Everyone talks up streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu. What nobody mentions is how fast you can run through your bandwidth cap.This is also true for videos that you upload to Youtube. Families now upload their videos forgetting that every time they watch a video they are using up valuable bandwidth at home. Until the day we all have unlimited caps at home, we would be better off setting up our own media servers. Here is a basic rundown of what you will need:
Even an old pc or laptop will do. All you need is something to act as the media server on your home network. How much video you watch and the quality levels you expect will determine the sort of hardware you need. If the videos are going to be 1080p and/or 4K then higher end hardware would be better.
The best and most popular media server software available at the moment is Plex. The setup is straightforward and once complete you can point it at a directory that contains the videos you want available. Plex has clients for Android, iOS and other platforms so that you can watch from any device. The media server will encode the video on the fly so you won’t have stuttering videos on smaller screens.
Ideally the server should be connected to the network port of the router so that it will have the bandwidth necessary to server more than one person at a time. This will be even more important if the plan is to server HD+ streams.