How to Play Music and Watch Movies from USB Flash Drive on TV

smart tv

There are many ways to relax after a hectic day at work or school. You could read a book, play some video games or visit your various social media sites. However, there is nothing as relaxing as listening to good music or watching a great movie on your TV set via a USB flash or external hard drive.

Playing movies or music from an external storage device is a fun idea. After all, there is no need for you to bother about changing disks when the playlist ends. Instead, you use your remote to move to the following content from the comfort of your sofa.

 Before you can experience the benefits of using a USB or external drive with your TV, ensure that both devices are in the right formats (NFTS or FAT32). Fortunately, most flash disks come with this feature while others don’t. If your device falls into the latter category, then you should use a Windows PC to set it to FAT 32.

Now let’s show you how to format your USB flash and play media files on them.

How to Format Flash Disk or Hard Drive to Play on TV

Here are the steps to format your flash disk or external USB drive in FAT32 or NTFS.

  1. Plug the disk or drive to any of your USB ports on your system.
  2. Scroll to My Computer
  3. Right click on the icon.
  4. Tap Format

Choose File System. You can select either FAT32 or NFTS.

Microsoft created both formats (FAT32 and NTFS) but what’s the difference between both formats? Well, NFTS supports larger files of up to 16TB while FAT32 supports file sizes of 4GB. Furthermore, FAT 32 offers volume sizes of up to 2TB while NFTS features a maximum volume size of 256TB. This means if you are a fan of full HD videos, you should consider an NFTS-formatted external Hard drive.

How to Watch Movies from USB Flash Drive on TV

Using a USB Flash Drive or External HDD to watch movies and play music is quite easy. All you need is any of the above storage devices and a smart TV with USB port. You can find the ports at the back or sides of the TV or check the user manual for the exact position.

Next, check if your USB storage device uses an internal or external power source. Regular sized models are powered by internal sources or connected TVs while larger ones which support as much as 4TB need an external power source when connected to your TV.

Now here are the steps.

  • Insert the USB drive into the ports.
  • Press the “Input” button on your remote control.
  • Scroll and select the “USB” option on your screen
  • Click on your preferred movie or music option and enjoy.

We want to add that you check your TV manual to find supported file formats. The latest models support FAT32 and NTFS while older TVs work with FAT32. We also recommend that you check the manual to find the video formats supported by your TV’s media player. Most models can play MP3 or MP4 video files from USB drives but have issues when playing.AVI, .MKV and .ogg files.

Furthermore, if your external drive has files of more than 2TB, you might experience some lag or freezing when browsing through your data. But you can solve this problem by using a dedicated media player like Plex or Kodi, especially when installed on a NAS drive.

So that’s how you play music and watch movies on your TV with a USB or external flash drive. Feel free to follow our tips and check your manual if you are in doubt.

image: pixabay


Posted by Abiodun Adewusi

Abiodun Adewusi is a freelance writer who lives in Nigeria. As a writer, he is passionate about providing content on technology helping people keep up with the latest trends. You can see some of his work on Medium and Ezine.

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