The Plex media server is purdy, flexible and capable of handling gobs and gobs of metadata, but one major hurdle has been holding it back: relatively skimpy device support. Yeah, you could run Plex on Google TV, some LG products and (starting recently) Roku, but that was about it. That's poised to change with a new beta release that adds support for the widely utilized DLNA protocol.
Theoretically, all supported content should flow easily between all DLNA-compatible devices, but in the real world, manufacturers sometimes handle DLNA streaming differently. To that end, while the Plex beta should be able to send shows, pictures, music to scads of HDTVs, Blu-ray players and home receivers (assuming they're DLNA compatible, of course), Plex has focused its development to deliver the best possible experience on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and WDLive.
As a beta, there's bound to be the eventual bugs, and Plex admits that subtitles aren't quite working just yet. The media server also supports metadata and channels if the receiving DLNA device will accept it. A couple of interesting features have been added to the mix: myPlex queue support allows you prep web videos for watching using a bookmarklet, then stream it to a DLNA device, while the myPlex shared content support lets you play media shared remotely by your buds. We like the way the blog post describes the last shared content support: This is, like, mind-boggling. DLNA isn’t supposed to work across the Internet, but with our new server, I get all Obama-like and yell “Yes You Can!”
Interested? Head on over to the Plex downloads page and give the Windows build a whirl. (Be sure to select the beta version with DLNA support, all the way at the bottom of the screen on the right-hand side.) A Linux version is currently wrapping up testing and will be available shortly. This blog post includes all the nitty gritty details about the release