If you have an USB Mass Storage device (external hard drive or USB flash drive for that matter), here is a device made by Western Digital, called “WD TV HD Media Player” , that serves as a bridge between an USB Mass Storage Device and your television. You connect the “WD TV HD Media Player” to your television and the USB Mass storage device to the WD TV HD Media Player (see below). The connection to the TV is accomplished either using standard video/audio composite cables (which are included) OR via a HDMI cable (high def cable).
What does this all mean? Many of us have movies, music and photos stored on external hard drives and really no way of accessing them; except, through the computer. This device changes all of that. I purchased a “WD TV HD Media Player” (on sale for $99.00; normally $129.99 at my local BestBuy) to play around with and to ultimately determine if it was possible for the WD TV HD Media Player to read photos, movies, and music files from a “portable flash drive”. The WD TV HD Media Player supports a multitude of video, graphic and music file formats. My thinking with this device is that with a flash drive I could still store a consider amount of photos, music and a movie or two AND make this device modular and mobile. In my case, fill the flash drive, plug in the flash drive to the WD TV HD Media Player, and watch the media on my TV (especially the movies).
When I got the WD TV HD Media Player home, I found it packaged very nicely, with a remote control, batteries, composite cables, an installation guide, power supply, and a CD (ArcSoft MediaConverter and Western Digital Info). The WD TV HD Media Player is a very compact unit (1.5 “H X 4 3/4” W x 4” D) with a black glossy shell.
In my situation I opted to purchase the HDMI cable to make the connection to my TV. This alone helped alleviate some cable clutter. After I unpackaged the WD TV HD Media Player, I had it hooked up and ready to go within 10 minutes. After loading a 1 Gig flash drive with a divx movie, some music and some photos, I plugged the flash drive into the WD TV HD Media Player. The WD TV HD Media Player is designed with (2)-two USB ports. After inputting my TV to the HDMI input (via the TV remote), I then switched to the WD TV HD Media Player remote and powered up the WD TV HD Media Player . WD TV HD Media Player immediately recognized my flash drive and the content (movies, music and photos). The WD TV HD Media Player menu is very slick in appearance and navigation with the remote was breeze. I found that the WD TV HD Media Player handled the movies, music and photos with no problems. The only issue I experienced is when I placed the WD TV HD Media Player unit in a vertical position, the flash drive seemed to lose its’ connection; otherwise when the WD TV HD Media Player was lying horizontal I experienced no problem whatsoever. My next step is to purchase an 8 or 16 Gig flash drive to use with this device.
You can read more about “WD TV HD Media Player” by clicking on the links below.