Watching movies off USB w/o 'smart' TV


Supreme [H]ardness
Apr 22, 2008
I recently took down my HTPC because we weren't using it and rebuilt a gaming computer for my son. Obviously after not using the HTPC for 6 months, my wife has decided she wants to be able to play stuff off USB. The TV is a lower end LG and while it does have a USB slot, it won't play video files, only music or pictures.

1)Is there someone I can buy that isn't too pricey to be able to play video files from the USB?
2) Or would it be better to run a 50 ft HDMI cable from my new PC to the TV and watch that way?
1) Room, food, a book allowance and I'm all yours, baby :love:
2) My dad did this to go across the long family room from his computer to the TV, it was expensive and unsightly (it's a fat ass cable), but it worked.
3) Get a Chromecast, use either Videostream (easy) or set up Plex (more involved) to stream from your network share, alternatively, an Amazon FireStick with the Kodi app sideloaded.
Best way is to add the 'smarts'. Chromecast, Firestick, Roku. Best would be an Apple TV 4k or Nvidia Shield, but those are pretty expensive.
I think just about any extermal media player like those IdiotInCharge mentions that has a USB port will play common codec videos from USB, except the AppleTV, which stays locked to iTunes/Apple.

I'm actually surprised the LG doesn't do it natively. It must be a fairly older one. Maybe check and see if there's been a firmware update for it before you shuck out any cash for something else.

Also, a note: if you can still find the old SteamLink - they used to go for like $4.00 with free shipping. That would be better than a 50' HDMI cable, that device is essentially a wireless HDMI. Chromecast is the next best thing there.
Chromecast has crap codec support, get a shield or a Mibox if you want hardware support for all current codecs.
Install Plex Media Server on your main PC.
Plug USB drive into main PC.
Buy a Roku and connect it to the TV.
Install Plex onto the Roku.
Any cheap $40 BR player will allow you to play video files thru the USB port. My parents do this with an external USB drive.