If you read my previous article titled "Why you should self host" then you know that my first and main reason is to save money. Think about how much money you spend on monthly subscriptions to services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, etc. Think back to how much these services cost when you first subscribed to them. Now think about how much they are now. Most of them, if not all, have slowly increased over the years. Some of them have added advertisements and commercials that can't be skipped even though you are a paying member. Isn't that crazy?
Netflix recently announced that they will be introducing a new paid tier that charges $6.99/mo that is supported with advertisements and is limited to 720p resolution. WHAT? You heard me. Not only will you have to pay for the service, but you'll still have to watch ads and you will be stuck at a lower quality than normal. To me, this only makes the future for other tiers look even worse. They've also recently stated that they will start charging extra fees if you use or let someone else use your Netflix account outside of your household. So if you pay for those extra screens on your account you'll have to remember that it only applies to screens inside your house.
If you have a home server your options are pretty broad. You'll just need to get a few things installed to get you started. Here's a list of my suggested applications to get your own streaming service going:
- Jellyfin - Jellyfin is the volunteer-built media solution that puts you in control of your media. Stream to any device from your own server, with no strings attached. Your media, your server, your way.
- Bazarr - Bazarr is a companion application to Sonarr and Radarr. It manages and downloads subtitles based on your requirements. You define your preferences by TV show or movie and Bazarr takes care of everything for you.
- Prowlarr - Prowlarr is an indexer manager/proxy built on the popular *arr .net/reactjs base stack to integrate with your various PVR apps. Prowlarr supports management of both Torrent Trackers and Usenet Indexers. It integrates seamlessly with Lidarr, Mylar3, Radarr, Readarr, and Sonarr offering complete management of your indexers with no per app Indexer setup required (we do it all).
- Radarr - Radarr is a movie collection manager for Usenet and BitTorrent users. It can monitor multiple RSS feeds for new movies and will interface with clients and indexers to grab, sort, and rename them. It can also be configured to automatically upgrade the quality of existing files in the library when a better quality format becomes available. Note that only one type of a given movie is supported. If you want both an 4k version and 1080p version of a given movie you will need multiple instances.
- Sonarr - Sonarr is a PVR for Usenet and BitTorrent users. It can monitor multiple RSS feeds for new episodes of your favorite shows and will grab, sort and rename them. It can also be configured to automatically upgrade the quality of files already downloaded when a better quality format becomes available.
- qBittorrent -A cross-platform free and open-source BitTorrent client.
I suggest reading my previous article titled "Why you need a VPN". This article will explain how you can protect your privacy with a VPN, which you will most likely want if you plan on starting your own video collection. The article also lists a few VPN services that I think are good options.