Thank you for being a valued part of the CNET community. As of December 1, 2020, the forums are in read-only format. In early 2021, CNET Forums will no longer be available. We are grateful for the participation and advice you have provided to one another over the years.


CNET Support

General discussion

External USB HDD Compatibility For Samsung TV

Dec 20, 2010 5:11PM PST

Not sure if this is going to work but it is apparent to me that people are having issues with getting some external hard drives to work with various television, (myself included)

I thought it would be a good idea to start a compatibility chart showing which external usb HDD work with which television(s) therefore, I have created a simple chart which you can open add your details and then re upload, hopefully over time the list will grow and help people decide which HDD to buy for their television.

In order to add to the chart please follow these simple instructions:

1 The External USB HDD must function for 20 minutes or more
2.The External USB HDD must be recognised by the television
3.The External USB HDD must play one of the following MKV,AVI,JPG,MP3

I have started by adding a SANDISK SLICE 8GB FLASH DRIVE

Details SanDisk Cruzer Slice 8GB USB Flash Drive: Computers & Accessories

This has been fully tested on the LE40C750 Samsung 3D TV, it has played for more than a couple of hours and is fully recognised straight away. I have played MKV,AVI,MP3.

Formatted to NTFS

Discussion is locked

- Collapse -
Great idea!
Dec 21, 2010 2:00AM PST


While it's true that I can't speak on specific third-party solutions, there's nothing that says that others can't get together and discuss. I think this is a fantastic idea.

Will there be a chart available for, say Google Docs, or are you compiling this yourself?

Also, for those adding devices, please note which region you're inquiring from, since products can vary from region to region.

Let's "sticky" this and see what people recommend.


- Collapse -
Samsung TV & usb drive
Dec 21, 2010 10:42AM PST

We have currently connected a WD MyPassport 1TB usb drive (unpowered) also we have connected a Lexar 8GB flash drive to the tv several times

- Collapse -
What TV ?
Dec 21, 2010 4:09PM PST

We have currently connected a WD MyPassport 1TB usb drive (unpowered) also we have connected a Lexar 8GB flash drive to the tv several times

Can you tell us what TV you are using these external hard drives with please.

- Collapse -
Added link for all to update accordingly
Dec 21, 2010 4:30PM PST
- Collapse -
My drive
Dec 22, 2010 11:42AM PST

I'm using the Buffalo MiniStation Cobalt USB 3.0 - HD-PEU3 portable drive with my Samsung UN40B7000 40" LED HDTV.

I've also used SanDisk Cruzer flash drives without any issues.

- Collapse -
All can edit now
Dec 22, 2010 8:30PM PST
- Collapse -
Kingston DataTraveler I - 16 GB Flash works on LN46B650
Jan 15, 2011 1:07PM PST

Also think this is a great idea. I've updated the spreadsheet with my TV and HDD setup. I had to double list the LN46B650 so sorry if I messed up protocol on the spreadsheet. I have used my Kingston 16gb flash drive with my TV for a while now and MKV, AVI, JPG and MP3 files play well on it.

On a side note, does anybody here know if an actual External Hard Drive with a power source will work on the LN46B650? I have a Cavalry CAUM Series 1TB External Hard Drive that I haven't been able get my TV to play nice with. It's an NTFS drive with low power requirements and my TV can't detect it for some reason. Wondering if anyone has had any success with a full on external hard drive with the LN46B650 and if so, what HDD that was?


- Collapse -
Nov 29, 2011 10:54PM PST

I have a Seagate 1.5TB external drive with external power supply that works perfect when plugged into my LN46C600. I have watched small videos all the way up to a 15.6gig .mkv in 1080p that looks awesome.

I also have a Seagate GoFlex 3TB external drive with external power supply that does not work. The tv will load up the drive but will not recognize any media on the drive. I have tried formatting in NTFS and in exFAT with the same results.

I have checked the power requirements and the 1.5TB that works requires 12v @2000mA while the GoFlex 3TB requires less with 12v@ 1500mA so i think this rules out the power supply problem.

The GoFlex drive is a USB 3.0/2.0 drive which i wonder f it makes a difference

- Collapse -
USB 3.0 only partially compatible
Dec 24, 2011 12:48PM PST

I have a Seagate GoFlex USB 3.0/2.0 drive. I discovered that if I push the connector all the way into the tv, the drive does not connect. If I pull it out about 1/16", it connects. This is a mess up on Seagate's part. The fingers in the connector don't go all the way back in the usb 3.0 connector. I plugged mine into a 12" extension, pulled it out a hair, then taped it up. Works fine now. Will likely complain to Seagate.

- Collapse -
you saved Xmas!
Dec 26, 2011 8:54AM PST

I was having exactly this problem with these devices, I don't know how you figured it out, but you save our Xmas slide show plan! Thanks! Nick

- Collapse -
Cool, I feel like Ernest
Dec 26, 2011 12:58PM PST

I figured it out by fiddling, but it took a farter smeller than I to tell me what was wrong. A computer buddy had looked at the Universal USB 3/2 connector under the microscope to see the problem. It'll be interesting to hear what Seagate has to say about it.

