Watching videos from pc/usb hdd - on tv

  andy625 15:48 08 May 2007

I have a number of video files on my pc/usb hard drive, that I'd like to watch on my tv.

Whats the easiest/cheapest way of connecting my laptop to my tv, so that I can watch them?

I've network media players advertised, and hard disc enclosures from maplins that claim to be able to do this, but I've not been able to get any details from the websites.

Ideally I'd like to be able to stream them wirelessly from upstairs using my router, or use a device to connect to my freecom network attached hard drive, connected to my router.

Can anyone recommend anything? Thanks.

  ArrGee 10:11 09 May 2007

The easiest and cheapest way would be to directly connect your laptop to the tv. If you have a S-Video out port on the laptop, a simple S-Video to Scart cable will suffice.

A friend who travels extensively has just purchased a media HDD enclosure from Maplins (the actual drive is purchaed separately) so whenever he stays in a hotel, he simply plugs this in to watch his own films or listen to his music.

I currently have a setup which allows me to wirelessly stream any audio/video content to my TV from either my desktop or any other laptop. However, in may case, this involves having another laptop which is permanently connected to the tv.

  andy625 11:18 09 May 2007

Its interesting to hear of someone having used the Maplins media HDD enclosure. That is the one I was thinking of getting. Do you know how it connects to the tv? I assume its got a scart, or one of the 3 jack plugs to scart adapters?

Its also interesting to hear of your system streaming video wirelessly. I have a desktop pc wired to teh router, which has a backup of all my videos on it, and I could do the same as you and connect my laptop to the tv (even if only temporarily) to watch a program. I assume you connect to the tv with one of the s-video to scart leads that you mentioned?

  Danoh 12:24 09 May 2007

bookmarked - intend to do the same via DVI-HDMI cable to 1080p LCD TV.

  ArrGee 13:51 09 May 2007

The HDD enclosure connects to the tv using a 3 plug to scart convertor, which (I believe) did not come with the unit (but very cheap). The unit came with two sets of 3-jack connector leads (from what I remember). To accompany this, my friend bought a 200gig HDD, which had to be formatted to FAT32.

Correct, I have a S-Video to Scart lead for connection between the laptop and the TV.

The laptop runs XP Media Centre and has an external HDD connected containing my entire CD & DVD collection, as well as a number of AVI movies. The laptop recognises the Media Centre remote control.

I also have a Sony LocationFree Player, with a Sky+ box plugged into it. At times, when going abroad, I plug the laptop into LocationFree using S-Video to 3-jack lead. This way, I can either watch any Sky+ channels or my media laptop content on either another laptop or a PSP, wherever I can get to a wireless hotspot. The PSP can be set to emulate both the Sky+ remote as well as the Media Center remote, and the LocationFree Player comes with a IR blaster.

Just another way to configure your set-up, but the media HDD enclosure is a simpler set-up and also very portable.

  andy625 15:04 09 May 2007

Thanks for the reply ArrGee. I'd not heard of a Locationfree player before - something else to think about... The Maplins HDD enclosure sounds like what I'm looking for at the moment though. Thanks.

  De Marcus™ 17:49 09 May 2007

More choices here click here

  ArrGee 09:41 10 May 2007

Media HDD enclosure at Maplins price drop: now only 39.99

click here

  andy625 11:06 10 May 2007

Thanks for the info ArrGee, and De Marcus.

One thing I thought of last night was you mentioned that the drive which was fitted in the HDD enclosure was formated in FAT. I tried formatting a 160Gb USB drive in FAT last year, and it said that the capacity was too big for FAT, and had to be NTFS. How did you get round this?

  ArrGee 11:25 10 May 2007

FAT32 can handle a larger drive capacity (upto 2 terabytes) but is limited by Windows 2000 and XP to only 32gb.

However, the formatter that comes supplied with the enclosure will allow formatting of larger drives as FAT32.

  andy625 13:35 10 May 2007

I see, that would explain it - I was trying to reformat through "Computer management" in W2000.

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