Xbox One Plex Server

Use Plex to Stream Almost Any Video From PC to Xbox One

Apr 9, 2014

The Xbox One profile ensures that Plex only send the One file formats it can successfully stream. Again, unsupported formats are converted on the fly. In the logfile extract below, Plex detects the Xbox One client ensures any unsupported video is converted before being sent.

Update 2015-08-15

  • One Plex alternative, originally designed primarily as a media player solution for the Microsoft console Xbox, is Kodi. Published as ‘ Xbox Media Center ’ (XBMC) in 2004, the media center kept this name even when it became available for other platforms.
  • Plex is like mission control for your content. With our easy-to-install Plex Media Server software and Plex apps on the devices of your choosing, you can stream your video, music, and photo collections any time, anywhere, to whatever you want. Quick Start Video.

There is now an Official Plex client for Xbox One, making the below redundant

Introduction

Last time, I suggested we could use Plex Media Server to stream almost any video from PC to Xbox One. Here’s how to actually do it.

Install Plex

I won’t go into great detail on this since it’s already documented on the Plex website, but here’s how to setup Plex Media Server:

  1. Download Plex Media Server.
  2. Install it on your PC.
  3. Open the Plex Media Manager.
  4. Set up a media library, pointing it to the Videos folder on your PC.
  5. Turn on DLNA via Settings -> Plex Media Server -> DLNA -> DLNA enabled:

Create a Windows DLNA media profile

Create a new file called Windows DLNA.xml with the content below. Save it in C:Program Files (x86)PlexPlex Media ServerResourcesProfiles.

Create an Xbox One DLNA media profile

Create another new file called Xbox One.xml with the content below. Save it in C:Program Files (x86)PlexPlex Media ServerResourcesProfiles.

Restart Plex

  1. Shut down Plex Media Server (you can find the icon in your Task Tray).
  2. Restart Plex Media Server from your Start Menu / Start Screen.

Stream your content!

After restarting Plex, you should see a “Plex Media Server” icon in Windows Explorer:

Xbox One Plex Media Server

If you can’t see it, you might need to:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Navigate to Computer -> Access Media.
  3. Click on Connect to a media server:

One the icon appears, find your content and stream it to your One:

Easy!

What about subtitles?

Enabling subtitles is pretty easy. Whilst on the PC: Plex on switch.

  1. Open the Plex Media Manager.
  2. Find the show you want to enable subtitles for, hit the drop-down next to “SUBTITLES” and make a language selection:

That’s it! The subtitles will be rendered next time you Play To.

How does it work?

If you’re interested, here’s how it works.

  • The Windows DLNA profile ensures that Plex only sends the Windows DLNA client file formats it supports Play To for. Any unsupported file formats will be converted to supported ones on-the-fly.

Xbox One Plex Server

In the logfile extract below, Plex detects that Windows 8 doesn’t support mkv/h264/aac and remuxes (converts) it:

  • The Xbox One profile ensures that Plex only send the One file formats it can successfully stream. Again, unsupported formats are converted on the fly.

In the logfile extract below, Plex detects the Xbox One client ensures any unsupported video is converted before being sent:

That’s it!

Microsoft’s big push for independent development on the Xbox One is finally starting to pay off. The popular media streaming application Plex is being ported to the Xbox One, and it’s all thanks to open source software and the [email protected] program. Watching your video library on your console will soon be easier than ever, and it won’t even require jailbreaking the device.

A developer by the name of Tyson Edwards recently posted on the Plex forums — explaining that he is currently working on a port of the application for the Xbox One. He claims that he has been accepted into the [email protected] program, and he’s begun work on fully integrating the Xbox One’s user experience into Plex. After only a few days of work, Edwards already has Kinect-powered voice controls working in his prototype version.

Keep in mind, this isn’t an officially sanctioned version of Plex. As it stands, this project is being operating exclusively by Edwards himself. A Plex staff member briefly popped into the forum thread to explain that the company has “never talked about a new platform ahead of release,” so it remains unclear if an official version is headed for the Xbox One at a later date. Edwards has already pledged that his code will be available to the Plex team, and they’ll have the option to turn this app into the official release if they so choose.

Microsoft, of course, has DLNA support with its “Play To” system, but its limitations and lack of flexibility left Edwards wanting more. He goes on to say that he began this project in earnest after buying an Xbox One, and growing frustrated with Microsoft’s streaming video implementation. It’s clear from this tidbit that this app will largely work as a simple client, and the video content will stream off of an existing media server. After all, downloading and managing video files locally on the Xbox One sounds like a nightmare.

Plex server for xbox one

Plex Xbox 1

The fact that something like this can exist on an unmodified version of the Xbox One is a testament to Microsoft’s current leadership. It’d be easy for Redmond to squash projects like this in favor of their own system, but the Xbox team seems dedicated to turning the tide in the console wars. The heavy competition from Sony has changed the Xbox One in front of our eyes, and both consumers and developers are benefiting from it in a major way.