Get The Very Best Media Servers and Media Streamers
To enhance your home movie enjoyments,what you need is a reliable media server and a media streamer. Here we will list the best Media server and media streams for you, divided into two parts:
Part I. Best Home Media Server- PLEX
| Part II. Best Media Streamers
Part I. Best Home Media Server- PLEX
Possibly the most popular media server software out there, Plex offers an easy setup and a highly flexible system for managing your media.
Plex can be setup on any hard drive, ideally a NAS (network-attached storage device). Setting up your Plex server is a largely automated process, and getting a stream set up on the other end is usually as simple as downloading the free app for your chosen platform, be it a smart TV, web browser, XBox One, PlayStation, or Apple TV. Remote access is ready out of the box, and does not require any port forwarding or extra setup.
One of the first things you'll notice about Plex is that its menus are beautiful on every platform. The menus were fast and easy to navigate. If you have multiple terabytes of media content with metadata, cover art, etc., it will only populate this information as fast as your connection permits.
Aside from this folder-specific issue, the menus are beautiful, fast, and easy to navigate from every platform we tested. Plex transforms your library, adding metadata like cover art and IMDB results to enhance your viewing experience. Like other options, Plex also transcodes on the fly and automatically adjusts its performance and quality for available bandwidth.
Plex makes hosting your own media server incredibly easy, and the extra visual enhancements to your media collection piece together an experience that will surpass the quality of most streaming services, provided you've collected the content to populate it. An all-around solid choice, Plex is a top contender for your media storage solutions.
- Fast and intuitive user interface
- Easy setup
- Can provide cover art, music videos, trailers, and more
- Some features require a subscription or lifetime pass
- Menus might not handle large media collections well (depends on connection quality)
- Format limits for direct playback(See Plex Supported & Unsupported Media Formats)
Guides on Plex:
Play H.265/HEVC on Plex
Play AVI on Plex
View MKV via Plex
Convert TiVo to Plex
Play M2TS with Plex
Play WTV files via Plex
Open MPG files in Plex
Besides Plex, PS3 Media Server, Subsonic, Serviio and PlayOn are all goodl media servers.
Part II. Best Media Streamers
Roku Premiere+: Best for streaming in 4K and HDR
There isn't much streaming content in 4K yet, and even less in HDR, but the Premiere+ can get to almost all of it. If you have a 4K HDR TV and want to pair it with the beat in high-quality streaming, this is your box.
Guides on Roku:
Play MKV on Roku
Convert Vob to Roku
Play AVI on Roku
Apple TV (2015): Best streaming device for Apple users
If you've already invested in iTunes TV shows, movies and music, not to mention games on your iPhone or iPad, the updated Apple TV is worth the extra money. Siri voice commands and a best-in-class remote seal the deal.
Guides on Apple TV:
Play WMV files on Apple TV 4/3/2
Play 4K Video on the Apple TV
Google Chromecast (2015): Best value for phone-centric users
If you can watch it on your phone or tablet or computer, the dirt-cheap Chromecast can probably put it on your TV. The downside? There's no separate remote, so you'll need your phone or tablet or computer to use it.
Guides on Chromecast:
Play MKV/VOB/AVI on Chromecast
Amazon Fire TV (2015): Best Amazon streamer with Ethernet
Fire TV devices push Amazon stuff pretty hard, but maybe that's OK with you, or you like the games, or you want a cheap 4K streamer, or your Wi-Fi isn't great. Here's your box.
Guides on Fire TV:
Play VOB on Amazon Fire TV
Play MKV on Amazon Fire TV
Nvidia Shield Android TV: Best for gamers and tech nerds
This expensive niche product that earns massive geek cred for its best-in-class gaming chops, ability to stream 4K with HDR, and most of all its proficiency with file-friendly apps like Plex and Kodi.