HDD's on TV's question

30 Dec 2018
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Up North
United Kingdom
I have had a big screen LG in the living room for a couple of years now, with a USB HDD plugged in for play/pause/record. It works well.

I recently replaced older TV's with similar, but smaller LG sets and added HDD's for the same reason. Call them TV's 1 to 3 - all three are connected to my LAN and the Internet for streaming.

My question - is there any way for TV 1 to play a film recorded TV 3's hdd, other than physically unplugging the HDD and physically moving it to TV 1?
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Only if the TV had a media server function. Moving the USB memory will probably result in the other TV(s) rejecting it because the recordings are locked to the first set.
No. Plex is a file/media player.

A media server app makes the files on your TV available to other displays on your home network. It's a feature on my Panasonic TV, but I've never bothered with it because I already have a NAS drive with loads of ripped stuff on it, and I'm not that bothered about recording what's on Freeview/Freesat that I'd want to watch it on another telly.
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Plex support on the TVs is as a player as Lucid says. Plex is also a media server but you'd have to have a central media server to which the media players can connect. I can't think of a simple solution to what you're trying to do at the moment. If you wanted to investigate something, you could look at a centralised Plex server with a TV card and aerial connection on to which you record when you want and then you could play back from your Plex capable TVs. I have run Plex on my network attached storage (NAS), but not for live/recording TV. You would also need to pay for a Plex Pass to do this.

Alternatively, we have a humax Freeview/HDD box which in theory can be used as a server to play to other places. Although I have done that playing back on my PC, it's never been easy/simple enough to make it an everyday useful thing. I can also copy shows/movies from the Humax to my NAS and then play back with any compatible media player (e.g using the NAS' own media server, a DLNA client or Plex). But that's not quite what you're looking for as I suspect it is quicker easier to unplug your USB and walk with it! There's tech's easily capable of all this, but the industry seems to work very hard to make it difficult to do what we want.
But that's not quite what you're looking for as I suspect it is quicker easier to unplug your USB and walk with it! There's tech's easily capable of all this, but the industry seems to work very hard to make it difficult to do what we want.

The problem he'll likely find is that moving the USB memory to another TV means it won't play. The new TV will see recordings made by another set, and so refuse to play them, or at least refuse to play any HD ones. This is all part of the digital economy. The major manufacturers.turers play by the rules. The powers that be are slowly closing all the loopholes and the 'free' options to pave the way for charging for stuff.

The rights holders for content don't want their shows ripped off - particularly HD recordings - because they want to keep selling them to TV companies/Streaming Service Suppliers and to the general public as downloads/rentals/disc-based media and box sets. It's understandable, albeit frustrating from a simple user's perspective when all that's really wanted is to play the content in a more convenient location.

Most people aren't pirates. The trouble is that this 'moving content' is the first step in pirating it too, and so by making it more difficult they then deter the casual/low-level piracy such as the guy who sells dodgy DVDs from a car boot.

The answer is to move the recorder. At first that doesn't seem feasible. However, there are small DVB-T/T2 receivers that are little bigger that a couple of Mars Bars side-by-side. They cost under £40 each and have the same record-to-USB feature as the TV. The connection to the TV is via HDMI. This won't be practical for everyone for lots of reasons. But for those who can go down this route it offers a simple and fairly low-tech solution to the problem.

Based on feedback from other FMs who have taken this advice, the results are close enough to the TV internal tuner recordings not to have to worry about quality. Also, the USB memory is playable on anynof the same model receiver. That's a bonus because it's easier to move some USB memory.

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