10 Best Home Media Server in 2022

If you have a huge collection of media files like videos, movies, etc. and you want to store all of them somewhere to access them whenever you want, then you can use a Media Server service.

Even though there is a plethora of content on Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, etc. a personal media collection is always worth it. You can cobble together a massive library of digital files through DVD or Blu-ray rips as well as ICC FTP and vinyl rips. By using a media server you can create your collection online.

A media server gives you the ability to store all your favorite media which can be music, videos, images, and files in one central location, and access it using a client from anywhere over the internet.  B.net Index ServerTimepassbdTimepass FtpTimepass BD We have mentioned some of the best media servers for you, check them out.

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What Are the Best Home Media Server Softwares of 2021?

1. Media Portal

Media Portal works great for the most part and is intended to bring a cohesive multimedia experience to your Pc.

Kodi (previously known as XBMC) is a free and open-source, highly customizable media server software. It is cross-platform and runs on Linux, Windows, macOS; iOS, and Android. It is more than just a media server; it’s an ideal entertainment center software with a fabulous user interface and several other media server software appliances are based on it.

Kodi enables you to play movies/videos, music/audio, podcasts, view images, and other digital media files from your local computer or a network FTP server bd as well as the internet.

Features:

  • Media Portal works as an entertainment hub.
  • Plugin support is offered.
  • Supports multiple media formats.
  • Runs on a wide variety of devices.
  • It is user-friendly.
  • Supports a web interface.
  • Supports a variety of user-created Add-ons.
  • Supports televisions and remote controls.
  • Has a highly configurable interface via skins.
  • Allows you to watch and record live TV.
  • Supports importing pictures into a library.
  • Allows you to browse, view, sort, filter, or even start a slideshow of your pictures and much more.

Link: home – MEDIAPORTAL

1. PlayOn

Pros:

  • Integrates many streaming services alongside local content
  • Strong plugin and scripting community
  • PlayLater service can record streaming content for you

Cons:

  • Windows Only
  • Frequent updates will occasionally cause problems
  • Less control over local playback

Though it has its quirks, PlayOn is a highly functional option for streaming media, provided you are running it from a Windows PC. PlayOn is only compatible with Windows, which unfortunately means that Linux and iOS users as well as those who own a NAS device are left out in the cold. Additionally, PlayOn’s specialty is not expert management of your own files, but rather the streams you usually use to discover new content. To put it another way, it works sort of like a network-wide Roku.

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Don’t worry, you can still add local content like movies, music, and photos to our PlayOn library as you can with any media server. However, PlayOn focuses more on providing a diversity of free and paid streaming services. This accounts for over 100 channels to start, including Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, Comedy Central, and all the major TV networks. Browsing this large selection is fairly easy with PlayOn’s UI, which is quite well polished. I found the bookmark feature particularly handy to keep track of daily streams, and I also enjoyed using the PlayMark extension to stream videos from my favorite web feeds.

One caveat is that you will need to go with a subscription plan to stream to non-PC devices like a smart TV, Roku, gaming console, or a mobile phone like iPhone 13 Pro Max. If, however, you only want to stream between a host PC and a home theater PC, then you can do that with the free version. That said, PlayOn runs a number of specials on their pricing, meaning you will rarely have to pay the full $69.99 for your lifetime pass.

This is quite reasonable considering that PlayOn Plus also includes the PlayLater service, a software for your computer or mobile device that records streaming media, and saves it to your device for future viewing. It is not as convenient as simply having a download option but it is still a perfectly legal way to save content and skip commercials. And what’s more, PlayOn has a massive community following that writes scripts specifically for capturing your favorite kind of content.

Ultimately, PlayOn might leave some enthusiasts wishing for more features, but it has an easier UI than Roku, and offers PlayLater, which gives you the ability to record any streaming media and play it back later commercial-free. Being able to download previously streamed content works great alongside remote access, and though this isn’t the most consistent media server software out there, it will certainly meet the needs of most.

What Are the Best Streaming Devices to Play PlayOn Content?

10. Jellyfin

Jellyfin is a free media server software that helps you to stream any media from your server. You can even collect and manage videos with this application.

Link: https://jellyfin.org/

2. Serviio

Pros:

  • Has a solid free/open-source version
  • Remote access
  • Strong plugin support

Cons:

  • Top features restricted to Pro version
  • Tricky setup
  • No iOS app

Serviio is similar to UMS, as it is a fast and powerful open-source media server rich in advanced controls and functions. But unlike UMS, Serviio has a paid version that offers a convenient remote browser player, an Android app, and some other functionalities. This software runs on either a computer or NAS, and also streams content from online sources, like RSS feeds, live audio/video streams, web page content.

Serviio requires you to already have your content organized and titled correctly, otherwise, it will look like a total mess. In the free version, you can stream to newer Playstation and XBox devices, as well as other computers, but other devices like Sonos, Roku, and Chromecast have been known to have issues working with Serviio. Because of its detailed configuration options, almost anything is possible with this software, but it won’t be easy.

