Building an Emby Server: Unleash Your Media Library’s Potential

With the rise of digital media consumption, having a reliable and feature-rich media server has become essential. In this article, we’ll explore the process of building an Emby server, a popular media server solution. We’ll discuss the advantages of Emby over Plex and guide you through the setup and configuration, enabling you to create a robust and personalized media streaming platform.

Why Choose Emby Over Plex?

1. Emby’s Open-Source Nature:

Emby is an open-source media server platform, which means its source code is available for scrutiny and modification. This openness fosters a vibrant community of developers, resulting in regular updates, bug fixes, and enhanced features. Additionally, it allows for customization and integration with other open-source projects, making Emby a flexible and extensible choice.

2. Greater Media Format Support:

Emby boasts broad media format compatibility, allowing you to stream various media types effortlessly. It supports popular video and audio codecs, subtitles, and image formats, ensuring a seamless playback experience across different devices. Emby also handles 4K content and can transcode videos in real-time, optimizing the quality for devices with varying capabilities.

3. Personal Media Collection Management:

Emby prioritizes your personal media collection management. It offers robust library management features, allowing you to organize and categorize your movies, TV shows, music, and photos with ease. You can customize metadata, create playlists, and set parental controls, ensuring a tailored media experience for yourself and your family.

4. Live TV and DVR Capabilities:

Emby stands out with its Live TV and DVR functionalities. By connecting compatible TV tuners, you can watch and record live TV directly from your Emby server. With support for electronic program guides (EPG), scheduled recordings, and time-shifting, Emby transforms your server into a comprehensive entertainment hub.

Setting Up Your Emby Server:

1. Hardware Requirements:

To build an Emby server, ensure you have a suitable hardware setup. Consider factors like the number of concurrent users, media transcoding needs, and storage capacity. A dedicated machine or a powerful NAS (Network-Attached Storage) device is recommended for optimal performance.

2. Installation and Configuration:

  • Download and install the Emby server software on your preferred platform (Windows, macOS, or Linux).
  • Launch the Emby server and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the initial configuration.
  • Set up your media libraries by adding folders containing your media files. Emby will automatically scan and organize the content based on metadata retrieval.

3. Remote Access and User Management:

Configure remote access to your Emby server, allowing you to stream media outside your local network. Emby provides secure remote access options, including SSL/TLS encryption and dynamic DNS integration.

Create user accounts for family members or friends, granting them access to your media library. Emby allows you to control their access permissions, ensuring privacy and tailored content availability.

Enhancing Your Emby Server Experience:

1. Emby Add-ons and Plugins:

Extend the functionality of your Emby server by installing add-ons and plugins. Emby offers a range of community-developed plugins, including subtitle downloaders, channel providers, and metadata editors. These enhancements enable you to enrich your media library and customize the Emby experience further.

2. Emby Apps and Clients:

Emby provides apps and clients for various devices and platforms, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and streaming boxes. Install the relevant Emby app on your preferred devices to enjoy seamless media streaming, synchronization, and remote control capabilities.

3. Emby Premiere:

Consider subscribing to Emby Premiere, a

premium membership that unlocks additional features such as hardware-accelerated transcoding, cinema mode, cloud sync, and more. Emby Premiere ensures the best possible media streaming experience and supports the ongoing development of the platform.

Installation and Configuration Tutorial

Building Your Media Streaming Server

Emby is a powerful media server platform that allows you to stream your personal media collection across devices. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the installation and configuration process of setting up your Emby server. By following these steps, you’ll be able to create a robust media streaming solution tailored to your preferences.


Before we begin, ensure you have the following:

  • A dedicated machine or a NAS device to serve as your Emby server.
  • A stable internet connection.
  • The Emby server software, which can be downloaded from the official Emby website (

Step 1: Installation:

  1. Visit the Emby website ( and download the Emby server software appropriate for your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux).
  2. Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to install Emby on your machine.
  3. Once the installation is complete, launch the Emby server application.

Step 2: Initial Configuration:

  1. Upon launching the Emby server, you will be directed to the Emby Dashboard in your web browser. If not, open your preferred web browser and enter the following URL: http://localhost:8096.
  2. The Emby server will prompt you to set up an administrative account. Enter the required details, including username, password, and email address.
  3. Once the administrative account is created, you will be directed to the Emby server dashboard.

Step 3: Adding Media Libraries:

  1. In the Emby server dashboard, click on “Add Media Library” to start organizing and accessing your media files.
  2. Choose the type of media library you want to add, such as Movies, TV Shows, Music, or Photos.
  3. Specify the path to the folder containing your media files by clicking on “Browse” and navigating to the appropriate location.
  4. Customize the library settings by providing a name, selecting the preferred language, and enabling or disabling features like metadata downloading and subtitle support.
  5. Click on “Save” to add the media library to your Emby server.

Step 4: Remote Access:

  1. By default, your Emby server is accessible only within your local network. To enable remote access, click on “Remote Access” in the Emby server dashboard.
  2. Emby provides several options for remote access. Choose the method that suits your requirements. Options may include signing in with an Emby Connect account, configuring port forwarding, or setting up a secure remote connection via SSL/TLS.
  3. Follow the instructions provided for your chosen remote access method to configure it properly.

Step 5: User Management:

  1. Emby allows you to create user accounts to grant access to your media library to family members or friends.
  2. To create user accounts, click on “Users” in the Emby server dashboard.
  3. Click on “Add User” and provide the necessary details, including username and password.
  4. Customize the user’s access permissions, such as which libraries they can access and whether they have parental control restrictions.
  5. Click on “Save” to create the user account.

Remember to regularly update your Emby server software to access the latest features and security enhancements. Additionally, explore Emby’s advanced settings and customization options to further optimize your media server setup.

Enjoy your personalized media streaming solution with Emby and elevate your entertainment experience.


Building an Emby server empowers you to create a personalized media streaming platform tailored to your needs. With its open-source nature, broad media format support, comprehensive media library management, and live TV capabilities, Emby stands as a formidable alternative to Plex.

By following the setup and configuration steps outlined in this article, you can unleash the potential of your media library and enjoy a seamless media streaming experience across devices. Emby’s extensibility, customization options, and growing community make it an excellent choice for both casual media enthusiasts and power users alike.

Invest your time in building an Emby server and embrace the power of a flexible, feature-rich media server that prioritizes your personal media collection management and streaming preferences. Let Emby revolutionize your media streaming experience.