Plex is easy to use. However, if you really want to become a power user of Plex, you need to know these tips and tricks.
Plex is amazing software. Simply put, it allows you to stream your media anywhere in the world, on any device, whenever you want. But there is so much more to it.
Today we’re going to show you some of the best Plex tips and tricks guaranteed to help boost your experience.
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1. Remember to activate the DLNA server
Many Plex users like that the app can act like a regular DLNA server.
For those who don’t know, the DNLA feature allows you to view Plex content on other DLNA-enabled TVs and devices in your home, even if the official Plex app itself isn’t installed.
Unfortunately, the feature is not enabled by default. Plex’s decision to turn it off is based on security.
Remember, if you enable DNLA, any DNLA device in your home can watch your videos. If you have young children at home, the option may not be suitable.
To enable DNLA, open the Plex server and navigate to Parameters & Parameters & DNLA .
2. Bilingual film libraries
Did you know that you can link multiple folders to a Plex library? This has many advantages, the most obvious of which are probably bilingual film libraries.
Say, for example, that you are fluent in English and Spanish. Chances are you will have movies with English audio, some with dual audio and some only in Spanish.
Organize your folders like this:
- Folder one : english
- Folder two : bilingual
- Folder three : spanish
Then create two libraries, one for English and one for Spanish.
The English library can extract the contents of folders one and two with the language set to English, while the Spanish library extracts from folders two and three with the language set to Spanish.
If your family and friends speak only one of the two languages, they can browse the appropriate library and see only the content they could watch.
3. Watch live TV for free
A growing number of apps are offering free live TV. Services such as Pluto and Stirr broadcast well-known channels in a wide range of genres and have become a staple download for cord cutters.
But Plex also offers a number of free channels that you can stream right from the app. Some of the free TV channels on Plex include Reuters, Euronews, IGN, Fubo Sports Network, Edge Sport, KidoodleTV, The Pet Collective, etc.
Additionally, if you purchase a Plex Pass (more on that shortly), you can also plug in a TV antenna and use Plex to watch and record live channels like NBC, PBS, CBS, and FOX.
The availability of live TV means that Plex is able to become a one-stop-shop for all your TV entertainment. You will have to skip fewer apps and therefore enjoy a more streamlined viewing experience.
4. Use the Plex file naming scheme
Okay, hands up, how many of you have movie and music libraries with no rhyme or reason for their naming structure?
This is already a bad idea from an organizational standpoint, but Plex amplifies the problem.
Why? Because Plex uses scanners and metadata agents to automatically pull episode details, cover art, and other related details into your library. It gives you a richer experience and makes it easier to navigate the app.
5. Create multiple Plex servers
It’s a common misconception that you can only have one server per home setup. You can have as many as you want. In fact, using only one server is not safe.
What if you’re away from home with your laptop (which acts as a server) and your family wants to watch something? Or what if you have all your music on your laptop, but don’t want to keep hundreds of gigabytes of movies on the same machine?
6. Focus on the processor for the best Plex experience
Experienced Plex users may find themselves in the market for a new computer and will want to make sure that the machine they buy can maximize their Plex experience. The answer is to focus your research on the processor (CPU) rather than the graphics card (GPU).
Tests show that Plex hardly uses any GPUs, but a faster processor can make a huge difference.
7. Cut the cord, buy the Plex Pass
At $ 120, one Plex Pass at life doesn’t seem cheap, but how much does a month’s cable subscription cost? Exactly.
If you’re one of the growing number of people turning to Plex for a cord cutter solution, the investment is well worth it, especially if you have a large family.
Indeed, a Plex Pass unlocks a lot of interesting features, including:
- Mobile sync for offline reading
- Parental control
- Multiple users and managed accounts
- Wireless sync of your phone / tablet content
- Access to Plex’s music app, Plexamp
- A new dashboard interface
- The ability to skip intros on TV shows and movies
- Record Live TV
- Support for live TV channels
A Plex Pass is also available on a monthly ($ 5 / month) or annual ($ 40 / year) basis.
Plex comes with its own transcoder. Simply put, this means that it will convert all the media in your libraries to a format compatible with the client device.
It sounds great, but transcoding is not without its drawbacks. For example, this will put serious strain on your CPU, fast-paced movie scenes can become pixelated, and sometimes you’ll run into weird audio or visual bugs where transcoding went wrong.
The solution is to pre-encode all the videos in a format compatible with the devices you use. There are plenty of free online video converters that will get the job done. An example is WinX Video Converter .
Remember that you can have multiple copies of the same video. Therefore, you might have a version specifically optimized for your iPad, one for your Roku, and so on.
9. Connect to other users’ servers
If your friends and family also have large collections of TV shows and movies on Plex, you can connect to their servers so you can watch the content on your own Plex app. It’s one of the best things to do with Plex once you’re up and running.
Before you can log in, you must add the other user as a friend. To get started, open the web app and click on your profile icon. Then select Users and sharing , then click Add a friend . You’ll need to know the other person’s email address or Plex username.
Wait for the other person to accept, then you’ll see their server in the server drop-down menu.
10. Use your phone as a remote control
The official Plex app for Android and iOS can double as a TV remote.
To activate the smartphone remote, open the Plex app, expand the menu in the left panel, and tap Open Remote.
Your phone and the Plex app must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network for this to work.
11. Use Plex keyboard shortcuts
Like most apps, Plex offers a host of keyboard shortcuts. If you’re a regular Plex user, learning a few of the most essentials will make the app faster to use and navigate.
Some of the more useful shortcuts include:
- Shift + F11 / Cmd + CTRL + F : full screen mode
- P : play / pause
- X : stop reading
- Left arrow : go back 10 seconds
- Right arrow : advance 10 seconds
- L : Change subtitles
- Alt (+ Shift) + A : Increase / decrease audio delay
- + : Turn up the volume
- – : Decrease the volume
You can see a full list of Plex keyboard shortcuts on the Plex official website .
12. Use a Chromecast
Plex offers apps for all major streaming devices and operating systems, including Android TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Fire Stick.
However, if you have a Chromecast, you don’t have to worry about installing Plex on every platform. You can simply install it on your phone and stream content to any screen that a Chromecast is connected to.
To stream a video, just tap the stream button on the top right corner of the mobile app.
Even more Plex tips and tricks
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive. Among other Plex tips that deserve a mention, you need to make sure you download the best Plex subtitles and use Plex tags and collections to organize your content.