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We asked, you told us: Most of you use Plex, but not for Plex content

Reader comments suggest Plex still has plenty of scope for improvement though.

Published onApril 12, 2022

Emby vs Plex

Plex is one of the most popular media apps around, letting you watch your own content over a network while also giving you access to a variety of free movies and TV shows as well.

The service has introduced a number of new features in recent months, but we wanted to know whether you used Plex in the first place. Here’s what you told us in this poll.

Do you use Plex?


Over 3,100 votes were counted as of writing and it turns out that 57% of polled readers do indeed use Plex, but only for their own content. This isn’t too surprising, as this was Plex’s original purpose and the ability to stream a selection of free content came later.

People who use Plex for both their own content and the free library of videos account for 26.74% of the vote, coming in second place. The app doesn’t have nearly as many prominent, high-profile titles as other streaming services, but it’s still got a decent library for a free service.

More coverage: Did Plex just kill the streaming media box?

People who don’t use Plex accounted for 13.61% of the final tally, coming in third place. There are indeed several alternatives out there for those wanting to watch their own content over a network, with Emby emerging as one of the biggest rivals.

Finally, just under 2% of respondents say they use Plex solely for its free content.


  • Timothy: No. I prefer Emby over Plex. Emby plays anything I throw at it.
  • Bikerchris: Interestingly within the last 2 weeks, after an 18 month trial of Plex (paying month on month), I’ve decided to give Emby a go. So far I am slightly preferring it, though this is mainly due to the inclusion of schedule based parental controls, and the option to watch content when the net is down. After all, the media is local, wouldn’t it be nice to easily access it, in the event of having no internet? The jury is still out, but I am paying month by month again to give it a full test. It is far more involved than Plex but with little more effort it does have some control options that I prefer. I did try Jellyfin but on TrueNAS the install is a challenge.
  • Swansea Poverty: Plex has been a major upgrade for me over all of the competition. Started with Kodi which didn’t come close to what I needed, Jelly was actually okay but the way Plex handles transcoding is the real game changer. Admittedly you need modern archecture but let’s be honest we are talking transcoding 4K HDR down to 720p SDR, none of the competitors come close to offering the simplicity.
  • nihaopaul: The thing I hate most about Plex is they take away features from me that I paid for. I got in early with the Plex pass for life, I’ve found that only my main account can now download content and not my daughters account which never used to be the case, I’ve found that she also needs to have a Plex pass subscription for her iOS app when I have it and originally Plex charged for the app on the app store which I purchased, then they made it free, now they want to charge again but in app.
  • Joe G: My time with Plex is likely coming to an end. The latest release was an untested beta pushed out to everyone, no opt-out, no opt-in. Parental controls were ignored and managed users could get inappropriate content (rated R movies on a Kids profile, recommended off rated G movies). The ‘fix’ was just to hide the new Watch More content. They left it up without the fix for most of the day rather than roll it back – prioritizing the release over the kids. They could have rolled it back, put in their workaround, and then pushed it back out.

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