Plex versus Kodi: Which Is Better for Home Streaming?

Plex and Kodi media center interfaces
Suzanne Humphries

Plex and Kodi are competing streaming media facilities that individuals use to experience their number of motion pictures, TV displays, photos, and tune. Whilst they each be offering the similar core capability, the options they provide range wildly, so we figured we’d check out each to look what makes them tick and which one is the most productive.

Having a home-streaming setup is a smart factor, which is why it’s value taking a second to be told in regards to the two hottest choices. A media middle provides you with a method to centralize your individual virtual media recordsdata, like the films and tune you’ve received over time, and simply get right of entry to and consider them for your TV or different software.

Plans and Pricing

Plex gives a unfastened server-and-client style that’s simple to make use of. All you must do is obtain the Plex Media Server onto the software the place you retailer your media, attach all your media recordsdata, set up and log into the app, and voila! You’re in a position to move.

Plex additionally has a top rate subscription carrier, dubbed Plex Cross, as an non-compulsory improve. There’s a $four.99 per 30 days plan, a $39.99 annual plan, and a $119.99 lifetime plan, and so they all release an excellent array of options (which we’ll talk about under).

Kodi, however, is a unfastened native media participant that runs for your pc, TV, cellular software, or streaming software. And as it’s unfastened, you received’t ever have to fret about any of its capability being locked at the back of a paywall. Each function is at all times to be had to you, and also you’re even unfastened to hop in and upload a few of your individual, because it’s open supply.

Plex’s Options

Plex on TV, laptop, tablet, and smartphone

A Plex Media Server can retailer all your motion pictures, TV displays, pictures, podcasts, information, and internet displays, and it allows you to arrange a couple of profiles if you want. On account of its server-and-client design, you’ll be able to get right of entry to your Plex library from just about any platform and software in your house. And, for those who arrange as it should be, you’ll be able to even get right of entry to it while you aren’t at the similar community, which makes it nice for the usage of on street journeys.

Plex helps all kinds of document sorts, like JPG, MP4, and FLAC, and it could actually output in each 4K and HDR. It additionally provides you with the power to open up your Plex library to folks (like your favourite coworker) regardless of the place they reside. It assists in keeping your watch historical past synced throughout all your units, so you’ll be able to get started looking at a film at the sofa and end it whilst laying in mattress. Plex additionally robotically unearths legit duvet artwork, rankings, actors, summaries, and different document main points (which it will pay to license) for all your movies and tune, so that you don’t need to.

Plex gives hundreds of unfastened motion pictures and 80 reside TV channels you’ll be able to experience whether or not you’re at the unfastened or paid plan. Channels come with Out of doors The us, Tastemade, The Movie Collective, fubo Sports activities Community, IGN TV, Crime 360, Docurama, AFV Circle of relatives, and extra.

Must you select to improve to the paid Plex Cross plan, you’ll release lots of different complex options, like downloadable displays for offline viewing, flexible parental controls, get right of entry to to the Plex Dashboard for tracking your server remotely, the power to set max bandwidth and per-stream caps, reside TV looking at and recording, 4K reinforce, track lyrics, and a slight bargain for a Top class TIDAL subscription, and extra.

Kodi’s Options

Kodi on TV, laptop, tablet, and smartphone

Kodi is an open-source native media participant that provides identical capability to Plex, enabling you to centralize your number of tune, motion pictures, TV displays, and pictures. Alternatively, it’s higher suited to be used in your house theater—whether or not by means of a Raspberry Pi or media middle pc that’s attached on your TV—because it doesn’t natively proportion your library with different units or sync your library throughout a couple of units (even though it’s imaginable to set this up for those who’ve were given the expertise).

Kodi robotically appears to be like for defense artwork and different metadata and provides it on your assortment, so it appears to be like slick and professional. It even has a couple of consumer profiles and customized locked libraries for individuals who need it.

The participant additionally boasts an excellent number of add-ons. There are a couple of legit ones from Kodi, however maximum of them are 3rd birthday celebration. You’ll be able to go for explicit apps like Crackle, IFTTT, Pluto TV, SoundCloud, Plex (satirically), BBC iPlayer WWW, Comedy Central. Or you’ll be able to seek in the course of the add-ons by means of class, with choices like audio encoders, recreation add-ons, digital filesystems, lyrics, PVR shoppers, scripts, and extra.

Kodi’s actual energy, then again, is in its myriad customization choices. Between its extremely energetic neighborhood of contributing builders and its talent to let complex customers tweak issues to their liking, its robust personalization choices handiest recuperate with each and every passing day.

