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Playing .avi files on USB stick directly to TV?

by chamoix / January 13, 2010 11:25 PM PST

Can anyone help?

I am looking to replace my old TV as well as my DVD (which stopped working thanks to the children). If I buy a new LCD TV with USB connection, and I load media files (.avi and .mpg) onto a USB key, will the TV be able to play the files if I plug USB key directly into the TV?

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Some LCD HDTVs support this
by Pepe7 / January 14, 2010 12:49 AM PST

Others do not. You could start by perusing the CNET reviews, or visiting a forum like AVS for more specifics.

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Not very likely, but...
by ahtoi / January 14, 2010 5:01 AM PST

A dvd player that support these video files may not be that expensive.

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(NT) Or a media player would cost about a 100 bucks.
by ahtoi / January 14, 2010 5:04 AM PST
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avi files on USB into TV?
by chamoix / January 14, 2010 5:27 AM PST

Thanks for your comments ahtoi. The point is that I dont really need the DVD player anymore as most of my films are on avi format on my pc. So I wondered if I could just copy files from my PC onto USB key, then plug the USB into the TV and play directly, rather than have to burn to a DVD-R/RW then put in the DVD player.

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When and if you find the tv that support usb video...
by ahtoi / January 14, 2010 4:45 PM PST

double check to be sure it is the video format that you have; .avi comes in many different types. Personally I think a media player offer the best solution because it support lot more format than say...a dvd player. Just my thought on this.

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TV supports USB
by chamoix / January 14, 2010 5:07 PM PST

I think I just found what I was looking for.
Newer models of Samsung now support Medi@2
Here is the link for anyone else who is interested.

As well as the link for the models that support Medi@2

Not surprisingly these are the newer (more costly models) but personally I would still go into the shop with an avi film on my USB and ask them to play it before purchasing. Just to be sure.

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ahtoi had it right
by Slackenerny / January 15, 2010 1:40 PM PST
In reply to: TV supports USB

Hope my thread is not too late for you to make your purchase.

AVI file has many different types. Just because it says it's an avi on the PC doesn't mean they are the same. Example? You can play some avi files on a PS3, but not others. AVI is what media geeks call a wrapper format, meaning it doesn't actually specify how you encode the video and audio into digital forms. If your TV/media player doesn't have the necessarily codecs for the particular avi file, it won't play it. Blurbs on the brochures may not necessarily go into details about which codecs the TV has, so very often you just wouldn't know what specific files the TV can play.

If you are trying to directly play a file on a TV, you should STRONGLY consider using a media player. It just saves a lot of hassles when you find out that the thing won't play when you plug the USB in. My personal guess is that in the market today many TV's have a USB port on, but the USB functionality doesn't offer much. It's usually just for viewing jpg files. Why don't the electronic makers produce one that does it all you say? Because if you want a device that plays all formats ultimately you would need to put a microprocessor chip in the TV that has decent computing power. That means cost, and it's hard to advertise to the popular audience. I've heard Toshiba has started to pull the CELL microprocessor chip in their TVs. That's the same chip that is in the PS3. It's only when you see things like this on a TV that you can feel confident that it does offer some sorts of multimedia functions.

So all in all, consider a media player. Read the box of the media player to see what kind of codecs it has, even if you have absolutely no idea what those are. Then kind of compare this specs on two or three other ones, and you would start to have an idea about which one does the job.

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Seems like I'm out of touch
by Slackenerny / January 15, 2010 1:46 PM PST
In reply to: ahtoi had it right

As soon as I have posted I clicked on the Samsung links in your post. Looks like the TV does offer a fair number of codecs. Seems like it even supports more media files than the PS3. In that case I think it'd suit your need. Hope it's not too expensive.

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avi files on usb into tv?
by sashasecrets / January 28, 2012 12:44 AM PST

first look at your manual or go online to your product site, ie panasonic viera lcd tv. it should tell you what format it will read. i have one and it reads Mp4 and MKV. Use "micro video converter" or any converter that converts from avi to mp4 or mkv (or whatever format you lcd will accept). then copy to your usb and plug into your usb port on your tv. it will work.

(by the way there are many free converters online, be sure you get one that is free not a free trial, because they will only convert a few minutes of it or will have a water mark on it while playing your movie.)

on your pc the software "vlc" works plays most file formats.

hope this helps.


