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Thylacine

How to watch vids off USB stick on TV without USB port

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EDIT: ah crap stupid iPhone predictive text, title should say 'vids' not 'bids'...

 

Hey all... Not sure if anything like this exists, but in our bedroom we've got an older LCD that doesn't have a USB port and I'm wondering if anything exists that can let us watch shows off USB stick on that telly.

 

Wifey's pregnant at the moment and so needs to crash in bed at the end of the day, so can't sit up for long periods in the loungeroom and our shows are piling up ha.

 

Got a good DVD player (one of the first to have HDMI) in there already which unfortunately also lacks USB, but don't want it 'wasted' by getting another one that has USB.

 

Foxtel iQ box has USB port but I think it's only for system updates by techs, can't see anywhere to play stuff off it.

 

Just wondering if there's any sort of 'device' around with a USB jack that outputs via composite cables etc...

 

Don't wanna spend much so not after HTPC etc - got a laptop we can always use, it's just painful stuffing with the power cable, roasting my you-know-whats off with it on my lap and hurting our necks looking at it at such a close angle. I thought about connecting IT to the TV but would only work for vid as I don't think it has any sound output I could use, and the speakers aren't good enough over that distance...

 

Yes I know I'm being lazy but hey that's what tech like this is for, facilitating laziness ;-)

Edited by Thylacine

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Hey I'm unsure about a piece of hardware that'll play stuff directly off your USB but I'll post something in a moment about a possible laptop solution.

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Hey as I say without really knowing what I'm after, that looks like exactly the sort of thing I imagined. Not really sure how much I'd wanna spend, prob no more than $200 really, which is prob too little for anything like this...

 

EDIT: Hmmm some online vendors have it for just over $100, that do-able... Will still wait and see re this laptop solution, likely cheaper obviously...

Edited by Thylacine

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Okay sorry if the images are a bit blurry and large O.o.

 

Firstly you'll need a few things:

 

Posted Image

 

It's just a basic RGB (I think) link from your laptop hopefully to a TV RGB input.

 

They should be both male ends and plug into something like this:

 

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You should also have a basic red and white audio cable (both male ends):

 

Posted Image

 

This you might need to buy or find lying around:

 

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It transferrs the audio from the red and white cables to a single output.

 

This is basically a cable with two male input ends (if thats the right way of saying it):

 

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It plugs into the single output end of that cable above like so:

 

Posted Image

 

And the read and white cables (with the other end already hooked to your TV audio output) just plug into the other end.

 

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Now just attach that other single audio cable into your laptop "speakers" or headphone output.

 

Posted Image

 

Have the RGB cables connected from the TV to your laptop (mine has a PC option for input) and hopefully you're all ready to go.

 

Any questions or criticisms feel free to ask.

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Niiiice that could be it! Quite ok with the vid side of things as I say but wasn't aware of the red/white cables-to-headphone jack setup, will hbe to give that a go first (cheapest!), thanks red!

 

Thanks Morris for the info re the WD box, will keep it in mind if the cheaper option doesn't pan out.

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Niiiice that could be it! Quite ok with the vid side of things as I say but wasn't aware of the red/white cables-to-headphone jack setup, will hbe to give that a go first (cheapest!), thanks red!

 

Thanks Morris for the info re the WD box, will keep it in mind if the cheaper option doesn't pan out.

Ye the dirtiest method is from laptop to screen, but may not even need the vga adaptor. My old LGE had vga and S-Video out, so I used an Svideo to RCA lead for the vid and then a 3.5mm stereo to 2 x by RCA lead for the audio.

new Dell has HDMI which I haven't played with yet but as it has an ATI VGA card I assume both vid and audio can go over the one VGA.

Reason I haven't used it is I have a PVR with networking built in and using the included software to set up the sharing it can play media files over the LAN from the PC in the other room, on to the TV vi it's HDMI port. Aslo caps digital TV. :P

Probably more expensive than you want though.

 

As far as the WD media box goes these have the advantage of being small, light and come with a remote for control. There are quiet a few other brands kicking around out there too.

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...x&cPath=172

Best to check what type of media files they support before purchase.

I also have one of these http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=12328

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USB Disk Dock with Media Player.

Haven't tested it as yet but will be handy in that I can build up a library of digital media files on to multiple hard drives and then just swap the HDD over for different files.

Or it may end up at my brothers so I can leave him a hard drive with stuff on it.

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Many cheap DVD players have USB and can play MPEG2 and Divx/XVid type files.

 

Same deal with the "PVR Ready" set top Digitla Tuners... many of those will also play Divx.

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Thanks aliali there's a couple in that link that are cheaper.

 

I've already got the VGA adapter so happy using that.

 

Thanks Rybags but as I said in the OP I've already got a DVD player in there and don't want to waste it by replacing it just for a USB port, and Foxtel iQ in there so no need for another tuner/PVR.

Edited by Thylacine

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Hah@Fuzz...

 

Squall yeah it does, but burning's annoying compared to just throwing on USB stick, and also the player doesn't seem that great at it - have used that method in the past and playback was occasionally jerky and audio would go out of sync.

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I' just hoofed it down to Aldi and picked up a cheapo DVD player.

 

Did the maths and it was the cheapest and simplest option (the missus didn't have to learn how to operate YET ANOTHER piece of tech that way!)

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That disc dock is awesome...

Ye it is, isn't it?

I also have a Vantec nexstar dock which has usb, firewire and e-sata but no multimedia playback capability.

This I currently use for testing hard drives (using E-Sata) and general file transfer, but with some spare drives it could be used here for putting the media files on to a 2.5 or 3.5 in Hdd then the drive can be docked in the other one at my brothers for him to play the files on his tv.

Out of spare drives atm as I had to swap out my old 400Gb as it had developed the click of death.

:-(.

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Hah@Fuzz...

 

Squall yeah it does, but burning's annoying compared to just throwing on USB stick, and also the player doesn't seem that great at it - have used that method in the past and playback was occasionally jerky and audio would go out of sync.

Ah, you're right.

 

Come to think of it, that's the exact reason I started using the PS3 for media.

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Well it's all up and working... and funnily enough (quite annoyingly actually), I already had all I needed!

 

I got a 2.5mm stereo to 2x RCA cable from Jaycar, but no sound would output from the telly via any input. Then I noticed a small hole on the back of the telly next to the VGA, 'audio', and put one of the RCAs in it, was too loose, but sound crackled in and out... waaaaait a minute, it's another 2.5mm jack associated with the VGA connection! Had a 2.5mm male to 2.5m male lying around for playing my iPod through my speaker setup... all working!

 

Geez and I didn't even need the other cable, coulda been doin it all along!

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See if I'd bothered to check the manual I might've known earlier, but I didn't even think there'd be any sort of connection like that... Ah well, works great now :-)

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Looks like you've got your solution.

 

I checked at work for the WD TV thing. $168 for the regular one. $78 for the WD TV mini

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Or... if you have an xbox360 / ps3 you can use that. Might be a little neater

 

Cheers

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Will take a couple of weeks to get posted to you but deals extreme has media players that start at $30US with free delivery. And it is about 1/3 of the size of a dvd case maybe bit smaller even. CAn hook up usb stick ext hdd or use sd card etc.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.28853

THey have heaps of going up into the humdreads for more flaher units.

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I have a little media device at home, that I no longer use, it plays off USB and SD and has HDMI out and an RCA out.

 

If you didn't already have a solution, I would have offered this for probably $30 including post.

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