Plex vs Kodi – Which one is better?

Plex vs Kodi – Which one is better?

A question that is raised often, and because of the popularity of either platform, It will continue to confuse the user! On the face of it, they appear similar right? Well, the two couldn’t be more different, but it’s a problem many face, which one is for me?

So let’s start with a brief look at either, but I urge you to keep reading and grasp what either can and can’t do.  Then you can decide what one is better for your needs. Spoiler alert, I use both…

FEATURES KODI PLEX MEDIA SERVER
Transcoding Client Server
Client Hardware Support A Lot A Lot More
Add-ons Lots Limited
Visual Customization Very easy with mass choice None existent
Add-on Maintenance Community Professional
Cost Free Free, $5 per Client and/or Optional Subscription
Remote Streaming limited and difficult intergrated and Possible

 

Availability and Compatibility

While availability for either is vast, Plex is the winner here, hands down. Plex is available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, XBOX, Playstation, Chromecast, AppleTV, Smart TVs (not all) Andriod TV, Amazon Fire and Roku

Kodi  is aimed at a different target audience, windows, Linux, Andriod iOS and on the others…however this often requires more work, as theirs less official support from the vendors. Don’t be to put off though with some work it can be made to work on devices that don’t natively support it. (Such as jailbreaking and rooting)

 

Ease of use/Setup

Like any windows application, the plex app is downloaded, installed and ran. A one-off configuration is needed, to point Plex towards your media folders. The interface is very easy to work with, you should be up and running in no time. The only potential weakness here isn’t strictly a plex problem but stems from bad file naming. Plex does a very good job of identifying media and downloading the correct metadata, and artwork. It’s yet to fail for me, in terms of actually finding the correct information, this is due to my library being well formatted into folders. If you weren’t already aware by now plex can be used into two different ways. First, either as

If you weren’t already aware by now plex can be used into two different ways. First, either as hub to browse your local media. A user can reap the rewards of a sleek and user-friendly UI to play their local files, on that PC. Secondly, it’s a server, that can serve media files to ANY compatible devices (that has the app) in your home. Plex can be used a standard DNLA server, but it shines when a compatible device and complimenting app is used to access the server.

A typical example would be Plex installed onto a dedicated NAS or desktop windows PC, to serve the media. Then one of the above-mentioned platforms and app to watch the videos. One key strength here is that The Server handles all the transcoding, so the receipt device need not do all the work.

As mentioned above, unless your install onto windows or an Andriod box, then you’ll need to do some footwork before even installing Kodi. Once your up and running you greeted with a sleek and easy UI. Touchscreen users will feel at home, with the left to right sweeping style layout.

Now this is where the key difference between the two become clear, you’re not likely to use KodiI to play media locally or even from your home network. You can use Kodi to play online content. Out of the box that;s not how its set-up, you’ll need to install 3rd party add-ons to maximize its potential. The amount of choice is ever growing, another option is to apply a build. Which is a preconfigured version of Kodi with several add-ons, built-in and ready to use

 

Add-ons and Channels

While plex is limited to local content, it can be enhanced with channels, to play remote content. Don’t get too excited yet because my personal experience with them was not great. The channel choice isn’t nowhere near as good as Kodi offers, and they tend to be unreliable too. Maintenance seems slow and inconsistent

Kodi wins in this category, no questions asked. The number of add-ons is insanely large, and the community behind them, product current and able addons. They are maintained actively and cater for even the most niche interests

Well then, there we have it. As I said earlier, I still find the need to use both! Are you still confused? use the following checklist to decide.

Plex 

  • Lots of supported devices
  • Intend to Play local content only
  • No interest in customization
  • Prefer ease of use over functions
  • Free
  • Kodi

    • Comforable or knowledgeable applying work arounds
    • Don’t mind putting in the time to fix things
    • Prefer control and customization options
    • Want access to online content
    • Free
    • Let us know in the comment section below what you use.

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