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Old 08-09-2017, 10:05 AM
 
Location: USA
701 posts, read 993,994 times
Reputation: 651

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nighthouse66 View Post
So, I have been struggling with this for a minute. I have probably a thousand films I have downloaded over the years and I always watched them on my laptop (a lot of public domain noir films downloaded from archive.org etc). I now have a TV that has HDMI inputs and a useless USB port (doesn't work for hard drives).
I bought a DVD player and it plays EVERYTHING but MPEG4. I am realizing this is a known issue and the only workaround is to convert them. Since I have so many I was hoping to have some other solution.
Is there some sort of media player, something akin to a DVD player but that will play discs with films of different formats? I keep coming up empty. I do not want to use my laptop as a go-between and there is such a dizzying array of options that I feel someone more tech-savvy could address it faster than I could. Any advice???

EDIT: Even something that would function as a hard drive that I could plug into my Samsung tv- but the USB port doesn't work for that! But something I could upload the films to....
I tried that too - play a MPEG4 movie on our DVD players. Doesn't work. And I haven't found a device (other than a computer), to play MPEG4 movies.

https://www.macxdvd.com/mac-dvd-vide...eg4-vs-mp4.htm

Personally, going forward, I think you'll be better off converting your collection to MP4, if you want to keep and watch your movie collection. An H.264 Codec with an mp4 wrapper is your best bet for quality and universal acceptance.

I find myself in a similar situation of having several home movies in Hi8 digital tapes. They're still good, but if I want to watch them, I'm limited whatever Hi8 player I can find. Might as well convert them to MP4, currently the most widely used format, before the Hi8 players are all gone.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:40 PM
 
1,882 posts, read 2,887,088 times
Reputation: 3893
Yeah, this seems to be a lost cause. My last hope is getting another DVD player with a USB port- so I can plug in my disc drive which CAN play MPEGs. I am really disappointed in the fact that some other workaround can't be found. I mean, its a widely used format. And disc drives on computers can play MPEG- how hard would it be to develop a drive that would play both! Going forward I will just convert anything I get with MPEG into another format. Doing my whole library like that one disc at a time is the very last thing I want to do, but may be my ultimate last resort. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and for trying though!
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:46 PM
 
Location: USA
701 posts, read 993,994 times
Reputation: 651
Unless you can find a dvd/cd player that's sold in Asian countries that you can buy here online. Or know someone who's in Asia now that can buy it for you and bring it over.

A friend of mine came back from the Taiwan with a small, no-name DVD player. Only this thing can play EVERYTHING! I mean all video formats. With all the pirating going on over there, they have units like these.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:17 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, Tx
7,848 posts, read 8,377,537 times
Reputation: 9478
Best bet is to go to a pawnshop/craigslist and pick up a used PS3. Once you have that you have a few options. You can play everything off of your laptop simply by sharing the folder. (tutorials all over the internet) You can copy everything to the hard drive of the PS3 or copy everything to an external hard drive and connect it to the PS3. The PS3 will play literally everything. You should be able to pick one up along with a media remote for well under $100 (Gamestop has refurbs for $89-$129). You dont really even need the media remote as the included controller will do everything you need.

(PS3 is also a blu ray player and will play your blu ray dvds)

After I upgraded to PS4 I connected my PS3 to the tv in the kitchen and let it play the videos off my computer.
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,825 posts, read 13,961,605 times
Reputation: 8060
Good call, Sabres Fan.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:07 AM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
3,972 posts, read 2,614,010 times
Reputation: 4741
Many ways to do this. I assume you only have your laptop and the DVD player? I also assume you are trying to play the MP4 files from a USB stick though your DVD player?

1. There may be a firmware upgrade for your DVD player that will allow it to play MP4
2. Buy a another Bluray/DVD player that supports MP4, they are cheap probably around $30.
3. Cast video from your laptop to your TV. This is more money.
4. Get a Fire Stick, install Kodi Media Player on it and play video from your laptop over the network. This would be more complicated but definitely doable.
5. Depending on your laptop connect an HDMI cable to your TV or if it has only a VGA connection, get a VGA to HDMI adapter.
6. Then there is Plex which is great but you need a server (your laptop) and then a playback device such as a Fire Stick or Roku. Then you stream the video over Wifi.


