USB to TV adaptor?
February 28, 2007 9:02 PM   Subscribe

USB thumbdrive to television - does such an adaptor exist?

Currently I burn Divx files to CDRW's to watch them on television through my Divx capable DVD player. I'd rather just watch them (on a television) directly from a USB thumbdrive. Is there such an adaptor that will take input from a USB thumbdrive and have standard video and audio output cables? Cheaper is better.
posted by whatisish to Technology (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: A laptop, but you're probably looking for something cheaper. There are DVD players with USB inputs (here's one)--I'm not sure how good they are with format support, though.
posted by box at 9:17 PM on February 28, 2007

you could probably use a video game console if you installed linux on it
posted by fvox13 at 9:48 PM on February 28, 2007

Best answer: Phillips makes some DVD player that plays Divx *and* has a USB port for playing videos right from the thumbdrive.

Maybe you could use something like that?
posted by drstein at 10:04 PM on February 28, 2007

No thumb drive involved, but maybe a hard drive-based media player with video output would do the trick. Does such a beast exist? I'll look around and get back to you.
posted by bdk3clash at 10:05 PM on February 28, 2007

The Creative Zen Vision W fits the bill but cheap it ain't.
posted by bdk3clash at 10:09 PM on February 28, 2007

An xbox running Xbox media center, would allow you to stream video from your computers hard drive. Thus reducing the need for the sneakernet.
posted by gergtreble at 10:10 PM on February 28, 2007

There are a bunch of hard drive enclosures like this one now available.
posted by mzurer at 10:16 PM on February 28, 2007

Best answer: Wow, the OP specifically wants to watch off their USB drive. Xbox MCE won't do that nor will a hard drive enclosure, nor will a PMP.

There is no specific adapter, but cheapo DVD player, will do the trick.

Look at the Philips DVP5960. There is a long thread on Fatwallet where it sells for around $55 here

If you want something better, I believe one of the Oppo upscaling DVD players takes thumb drives also. ~200 USD.
posted by mphuie at 10:22 PM on February 28, 2007

I just gave the same answer in this thread.
I recommended the Mediagate HD-350. It's more than you want, but you can plug a USB harddrive into. I imagine you can do the same with a memory stick. You might want to look at the MG 35s also.
posted by rsclark at 11:16 PM on February 28, 2007

I'm gonna add a vote to rsclark's idea again, because he's right. it's an excellent way to get a usb drive to play on your tv. alternately, appletv will do it, too.
posted by shmegegge at 11:59 PM on February 28, 2007

Best answer: Netgear eva700 does this (and plays divx from the network, too). I have one and LOVE it.

AppleTV will NOT do it. The USB port will not accept external drives, thumb or otherwise, and it's unclear from the published specs whether it's going to play DivX without transcoding it first.
posted by toxic at 2:30 AM on March 1, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks gang. Good ideas - just what I was looking for.
posted by whatisish at 5:19 AM on March 1, 2007

Best answer: The Philips is a great little device. I thought I have a lower end model, but I can't seem to find it anywhere online, so maybe it is actually the 5960.

These can actually play videos off of a USB hard drive as well as a thumbdrive under 2 conditions:
1) The hard drive is formatted as FAT32.
2) It's not powered off the USB port (which doesn't provide enough juice).

You can find a bunch more information here (including recommended hard drive specs). I haven't tried it yet, so I can't give you any personal anecdotes.

A trick I've picked up -
If you've got a set of videos you want to play in order (TV episodes for instance), make sure you a) number them towards the beginning of the filename (the display truncates the names) and b) write them to the disk in the order they'll be watched.

(This goes for files written to a CD/DVD as well, which the Philips players will also play)

When you're done with one video, the player will load the next one right away.

Also, if you've got a disc in the player, take it out before you turn it on. The player loads the disc first (and slowly) before it lets you switch to the USB.

It's a little pokey and the remote's a bit touchy (though that might just be bad placement on our part), but I love the thing, especially considering the price.
posted by natabat at 8:35 AM on March 1, 2007

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