Plex servers come in all shapes and sizes. They can be powered by laptops, Desktop PC’s Mac OS, Windows Linux, Raspi devices and more. This allowed Plex to build a dedicated following of people looking to store or share digital files that are accessible to themselves and their chosen recipients. The only problem for Plex and fledgling users is that setting up a Plex server could be a little complicated.
If a user already has a computer its not a big deal. Just download the server from Plex and let the wizard do all the work for you. But if you do not have a computer already and want to take advantage of one of the the faster growing platforms in streaming you are faced with the need to make a major purchase just to get the most out of a free app on your TV or streaming device. Enter the Nvidia Shield. The Nvidia Shield is an Android TV based streaming box that allows user to stream in 4k as well as access tons of games via game streaming services and even sync with decade gaming PCs. But one of the lesser known abilities of the Shield TV is that it equipped to support a full Plex Server on its own.
That means that users who purchase the streaming/gaming console can set up a full Plex experience without the need to have a computer at all. While the cost of both the Nvidia Shield TV and the Pro model $149.99 and $199.99 respectively is more expensive than most other streaming devices such as a $49.99 Fire TV stick or even the latest from Roku, it puts the device on par with Apple TV 4k which sells for $179.99 or $199.99 depending on how much space you want.
Now look at those products and factor in the cost of a computer to run a Plex server and it becomes obvious why the feature is kind of the not quite so hidden gem here. For users who would like to build their own computer for Plex we do have a nice guide about how to do so here. But if users would like to have one in place without the hassle this is the way to go. The biggest disadvantage to a setup via Nvidia is that users would still need to have a way to copy physical media. Without a PC that could be a problem. On the other hand purchased digital media takes care of itself pretty easily.
See our video on the subject for more explanation.