For those of you who are not tech savvy you may be wondering what Media Server Software is, and what it can do for you. Media Server Software is dedicated software that provides multimedia on demand. Many types of media server software are used in conjunction with home theater systems. Some media server software can be used in professional capacity such as for concerts and live theater.

There are a variety of media server software programs that you can choose from and these programs run from those that are simple and easy to set up to others that are extremely complicated.

What to Look For In Media Server Software

When you consider purchasing media server software there are some things you should look for in a software program. Here a few features you need to look for:

  • You want a system that can ingest a wide variety of H.264 content that will allow you both live stream and record files in a variety of formats.
  • You want a program that has the ability to add new container formats or compression schemes so that the system can grow with technology.
  • You want a media server software that includes adaptive bitrate streaming to compensate for problem a network may be having.
  • The ability to live stream without significant delays

A Look At Some Types of Home Media Server Software

Here is a brief look at some of the types of Home Media Server software that is available.


Plex is an extremely popular media server software program for home use. It is quite flexible and easy for most people to set up. This software can be set up on any hard drive and works when set up on both a computer or NAS.

Setting up of this program is largely automated so there isn’t much you actually have to do to set up this software other than a few clicks. The menus are easy to navigate and pretty fast, although speed may be related somewhat to the speed of your connection for larger files.

You may need a Plex subscription or lifetime pass to use of Plex’s features.

Universal Media Server

Universal Media Server is an open source and free media solution. Compared to Plex set up for this software program can be quite complicated, but stable and remarkably reliable.

The Universal Media Server can be set up either on a computer or NAS and it has good support should you need help during the set up process. UMS is highly customizable, but it does lack remote access options and it has limited plug-ins.

Set up can also be quite confusing for many users forcing them to rely on customer support more than some people would like.

While these are just two of the Media Server software programs that are available, this will give you some idea how these programs work and some of their benefits and limitations. While media server software is something you are going to want if you have a home theater you will want to carefully consider the options available to see which server will give you the best bang for your buck.

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