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New LCD now all can play media files
by arba1962 / January 29, 2010 7:49 PM PST

Yep...all new LCD TV now play the common type media files..I've just played avi file in Philips 42 inch LCD TV

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not really
by green_sleeves54 / February 20, 2012 5:21 AM PST

we just bought a Panasonic TCP50S30 and this is one format they don't play! I was a bit shocked but only needed to google 'free video converters' to change it to a MKV file. But.....both new TV & new PC can connect wirelessly so when I get them set up with a modem I can use the media centre to watch my movies on our big screen.and skip this altogether.
If .avi files are what you use the most, make sure to check the specs on any new HDTV so you won't be disappointed.
Hopefully there will be a software update for my panny,

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movies on USB drive for TV
by StickMaker / February 26, 2010 10:00 AM PST

I just got a 55-inch Samsung Model LN55B650T1FXZC and Page 52 of the manual lists the file types for movies: avi, mkv, asf, wmv, mp4, 3gp, vro, mpg, mpeg, ts, tp, and trp.
If I download a movie of a different format and want to put it on my USB stick for the TV, I first convert it at

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Use a computer
by kayojd / March 3, 2010 10:20 AM PST

Hook your computer up to the Tv. Most new computers have HDMI video out. You don't have to worry if the TV has the proper codecs to play the video. Or just buy a TV with VGA in. It's also great for playing games on the big screen.

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same problem
by bezvoditza / October 4, 2010 2:59 AM PDT

im having the same problem, did you sort it out and if so would you you let me know what im doing wrong please?

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what brand?
by green_sleeves54 / February 20, 2012 5:24 AM PST
In reply to: same problem

one poster mentioned to check your manual- my panasonic plasma doesn't play .avi which I find totally stupid since it is the most common file type when downloading movies. I had to use a video converter to change to mkv format. ******. Sad

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LG & .avi
by Purplelawd / February 20, 2012 3:33 PM PST
In reply to: what brand?

I've owned 2 LG LCD/LED HDTV's and they have both played everything i've tried on them. They seem to handle all codecs pretty well. A friend of mine also owns another LG model and this also plays all he tries. I think the newer TV's pretty much cover it all.

Hope this helped.

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by green_sleeves54 / February 21, 2012 7:18 AM PST
In reply to: LG & .avi

yes, my bad for not checking what file types my new Panasonic HDTV plays. I just figured a brand new set would kwim?
It seems like it is the only plasma on the market that cannot play .avi files. Neither does the new Panasonic blueray player we bought the same day! takes no time to convert into mkv files.
Haven't had time or the money to pick up a wireless router yet- bet I will be able to play an avi file movie on the computers media center but not be able to stream to the tv. Sad

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TV supports DivX?
by Andy Holman / February 22, 2012 2:25 PM PST
In reply to: thanks!

I thought I read most Panasonic TVs & Blu-ray players could play DivX files which are just AVI files with a .AVI file extension or .DIVX file extension and with MP4/H264 video and MP3 audio inside them. If your manual says it does support DivX, then maybe you need to register DiVX before playing DivX files. Perhaps your manual says something about this. Good luck.

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thank you
by green_sleeves54 / February 23, 2012 11:11 AM PST
In reply to: TV supports DivX?

too beat to check the manuals right now but either both or at least one of my new tv/blueray player should play this format. I know there is no problem when I download torrents and use Nero to burn onto a disc (but this might be a different matter).
I did contact the on-line concierge for panny and he told me no .avi files are supported by them and no firmware updates are foreseen.

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I found your answer mate.
by matty120179 / June 15, 2012 6:32 PM PDT

I had the same idea as you & found your question so frustrated with everyone's response i did it myself & have figured out your problem. Regaurdless what Digital TV it all comes down to video format set too your countries regional code which is either PAL or NTSC & you have to encode your video's in this format. I just down loaded An Converter & converted my video into Mpeg Pal (because I am in Australia all our TVs & Video is in PAL) there is an option for Mpeg NTSC. I then just loaded the converted video onto my USB stick & inserted into the Digital TV's USB slot & went too my Aplications menu & selected the video of my USB stick. i tried to convert the video into plain AVI as well as FLV & both would not play on my TV I am sure it has to do with Regional Coding. Hope this helped

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Will A TV with USB play Videos?
by netverse / August 26, 2014 12:36 PM PDT

I know this is late for this question, but for those who come here looking for an answer, the answer is YES. I have a Samsung Smart TV that will play MP4, FLV and files from the DVD transferred to the Flash drive via thru the USB port on the TV. I have another Samsung TV 24", NOT SMART, that has a USB port that plays Video from a USB drive and it cost around 150 dollars is Full HD 1080 purchased from Costco.
As far as AVI files, have not tried an pending the make and model, but I think all the newer TVs are coming with USB PORTS as an option. Not only that, if you don't buy a newer Flatscreen DTV with usb, you have another choice of a VIDEO MEDIA player with HDMI, RGB and AV outputs that play USB devices to the TV. I have seen them as low as around 20 dollars on up and for USED, 5 to 20 dollars.

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