Kodi vs Plex - Which one is right for me?

Kodi and Plex media solutions both offer the user access to their personal libraries of movies, tv shows, music and photos.  We get asked on a regular basis what solution is more suitable and to be honest there is no clear answer.  Both solutions have their pro's and con's and today we're going to discuss from the perspective of a Control4 based installation.

Kodi and Plex are both home theater applications that can be installed on various devices to manage and playback your content. Both Kodi and Plex provide a slick user interface on its own onscreen UI and through Control4 (using the Chowmain Kodi Full and Plex Full drivers).  Architecture wise they are however different.

The strength of Plex is that it can transcode media from one format to a format that is compatible with the device you are using.  For example you can utilise Plex on an Amazon Fire TV or a Roku and the content from the server is transcoded to suit the formats compatible with those devices.  Unfortunately this means that the server requires alot of power to do this.  As such if you wish to install the server on a NAS you need a high powered NAS (intel i3 minimum) to transcode 1080p based content.

The strength of Kodi is that everything is done on the one device.  You do not need a seperate server as Kodi itself does all library cataloging and playback.  This means that the platform you install Kodi onto has to have enough power.  Although you can install and run Kodi on lower power/cheaper based platforms such as the Raspberry Pi or an Android STB for best experience we recommend something a bit more high powered like an i3/i5 based intel NUC.

Plex has the ability to start playback on one client and then resume the content on another client.  This is great if you have multiple TV's around the home and want to move around.  It also has the ability to restrict content for users to MPAA ratings, certain libraries and more.  This is useful for restricting adult content from children.

Kodi has video and audio addons which allow you to stream content from various online sources.  This is great for catch up tv services, online news services, music television, music services and more.