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Direct Media Share ‘ShareON Video’ vs ‘Plex’ Media Server


Direct Media Share ‘ShareON Video’ vs ‘Plex’ Media Server

The most notable difference between the two is that ShareON Video provides for free, whereas user must pay $4.99 to download Plex and pay monthly payments of $3.99 to use additional features such as cloud services, automatic photo uploads, etc.

ShareON Video
$ 4.99 for application
(+ $ 3.99 for monthly pass)
Device Configured Through
Simple login process with your E-mail or Facebook account
Login and type in PC’s IP address to sync
Media Sharing Method
Select shared folder (Automatically share media stored on multiple devices)
Log on to website with PC and register selected folder as library
Media View Type
Comprehensive single list of all files (of all connected devices, can also perform comprehensive search)
Registered library folder and other online channels
Supported Extensions
Immediate play on nearby DLNA devices without installation of particular apps (supports caption function in Korean & English)
Must install exclusive app for Smart TV and set-top box beforehand
Supported Media Type
Videos, Music, Photos
Videos, Music, Photos
Other Features
Can share media via text and SNS
Can sync with iTunes music library

To test the services, we downloaded both applications and ran them. Both require its users to join as members for services, so we joined them both and logged in.

ShareON automatically organized media contents per file type (video, music, and photo) and displayed as shown in the picture. When you play a file, it keeps a record of when the file was played and shows it on timeline – a helpful feature when searching for a particular media you played in the past.

Of course, this time stamp can be removed through the Edit function on a selected file just in case you don’t want to leave such record.

Plex organizes user’s media contents into the following categories: Recommended, List, Recently Added, Currently Playing, My Library, and Channel. However I was not able to view any file in any of the list even when my smartphone was loaded with bunch of videos, photo, and music files. When we checked with the developer, we were told the Plex only shows media contents that are registered on PC.

To view a media file stored on PC, we installed PC programs for each application. ShareON requires users to log on through its PC program and when we selected a folder with videos and photo, the selected folder (and its files) became instantly recognized in smartphone. For media contents that were uploaded via PC, there was a small computer icon at the bottom of their thumbnails.  

Plex also requires its users to download and install its PC program, but to share the media contents in your computer, you must first register the desired shared folder as Library through web browser. To view the video files on my smartphone, I had to register the folder as Library, fix IP address of my PC and enter the fixed IP address on my smartphone. Finally, I can view the files I shared with the PC on my smartphone.

One of the most convenient features of ShareON is that it can connect to DLNA supporting devices wirelessly. There is no restriction to be in the same Wi-Fi zone, no restriction of manufacturing company – as long as the external device you are trying to get connected to is DLNA supporting device (such as TV, speaker, Play Station, Xbox, etc.), you can easily enjoy media contents in your PC and smartphone through full HD streaming.

Plex, on the other hand, requires its users to install exclusive application (Chromecast, Smart TV, Google TV, etc.) to begin streaming from the media server (PC).
There was no setting requirement to begin using ShareON, and the biggest advantages of using this app are 1) its ability to enable users to play/view media files stored in multiple devices on smartphone anywhere, anytime and 2) seamless streaming of media contents on big screens (TV, for one) through its DLNA supporting functions.
Although Plex provides various functions that are not available for ShareON such as sync with iTunes library and sharing through online streaming service like Vimeo and Twit, it felt a little complicated to set-up and utilize its services and was not suitable to use with other extended devices such as TV and Wi-Fi speaker.

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