What are Plex Supported and Unsupported Media Formats

Plex is an all-in-one media sharing server that uses your PC to distribute content to any room in your house. Plex essentially acts as a faux-server, using your computer and the media you already have as a media hub for devices you grant it access to. It’s been around for over seven years now, and is pretty much a staple in any media connoisseur’s arsenal.

Plex is easy to install and easy to use. It is based on XBMC whose strength is its ability to order you media in various ways. For example it has a special “folder” where it keeps movies or TV shows that you haven’t finished. It also keeps new media in a special folder. So its pretty easy to find movies and other media that you are most interested in.

Plex is divided into two versions. A free, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink version of the media server software, and a paid version called Plex Pass that gives you everything and the kitchen sink plus everything in the upstairs rooms for $4.99 (£3, about AU$6) a month.

Plex Supported File Formats:

Video Support

Content matching the following can usually be Direct Played:

MP4 container

  • Video Encoding: H.264, H.265 (HEVC), mpeg4, VC-1
  • Audio Encoding: AAC, AC3, EAC3, MP3

MKV container

  • Video Encoding: H.264, H.265 (HEVC), mpeg4, VC-1
  • Audio Encoding: AAC, AC3, ALAC, FLAC, MP3

Other content will need to be either Direct Streamed or transcoded. We’re working with Microsoft to bring support for more native formats.

Music Support

The following audio formats are currently supported for music playback:

  • AAC
  • ALAC
  • FLAC
  • MP3
  • M4A
  • WAV

Other supported audio formats will be automatically transcoded for compatibility.

Does the app support DTS audio?

At present, there is no support for 3rd-party applications to play DTS audio. Content with DTS audio will have the audio automatically transcoded by the Plex Media Server in order to preserve the surround sound audio channels.
We’re working with Microsoft to bring DTS playback support in the future.

Plex Unsupported File Formats:

Media compatibility and video quality limitations vary by device. Plex for Smart TVs uses playback systems provided by the TV manufacturer. In some cases, formats that can be played by DLNA or from a USB drive on a device may not be available for direct playback by Plex.

Files such as ISO or IMG and folder structures such as VIDEO_TS or BDMV are generally referred to as “disk image” formats because they’re basically “cloning” the structure and content from a DVD or Blu-Ray optical disc. Plex does not support the use of the “disk image” formats. If you wish to use those with Plex, you should convert them to a compatible format.

Tips: To encode/re-encode unsupported media content for Plex, Brorsoft Video Converter Ultimate is recommended. The program is an all-in-one video, DVD and Blu-ray solution. With it, you can transcode all the media formats of videos to Plex supported formats with fast encoding speed and excellent output video quality.


The installation is quick and painless, but the act of actually adding media to Plex – which requires setting up specifically named folders and subfolders and naming video files in a certain format – is best described as tedious, irritating and at points downright ridiculous. Stick with it, though, and you’ll be rewarded ten-fold once your server goes live for the first time.


1. Sign up & download

Sign up for your free account and download the Plex Media Server software, the central brain that organizes all of your media.

2. Add your media

Plex recognizes just about any kind of video, music, or photo format and displays all of your content in an easy-to-navigate interface.

3. Stream to your favorite devices

Install Plex apps on any of your devices so you can enjoy your beautifully organized media wherever you are.

Device Support

Plex is available for mobile devices running iOS, Android, Windows Phone or Windows 8, as well as a stable of set-top boxes that include any Android TV platform, most smart TVs, the new Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Ouya, Roku, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3 and Playstation 4. If you’re out at a friends house and thought to left your PC running back at home, you can even use a browser to login and access your cache of shows, pictures, music, movies and podcasts.

Final verdict

If you consider yourself a media buff and have the repository of .mkv files to back it up, Plex is everything you’ve been longing for.

Despite some lackluster installation instructions and a convoluted process to get things up and running, I found it to be one of the most gorgeous, easy-to-use and light-weight pieces of software out there. The fact that it’s free just adds icing to an already delicious cake.

As long as you go in with an open mind and a quick, stable connection, Plex will not disappoint.

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