Media Centers Worth Checking Into

#1

I’m a bit picky when it comes to Media Center software, and I shouldn’t be since I generally use the free stuff, but even if it’s free it should be decenly good.

That said, I’ve put together a few options for those of you interested in Media Centers for your own homes.

I currently use Plex, and have for several years now, but have been considering switching away from Plex for a while. I started looking into the options that are out there, and while I haven’t decided on a specific one, thought you may be interested in some of these as well.

First up: Emby - https://emby.media/
I like it because it seems plex-like. Onen of the best things about Plex is that (beyond setup) it’s extremely easy to navigate and use. Emby appears to be quite easy to use as well, so it’s a top contender for me.

Next is OSMC - https://osmc.tv/
Open Source Media Center is one i hadn’t heard of before, but it looks decent, and thus far seems to have some nice features. That it’s open source is a definite plus in my book, and hopefully it will pick up steam and continue to grow and get better. I may give this one a run just to see how it does. Not sure about Apps for my media devices though (Roku and AppleTV), which is how I stream media around my house.

Third is Kodi - https://kodi.tv/
If you’ve not heard of Kodi, it may be that you know it by it’s old name “XBMC - Xbox Media Center”. it’s a very full featured media center, but I’ve always found the interface to be overwhelming and clunky. Not just in setup, but in userland as well. That said, there are lots, and I mean LOTS of people out there who love Kodi, so don’t just take my word for it, but give it a try yourself and see what you think.

And finally, Plex - https://plex.tv/
Plex, as stated before is one I’ve used for years, but their free offering is limited, and I believe they are about to limit it even more going forward, and start tracking and selling information about usage. Additionally, I believe they are closed source, so they just add to the pile that makes me really want to jump ship.

There you have it, my non-exhaustive list of decent looking media platers.

#2

I’ve been thinking about creating a media server at my house for a while now, so this is a topic that I would like to explore more. Thanks Brian for starting the ground work.