Seeking advice on options under $200 (give or take) to access Plex Server and YouTube, maybe Netflix too, on my TV

jlondon75

Distinguished
Jan 22, 2012
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18,510
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Hi folks,

I need advice on replacing an ancient (circa 2004 big-box-store) PC that just died. I was using it simply as a way to access my Plex Server and YoutTube and Netflix on an old TV. I've not had to think about this setup for about 5 years now, so I'm way behind on options. Looking to spend around $200 (willing to go closer to $300-ish if I have to).

I'm not sure if I should go the "single board computer" route, like a Raspberry Pi, or an ODROID base, or a Tinker Board, or if I should go with something more like the Roku Premiere+, or Amazon Fire Stick...or an Intel NUC, or something else. I am all ears.

I really do NOT need the system to do much of ANYTHING else. I'm just looking to be able to access my Plex media server, YouTube videos, and maybe Netflix (I say "maybe" because our cable box already does Netflix too -- its a little clunky, but passable).

Thoughts?
 

punkncat

Commendable
Apr 3, 2018
1,104
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IMO the easiest thing you could do would be to source an old refurb office box. Questions would be what manner of hook up you have to the TV available and what resolution you are aiming for, since some of the older machines would be looking for VGA, perhaps display port, and certainly not higher than 1080.
I have a fire stick on one of my older TV to make it "smart" and it works really well but I am not terribly familiar with how to access Plex on it. I am pretty sure there is a way since you can often add Android style programs to it.
A NUC would likely be outside that price range as a complete system.

If you were really lucky you might be able to find an older AMD a series with the iGPU that would work really well for such.
 

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