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Posted by Matthew Watt - Sep 07, 2021 | Contact Author

How to Stream and Play ISO Files via Plex Server

Many people would like to rip DVD to ISO image files for a complete backup of DVD without anything loss. You can easily play ISO files on Mac or PC with VLC, 5K Player and some other media player. But if you want to stream and play your ISO movie files via Plex, you will end up with failure. In fact, Plex officially makes it clear in its supported sources list - "Plex does not support the use of ISO, IMG, Video_TS, or other "disk image" formats." If you wish to use ISO files with Plex, it's recommended that you convert ISO to a compatible format with Plex.

Our article will cover everything you want to know about ISO to Plex, including, why Plex doesn't ISO format, what is the best software for converting ISO to Plex, what is the optimum format for encoding ISOs for Plex, and how to fast copy and get ISO to Plex with best quality in a smaller file size.

Part 1. Why Plex Doesn't Support ISO Image Format?

ISO image file is an archive file of an optical disc. It is a sector-by-sector copy of the source DVD or Blu-ray by specific disk imaging software, and it contains all written contents from an optical disc and owns large file size - almost the same file size as original DVD or Blu-ray disc. ISO image files hide content behind built-in menu systems. Not only would the menus add extra UI that a user would need to wade through to get to the content, but there also simply isn't any good way that they could be presented in the myriad different Plex apps that are available – from iOS to Android, from the web browser to the Roku. It just isn't feasible to try and present a DVD menu type interface in some of the devices.

Simply put, ISO formats and other similar disk image formats like Video_TS, BDMV just don't fit into the idea behind the Plex ecosystem. If you wish to use ISO image files with Plex, you should convert ISO to MP4, MKV or other Plex compatible formats.

Part 2. What's the Best Software to Convert ISO for Plex?

There is a long list of conversion programs and tools available. But if you don't want to be held back by slow processing and poor output quality, here we sincrely recommend EaseFab DVD Ripper. With it, you can convert ISO, Video_TS folder and any movie DVD disc to Plex compatible video formats in just 3 simple steps. Powered by Intel® (QSV), NVIDIA® (CUDA) and AMD, together with the support for multi-core processor, EaseFab DVD Ripper could accelerate disc reading, loading, and processing at super-fast speed. Also, its high quality technology can help you get nearly original quality after ISO to Plex conversion.

Furthermore, it owns 400+ profiles for converting ISO image to MP4/AVI/MOV for playback on devices easily and is built with powerful decryption technology for copy protected ISO images and encrypted movie DVDs, even those Disney DVD movies with X-project DRM.

Part 2. What Is the Best Format for Converting ISOs to Plex

Before getting into the guide of encoding ISO to Plex, let's first make clear which formats Plex Media Server can accept. Plex's media compatibility and video quality limitations vary by device. The typically native supported codec of Plex is MP4 (H.264+AAC).

Videos satisfying the following standards can usually be directly played with Plex:

◆ Container: MP4
◆ Video Encoding: H.264 (level 4.0 or lower)
◆ Audio Encoding: AAC
◆ Resolution: 1920×1080 or smaller
◆ Video Framerate: 30fps
◆ Video Bit Depth: 8

Related: Plex support article - What media formats are supported?

Part 4. How to Convert ISO to Plex with EaseFab DVD Ripper in 3 Simple Steps?

To begin with, you need to download and install EaseFab DVD Ripper Windows or Mac version on your computer. The guide below takes the Windows version for an example. Mac version has the same process.

Step 1. Load the ISO file you want to import to Plex.

Launch EaseFab DVD Ripper on your computer. Click IFO/ISO button to load the DVD ISO image file you want to convert. Batch conversion is supported so you can add multiple ISO image files to convert at a time.

Add ISO Image Files

Step 2. Choose an output format that Plex supports.

Go to "Profile" bar and choose MP4 (h264+aac) from Common Video category. Optionally choose preferred audio track, subtitle, output folder according your needs.

Click the "Settings" icon, you can adjust video audio parameters. But if you don't know parameters very well, just keep the default settings which are the best settings for your Plex.

Select MP4 for Encoding ISO to Plex

Step 3. Start conversion

Hit the Convert button to convert ISO to Plex at lightning speed with best quality.

Part 5. How to add converted ISO Movies to Plex Media Server

Step 1. Download and install Plex Media Server. When the installation is finished or when the server is run for the first time, a browser will pop up and ask you to either sign in or sign up.

Step 2. Run Plex and click "Add Selection" and "Movies" to add the ripped DVD digital MP4 video to Plex.

Step 3. Install Plex app on any of your devices to stream and watch the DVD movie video anytime and anywhere you want.

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Matthew Watt

Matthew Watt is an amateur tech enthusiast, but now a sought-after editor at EaseFab. He is responsible for writing contents on DVD, digital video, audio, software reviews, new digital contents etc. He continues enjoying painting and comics, and is currently fascinated with photography.

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