I could go on but I think #1 then #5 is what I would shoot for first.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:12 AM
 
4,367 posts, read 2,362,899 times
Reputation: 5624
Quote:
Originally Posted by nighthouse66 View Post
So, I have been struggling with this for a minute. I have probably a thousand films I have downloaded over the years and I always watched them on my laptop (a lot of public domain noir films downloaded from archive.org etc). I now have a TV that has HDMI inputs and a useless USB port (doesn't work for hard drives).
I bought a DVD player and it plays EVERYTHING but MPEG4. I am realizing this is a known issue and the only workaround is to convert them. Since I have so many I was hoping to have some other solution.
Is there some sort of media player, something akin to a DVD player but that will play discs with films of different formats? I keep coming up empty. I do not want to use my laptop as a go-between and there is such a dizzying array of options that I feel someone more tech-savvy could address it faster than I could. Any advice???

EDIT: Even something that would function as a hard drive that I could plug into my Samsung tv- but the USB port doesn't work for that! But something I could upload the films to....

Most newer TVs support MP4. Put several movies on a USB and bring it to Best Buy and try different TVs. My Samsung 42" plays most of what is on my HDD. I also frequently connect my PC to my TV via HDMI for incompatible formats.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:35 AM
 
Location: (six-cent-dix-sept)
4,884 posts, read 2,500,163 times
Reputation: 3142
mp4 is a container format that can house multiple audio/video/subtitle codecs. would the op be able to load a linux live-usb and check the actual types/formats/codecs/resolution/bit rates/frame rates/aspect ratios/... of the actual files and compare them with what the manual for the tv says is supported:
Quote:
[stanley-88888888@mom tv]$ file *
breaking-bad-34-box-cutter.mkv: Matroska data
the-maxx-01.mp4: ISO Media, MPEG v4 system, version 1
[
stanley-88888888@mom tv]$ mplayer -vo null -ao null -frames 0 -identify *
MPlayer SVN-r36521-4.8.2 (C) 2000-2013 MPlayer Team
mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.

Playing breaking-bad-34-box-cutter.mkv.
libavformat version 55.19.104 (external)
libavformat file format detected.
ID_VIDEO_ID=0
ID_VID_0_NAME=breaking-bad-season-4-disc-1--ac3
[lavf] stream 0: video (mpeg4), -vid 0, breaking-bad-season-4-disc-1--ac3
ID_AUDIO_ID=0
ID_AID_0_LANG=eng
ID_AID_0_NAME=AC3 5.1
[lavf] stream 1: audio (ac3), -aid 0, -alang eng, AC3 5.1
VIDEO: [MP4V] 720x480 0bpp 29.970 fps 0.0 kbps ( 0.0 kbyte/s)
Clip info:
title: breaking-bad-season-4-disc-1--ac3
ID_CLIP_INFO_NAME0=title
ID_CLIP_INFO_VALUE0=breaking-bad-season-4-disc-1--ac3
creation_time: 2012-06-21 07:23:22
ID_CLIP_INFO_NAME1=creation_time
ID_CLIP_INFO_VALUE1=2012-06-21 07:23:22
ID_CLIP_INFO_N=2
Load subtitles in ./
ID_FILENAME=breaking-bad-34-box-cutter.mkv
ID_DEMUXER=lavfpref
ID_VIDEO_FORMAT=MP4V
ID_VIDEO_BITRATE=0
ID_VIDEO_WIDTH=720
ID_VIDEO_HEIGHT=480
ID_VIDEO_FPS=29.970
ID_VIDEO_ASPECT=0.0000
ID_AUDIO_FORMAT=8192
ID_AUDIO_BITRATE=192000
ID_AUDIO_RATE=48000
ID_AUDIO_NCH=6
ID_START_TIME=0.00
ID_LENGTH=2831.78
ID_SEEKABLE=1
ID_CHAPTERS=0
================================================== ========================
Opening video decoder: [ffmpeg] FFmpeg's libavcodec codec family
libavcodec version 55.39.101 (external)
Selected video codec: [ffodivx] vfm: ffmpeg (FFmpeg MPEG-4)
================================================== ========================
ID_VIDEO_CODEC=ffodivx
================================================== ========================
Opening audio decoder: [ffmpeg] FFmpeg/libavcodec audio decoders
AUDIO: 48000 Hz, 2 ch, floatle, 192.0 kbit/6.25% (ratio: 24000->384000)
ID_AUDIO_BITRATE=192000
ID_AUDIO_RATE=48000
ID_AUDIO_NCH=2
Selected audio codec: [ffac3] afm: ffmpeg (FFmpeg AC-3)
================================================== ========================
AO: [null] 48000Hz 2ch floatle (4 bytes per sample)
ID_AUDIO_CODEC=ffac3
Starting playback...