That being stated, it’ll take a just right quantity of labor to get it adapted simply the way in which you wish to have it. The place Plex gives a elegant and agreeable interface that’s right away in a position to make use of, Kodi takes it a step additional and provides you with the chance to keep watch over how the entirety appears to be like and works, for those who’re prepared to place within the paintings. You’ll be able to even customise such things as the participant’s pores and skin.

Whilst Kodi works simply fantastic for amateur customers, or even gives a couple of beginner-friendly add-ons, it’s no doubt a greater have compatibility for intermediate or complex customers with a tight quantity of programming wisdom who understand how to bend the tool to their will.

Consumer Enjoy

Plex interface

Plex has a lovely blank interface that’s extremely user-friendly. From the House web page, you’ll be able to see quite a lot of choices like TV displays or motion pictures which were lately added and content material suggestions. From the sidebar, you’ll see your content material damaged down by means of class like motion pictures, TV displays, tune, podcasts, and so forth. It’s well-organized and you’ll be able to simply to find what you’re in search of at a look.

The whole lot flows naturally inside of Plex, and it’s simple to search out displays, episodes, and main points for each and every document with out a lot effort. It even recollects the place you left on in a video or track, so you’ll be able to pick out up precisely the place you left off while you’re in a position to proceed. Plex’s use of colourful photographs, blank labels, and logical group makes it a cinch to make use of.

Kodi’s interface is blank and simple as effectively. The House display is obviously arranged, with labels for motion pictures, TV displays, tune movies, video games, pictures, add-ons, and extra within the sidebar. Kodi is full of lots of options and choices, however you’ll need to spend a while digging via menus to search out they all.

Kodi’s participant may be noticeably undeniable by means of default. Alternatively, with all of its tough personalization choices, it received’t be exhausting to search out and follow a pores and skin you prefer or to customise different facets, even though it’ll take some elbow grease for your phase.

With its prematurely focal point on customization, reasonably than quick ease of use, Kodi might appear much less polished and user-friendly than Plex, particularly for amateur customers. Alternatively, that’s exactly why it’s way more user-friendly in the end for individuals who recognize deep customization choices and understand how to regulate them.

Software Compatibility

Kodi interface

Each Kodi and Plex are to be had throughout all kinds of units however Plex is by means of and massive the undisputed king right here. It means that you can movement from just about anyplace, together with each primary browser and running machine together with gaming consoles, streaming sticks, and good TVs. Plus, you’ll be able to set up Plex Media Server on maximum pc and NAS units, in addition to the Netgear Nighthawk X10 router or the NVIDIA Protect.

Plex additionally has a number of legit shoppers which are to be had in each app retailer. This makes it simple sufficient for any person to arrange and use then again and anywhere they would like, and also you’ll by no means have to fret about compatibility problems. The opposite perk along Plex’s intensive compatibility, as we addressed previous, is that it may be accessed from any software despite the fact that they’re now not attached to the similar community as your server. You’ll be able to watch your favourite film in Chrome when you’re for your lunch ruin at paintings, and your children can watch their favourite displays on a pill whilst on a cross-country street go back and forth. It’s really easy.

Kodi additionally runs on quite a lot of units, together with Home windows, MacOS, Linux, and Raspberry Pi (and, due to this fact, units just like the Cubox-i, NVIDIA Protect, or the Xiaomi Mi Field, as an example). And whilst Kodi will get issues for having an legit app for Android, it’s nonetheless missing one for iOS customers. It additionally doesn’t provide help to get right of entry to your content material off community.

That is what makes Kodi the simpler selection to your devoted domestic theater setup, and Plex the simpler selection for each your own home theater and looking at at the move.

The Verdict

So, there you have got it. Whilst Plex and Kodi are each cast choices for your own home streaming setup and do an ideal activity centralizing your media, they each and every have a singular function set that’s geared toward somewhat other audiences. So, it’s as much as you to discern which one is a greater have compatibility to your wishes (or perhaps you’ll come to a decision you wish to have to make use of each).

Plex is lovely, boasts spectacular software compatibility, and allows you to get right of entry to and proportion your media library from a couple of units over the internet. It’s simple sufficient for any person to your circle of relatives to make use of, and in addition gives a powerful top rate plan to those that need extra options. However, it lacks customization choices and locks a few of its easiest options at the back of stated top rate plan.

Kodi, however, is unfastened and open supply with robust personalization choices which are rewarding to those that have the expertise. It additionally has a wholesome add-on ecosystem, and is well-suited for devoted domestic theater setups. Alternatively, you’ll be able to’t get right of entry to your content material for those who’re clear of domestic (a minimum of now not with out nice effort), and it doesn’t be offering the slick out-of-the-box usability that Plex does.

Nonetheless not sure? They’re each unfastened, so why now not obtain each and every of them and decide for your self which one works the most productive.

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