If you're an active reader of my blog, you've probably heard about Plex Media Server (often abbreviated to PMS), and know that you can drop it on an unRAID network server. Unfortunately, while it runs smoothly about 99% of the time, there are a few bugs that can bring your media streaming experience to a halt. Three, in particular, seem to be pretty common among Plex enthusiasts.
You've probably heard a lot about Netflix and Hulu; Roku and Chromecast; cable cutting or using the Internet to get your TV, but are you really using these solutions to their fullest extent? Do you actually save any money in the long term? Is it feasible for you? I use Netflix to stream archived movies and episodic television shows, Hulu to stream day-old content, and Plex to stream local content, and web content that is otherwise unavailable (e.g. How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory). Once it's all set up, the process is actually pretty simple: I pull the app up on Roku or smartphone and get ready to stream my local content or binge watch my favorite Netflix show. But that doesn't really help you find out what works for you, does it?
Assuming your cable costs are average ($60/mo), then a pay-off date for your cable-cutting system will be fairly easy to figure out. The graph below outlines two types of cable cutters, your Basic Cable Cutters which will be served by Option One below, and your Advanced Cable Cutters which are served by Option Two below. We'll get into what the options mean in the next section, but for now take a look at the graph.
Operating Costs (Running Totals)
As you can see, the red line (Cable) costs grow by $60 every month, whereas the Cable Cutter options only grow by $16 every month (Hulu and Netflix), but start $300 or $700 higher than Cable due to the cost of buying your own equipment.