I was looking for a media server and stumbled across Plex Media Server for the first time while I was researching information on Vmware ESXi, by pure luck. I had previously looked at Twonky Media Server and Kodi (formerly XBMC)
I read a lot first about what Plex was and what it was doing. Plex consists of two separate software :
Plex Media Server enables you to stream your media content to almost any device: Iphone, Ipad, other computers, TVs, etc… . It also contains a powerful transcoder to transcode your files to adapt to the network bandwith and capacities of the receiving devices. In addition, you can also transcode some files and put them in the cloud (Cloud Sync) to see them even if in the case where the server is down.
Plex uses a pretty strict way of organizing and naming the files and uses the TVDB for the metadata, it took me weeks to organize my series and animes correctly.
After using it for a few weeks, I decided to buy a lifetime license for 75 $ and was lucky enough to buy it before the significant price increase.
For the moment, I only use Plex Media Server with the web interface and it is meeting all of my needs. All of the users at home use it and love it. Long term, I plan on building a small PC client with PHT and connect it to the TV via HDMI.
I Installed Plex Media Server in a Windows 7 Virtual Machine and allocated it two of the four cores of the i3 3225 of the server that it runs on.
Here is a screenshot.