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TV's with USB ports


Rory Fitzgerald

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The parents recently bought a new TV - it looks great, LCD, 1080, HD, blah blah, blah, but my brother showed me that it has a USB port and that he could watch 'downloads' on the TV by plugging in a USB stick.

 

Question: Do the downloads need to be in a certain a format to watch on a TV and if so, what is the format ?

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Depends on the TV. Some only allow you to view pictures, and again in only some formats, whilst some have full-blown media players. IIRC something to look out for is whether the TV is DLNA complaint which is some kind of standard for this stuff. You'll probably need to find out the model of the TV and search for a manual to find out exactly what it can accept though.

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The parents recently bought a new TV - it looks great, LCD, 1080, HD, blah blah, blah, but my brother showed me that it has a USB port and that he could watch 'downloads' on the TV by plugging in a USB stick.

 

Question: Do the downloads need to be in a certain a format to watch on a TV and if so, what is the format ?

 

 

I do this all the time - much more often than I watch actual TV, in fact. What files will play probably depend on what actual make/model of TV it is - mine is a Samsung.

 

I've found that typically .AVI, .MP4 and even .MKV (whatever that is) work pretty well, although it probably depends mostly on the 'codec' that's used by the file as much as anything.

 

I got one suffixed .M4V the other day and it wouldn't play however.

 

Occasionally I get one where the file will play but without any sound.

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I do this all the time - much more often than I watch actual TV, in fact. What files will play probably depend on what actual make/model of TV it is - mine is a Samsung.

 

I've found that typically .AVI, .MP4 and even .MKV (whatever that is) work pretty well, although it probably depends mostly on the 'codec' that's used by the file as much as anything.

 

I got one suffixed .M4V the other day and it wouldn't play however.

 

Occasionally I get one where the file will play but without any sound.

 

Thanks, I might bring a USB stick to the store with me when I decide to buy and see if it plays a few of my files before I buy.

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I do this all the time - much more often than I watch actual TV, in fact. What files will play probably depend on what actual make/model of TV it is - mine is a Samsung.

 

I've found that typically .AVI, .MP4 and even .MKV (whatever that is) work pretty well, although it probably depends mostly on the 'codec' that's used by the file as much as anything.

 

I got one suffixed .M4V the other day and it wouldn't play however.

 

Occasionally I get one where the file will play but without any sound.

 

I have same problem (though through dvd player) so play everything on laptop, but put laptop through telly. That way it plays anything.

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You can use the usb to plug in your Samsung vibrant phone - which will play them in HD – and stream them wirelessly from the desktop/ laptop that you have them stored on.

 

 

I could do that with my phone – if Samsung would ever get around to releasing the software update for it…. Although I could load them directly onto the phone them play them on the tv instead of streaming it.

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I have a samsung telly. I had no idea it had the software in it to play media from USB.

 

Thats interestting and makes me wonder what to do for a media player. Should I buy something to stream media from laptop or just put them onto USB and play through the telly ?

 

Or will I get a better picture running HDMI cable from laptop to telly ?

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I have a samsung telly. I had no idea it had the software in it to play media from USB.

 

Thats interestting and makes me wonder what to do for a media player. Should I buy something to stream media from laptop or just put them onto USB and play through the telly ?

 

Or will I get a better picture running HDMI cable from laptop to telly ?

 

A media sever is a far better option than a USB stick if you are planning to watch lots of digital video. You'll have no difficulty finding ones with HDMI outputs and you can just plug them directly in to the TV. Get a wireless enabled one if possible. It means you can transfer downloads from your computer direct to it and/or stream the content around your house to any other wireless enabled device on your network.

 

HDMI should improve the quality but that will be determined more by the settings used to rip the video than anything else.

 

 

 

 

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thanks.

 

A mate mentioned a media server a while back but i can't remember the brand or spec he was recommending. Any recommendations ?

 

Ideally i'd like to be able to somehow capture and store media from online, downloads and also from the Virgin HD box and then stream it to other rooms.

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I got myself a WD TV along with a WD Passport drive for the bedroom and its great, plays anything I throw at it and it was dead cheap. Quite portable as well, I took it away with me not so long ago. I think there's a new one out with some networking capabilities.

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thanks.

 

A mate mentioned a media server a while back but i can't remember the brand or spec he was recommending. Any recommendations ?

 

Ideally i'd like to be able to somehow capture and store media from online, downloads and also from the Virgin HD box and then stream it to other rooms.

 

You need a media server then. As long as it is on your home network you should be able to set up any computer you use to automatically store data on it and take the data from the Virgin Box and stream it around the house. I've a WD box that you can plug as many external drives as you want in to it and a Cisco media server that takes a couple of internal drives. I like the WD box because it was easy to set up but its software and interface is pants. The Cisco media server was again very easy to set up and has a far better interface. You can also access and stream any of from media from it via the internet no matter where you are.

 

There are plenty of dedicated media servers like these out there but if you have an old PC knocking around the house that you can connect to your wireless network and are comfortable with setting up software and/or a home network (you don't need to be a geek) then I'd consider using it as you media server and installing XBMC to manage and access it.

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There are plenty of dedicated media servers like these out there but if you have an old PC knocking around the house that you can connect to your wireless network and are comfortable with setting up software and/or a home network (you don't need to be a geek) then I'd consider using it as you media server and installing XBMC to manage and access it.

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I don't have one knocking around except for a heavy cannibalised laptop (i'm currently taking the lens from the DVD for this little project..supermacro your phone lens., but could pick an old one up fairly cheaply, or would an old mac be better for this purpose?

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