Plex hardware requirements, which require an i3 processor and 2GB of RAM. Sure, you can enjoy better performance with a more powerful system. However, most Plex enthusiasts recommend an i5 processor and 4GB (or more) of RAM. A more powerful approach is perfect for 4K streaming, simultaneous streaming on multiple devices, or remote outdoor streaming.
Hardware Requirement-Build Your Own Beast Plex Server
These hardware requirements get a little vague when building a Plex server out of NAS drives, Raspberry Pi, or other non-traditional solutions. If you plan to run your Plex server on a NAS drive, check our detailed Plex NAS compatibility chart to find a drive powerful enough for your needs. The Raspberry Pi 4 and the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro can stream Plex in 4K, so if you want a small, cheap, PC-less Plex server, go for them.
Should I use it? If you’re completely new to the Plex, we recommend starting with a small, inexpensive device like the Raspberry Pi 4 or NVIDIA Shield TV Pro. These devices are 4K capable and very popular, so there are plenty of resources to help you get started. The y are also easy to reuse and resell if you lose interest in Plex.
PC-Based Plex-Build Your Own Beast Plex Server
A PC-based Plex server offers greater flexibility and power than a Raspberry Pi, NVIDIA Shield, or NAS device, especially if your computer has expandable components. Again, you can use any computer that meets Plex’s hardware requirements, but mini PCs like the Intel NUC are the gold standard because of their small footprint, power efficiency, and low price. Build Your Own Beast Plex Server The
Intel NUC does not come with RAM or OS. Most enthusiasts prefer this because aftermarket RAM is not expensive, and the Linux OS is free. However, if you don’t use Linux or want to connect your components to the motherboard, a pre-built Windows 10 device such as a Lenovo ThinkCentre or HP Prodesk is probably your best bet. But what if you want to do it all on a NAS drive? NAS drives don’t have the performance or reusability of a PC, but they are very power efficient and can help you achieve a clean install.
NAS drives also make it easy to back up multiple copies of your Plex library. If the Plex accepts a NAS device on its compatibility chart; it should meet all your needs. I have just one quick tip. Don’t buy a NAS with only 1 or 2 drive bays. NAS devices with four or more inlets, like Synology DiskStation DS920+, can store multiple copies of your media library, enhancing security and maximizing available storage space on your device. In addition, adding a few drive bays can make your NAS-based Plex server more useful.
Storage Space in the Media Library
Unless your Plex server has a large amount of onboard storage, you’ll need an external drive to store your movies, shows, music, and other media files. Luckily, you don’t need an expensive SSD for this task. Build Your Own Beast Plex Server Inexpensive hard drives are great for storing Plex media and won’t affect streaming quality. What disks should I use for my media? We recommend using a NAS hard drive such as the WD Red Plus for your Plex setup (or any other server setup). Since the device’s only job is downloading media files to Plex servers, the slowdown does not affect the streaming quality.
Unfortunately, connecting this type of hard drive to his Plex server via USB requires an external drive enclosure (unless the server is a PC with open drive bays or NAS drives). Hard drive and external drive enclosure, you can use consumer-grade external hard drives like the WD Passport instead. Should I use a
SSD as a boot drive?
While there is no reason to store media on an SSD, there are advantages to using an SSD as your Plex media server system drive. As with any computer, your Plex server should boot faster with an SSD system drive and experience less lag when navigating your library. Build Your Own Beast Plex Server If you’re using an older computer to run his Plex server, consider replacing your boot drive with a cheaper, smaller-capacity SSD like the Kingston A400.
What about the fuse?
If you can afford it, the contents of this spare drive use your operating system’s built-in backup utility, or you can use it in Linux to achieve the same result. The NAS drives are specially designed for RAID backup, and as we mentioned earlier, 4-bay NAS drives are much more secure than 2-bay drives and offer more usable storage space. You’ll need to play around with the Synology RAID calculator to find a setting that suits you.
Video Files Filling the Library-Build Your Own Beast Plex Server
The Plex server is worthless without a media library. In a perfect world, you could buy movies and shows from the Plex app and download them directly to your Plex media servers. But we don’t live in the same world, so we need to get video files from DRM-free distributors, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs.
Build Your Own Beast Plex Server
The Plex server is a popular solution for streaming music, but downloading and ripping music is such a simple task that we won’t cover it here. It is not possible to purchase digital copies of Plex movies. These distributors lock their content with DRM. So, you can’t play these files without permission from the distributor’s network or playback software. You can remove DRM from most media files, but it isn’t easy. Also, paying a company for DRM-protected files is frustrating.
Vimeo On Demand, Drafthouse Films, and some of his smaller VHX-powered sites are the only notable platforms selling DRM-free movies. However, these distributors usually sell indie movies, so mainstream films must rip from DVDs and Blu-rays. If you’re seeing for something in the public domain. It may be available as a free download from the Internet Archive. Find DRM-free movie downloads elsewhere.
Ripping DVD & Blu-ray-Build Your Own Beast Plex Server
Discs Ripping discs are the best way to fill up your Plex library legally. DVDs and Blu-rays are easy and cheap to find. Especially, if you’re browsing the Facebook Marketplace for deals or sifting through the dusty shelves of his local Goodwill. Building your own Beast Plex server and sitting down to grab movies from disk is a tedious extra step. Better than nothing.
If your PC does not have an internal drive, you must purchase an external DVD or Blu-ray drive plugged into your computer’s USB port. Once connected, you will need software to rip movies from discs. We recommend using HandBrake to maintain the quality of the ripped files. Ripping DVDs with a Handbrake is pretty easy, but ripping Blu-rays can be a little more complicated. Check out How-To Geek’s detailed Blu-ray ripping guide.
What is transcoding?
Media files are not universal, and some devices in your home may be unable to play certain file formats. It allows Plex to transcode media on the fly and convert video files to formats suitable for target devices. If your server has a CPU that meets Plex’s hardware requirements. You shouldn’t experience lag or transcoding buffers during normal use. However, streaming videos to multiple devices that require transcoding simultaneously can cause problems.
If your Plex servers don’t have enough processing power. You can avoid video transcoding entirely by converting all media files to MP4. MP4 is the “universal” file format recommended by Plex. Note that transcoding issues are rare with normal streaming. However, plex enthusiasts are advised to use his MKV file format to preserve the quality of movies ripped from Blu-Ray.
It should point out that a Plex Pass subscription unlocks a dedicated hardware transcoding setup that uses your computer’s GPU (rather than CPU) to transcode your videos. If you plan to do a lot of remote streaming that requires video transcoding to reduce stream bandwidth, you should use this hardware encoding setting to decline the load on your server’s CPU. Graphics cards integrated into Intel chips are good for this task, but cheaper graphics cards like the GTX 1030 are also good.
Is there a charge for Plex Pass?
Plex is free to download but not free to use. You must pay a one-time fee for each device registered with Plex or a monthly fee for the premium Plex Pass service. However, the benefit of Plex Pass isn’t skipping device registration fees; it’s unlocking exclusive features like live TV and DVR, offline mobile downloads, hardware transcoding, and optional content restrictions so your kids can play R. It is to prevent viewing of rated content.
Do I have to pay for a Plex Pass to build my own Beast Plex Server? If you only want to stream to one or two devices. The answer is probably no. But a Plex Pass is essential if you want to share your library with family and friends. Hardware transcoding can put a lot of strain on your servers. And Plex Pass’s extensive features for families make the service look like a serious streaming platform.
Plex Pass costs just $5 a month. It is the same fee you normally pay to register your device with Plex. So even if you don’t intend to use it much, I think it’s a service worth checking out.