Introduction: Plex Media Player Setup for Windows (03/2018)
Welcome to Plex. If you're looking at this instructable you're probably trying to make sure you're setting up plex properly. It's really quite simple. The program is better to use than the web-browser version in many ways.
Pros: Many more features, full quality streaming, supports multi-channel audio
Cons: Browser will more than likely will transcode AND cause server lag AND won't get full streaming quality
This instructable will help you setup Plex Media Player for Windows 64-bit. This is the new program that was released by Plex to replace the Plex Home Theater program. One thing I know most people will find better is that it has mouse support among many added features, tweaks, design changes, etc
Step 1: Before We Begin
Please note older systems NOT running 64-bit windows will NOT be able to install this program. To check if you are running 64-bit windows:
Windows 7 - Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties. Under System, you can view the system type.
Windows 8 - Update to 8.1 (you'll thank me later)
Windows 8.1/10 - Right click the windows icon, then click on System. Under System, you can view the system type.
Step 2: Download the Correct Program and Install
Go to www.plex.tv and click on Download at the top. Next click on "Get an app". It will auto select the windows 64 bit app. Please download and install. If asked to restart pc, please do so.
Step 3: Plex Media Player Settings for Laptop or PC
After you reboot, go ahead and open Plex Media Player for the first time. You will be presented with a login screen. If you have not already done so, please make an account. Input your username and password, check "Remember me", and click "Sign In".
You will be presented with your library and on deck. Please click on settings on the top right hand corner.
On the left click on "Quality" and then click on "Show advanced". You can enable "Automatically Adjust Quality" if your internet speed is around 25-30Mbps (check speedtest.net). This will help when watching some 1080p titles or if your internet is shared or Wi-Fi sucks. Set "Video Quality" to maximum. Refer to the screenshot to make sure your settings look like mine.
Next click on the "Debug" tab on the left and enable "Direct Play" and "Direct Stream"
This is all you have to do! It looks and feels JUST like the web browser but it works way better. YES you can use the mouse!! I know a lot of people were getting annoyed having to use the keyboard only on the OLD program.
Step 4: Plex Media Player in Full Screen Mode
In case you go to full screen mode on your laptop/pc without being connected to a TV, it's good to have your settings set correctly.
1. Let's click on full screen mode at the top right.
2. You'll be presented with a new TV friendly layout which isn't too bad when you get used to it. Click on your username on the top right and go to "Settings"
3. Click on "Audio". The settings here should match your setup if you're watching on a laptop (with or without headphones) or a desktop with 2 speakers using the good old 3.5mm jack.
4. Click on "Video". Make sure Local, Remote, and Online Quality are all set to "Original". For Hardware Decoding set it to "Enabled (copy/back)". Enable "Allow Direct Play" and "Allow Direct Stream". Now scroll down further and you will see Network Cache. Set it to Large or Extra Large depending on your internet speed. I would suggest Large if you're under 50Mbps speed on Wi-Fi.
5. Click on "Subtitles." Set this however you like.
This is it. Everything should now play properly. If you have a home theater setup then continue to the next step otherwise you can stop here!
Step 5: WARNING!: This Only Applies to Some People. Please Read Carefully.
A HTPC is a computer that is specifically plugged into your home theater setup. It combines the ability to view digital or physical media AND you can also use it as a PC.
**NOTE**: these settings are not for those who plug an HDMI into a laptop to watch on their TV here and there. You are "filthy casuals" and honestly changing some of these settings will cause you problems with audio playback when you unplug the HDMI (unless you remember to change the settings again).
Still with us? No problem. We will guide you on how to get the best
viewing experience when watching on your home entertainment setup. These next few settings are in depth tweaks for those with an HTPC (Home Theater PC) that's connected to your TV/Projector setup with surround sound.
Step 6: Setup Windows Sound Devices
1. Right click the speaker icon in your taskbar (bottom right of your screen) and select "Playback Devices". You should see how your device is playing sound. In my example, I have my HTPC hooked up to my Denon 5.1 receiver.
2. Select your playback device and select "Configure".
3. Select 3.1/5.1/7.1 etc and click Next
4. Make sure all your speakers are selected and click Next
5. Are your speakers full range? Select which ones are and finish setup.
This setup does not affect Plex audio setup BUT now your HTPC is properly setup for sound when playing videos on other programs. Continue to the next step to configure Plex settings.
Step 7: Plex Media Player Settings for HTPC
1. With Plex Media Player open, click on the "Enter TV Full Screen" button. You will be presented with a TV friendly layout.
2. Click on your username at the top right and then select settings.
No pictures will be provided for this. Just follow along.
AUDIO: Select Device Type as "HDMI", Channels as "5.1", and checkmark what audio formats your TV/Soundbar/Receiver supports. Usually Dolby Digital and DTS are supported. The rest are for people who know what the choices are so don't bother with those. Only checkmark if it applies to you!
VIDEO: Local, Remote, and Online Quality should be "Original", select "Allow Display Mode switching" only if your TV/Projector supports switching to 24/30hz otherwise leave it unchecked, Hardware Decoding should be "Enabled (copy/back)", Select "Allow Direct Play" and "Allow Direct Stream". On Network cache, select "Extra Large".
SUBTITLES: edit these however you'd like.
More information for technical users is found here:
This is all you guys need to do to setup Plex Media Player properly to get the most out of your media!
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Please be positive and constructive.