Computer Techs? Hard Drives send a signal wireless?

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Amen

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Wondering if there are any computer/home theater gurus out there? I have some external hard drives that I can hook directly up to the USB on the tv and playback movies I've downloaded on them. But I don't have room for all my hard drives where the tv area is. In fact the only place I can put them all is in the back of the coach in the bedroom dresser below the back tv. Is there any way to send the signal from the back bedroom area to the front of the coach? We do have a router but it's not always hooked up to the internet but it is on. Can that be used somehow? Can it all go into a hub then sent through a wireless signal to the front? I do have a Monster internet over power set up also so the router can be hard wired to the laptop if needed. I have the router in the front above the drivers window and the Monster unit up there, too. I have the LAN Ethernet cable plugged into Monster unit and then to the 110 electrical socket there and then I plug the other Monster unit into a 110 socket wherever I'm sitting and then plug another LAN Ethernet cable from it and then to my laptop and get a hard wired signal from the front to the back. It works good! Not sure any of that can be used, though? Any suggestions?
 

Optimistic Paranoid

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Depending on your router, some of them have a feature to hook a hard drive up to them to serve as Network Storage.
 

magconpres

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I can think of a couple of ways to get the result you want.

1)  Old android cellphone that supports USB2Go, + USB2Go Cable + Roku stick (Amazon Fire or Google Chromecast would probably also work) + Roku app.
  Hook the hard drive up to the phone and using the appropriate app on the phone, "cast" the video/audio to the Roku stick.  Most of the streaming sticks (Roku, Fire, Chromecast) have apps that will paly a video on the phone and send it to the the stick (which actually goes into the HDMI port on the TV).

2) Router that supports USB drives + small computer to mount the drives and mimic a USB drive for the TV.  This is probably more complicated, and closer to what you describe.  You can make the drives (at least one at a time) available to any device on your wireless network.  You then need something to plug into the tv's usb port and essentially forward the network drive to the tv.  It has to llo like a usb drive to the TV though, and that may be tricky. 

3)  TV that already has DLNA capabilities and wireless + wireless router with USB drive support.  Like #2, but but the TV already has the capability to read the hard drive via the network.

4) usb dlna client?  not sure if anyone makes one.

If it were me, I'd go with the first option.  Old android cellphones are cheap.  You don't need the service.  You are just using it as a small computer to run the appropriate app. 


 

Molaker

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External hard drives must be connected to a computer or, possibly, a NAS device for use. If you have another computer or a Raspberry Pi device or, even better, a NAS you could connect any of those to your router via wifi. A dedicated NAS can be expensive, but a Pi device is inexpensive and can handle 3 or 4 USB devices and can be set up as a NAS. So, unless you happen to have another laptop, the Pi would be my recommendation.


However you might choose, it will take a little tech knowledge to get going, but it is doable.
 

Isaac-1

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I can think of half a dozen different ways to do this, though I am not sure which would be best for your situation.
 

Amen

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With a NAS don't I have to have all the files downloaded into the NAS? And not able to use my external hard drives? I have 7 2TB drives.
 

8Muddypaws

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Raspberry Pi computer -$35
Power supply -$5
Media share software for Pi-$0
If you need a case for the Pi -$10 or less.  Or you can make one out of a mint tin.

Or install OpenELEC on Pi. (This is what I use)
Configure Kodi ( in Open Elec) to find media files wherever you put them.  I store mine on an SSD.

I also use a Surface tablet with MicroHDMI to HDMI cable.  I download Netflix content to the surface.  This gives the best audio/video performance and portability.  Any laptop with HDMI would do the same.

Hitachi made, and may still make, media drives with wireless capability.  I have two of them, 500GB each.  They also function as a wireless access point or as a plain vanilla USB disk.  They were cheap.

Sandisk makes SSD based wireless media devices.  I've got a dozen or so of these but they are only 64GB.  I haven't tried putting 128 GB in one yet and I haven't tried streaming directly to my TV.  They also work as a normal USB drive too but some computers are not able to mount them.  They contain a battery that draws too much power for some computers as well.

There are plenty of other ways but my experience is that the USB interface found on some TVs is not fast enough so you get dropped frames and audio sync issues once in a while.  That's why I favor OpenElec and Kodi.  Kodi has a steep learning curve.
 

Frank B

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Do you really need all of that storage connected at the same time?  If not, you can just connect one of the drives as you need it using an external enclosure and a USB cable.
 

magconpres

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Unless the OP needs all drives connected at once, I'll stand behind an Android/Roku based solution.  Probably under $100 unless you already have a phone you can use, including ng the one you actually use as a phone.. I think you can get a Room for about $30.

Recent verisons of Android include USB2Go, which allows the phone to read a USB drive. You just need the right cable.

 

John From Detroit

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There are many products like Chromecast you can plug into the TV (Takes a USB and an HDMI port) then stream from your computer.

NOTE  Chromecast might not be the best choice. But many like it.
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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I'm doing what you're trying to do.

You need a router that you can plug your USB hard drive in. I have a NetGear N750. Get a ROKU to plug into your TV. The ROKU can act as DNLA server.

The ROKU will see the hard drive and you can play your movies.
 

Amen

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I have a Pepwave Soho that has a WAN USB port And we have a Roku tv. I tried plugging a hard drive into the USB port but I don't see it on the Roku TV? I bought the router because it was touted as having a good range and easy to set up with different hotspots. But I can't find anything in the literature where it says if it has DNLA or not?

https://www.peplink.com/products/pepwave-surf-soho-specs/
 

magconpres

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Alaskansnowbirds said:
I'm doing what you're trying to do.

You need a router that you can plug your USB hard drive in. I have a NetGear N750. Get a ROKU to plug into your TV. The ROKU can act as DNLA server.

The ROKU will see the hard drive and you can play your movies.

That's better than streaming from a phone.  I didn't know a Roku would do that.
 

Amen

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Alaskansnowbirds said:
I'm doing what you're trying to do.

You need a router that you can plug your USB hard drive in. I have a NetGear N750. Get a ROKU to plug into your TV. The ROKU can act as DNLA server.

The ROKU will see the hard drive and you can play your movies.

My Pepwave SOHO won't connect hard drive via USB. It's only to hook up a hot spot. I'll have to figure something else out
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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magconpres said:
That's better than streaming from a phone.  I didn't know a Roku would do that.

I may have misspoke. I have a Western Digital 1TB hard drive plugged into the N750. On the ROKU home page there is the "ROKU Media Player" channel. I don't remember if the media player was on the ROKU when I got it, or if I installed it. It "sees" the Western Digital hard drive on the network.

It will play music and videos. I think music has to be in mp3 format and videos have to be mp4.
 

rainman4tech

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As several have noted before more ways to do this than you can count so I will leave that one alone.
One thing you will want to work out is storage of those drives when you are in motion, spinning hard drives can be made to skip and misread just by shouting at them so it would be best to shut the drives down when you travel. If you use something like a NAS and have all drives connected and running at once be sure it is powered off before you hook up and wait until you are unhooked and leveled before you power them back on.

Just saying.

Rainman
 
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