PLEX Media Server on SHIELD

Answer ID 4171
Published 06/27/2016 04:32 PM
Updated 09/15/2016 10:39 AM

PLEX Media Server on SHIELD


WHAT IS PLEX?
Plex is an application that lets you stream your media anywhere, on any device. It comes preinstalled for free on SHIELD, making it both a media server and a media player. This means you can enjoy the media currently located on your SHIELD device, stream your media from SHIELD to another device, or stream your media from another server to SHIELD. Your entire media collection is presented in a rich, easy-to-navigate interface.

Just install the Plex client app on a viewing device like your phone, tablet, or PC to enjoy all your content anywhere. Here are some examples of things you can do:

  • Stream videos from the SHIELD in your living room to your phone on the train ride home from work.
  • Stream a TV show or music from the SHIELD in your living room to your tablet in bed.
  • Share photos from your San Francisco-based SHIELD with Grandma on her phone in France.
  • Stream movies from your friend's PC in New York to your SHIELD Android TV at home in San Francisco.

HOW DO I ACCESS PLEX MEDIA SERVER ON SHIELD?
Plex Media Server on SHIELD is integrated with the Plex media player app already on SHIELD in the Apps row. Simply open the Plex app and log in. Advanced settings for Plex Media Server can be accessed from any browser at https://app.plex.tv/web/app.

WHY IS SHIELD ANDROID TV THE BEST SMART TV DEVICE FOR USING PLEX?
SHIELD isn't just the only smart TV device that's a Plex media server; it's also a Plex media player. This means it provides the best experience, with support for 4K Ultra HD resolution, hardware acceleration for the top media codecs, and a snappy 10-foot user interface.

SHIELD excels as a media server. It's always on, equipped with a high-performance processor capable of 1080p video transcode, low-power, cost-effective, and located in the heart of your home. SHIELD can also accelerate your NAS with support for 1080p video transcode. Just mount your NAS to SHIELD and instantly start sharing your content anywhere.

IS PLEX MEDIA SERVER ONLY AVAILABLE ON SHIELD PRO?
No. Plex Media Server comes preinstalled on both SHIELD 16 GB and SHIELD Pro 500 GB. Because SHIELD Pro has 500 GB of built-in storage for your media collection, it's the optimal choice for your Plex Media Server. Note that Plex recommends that you maintain sufficient free space on your internal storage for video transcoding, roughly equal to the size of the source file of the transcode (this can average around 4 to 5 GB for a full-length HD movie).

HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Simply copy your media collection to SHIELD's internal storage, attach a USB storage drive, or mount a NAS. To copy your media collection to SHIELD Pro's 500 GB internal hard drive, go to Settings > Device > Storage & reset > Access SHIELD folders on PC, and turn this feature on. You'll be presented with a user name and password that you can then use on a networked PC to access SHIELD folders. Then, just drag content from your PC to SHIELD folders.

SHIELD also lets you attach either a USB hard drive or a network storage device (NAS). To attach a NAS, go to Settings > Device > Storage & reset > Network storage. Select and log in to your network attached storage. To add folders from an attached NAS or USB drive to Plex, access your Plex Media Server settings from any browser at https://app.plex.tv/web/app.

WHAT IS PLEX PASS?
The Plex Pass subscription gives you a ton of premium features, like syncing media to the cloud, syncing media to your mobile for offline access, and automatically pushing mobile photos to your Plex Media Server. Plus, there are premium music libraries, parental controls, and much more. Learn more about Plex Pass here.

WHY SHOULD I USE PLEX MEDIA SERVER ON SHIELD IF I ALREADY HAVE PLEX ON A NAS SERVER?
NAS devices offer inexpensive media storage, but often have processing-power limitations and demand content transcoding, which can have a significant impact on your experience. This is where Plex Media Server on SHIELD shines. The NVIDIA Tegra® X1 processor supports 1080p hardware transcoding. Simply mount your NAS to SHIELD and let SHIELD do the processing necessary to ensure smooth video playback.

DO I NEED TO BE CONNECTED VIA ETHERNET TO USE PLEX MEDIA SERVER?
No. SHIELD supports dual-band AC Wi-Fi, so Plex Media Server also performs great on Wi-Fi. However, if you're mounting a NAS for primary streaming content, it's recommended to use an Ethernet connection from your NAS to your router and from your SHIELD to your router. This will greatly reduce the traffic on your Wi-Fi network and provide more bandwidth for you to serve your media to mobile devices.

DO I NEED A PLEX PASS SUBSCRIPTION TO STREAM OUTSIDE MY HOME NETWORK?
No. Learn more about remote access and troubleshooting remote access here.

CAN I STILL USE SHIELD ON MY TV WHEN PLEX IS SERVING MEDIA?
Yes. You can watch a 4K movie on SHIELD or play a game on GeForce NOW™ at the same time SHIELD is streaming (and transcoding) a movie to another device. Note: The performance of most Android games will be unaffected while serving media. However, if you're playing a graphics-intensive Android game like Borderlands: TPS or Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, you may experience lower frame rates. It's recommended to use Ethernet with SHIELD if you plan to use GeForce NOW and Plex Media Server at the same time.

