Using PC as Plex server

I have been doing research regarding using Plex and currently use Amazon 4K Max as my Fire TV. I am looking at getting a nVidea Server Pro and needed to check things. I set up my Desktop PC as the Plex Server. First of all I played a 1080p video on my Synology NAS but it had to reduce the quality to play. The same video on PC played fine.

I then copied the video on to a shared folder with Plex on my PC. I then went into Plex on my Fire TV and the same problem when I tried to play it, it had to reduce quality to play.

Am I thinking right that if I use a NVidea Shield Pro, I will be able to play this on my Fire TV OK? This would be the 1080p video on the NAS and the PC. I assume that the faster CPU of Shield over Firestick 4K Max will be the difference. TIA for any advice and help given.


Although I do think getting a Shield to watch your Plex would help, it is more about the specs of the server and how you set it up.

Using Hardware-Accelerated Streaming | Plex Support

GPU article

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I have the Plex Server on my PC running Windows 11. These are specs of the CPU

. I know you said I could make the NVidea Shield the server but would it not be better having the PC as the server?

Yes the PC is what you would want for transcoding higher quality video. Shields come default with the media server app, which you can use, but more like a mini server for lower quality video, pictures, music, etc.

See links in my above post, make sure enable hardware-accelerated streaming is on. Also, although this process is very CPU intensive, the newer, higher end GPUs will help take some pressure off of the CPU, see other link.

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Those GPU’s don’t come cheap and are out of my price range. Are there any in a more budjet range for viewing videos? Remember I don’t game.

Not sure what the price range you are looking for and unless your synology is very old it should be all you need. Low budget servers are not for transcoding and/if needed the server config can be set to not transcode.

I just posted for information about hardware vs transcoding. The PC doesn’t need to be the ultimate gaming computer to transcode, but the higher end the components, the easier it will handle it.

Will look forward to seeing the answers for that. More or less made my mind up to get the NVidea Shield Pro though. Problem is though finance is a bit tight with all this increased energy costs. Currently the best price I have found for one is this Nvidia Shield TV Pro 4K HDR Ready Media Streamer at £179. However, I am going to hang on until Black Friday and hope there are some good deals then.

99.9% of the time, Shield Pros are $199. Few weeks back they had a sale for $179, which shocked me. Im guessing Black friday may have a similar deal. Shield Pro is the best, love mine wouldnt trade it for anything. (Unless they upgrade it lol)

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I got a notice that has the Shield pro on sale for $30 off to $170. I didn’t check it out as I’m not in the market for anything new.

Hmmmm… :face_with_monocle: It appears it is still $199…but ill keep an eye out.

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Ya sorry about that. The notice was from Aug 12, so the sale is over. I did find another seller that has them for $159 but I’ve never heard of them so can’t honestly trust them.

What I don’t understand is that 1080p video I explained to you before that had to reduce the quality to play it in Plex works fine when I play it in Kodi. So the Firestick 4K MAX does play 1080p videos ok in Kodi but not in Plex. Don’t understand that.

Sounds like a setting in Plex that may be off. Let me go look to see what could potentially cause that outcome.

There are video quality settings in the Plex app itself. Check those to make sure they are set at maximum. More importantly, check the Plex Media Server app settings for playback.

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I looked at the Plex App and it was set for Maximum. However, as the video is 1080p in the App settings on my Fire TV I set that to 8Mps, 1080p. On the Plex Server on my PC it seems the video settings are only set for Plex Web—Quality; this was set as shown here

So I tried this at Maximum but it still buffered and suggested lowering the quality. So I then set it to 8Mps, 1080p on the server but as I said it seems that is only for videos streamed over the Web. No matter what it does not seem able to transcode that short video I have on my PC acting as the Plex Server when I try to watch it on my TV via Plex App. Maybe you can advise me on that but in the meantime for these 1080p or higher videos I’ll have to use Kodi to view them.

If you are trying to force your system to transcode in 1080p but it is buffering and recommending that you throttle back, the system likely knows it isn’t enough computing power to keep up and provide a fluid output. The specs on your computer didn’t seem bad, so I’m not really sure what you could do about that. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to run some benchmarks with software that can give you a better look at what your PC can actually handle when running high quality videos.

What kind of CPU do I need for my Server? | Plex Support

Looked at this video again and seems I have misunderstood this transcoding thing. When I checked details of the video it said it was 1080p, 2.2Mps, however, when I looked at this on my PC (Plex Server) under the Optimised setting there was the optimised video as shown here

Then I went back to my Fire TV and opened up the App and selected the Video but before playing it clicked on … (More) and selected Play Version from the drop down list and the following was shown.

As you can see the optimized version is the same settings as the original version. When I select the optimized version it is fine. What I would like to know is where it stores that Optimised version on my Plex Server (PC), that way I can create another folder of my Optimised videos.

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It should have asked you where to store it I believe. I have not used this feature before, but sounds like you may be on the right track.
Creating Optimized Versions | Plex Support
What are Plex Optimized Versions? (

It is stored in the original folders I set up on my Media Server SSD under a sub folder of Plex Versions\ Optimized for TV. I’d hoped I could transfer the optimised version to the main folder but it disappears when you do that. So if I want to watch it in future in Plex App I will have to select the video and then select the version to watch.