Watching movies and series on our computer or Smart TV has become commonplace in our daily lives, even on tablets or mobile phones. There are many platforms such as Netflix or HBO that allow us to pay a subscription for accessing all types of content. But there are also others like Plex that allow us to have a multimedia content manager , a comfortable platform but with the series or movies or audio and video files that we want, without having to adjust to what they offer.
Plex is a very interesting option and it is not the only one but there are some alternatives to Plex that may interest you if you want a multimedia content manager from anywhere.
Although Netflix and HBO are excellent options, also Movistar + or Amazon Prime Video, they are not the only possibilities you have to watch movies, videos, listen to music … If you have your computer full of folders with your own movies, you can have it all organized effortlessly thanks to Plex or the alternatives to Plex that we show you below.
Table of Contents
What is Plex
You may have heard of Plex at some time, or one of your family members or co-workers use it and you have been curious. Plex is a multimedia content manager that will help us organize our own catalog of video and audio files. That is to say, with Plex, that hodgepodge of folders full of movies that we have on our computer can be converted into a Netflix-style multimedia center, since it allows us to organize in a similar way that of a digital platform the multimedia content that we have archived on our hard drive
One of the many advantages of Plex is that, in addition to ordering, categorizing and presenting in an attractive way the multimedia contents of our archive, it will help us manage our visualization. If we have already seen a movie, it will mark it as a view. If we have left it in the middle, it will tell us at what point of reproduction we have stayed. It is a library that we can fill in and that will allow us to create our own Netflix or Spotify with the files that already rest on our hard drive. Each time we expand our multimedia collection, Plex will present it to us by adding all kinds of information about the movie or series in question.
What it is for and how it works
The best use that can be given to Plex and its alternatives, which we will know later, is to access our server remotely to watch our movies or series from any other device. That is, once we have organized our multimedia file with Plex, we can see its content from the mobile, for example. To use it you need to download two Plex applications. One for our hard disk to become a Server and another for our Smart TV or our mobile to act as customers.
The first thing we must do is install Plex Media Server on our computer, where we have downloaded the movie or series file. Once installed, we can add movies, series or multimedia content that we want and the application will add information such as the covers of the movies, the synopsis, duration … in the style of Netflix.
Once our Server is configured, we will have to download Plex Client , which is available on Android, iOS, Windows, GNU / Linux, macOS, SmartTV, Chromecast and PlayStation and Xbox consoles, that is, we can access from almost any platform to our server with the access data that we have configured when installing the Plex Media Server. With Plex Client installed, we will access the multimedia catalog of our server, we will choose the movie we want to watch and it will be played on the device we are using.
Alternatives to Plex
To find a good alternative to Plex we must find an application that, in addition to serving as a multimedia file manager, allows us to remotely play the movies or series that we have downloaded on our hard drive. These two features, the archiver and server for remote playback are essential to change Plex for an alternative. We will also have to look at what devices allow the reproduction of our server’s file, on what platforms it is available and if it offers us its services for free or for a fee.
These are some of the best alternatives to Plex that you can find if you are looking for a multimedia content manager that allows you to categorize your own file and access it remotely, to view its content on your Smart TV, on another computer or from your smartphone or any tablet that is compatible.
Kodi is usually named as an alternative to Plex, although in reality his birth is earlier. It was created to serve as a media player for the XBOX console, with the name of XBOX Media Center, although in 2014 it changed its name and began to be called Kodi, as we know it today. Kodi is a multimedia center, in the style of Plex, in which we can organize all our stored multimedia content, since it accepts a wide variety of video and audio formats. Kodi retrieves the metadata from the web to provide us with additional information about the archived content and serves to give that Netflix look to our personal library of movies and series.
The advantage of Kodi is that it does not focus solely on the content stored on your computer and allows you to enjoy content available on the Internet, through a handful of addons that can be downloaded. It is more configurable, although its interface may be less simple than Plex.
Stremio was launched in 2015 to serve as an alternative to Plex, although its functionality does not focus so much on the multimedia file that we have downloaded on the computer as on the content that we can see in streaming. Stremio will help us combine our different subscriptions to multimedia content platforms such as Netflix or HBO in a single application, in addition to being able to enjoy some free content.
Its application is simple and easy to understand and will allow us to visualize the content quickly on our mobile, so that we can see all the series of all the platforms to which we are subscribed without having to change application from one to another.
Another of the best known alternatives to Plex is Emby, another multimedia center that will allow us to categorize and centralize our entire audiovisual library , making our team work as a server to access that content from another device, just like Plex . Emby has a disadvantage with respect to Plex and its content is available within a local network, what it does is create a DLNA server to share the multimedia content of your computer with other compatible devices in your home, within a local network.
Among its advantages we find a very careful and simple interface, the possibility of watching live video channels and implementing parental controls in case we do not want the smallest of the house to access some of the content that we have stored on our server. It is compatible with Chromecast and offers the option to multiply its possibilities thanks to the addons and plugins it has.
Mezzmo is an alternative to Plex that is only available on Android, although it is interesting because some of its features can be useful. It is a multimedia manager, such as Plex, which is used as a remote application to access content stored on a server, our computer, to enjoy series and movies wherever we are. It is very easy to install and configure, because when we install it you will find all the multimedia files that we have stored and organize them automatically. Its advantage is that, when we access from another device, it transcodes multimedia content in real time and guarantees a high quality of transmission. It also has the advantage of having several users access the server at the same time.
You can download and use the free version, although in a basic way. The Pro version has many more possibilities and, if you want to fully enjoy the options offered by Mezzmo, it may be worth paying for it . The Android application is only available in paid version.
The last alternative to Plex that we are going to analyze is MediaPortal, which goes one step further and offers a feature that does not have Plex and that can be very useful. With MediaPortal we can watch and record television through the multimedia center . That is, in addition to the options for categorizing the content and serving as a server, as with Plex, we will be able to watch television and record the programs that interest us to watch them later. At present, the consumption of series or movies on television has fallen, due to the great offer we find on online platforms, but there is still exclusive content of some television networks that may interest us. With MediaPortal we can record, save and watch it later as if it were part of the Netflix package or some similar platform.
It is one of the best alternatives to Plex but not only has advantages, but also disadvantages: it is only available for Windows and there are no applications for mobile or Smart TV, but we can find on its official website some extensions that allow remote access to the MediaPortal library.