HOW MANY VIDEO STREAMS CAN SHIELD HANDLE AT THE SAME TIME?
Like all Plex Servers, performance will depend on your network bandwidth and the bit-rate of the content that you are playing. The average user can expect to be able to watch a movie locally on SHIELD, transcode one average movie to a mobile device, and Direct Play another average movie to another device-all at the same time. This makes Plex Media Server on SHIELD a great mainstream server solution for a family.

HOW SHOULD I SET UP MY SHIELD TO GET THE BEST PLEX MEDIA SERVER PERFORMANCE?
For the best media server performance, it's recommended to use an Ethernet connection between your SHIELD and your router. Also, if you're mounting a NAS to SHIELD, it's recommended to use an Ethernet connection between your NAS and your router. This configuration will provide the maximum available bandwidth for your Wi-Fi network for serving content to your mobile devices.
Plex also recommends that you maintain sufficient free space on your internal storage for video transcoding, roughly equal to the size of the source file of the transcode (this can average around 4 to 5 GB for a full-length HD movie).

DO I NEED TO BE CONNECTED VIA ETHERNET TO USE PLEX MEDIA SERVER?
No. SHIELD supports dual-band AC Wi-Fi, so Plex Media Server also performs great on Wi-Fi. However, if you're mounting a NAS for primary streaming content, it's recommended to use an Ethernet connection from your NAS to your router and from your SHIELD to your router. This will greatly reduce the traffic on your Wi-Fi network and provide more bandwidth for you to serve your media to mobile devices.

DO I NEED A PLEX PASS SUBSCRIPTION TO STREAM OUTSIDE MY HOME NETWORK?
No. Learn more about remote access and troubleshooting remote access here.

CAN I STILL USE SHIELD ON MY TV WHEN PLEX IS SERVING MEDIA?
Yes. You can watch a 4K movie on SHIELD or play a game on GeForce NOW™ at the same time SHIELD is streaming (and transcoding) a movie to another device. Note: The performance of most Android games will be unaffected while serving media. However, if you're playing a graphics-intensive Android game like Borderlands: TPS or Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, you may experience lower frame rates. It's recommended to use Ethernet with SHIELD if you plan to use GeForce NOW and Plex Media Server at the same time.

HOW MANY VIDEO STREAMS CAN SHIELD HANDLE AT THE SAME TIME?
Like all Plex Servers, performance will depend on your network bandwidth and the bit-rate of the content that you are playing. The average user can expect to be able to watch a movie locally on SHIELD, transcode one average movie to a mobile device, and Direct Play another average movie to another device-all at the same time. This makes Plex Media Server on SHIELD a great mainstream server solution for a family.

HOW SHOULD I SET UP MY SHIELD TO GET THE BEST PLEX MEDIA SERVER PERFORMANCE?
For the best media server performance, it's recommended to use an Ethernet connection between your SHIELD and your router. Also, if you're mounting a NAS to SHIELD, it's recommended to use an Ethernet connection between your NAS and your router. This configuration will provide the maximum available bandwidth for your Wi-Fi network for serving content to your mobile devices.

Plex also recommends that you maintain sufficient free space on your internal storage for video transcoding, roughly equal to the size of the source file of the transcode (this can average around 4 to 5 GB for a full-length HD movie).

HOW DO I SHARE SHIELD FOLDERS WITH A PC?
Go to Settings > Device > Storage & reset > Access SHIELD folders on PC to turn this feature on.

If this feature does not appear, install the Plex Media Server app update from the Google Play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.plexapp.mediaserver.smb&hl=en 
Note: You don't need to set up a Plex Media Server to use this feature.

You'll be presented with a user name and preset password that you can use on a networked PC to access SHIELD folders. Make sure your PC is on the same network as your SHIELD.

On a Windows 7 (or later) PC, open Windows Explorer and select Network. You'll see your SHIELD listed under "Computer" using the device name (default is "SHIELD"). It can take some time for computers to be shown on the network. Try refreshing the Network page and restarting your PC if needed. To immediately connect to your SHIELD, type "\\SHIELD" into the Windows Explorer address bar. If you changed your device name (found in Settings > About on your SHIELD), replace "SHIELD" with your device name (without any spaces). Alternatively, you can type your SHIELD's IP address into the Windows Explorer address bar: \\192.168.1.X (find your IP address on the "Access SHIELD folders on PC" page).

You can also permanently map your SHIELD as a network drive by right-clicking on "Network" in File Explorer and selecting "Map Network Drive". Select an unused Drive letter. In the Folder field, type your IP address and the folder path to map. Example: "\\192.168.1.5\internal". Select "Reconnect at logon" and then Click "Finish".

PLEX MEDIA PREPARATION
It is important that files and folders are properly named and organized into folder structures in a way that Plex can identify them.  Learn how to follow the Plex naming convention here

Troubleshooting:
SHIELD requires that your PC support NTLMv2 authentication. Visit Microsoft support for more information.
If you get a "permission denied" message, check to make sure that your username or password didn't change. If you need to re-enter a new password in Windows, delete the old password by opening a command window (type "cmd" in the Windows Menu Bar and select cmd.exe). In the command window, type "net use \\SHIELD /delete".



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