Plex for Xbox One is here and my life is complete - Plus Synology setup how-to
I love my Synology NAS, and I love Plex. I also love my Xbox One. Finally, today these three things are working together to give me a lovely unified view of my media library.
I have a Synology 1511 (the Synology 1513 is today's model). It's a 5 bay Intel-based NAS. I put four 2TB 7200 Seagate drives in it. In the few years since I've had the Synology I've had 2 drives fail and in each case the Synology emailed me, I pulled the drive and replaced them (I now keep two spares around) and rebuilt without incident.
I run Plex on this Synology as it also hosts all my family photos, family videos, and DVD backups. The Synology (since I upgraded the RAM cheaply) also runs Surveillance Station monitoring 4 IP cameras posted around my house, as well as VPN Server, *and* CrashPlan cloud backup. I used to run most of this stuff on my desktop, but I'm convinced more and more that every connected home needs a Home Server. I've even added a Git Server, iTunes Server, and a "Cloud Station" which is basically "Personal DropBox." Glorious.
I use Plex extensively on my iPad and Surface Pro 3. One of the best features (there's a million) is being able to seamlessly mark a file as "offline" and sync it to a portable device. Makes airplane travel a lot nicer.
The one missing part has always been watching Plex on my big screen. While I do have a Chromecast and we enjoy it, the Xbox One is our set-top box. We changed an option on the Xbox under Settings so it "Boots to TV." The Xbox controls our DirectTV and my wife uses a Logitech Harmony One Remote that we still love. From the Xbox we can "Xbox Watch Netflix" or "Xbox Watch HBO" and it just does the right thing. But switching inputs to the Chromecast, getting a tablet out, starting Plex on the tablet and throwing it to the TV requires more tech than my wife is willing to give.
Until now. Plex is out on Xbox One (and Xbox 360) and there was much rejoicing. A Plex Pass is required, but it's SO worth it, and not expensive.
What you'll need
- Plex Server running somewhere - You can run it on any decent NAS, your desktop machine, or any machine you have laying around.
- A Plex Pass - A monthly or yearly subscription. It's a fantastic value. You CAN use Plex free, but with the Pass you get the offline sync, Xbox support, Movie Trailers, Cloud Storage Sync, and Camera Upload.
One note for Synology people like me, you’ll need to install the latest Plex Pass preview release of the server (v0.9.10.3). Not a huge deal, go to Plex Downloads and get the right version for your Nas. I downloaded, then logged into Synology and did a manual install.
Now, go to the Xbox One App Store and download it and sign in. If you'd signed in before and got a warning that your Plex Server was the wrong version, you'll want to shut down the Plex app completely or reboot the Xbox to get a proper retry going.
The app looks fantastic, supports both Kinect AND Voice and really fits in with the other apps I use like Hulu and Netflix.
Movies, TV, whatever.
Plex is epic because it's your media EVERYWHERE. Here's a picture of the devices that my family have used to talk to Plex this year.
Anyway, enough gushing. I couldn't be more thrilled. If you are already a Plex user, you're gonna love this. I'll do a full video and walkthrough of my setup soon, but Plex on Xbox One has finally turned my Xbox One into the ultimate media server. When the Media Player with DLNA support releases in a few weeks on Xbox One, it'll just be gravy.
- Fixed: The Synology NAS with Plex Server and mismatched version numbers
- UPDATED 2014: How to setup CrashPlan Cloud Backup on a Synology NAS running DSM 5.0
- Plex is the media center software ecosystem I've been waiting for
- Synology Products on Amazon
- PODCAST: Creating the Plex Software Ecosystem with Elan Feingold
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