I know Plex is very good for watching videos on your smart TV, Ruku or somewhere else, but I am sure there is a common error to you all that says “This server is not powerful enough to convert video”. As is explained by Plex, you may probably have to transcode or convert your video to a more Plex compatible video format. And when you try to play video recordings by Camcorders on Plex, this error looks more common than usual because most of your HD recordings by camcorders like MPEG-2 and AVCHD are NOT supported by the Plex server. And you will have to find a Plex video converter to convert them first.
In this post, I’d like to recommend the best Plex Video Converter that can convert MKV, AVI, WMV, M2TS, and Blu-rays, and DVDs for streaming on Plex.
What media formats are supported by Plex?
Plex on smart TVs uses your TV’s built-in player to play media files, so the supported media formats all depend on smart TV. Also, due to the limited codec support, Plex Media Server is NOT possible to play all media files. According to the official blog, Plex explains in detail the supported media formats are:
In short, the MP4 container with AAC music is the most compatible for Plex, no matter it’s on smart TVs, Roku, iOS/Android apps.
So, the key point to be able to stream your videos/recordings as well as Blu-rays and DVDs over Plex, if you have a problem play them, is to rip, transcode and convert them to more Plex compatible format.
The Solid Plex Video Converter for PC and Mac
Feel free to have a free trial of DVDFab, it is available on both PC and Mac and supports the latest macOS.
Best Way to Rip Blu-ray or DVD for Plex
Plex officially explains that it does not support Blu-ray DVD streaming. The best way to watch your Blu-ray or DVD movies via the Plex server is to rip them to Plex compatible MKV or MP4 files. And, DVDFab offers what I think the best way to rip Blu-ray and/or DVD for Plex. With all kinds of Blu-ray and DVD copy protection supported, DVDFab easily decrypts your commercially purchased Blu-ray and DVDs. MP4 is always recommended to rip Blu-ray or DVD for Plex. And DVDFab can optimize your video for streaming. Make sure to check Web Optimized in Advanced Settings. You’ll see the reason for it’s being the best way to rip Blu-ray or DVD for Plex.
Plex MKV files: Good for Streaming?
MKV is a popular container and what’s inside matters. It’s good to go, but you may not able to play MKV files in Plex directly as the codec inside may not be supported. MP4 is a more widely supported container for Plex than MKV. So, when it comes to MKV files for Plex, you can try to convert MKV to MP4 for better streaming, especially when you have trouble playing them over Plex. And, you don’t have to worry about losing quality.
Plex Hardware Transcoding
It is truly attractive to use the Plex hardware transcoding to improve the watching experience, especially for 4K videos. However, hardware coded video by Plex comes with obviously lower quality than the original. And, Plex implies that its hardware encoding may not be 100% working for some devices. Also, you certainly cannot use the hardware transcoding to rip DVD to Plex.
So, I am quite wondering if there is any way to keep the original quality with smoothly streaming experience, even for 4K videos, Blu-rays, and DVDs? The answer is simple and straight forward: convert your videos to more Plex compatible format before streaming. And, the good news is those Plex video converters support GPU hardware acceleration!
DVDFab is the Intel® Software Premier Elite Partner and they have been working together for over a decade and it takes full advantage of the Intel Quick Sync technology, so it is believed to be faster than Plex hardware transcoding. Besides, it supports AMD GPUs on PC and MAC as well.
How to Rip Blu-ray, DVD, and convert MKV, AVI, MPEG2, etc videos to Plex
DVDFab is an all-in-one media converter that is able to convert all kinds of videos and recordings, no matter they are in MOV, AVCHD, M2TS/MTS, MKV, AVI, etc. With over 20 years of development, DVDFab supports all kinds of copy protection from Blu-ray and DVDs as well! And converting those video formats to Plex Media Server is easy with just a few mouse clicks. Below is my detailed and step-by-step guide on how to use this Plex video converter to convert and transcode videos or Blu-ray DVDs to Plex in MP4 AAC as it’s the most compatible and is recommended by Plex officially.
Step 1. Add Blu-ray/DVD/Videos
With DVDFab, the very Plex transcoder and converter, you are able to add your videos, Blu-ray, DVDs, or Blu-ray DVD ISO and folders simply by drag-and-drop. Also, you are able to add videos remotely from your phone as shown below:
Step 2. Specify/Edit Output Profile
MP4 or your last used profile is the default to the Plex video converter to go. Click the format icon to change profiles.
Click the Advanced Settings button if you want to set up the video codec to H264 and audio codec to AAC. You are also able to set the resolution, frame rate, profile, etc.
You can also save it as your own for future use.
Step 3. Web Optimized and Hardware Transcoding for Plex[Optional]
In Advanced Settings, you can enable Web Optimized for better streaming over Plex or other online sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc.
And, to take full advantage of your GPU, you can enable hardware transcoding for Plex. It is available in Common Settings-A/V Codec. Do a hardware info check first to see if your GPU is supported.
Step 4. Start Transcoding
Hit the Start button to start ripping your DVD Blu-ray or converting MKV, AIV, M2TS videos to Plex.