Watching movies off USB w/o 'smart' TV

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs & Equipment' started by Rydawg5143, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Rydawg5143

    Rydawg5143 [H]ardness Supreme

    Apr 22, 2008
    I recently took down my HTPC because we weren't using it and rebuilt a gaming computer for my son. Obviously after not using the HTPC for 6 months, my wife has decided she wants to be able to play stuff off USB. The TV is a lower end LG and while it does have a USB slot, it won't play video files, only music or pictures.

    1)Is there someone I can buy that isn't too pricey to be able to play video files from the USB?
    2) Or would it be better to run a 50 ft HDMI cable from my new PC to the TV and watch that way?
  2. Grebuloner

    Grebuloner Gawd

    Jul 31, 2009
    1) Room, food, a book allowance and I'm all yours, baby :love:
    2) My dad did this to go across the long family room from his computer to the TV, it was expensive and unsightly (it's a fat ass cable), but it worked.
    3) Get a Chromecast, use either Videostream (easy) or set up Plex (more involved) to stream from your network share, alternatively, an Amazon FireStick with the Kodi app sideloaded.
  3. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

    Jun 13, 2003
    Best way is to add the 'smarts'. Chromecast, Firestick, Roku. Best would be an Apple TV 4k or Nvidia Shield, but those are pretty expensive.
  4. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

    Mar 23, 2012
    I think just about any extermal media player like those IdiotInCharge mentions that has a USB port will play common codec videos from USB, except the AppleTV, which stays locked to iTunes/Apple.

    I'm actually surprised the LG doesn't do it natively. It must be a fairly older one. Maybe check and see if there's been a firmware update for it before you shuck out any cash for something else.

    Also, a note: if you can still find the old SteamLink - they used to go for like $4.00 with free shipping. That would be better than a 50' HDMI cable, that device is essentially a wireless HDMI. Chromecast is the next best thing there.
  5. Rifter0876

    Rifter0876 [H]Lite

    Nov 1, 2017
    Chromecast has crap codec support, get a shield or a Mibox if you want hardware support for all current codecs.
  6. Kelvarr

    Kelvarr [H]ardness Supreme

    Jul 19, 2001
    Raspberry Pi, install Kodi. That's how I did it.
  7. Skillz

    Skillz [H]ard DCOTY 2017

    Aug 14, 2004
    Install Plex Media Server on your main PC.
    Plug USB drive into main PC.
    Buy a Roku and connect it to the TV.
    Install Plex onto the Roku.
  8. CAD4466HK

    CAD4466HK [H]ard|Gawd

    Jul 24, 2008
    Any cheap $40 BR player will allow you to play video files thru the USB port. My parents do this with an external USB drive.