Plex Media Server on SHIELD: Your Content, Your Way

By NVIDIA - Mon, Nov 28, 2016

So you have a large collection of movies and other content backed up for posterity. For many people, that’s as good as locking it away in a safe. The thing is, what’s the point of “locking it away” if you’re not gonna access it? Enter Plex! Simply put, Plex is one of the easiest ways to access and enjoy your content on NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV.

Introducing Plex Media Server on the NVIDIA SHIELD Pro!

Today, we’re excited to tell you about the all new Plex Media Server and the NVIDIA SHIELD Pro. We’ve been fans of Plex since we launched SHIELD, as the combination is a cord cutter’s dream come true. Powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra X1 processor, SHIELD delivers the best Plex experience for TV, enabling you to enjoy 4K video playback, rich Dolby surround sound, voice search, private listening, and more. Now, with the addition of Plex Media Server on SHIELD, the experience has been taken to a whole new level.

With our next software update in a couple of weeks, SHIELD will get a major upgrade that includes Plex Media Server. With this upgrade, SHIELD becomes the first smart TV device to support a more streamlined, mainstream Plex experience - one that combines the Plex media player and the Plex media server into a single, pre-installed, easy to use app. Combined with SHIELD Pro’s 500 GBs of internal storage and 1080p hardware-accelerated transcode, Plex fans will enjoy a seamless, all-in-one experience that enables them to more easily access their media collection.

Plex Media Server on SHIELD Pro

SHIELD makes it easy to enjoy your media anywhere thanks to Plex Media Server. Where before, users had to setup a separate PC or NAS device to use Plex on SHIELD or any other mobile device, now, with Plex Media Server, all you need is a SHIELD Pro! Getting setup is super-simple. All you do is either copy your media to SHIELD’s internal storage, plug in a USB hard drive, or even connect your NAS to your SHIELD and boom! It’s a media server.

Speaking of NAS devices, while they often offer inexpensive media storage options, they typically lack the processing power to transcode in HD, ultimately negatively impacting your Plex experience. Not so when using when Plex Media Server on SHIELD. With that NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor and support for 1080p hardware transcoding, using Plex Media Server on SHIELD means you’ll experience top-notch performance, whether you serve content directly from SHIELD or a mounted NAS.

Plex Media Server on SHIELD Pro

Another great thing about Plex Media Server running on NVIDIA SHIELD Pro is that it lets you enjoy your videos, shows and movies, music, photos, and more on any device in your home as well as outside of your network thanks to remote access. This means that anyone with a mobile device can access and enjoy your library of content from any phone, tablet, or PC. Additionally, SHIELD Pro can handle multiple streams at the same time. This means that one person can watch a 4K movie on Netflix, while someone else watches a show on a tablet somewhere else, even remotely!

Plex Media Server on SHIELD Pro

With Plex Media Server built-in, SHIELD Pro is the perfect way to enjoy all your media whether at home or on the move.

How Does Plex Work?

Plex is an intelligently crafted, centralized home media playback system that can serve as the central hub to stream your media to SHIELD via the Plex Media Server software that is installed on the host computer.

The Plex Media Server is available on pretty much any platform imaginable. Whether you’re a Windows fanboy or you prefer OS X or any one of the many flavors of Linux, you’re good to go. Plex Media Server also works with any manner of NAS devices. (NAS stands for “Network-attached storage.” These are essentially file-level computer data storage servers or devices that users connect to computers via a local network.)

How Plex works is that it will organize all of the videos, music, and photos from your computer’s personal media library and let you stream them directly to your SHIELD.

Plex presents detailed information about your personal content — such as genre, original artwork, ratings, a synopsis, and runtime — and has a host of other features to enhance your experience in the living room:

  • Full-quality streaming, thanks to SHIELD’s high-performance video decode.
  • An “on-deck” area for content you’ve added most recently.
  • Resume where you left off.
  • Multi-user support: Each person can maintain his or her own “watched” list.
  • A movie-going experience: Add trailers for upcoming movies before your main event.

Plex Channels for Even More Content Streaming

Another cool feature is Plex Channels, which lets you access free and complete content streamed from popular sites across the Internet. Examples include CNN, MSNBC, Comedy Central, The CW, NFL Network, as well as popular internet content from sources such as Vimeo, IGN, and FunnyorDie. Plus, the content is often streamed commercial-free!

What Makes SHIELD The Best Plex Box?

Plex on SHIELD. The best media streaming experience.

Data as of April 6, 2016

1. Performance measured using GFXBench (T-Rex) benchmark relative to Apple TV (2012). 2. Amount of storage for personal content. Note: Portion of storage occupied by system software. 3. Based on theoretical peak speeds. 4. Headphone jack support on remote or controller for private listening. 5. Native console-class games like Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, War Thunder, The Talos Principle, Doom 3, and Half-Life 2.

1. Best Performance!

What differentiates the Plex experience on SHIELD Android TV is its snappy UI navigation and instant playback response. This comes thanks to the powerful NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor, which delivers performance that's better than Apple TV (2015), better than Roku 4, and better than Fire TV (2015).** Also, SHIELD was the first streaming media player to support Plex at 4K resolution.

2. Best Out of Box Experience!

As an added benefit, the activated Plex app ($4.99) is included at no charge on SHIELD Android TV. This means that customers can turn on their SHIELD and they will have access to the latest greatest version of Plex ready to open on their home screen at all times.

3. Best Features and Functionality!

SHIELD’s Android TV based Plex implementation is arguably the most updated version of Plex available in the market. SHIELD has also been optimized to support all Plex features - including surround passthrough, as well as having support for most common codecs used by Plex users such as H.264, H.265, MPEG-4, MPEG-2, MJPEG as well as VP9. Finally, SHIELD controller supports a headset jack so you have option to enjoy your Plex content without disturbing others in your family.

4. Best Console Quality Gaming

Most households typically have someone who enjoys playing games in their family. SHIELD is built to also provide the most compelling gaming experience to it’s customers. Whether you enjoy mainstream games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Minecraft: Story Mode or Crossy Road; to console class titles like Borderlands: The Pre Sequel, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance; to classics like Half-Life 2 or Portal - SHIELD is unique in that it can play them all. And SHIELD offers customers exclusive access to its cloud-based Game Streaming Service - GeForce NOW - that lets users get access to latest and greatest titles for $8/month.

When it comes to using Plex, it’s tough to beat the Plex experience on SHIELD. Of course, if you don’t already own one, be sure to pick up an NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV today!

Related Articles:

The Ultimate Cord Cutting Guide

Best Android Apps for NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV

Tegra X1: The Powerful Processor Behind SHIELD

*To stream local media to SHIELD, you must have Plex Media Server installed and running on your home PC or NAS.

**As measured with GFXBench T-Rex benchmark.