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What Plex Client Hardware is Right for You?

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written by Craig July 19, 2014

Are you looking for Plex client hardware to compliment your new installation of Plex media server? Then look no further than this list I have assembled containing the most up-to-date hardware available to use today. Installing the media server is all well and good but without a client to stream to your files will just sit there waiting to be played. Unlike XBMC, Plex requires a central server which acts as a streaming workhorse for your home network. [Read: How to install XBMC on Ubuntu]

Plex Client Hardware List

The precise reason why I like Plex is the ability to extend it relatively easily by adding more clients to the network. The following 6 pieces of hardware will make a great addition to any Plex media network, some of them you may already have.

Chromecast

Chromecast Plex Client Hardware Image

Chromecast

The newest in the current line up of Plex client hardware, the Chromecast from Google offers users an affordable of adding Plex to their current TV. The Chromecast itself can bought directly from Google or Amazon for around $35 which is great value if you don’t have access to a smart TV.

Now TV

Now TV Box Components

Now TV Box Components

If you’re in America you may not have heard of the Now TV box because of it’s UK only release, by the television company Sky. Essentially a re-branded Roku Box, the Now TV Box offers a very affordable way of running a piece of Plex client hardware. It costs only £10 or roughly $16 on Amazon, Sky or most UK electrical retailers. [Read: Free Movies and TV shows bittorrent streaming with Popcorn Time]

Subscription packages are offered by Sky which allow access to more content from the Now TV Box, but at a price. The default apps allow access to various on demand services from BBC, ITV, Channel4 and Channel5.

Roku

Roku Box Image

Roku Plex Client Hardware

Roku has been producing streaming boxes for years and has various pieces of hardware suitable for Plex. The Plex app is available to install directly from the Roku channel store making it quick and convenient to set up your Plex client hardware. [Read: How to Listen to Google Music on XBMC?]

Apple TV

Apple TV Image

Apple TV

Installing Plex on Apple TV isn’t as straight forward as the other devices and requires installation of third-party software, as described in the PlexConnect blog post on the official Plex blog. Apple TV does not have an official app available to install from the store, so this work around is the only way of creating a Plex client hardware. [Read: The Ultimate Guide to Raspberry Pi OpenELEC Media Center Setup]

Android

Nexus Tablet Image

Google Nexus Android Tablet

The official Plex Android app is available to purchase from the Google Play store for $4.99. The app makes streaming from your Plex Media Server a breeze and most smartphones, tables, and even Amazon Fire TV can support it. Your media is converted on the fly so there are no worries of incompatibility on your Android device.

Since the market share of Android is so huge, meaning a lot of folks have one, most people will find using their smartphone the cheapest way of setting up Plex client hardware for streaming. [Read: 5 Must have Android apps for HTPC or Home Server control]

iOS

iPhone Plex Client Hardware

iPhone Running iOS System

If you’re an iPhone user then the Plex app from the store makes streaming to your iOS device easy. This is a great little app where user feedback is taken seriously and any bugs in the code are ironed out rather quickly. [Read: How to install Qouch app on iOS devices to manage your Media downloads?]

Conclusion

Creating a streaming client for Plex doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Your Plex media server will be doing most of the work, so the requirements of the client hardware can be very low and you can get by with not having the best Plex client hardware. Setting up a Plex network in your home is very easy, all it takes is a few Roku boxes for connecting TV’s and your Android phone for wireless streaming. A Plex web client was introduced to use and manage your system from any desktop machine via remote access. Let me know in the comments below if you currently use Plex and which Plex client hardware you use as Smart Home Beginner will be writing more about this great platform in the future.

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9 comments

Jesse July 19, 2014 - 7:42 pm

Currently using Plex Media Server streaming to my Nexus 5 and Raspberry Pi running Rasplex.

Reply
Dominik Pich July 21, 2014 - 4:26 pm

disappointing article. i’d have thought you’d at least briefly touch on the pros and cons of the different solution. This was a bit too shallow im afraid

Reply
Anand July 21, 2014 - 6:48 pm

Thanks for your comment and I am sorry that this did not touch on things that you wanted to know. More articles are on the way.

Reply
Christopher July 21, 2014 - 4:53 pm

Ubuntu media server, with chromecast & Android tablets. Best couple of ££ ever spent.

Reply
Doneld July 21, 2014 - 4:59 pm

I run the Plex for Windows 8 app on my HTPC with Windows 8. Excellent front end, plenty of horsepower for 1080 mkv files that the other dedicated boxes seem to choke on.

Reply
DaddyGeek July 21, 2014 - 6:25 pm

FYI If you have an AppleTV 1st Gen, you can run OpenElec on it. You can test it with the USB boot version and if happy you can then install it to the internal hard drive.

Reply
Craig July 23, 2014 - 4:48 am

That’s good to know, I need to experiment more with Apple TV.

Reply
Hansa July 22, 2014 - 5:06 am

I’m running a Netgear readynas PRO 6 with PLEX server installed and streams to several clients around my house.
Works perfectly!
I also have a HiMedia Q5 medaplayer that i bring along on my travels to acces my PLEX server at home.

Hans Åström, Sweden
PLEXPASS Lifetime user.

Reply
tPat July 25, 2014 - 10:46 pm

I use RasPlex on my Rev B Pi, though it’s kinda an awkward setup, I have it hooked up to my old secondary monitor, so I had to use a 3.5mm audio jack to get sound out using my iHome, I also use an old TV Tuner so I have the ability to use my IR remote, I also use the Samsung Smart TV App and my PS3.

I have plans, when I have the money to spare, to build an HTPC, I’ll probably have it be the one running my Plex server rather then my main machine, so i’ll be getting an i5 or an i3, I won’t have a GPU, I’ll probably get as many WD Reds 4TB drives as I can fit in my case pick, which is going to be either a HAF 915F or HAF XB.

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