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General discussion

Playing movies from an external hard drive.

Nov 7, 2007 12:35AM PST

I'm looking to integrate the movies I have on an external hard drive to be able to play them on my HD tv. I have a Western digital 500 GB hard drive, and a Vizio 42 LCD tv.
I was considering buying a DVD player with a USB port or a DVD recorder with a firewire port to play them that way. Will this work? If so what would be a good one to purchase?
Any help here would be really appreciated. I have been reading posts and an abundance of tech material on dvd players and I can't find an answer to this question.

Discussion is locked

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Will this work?
Nov 7, 2007 12:37AM PST

Unlikely since I've yet to find a DVD player that accepts such a connection. What does work is an XBox 360 and your common PC running a media center version of Windows.


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Nov 7, 2007 4:24PM PST

philips and lg have dvd players with usb ports.

but like he said, you are better off getting a 360 and streaming it from your computer.

what files are these movies in? you're gonna have so much trouble finding codecs and such for each of your different videos (.mov, .avi, .mpeg, .divx, .wmv, etc). plus i doubt the firmware in those dvd players will support a 500gb harddrive (kinda like hooking up a 500gig harddrive to a Windows 98 machine. it wont work the way you want it to). not worth it. get an iTV or something.

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I think I found one.
Nov 8, 2007 9:34PM PST

The movies on my hard drive are my collection of dvds. I have burned them to the hard drive in what I think is a regular dvd format, iso files and such.

Thanks for your help and answers guys, but I think I found what I'm looking for. I bought an Oppo DV-980H. After reading all the reviews on this site as well as others I believe this will do exactly what I'm looking for.

Here's the link to this sites review:

I'll keep you updated vis this thread if you'd like.
Thanks again.

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Don't want to through cold water on your hot fire, but..
Nov 8, 2007 11:45PM PST

where does it say about playing video from the harddrive (which was what your question)? I can tell you some will work and some will not work but I havn't figure out the reason/s why yet.

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"USB Direct Input"
Nov 8, 2007 11:51PM PST

Is the only connection that looks slightly usable but there is no document that tells us it supports use of say some external hard disk...

Looks like a dead end to me.

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Oppo direct site and users reviews....
Nov 9, 2007 12:16AM PST

On the Oppo site it says that it will play video through the USB as well as music and pictures. I also read in user reviews on this site as well as 2 other forums I got from Googling the player (Oppo DV-980H)that it does a good job of doing it too.

I couldn't find any documentation either but yet again, user reviews... said they have had success using a hard drive. We'll see if it's true.
I'm really hoping they're not wrong.

Here's a link to the Oppo site if you're interested.

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having usb doesnt mean it'll read .iso files
Nov 10, 2007 6:34PM PST

the usb will pick up the hard drive or thumbdrive.......and will find COMPATIBLE picture(jpeg), music(mp3, wmv, .wav), and video(.mpeg, .avi, .wmv) files. an iso is an image, and the dvd player will probably not be able to access an image file to pull up video_ts and audio_ts files in that image.

you can grab a program to convert ISO to divx or mpeg4 or avi and THEN plug the hard drive into the dvd player...but thats about it. good luck

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OPPO capabilities for USB
Nov 29, 2007 2:06AM PST

I emailed their support to ask pertinent questions several days ago; nothing heard yet. However, as far as user forum reports go, I got burned once. After relying somewhat on the good impressions of three reports for a new gee-whiz gadget, I later learned that at least two of those forum reports were originated by employees of the gadget manufacturer.

I am very hopeful of this technology being developed, having a huge collection of movies ripped to WMV or MP4 formats. This could mean the end of ordinary CD/DVD movies discs.

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not yet...
Nov 30, 2007 2:48AM PST

I don't think even the well respected OPPO brand can do what you are asking. I am fairly certain when they say 'video through USB' they do not include VOB files you've ripped from your DVD collection. If anything, one would want a gigabit (or at least regular) ethernet connection and a probably a more robust CPU/decoder inside the OPPO to handle your 1:1 DVD rips well enough.

I wonder if this player can handle the more recent DIVX codec(s)? That would be a nice tough for sure.


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Divx and Oppo
Nov 30, 2007 5:48AM PST


I have one of the Oppo players and it plays Divx just fine. Go to their website. They give the compatible formats for each player. I believe all of them play Divx.

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how about a mini review of the oppo?
Dec 6, 2007 6:38AM PST

Thanks for the reply. I plan on purchasing the 980H withing 30 days.

Would you mind providing some sort of mini-review on your experience with your Oppo? Either posting it as a separate thread or via email would be greatly appreciated. I believe a lot of folks in this type of forum would be interested in its DivX/USB 2.0 capabilities, not to mention the fact that it's practically a 'swiss army knife' of DVD players Wink.


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divx/xvid play on dvd player
Oct 6, 2008 12:42PM PDT

I have a very nice setup with a philips DVP5990 that was bought at Best Buy for $63 and a 500GB Western Digital "My Book" drive that was bought for about $95. I am still working on just how much I can fit on the drive without it skipping but I do have it working without any modifications being made to anything. On one of the drives I have about 300 movies, 300 music videos and about 1500 songs and it runs with no problem. So far this takes up about 1/2 of my drive. The drive did have problems when I had about 460 GB used, it was skipping "BAD".

