For the past 3 or four years I have been thinking about and lightly pursuing a managed media system for our home theater (the big TV in the living room). We own literally 100s of DVDs and BlueRays, but we most often stream something from Netflix or Amazon Prime. And let's be honest, the quality of the non-Original programming that is available on either service has been declining for some time. We have rid ourselves (OK, Heather rid us of) the cumbersome plastic clamshells that they all come in and use Media Binders, big ones. 7 or 8 of them for DVDs and BlueRays and two enormous ones for CDs. I have been very happy with using MakeMKV to rip disks to files for three or four years, but I haven't found a good solution for playing the movies until Plex.Tv.
I have the start of my digital movie collection on a 2TB USB hard drive. I get excited and rip 9 or 10 movies or a TV series every so often, but I had never gotten the solution to the point that Heather was happy with it until now. I have just taken my laptop and an HDMI cable and hooked up to watch movies before. Hasn't everyone? I keep an HDMI cable in my laptop case for that exact purpose in hotel rooms when I travel. But Plex.Tv is the first home media server that 'just works'. We have a Sony 4k TV, a Sony BlueRay player, and an Xbox One. Two of the three have native Plex.Tv apps and the BlueRay player can use it as a DLNA server and can get access to the videos.
It is well worth the very slight amount of time and effort to get it done. There are tons of things I feel like I "should just be able to write" that I never get done and this saved me from one that has hung over my head since Maximum Overdrive finished playing as the first disk into the first DVD drive for a computer I ever owned. Well, I know that I have code left in me so here is a link to the Unofficial Plex API page.