3. Universal Media Server

(ADSLZone)

Pros:

  • Open source and free
  • Fast browsing
  • Highly customizable

Cons:

  • Tricky setup
  • Limited plugins
  • Lacks remote access options

Universal Media Server is an open-source and fully free media solution, that though quite a bit more complicated than Plex, is just as stable and reliable. This software can be set up on a PC or NAS open-source software, with about the same setup burden, but if any steps of the process get you hung up, a fairly robust support community will be able to help you out.

Installing UMS is a fairly hands-on process. The software walks you through configuring each setting before you can get your server up and running. To make things trickier, some of your devices might not find your stream if you set it up incorrectly. On the other hand, if set it up correctly, UMS will work with just about any streaming device.

UMS automatically scans defined locations for new media content, but if you don’t personally manage your files, UMS will look like a mess. Odds are that if you’ve got a serious collection going, you’ve taken enough care to tag everything properly, and even if you don’t the app is still plenty usable.


What Are the Best Streaming Devices to Play UMS Content?

4. Kodi

(Kodi)

Pros:

  • Massive add-on library
  • Open source and free
  • Can provide cover art, music videos, trailers, and more

Cons:

  • Users must beware of malicious add-ons
  • Tricky setup setup for streaming boxes
  • Awkward mouse and keyboard controls

Kodi is an open-source media center that has been around almost as long as HTPCs (home theater PCs) have been a thing. It is not the most user-friendly home media software out there but it supports an absolutely insane amount of add-ons, making it one of the best options for those who want to host downloaded content alongside their favorite paid streaming services.

You will find (unofficial) add-ons to support streaming services like YouTube, Spotify, Disney Plus, Netflix, and more. Kodi can even be used to side-load any of the other media streaming services we recommended. Plex’s channel count pales in comparison so when it comes to variety of sources, Kodi really takes the cake.

Kodi is easy to install on any Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, or iOS device. You can also install Kodi on pretty much any other playback device but this typically requires the use of unofficial methods. This may sound intimidating but you can find step-by-step instructions for pretty much any device on the Kodi Wiki. It is somewhat ironic that you have to take these extra steps, though, as the Kodi UI is definitely optimized for a streaming box

What Are the Best Streaming Devices to Play Kodi Content?

17. JRiver Media Center

JRiver Media Center is a program that enables you to manage your media using multiple devices.

Features:

  • Offers a simple user interface.
  • Provides a music player.
  • It incorporates a media database to manage large collections.
  • This tool offers a friendly community forum.

Link: https://www.jriver.com/purchase.html

5. Plex

(Plex)

Pros:

  • Fast and intuitive user interface
  • Easy setup
  • Provide cover art, music videos, trailers, and more

Cons:

  • Some features require a subscription or lifetime pass
  • Menus might not handle large media collections well (depends on connection quality)
  • Limited customization options

Plex is possibly the most popular media server software out there, as it offers an easy setup and a highly flexible system for managing different types of media libraries. Plex can be set up on any hard drive, ideally a NAS (network-attached storage device), but since my PC is on pretty much 24/7 I had no problem making my main machine the host for my own Plex server.

Setting up your Plex server is a largely automated process, and getting a stream set up on the other end is usually as simple as downloading the free app for your chosen platform, be it a smart TV, web browser, XBox One, PlayStation, or Apple TV. Remote access is ready out of the box and does not require any port forwarding or additional setup.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Plex is that its menus are beautiful on every platform. The menus were fast and easy to navigate, though I did run into some hiccups trying to browse my stupidly large music collection. If you have multiple terabytes of media content with metadata, cover art, etc., it will only populate this information as fast as your connection permits.

What Are the Best Streaming Devices to Play Plex Content?

6. Emby

(Emby)

Pros:

  • Hardware accelerated transcoding
  • Provide cover art, music videos, trailers, and more
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • Most features require a subscription or lifetime pass
  • Limited plugins (for now)
  • Free version is basically useless

Emby is a newer media server software that combines the polished interface of Plex with the open-source foundation of Kodi to deliver a highly customizable media experience that has a premium feel. But how exactly does this software combine an open-source platform with commercially licensed features? It evolved with the times.

Emby started out as an open-source project but in 2018 it moved towards Plex’s business model by developing some highly desired plugins and putting them behind a paywall. That said, Emby still offers a considerable set of features even if you just stick with the free version of the software. Let’s dig in.

Like Plex, Emby uses a client/server setup, where you install the server onto a host device and then install a playback client onto a Roku, Apple TV, or Samsung/LG Smart TV. Alternatively, you can use the web app on another PC. If you are using the free version, these must be on the same local network as your server. Emby automatically scrapes metadata from your choice of sources so that you can organize your library by genre, date, cast, etc. It also allows you to create user profiles and apply parental controls to specific users.

16. OpenELEC

OpenELEC allows you to browse, zoom and rotate your pictures. Along with this, this application enables you to play movie collections.

Features:

  • OpenELEC is easily expandable with other Add-ons.
  • Music player is provided
  • Manage your TV Shows and track your favorite episodes.
  • Recording of TV and personal videos feature.

Link: https://openelec.tv/


What Are the Best Streaming Devices to Play Emby Content?