From External drive to TV, can it be down?
July 15, 2012 6:23 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way to play media files on a tv if the files are stored on an external USB 2 drive, which is hooked up to an Airport Extreme Base Station? There's a Roku SD and iPhones involved in this party, if that helps.
posted by Brandon Blatcher to Technology (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If your TV supports DLNA networks, then maybe. If it does, try installing Serviio on your computer and pointing it at the drive you want to share over the network. Then wait for the TV to pick up the DLNA network and access it through the 'source' menu.
posted by carsonb at 6:40 PM on July 15, 2012

Hmm, there's Mac Mini, PC version we could throw in the mix too, if that helps.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:10 PM on July 15, 2012

You can install Plex on the Mini, and the Plex channel on your Roku.
posted by Runes at 7:54 PM on July 15, 2012

You can also plug the external drive into the Roku directly, I think, right? The newer ones have that capability I believe...

And of course you can use the iPhone for your remote on Roku :)
posted by manicure12 at 9:09 PM on July 15, 2012

Seconding Plex for the mini and the Roku. The one consistent beef I've had with it has been occasional distortion/pixelation with stuff besides mp4/m4v. I'm not sure what all the involved codecs were there, and I rip my own DVD library to mp4 anyhow.

Another issue to look out for is that it's very smart about sucking down metadata for your files, but it likes t.v. shows to live in their own directories. It can fail to register new files for a given show if they aren't off in their own directory.
posted by mph at 11:48 PM on July 15, 2012

Here's a crude but simple solution: copy the media files over to a USB stick and plug the stick into your Roku. Or plug the external drive in directly via a USB cable.

(A software update for your Roku can enable the USB Media Player channel. We use that to play saved PBS shows from a USB stick. The interface isn't the best - buffering? from a local drive? really? - but it certainly gets the job done quick and easy.)

Otherwise, DLNA and the Plex server are your best bets.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:12 AM on July 17, 2012

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