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Follow Up - Viewing Videos on External HDD using OPPO 980H
Jun 19, 2010 4:26AM PDT

I think I found one.
by cardnal85 - 11/9/07 5:34 AM In reply to: well by masterying01

The movies on my hard drive are my collection of dvds. I have burned them to the hard drive in what I think is a regular dvd format, iso files and such.

Thanks for your help and answers guys, but I think I found what I'm looking for. I bought an Oppo DV-980H. After reading all the reviews on this site as well as others I believe this will do exactly what I'm looking for.


Did this, in fact, work like you expected?
If so, what was OPPO's interface like for searching your external HDD, and what were all the video formats you were able to play (i.e.: VOB, VIDEO_TS, AVI, MOV, WMV, DV, etc.)?



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Scientific Atlanta DVR
Jan 3, 2009 8:32AM PST

Supposedly some DVR's will do it. My DVR from Scientific Atlanta 8300HD has a USB port on the front that will play movies or cycle through phototos. My TV also has a USB port, but i don't think the TV has software to play the movie. So check out the scientific atlanta dvr's. I've been looking to do the same thing. I'm getting sick of having 400+ movies in a massive case.

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I have seen Iomega has such harddrive unit.
Jan 3, 2009 12:38PM PST

Very reasonable priced too. There was another company that has such unit also but forgot the name (maybe it was I/Ogear).

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Problems with External Drives on DVD Player
Dec 18, 2009 5:52PM PST

I did have the aforemention external IOMEGA external drive until it had an accident - Our fault though. This drive worked perfectly on my dvd player.

When we bought a new external drive and tried to use it it said "drive not recognised)- it was a seagate drive. So we went to our local retailer and bought a new IOMEGA drive with the intention of sending the seagate one back if it didn't work. Alas it didn't work either.

There is light at the end of the tunnel though. The problem doesn't sit with the drives it lies with the NTFS filing system that dvd players etc don't recognise.

Solution: right click on my computer, manage -disc management and delete the partition with your external hard drive on.

Go on to internet and download a programme called swissknife. this will format your external drive to FAT 32 (maximum of 500gb to my knowledge) and then upload files and it should work.

We tried this on both the seagate and the IOMEGA drives and both worked.

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playing moives fro hard drive to usb dvd
Sep 23, 2008 9:19PM PDT

Get a dvd player with a usb connection, make sure your hard drive is formatted in fat32, then you should be able to play AVI movie file. I do it this way and it works great

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Make and model of that player is???
Sep 23, 2008 9:35PM PDT

Fill in the last details so all can see what to get.

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Dec 19, 2010 1:41AM PST

I have a Sony DVD player DVP-NS728H with USB. I am trying to connect my hardisk with movies. i tried formatting my 120 GB Harddrive with FAT32. I tried making with smaller partitions, but no use.Can someone help??

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Sony writes
Dec 19, 2010 1:43AM PST

"Enjoy movies, photos and music from a DVD or USB stick with this elegant DVD Player with 1080p upscaling via HDMI? cable."

I looked at the product specs and don't see HDD support.

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playing moives fro hard drive to usb dvd
Dec 19, 2010 1:35PM PST


Thanks for the post..May be you are right, i dint go thru the specs in details. But is there a way that i can tweek my HDD to make it readable by the DVD?? I hav a huge collection of movies and dont want to keep moving it to the flash drive everytime.
Appreciate any help Happy


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Tell a little more detail.
Dec 19, 2010 1:53PM PST

Some folk have USB POWERED HDDs and those tap the power too hard. Your common USB STICK is a fraction of the power so it's possible that's the issue. But then again I am GUESSING. Your posts are a little light on detail.

So that's my only guess. Be sure that this USB DRIVE is not powered by the DVD player.

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playing moives fro hard drive to usb dvd
Dec 20, 2010 1:56AM PST

Hi Bob,

I think the power should not be a problem as i could see the external HDD getting powered up (the light is on) when i connect it to the DVD and i could sense he disk rotation as well. I think there is something to do with the format a flash drive is being read by the DVD and the Hard disk is being read.

The DVD displays "No USB" when i connect it to the hard disk. Still i am not sure if its something to do with driver.

The model is Sony DVD player DVP-NS728H. Do you need any more details??

Thanks Happy

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I'm going with power.
Dec 22, 2010 1:31AM PST

While it could be a "supported file system" issue that would be in the player's manual so I'll skip any documented support item and head for what others find beyond the documents.

Try it on a HDD that does not draw power from the player.

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Another alternative is to buy a PS3
Oct 30, 2008 6:56AM PDT

Another alternative is to buy a PS3 which supports external hard drives. There are many forums that explain how to connect external hard disk and play music, pictures, and videos.

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Check out the Western Digital WD TV
Jan 3, 2009 1:46PM PST

You hook it up to your tv and then you can plug in your external hard drive to play your movies: divx, avi, wmv.

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Nov 19, 2009 8:56PM PST
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external hard drive
Jan 29, 2010 6:08PM PST
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Playing movies from an external hard drive via dvd player.
Sep 16, 2010 2:01PM PDT

Hi yes i have a 1TB western digital external drive,which i play via my dvd player that has a usb port..It plays well,but you have to format it to FAT32 before hand.I got recommended to take it to someone who has a MAC with 10.5 OS or higher if you dont have one.I took mine to my cousin and sweet sure enough i can watch movies on my big screen tv.

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Hope You Get This...
Mar 2, 2011 4:37AM PST

What brand/model DVD player? I was looking around because a LG DN898 I'm considering, says it's USB connector, called a "USB Media Host", will play video. Thanks