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Setting up Plex or Why the Heck Didn’t I Do This Sooner?

I’ve known about Plex forever. I’ve browsed their website multiple times over the years, and I guess I got it in my head that I would need to set up some sort of complicated server in order to run Plex in my home. So, I wrote it off as not something for me.

Since I recently cancelled almost all my streaming services, I’ve been relying on my own content to keep me entertained. This usually consists of either blu-rays/DVDs or digital content that I stick onto a thumb drive and plug into the back of my TV. The thumb drive process works great, but I’m limited by the space the drive can actually handle. That means I have to be rather picky on what I put on there at any given time and adding new content can be a bit of a pain.

Well, Saturday afternoon, I was thinking about Plex again and it occurred to me I have a desktop sitting in our office that is rarely used. It’s nothing fancy, just a cheap HP All-in-One we bought at Costco three years ago, but I wondered how Plex would work if I installed it on there. Twenty minutes later, I was up and running and I cannot stop kicking myself for not doing this sooner. This is a life changer for me.

I made the mistake of doing some quick Plex searches and I found all the negative posts and recommendations for alternate programs, and maybe down the road I’ll looking into that, but right now I’m just thrilled that I can stream my content with relative ease. Everything works great, it’s quick, the mobile app was only five bucks, and it works on both my iPhone and iPad. So, for twenty minutes of my time and five bucks, I have my own personal streaming service.

I am actually in awe of the features that it includes as well as the super neat menu screens. I collect old sitcoms that have never had physical or digital releases, and I’ve been astonished to find that most of them have pre-built menu screens with cast lists and everything. The only content of mine that didn’t show up already was a few random files I had downloaded that were ripped from VHS tapes like when Freddy Kruger hosted MTV or Nickelodeons New Years Eve 1998, but I was able to easily create a nice menu and poster for those files.

I think what I love so far is just having access to everything. I’m bad about downloading/ripping content to my external hard drive, and then just leaving it there. I have files that I’ve had for years that I haven’t bothered watching just because of the inconvenience of needing to drag those onto a thumb drive and prioritize them over other files. Now, I have easy access to everything!

I know it’s only been three days, but I’m thrilled with this decision. Once money becomes less of a concern, I plan on buying an additional drive to back up all my content and maybe I’ll put together something more dedicated for Plex down the road. But for right now, I’m going to kick back and enjoy the heck out of not having to pay for streaming services and still enjoying the convenience.

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