- Collapse -
hard Drive format
Nov 12, 2013 9:59PM PST

Please can you let me know what kind a format is your har drive fat 32 or ntfs

- Collapse -
Unable to connect HDD with Samsung LCD (LA32C480H1LXL)
Jun 27, 2011 8:11PM PDT

I am using Samsung LCD TV (Model Number <span id="INSERTION_MARKER"> LA32C480H1LXL) and trying to connect my WD Passport 320 GB Hard Drive which is not being detected. Can you please help me in fixing this issue?

- Collapse -
Re: drive
Jun 27, 2011 8:15PM PDT

- Does that drive work when connected to a PC/Mac?
- Firewire, USB 2 or USB 3?
- How many partitions on the drive?
- What filesystem on that partitions (Mac, FAT, NTFS)?


- Collapse -
Cant make my HDD work on my samsung Led tv 32" UN32C5000
Jul 19, 2011 2:41PM PDT

Im having the same problem. Mine it?s a:

- Collapse -
There's a clue USB 3.0
Jul 20, 2011 4:40AM PDT

I'm running into that on other machines. 3.0 should be ok, but you can bet you'll find something it won't play on.

- Collapse -
USB 3.0 is no problem then. Fine.
Jul 20, 2011 11:01AM PDT

But, the Tv is not able to recognize the HDD. Is there any difference if i format it in windows or Mac?

- Collapse -
Jul 20, 2011 11:03AM PDT

You are outside the realm of what I expect to work. I stick to USB 2.0 and single partitions to improve my odds.

Given how cheap drives are, why not another or some Apple TV to stream to ?

- Collapse -
My problem is of Storage.
Jul 20, 2011 12:25PM PDT

Thank u very much for the advice.

- Collapse -
Connecting WD MyPassword Hard Drive to Samsung LCD
Jun 23, 2012 7:21AM PDT

I had the same problem when I tried to connect it to the TV's USB port marked HDD.

You need to connect it to USB Port 3, not the HDD port. For some reason, the HDD USB port isn't powered, so the MyPassport harddrive doesn't spin. To confirm that it's powered, look for the white light on the rear of the harddrive.

Once I plugged it to USB Port 3, the light on the rear of the external hard drive came on, and the "Connected Device" dialog box appeared.

- Collapse -
Jul 24, 2011 9:40PM PDT

cool stuff thanks mate.

- Collapse -
Cruzer Flas Drives
Dec 29, 2010 11:47PM PST

If the 8gb Cruzer Flash Drive works to record from the tv,i am assuming 16 and 32 gb ones work as well? If so,does anyone have any idea of roughly how many hours of tv i can record to 8,16, and 32gb?

- Collapse -
Time-shift and saving
Aug 4, 2011 6:37PM PDT

Can you use the HDD for time-shift and saving shows on--like a PVR? Or does it have issues?

- Collapse -
What model?
Aug 5, 2011 4:14AM PDT

But I suggest you post this in the forum and not buried here.

- Collapse -
No worries...found one that works.
Aug 5, 2011 11:57PM PDT

Thanks for the reply. My WD Passport works now (UE40D6530) with a Y-split usb cable.

For anyone interested...these are the specifications given to me from UK Samsung support for flash and HDD that should work:

For Samsung TV: HDD or flash must meet following specs--
portable hdd type
usb 2.0
4 gb minimum
read 20mb per sec
write 34 mb per sec
at least 5400 RPM..
...and better to use usb power than d/c/plug i was advised.

- Collapse -
On hard drives, missing link maybe
Nov 22, 2011 3:21AM PST
For Samsung TV: HDD or flash must meet following specs--
portable hdd type
usb 2.0
4 gb minimum
read 20mb per sec
write 34 mb per sec
at least 5400 RPM..
...and better to use usb power than d/c/plug i was advised.

Just wondering, about to buy a 32" Samsung... very juicy-looking but to business Happy
There are two format specifications for hard drives, FAT32 and NTFS
For example the drive on a camera I use must be formatted to FAT32 not NTFS - I found eventually Happy
So the HD's format type might be important, try FAT32 first
- Collapse -
Samsung UE32C6825USXXE
Jan 13, 2011 4:19AM PST


I have recently purchased the above mentioned TV, and I'm very interested of purchasing an external USB HDD such as the WD MyPassport 1TB to connect to my TV. Could you please be kind enough and tell me if this USB device is compatible for use with the a/m Samsung TV ? Thanks in advance for your reply.
B. regards,

- Collapse -
Use Seagate
Jan 19, 2011 11:49PM PST

Use Seagate Free Agent Go 500GB

- Collapse -
RE: use seagate free agent
Sep 3, 2011 4:50AM PDT

Do you have any issues with picture quality? i.e. picture too clear. I have tried changing automotion settings etc. but no joy.

- Collapse -
Why can't samsung do this?
Jul 16, 2011 5:57PM PDT

Why can't samsung do this? I am not suggesting that they test all devices, but they should maintain a compatability list. This would be quite easy to do on their site.