Playing the-maxx-01.mp4.
libavformat file format detected.
ID_AUDIO_ID=0
[lavf] stream 0: audio (aac), -aid 0, -alang und
ID_VIDEO_ID=0
[lavf] stream 1: video (h264), -vid 0
VIDEO: [H264] 640x480 24bpp 23.976 fps 1468.5 kbps (179.3 kbyte/s)
Clip info:
major_brand: isom
ID_CLIP_INFO_NAME0=major_brand
ID_CLIP_INFO_VALUE0=isom
minor_version: 1
ID_CLIP_INFO_NAME1=minor_version
ID_CLIP_INFO_VALUE1=1
compatible_brands: isom
ID_CLIP_INFO_NAME2=compatible_brands
ID_CLIP_INFO_VALUE2=isom
creation_time: 2009-08-06 09:16:36
ID_CLIP_INFO_NAME3=creation_time
ID_CLIP_INFO_VALUE3=2009-08-06 09:16:36
ID_CLIP_INFO_N=4
Load subtitles in ./
ID_FILENAME=the-maxx-01.mp4
ID_DEMUXER=lavfpref
ID_VIDEO_FORMAT=H264
ID_VIDEO_BITRATE=1468520
ID_VIDEO_WIDTH=640
ID_VIDEO_HEIGHT=480
ID_VIDEO_FPS=23.976
ID_VIDEO_ASPECT=0.0000
ID_AUDIO_FORMAT=MP4A
ID_AUDIO_BITRATE=125648
ID_AUDIO_RATE=44100
ID_AUDIO_NCH=2
ID_START_TIME=0.00
ID_LENGTH=669.17
ID_SEEKABLE=1
ID_CHAPTERS=0
================================================== ========================
Opening video decoder: [ffmpeg] FFmpeg's libavcodec codec family
Selected video codec: [ffh264] vfm: ffmpeg (FFmpeg H.264)
================================================== ========================
ID_VIDEO_CODEC=ffh264
================================================== ========================
Opening audio decoder: [ffmpeg] FFmpeg/libavcodec audio decoders
AUDIO: 44100 Hz, 2 ch, floatle, 125.6 kbit/4.45% (ratio: 15706->352800)
ID_AUDIO_BITRATE=125648
ID_AUDIO_RATE=44100
ID_AUDIO_NCH=2
Selected audio codec: [ffaac] afm: ffmpeg (FFmpeg AAC (MPEG-2/MPEG-4 Audio))
================================================== ========================
AO: [null] 44100Hz 2ch floatle (4 bytes per sample)
ID_AUDIO_CODEC=ffaac
Starting playback...


Exiting... (End of file)
ID_EXIT=EOF
its too broad and too ambiguous to say that your tv supports mp4.

Last edited by stanley-88888888; 08-15-2017 at 11:45 AM..
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:18 PM
 
Location: location, location!
1,916 posts, read 1,756,138 times
Reputation: 1875
Like Vacanegro said a couple of posts back, modern Samsung TVs will play most video files off a USB stick. I have two Samsungs, and most movies play just fine with the built in media player. For the few items that come up with a "not supported" error on the TV, I plug in a relatively cheap Chromecast and cast it from my laptop to the TV. You could use any old laptop or phone as your media server with the Chromecast.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,449 posts, read 13,083,259 times
Reputation: 23119
I know this is an old thread, but I wondered if the OP found a solution?

I have hundreds of movies/TV episodes in .mp4 format on external hard drives so just bought a Roku Ultra ($80 at amazon). I bought it SPECIFICALLY for its USB port. I plugged in an external hard drive with some of the .mp4 files and went to the Roku Media Player "channel." I was able to view the list of the .mp4's on the drive and select one to play. In other words, it worked EXACTLY as I hoped it would! (Note, my drive was IIRC 2tb; from reading various things online, it seems like that is the largest drive I could set

The drive I used was IIRC 2tb. From reading various things online, it seems like that is the largest drive I could use directly with the Roku (i.e. by plugging it into the Roku's USB port). When I have time I am going to look into Plex or Kodi -- I will try to use an old PC as my server although most of them are probably TOO old. I guess I could always use my Netbook.

OP, what did you end up doing?
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