Question Wireless USB Extension - Does such a thing exist?

mozga628

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May 9, 2012
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My father is getting up in age and there are a number of his favorite shows that are not available streaming.
I mp4 encoded old DVD's that he purchased as well as old family vacations, plus scanned books and books of photographs, etc) that he could watch, but the usb ports are on the back of the tv (stupid imho!)
I've thought about running a regular wire and maybe putting it on the wall somehow
but then i thought why can't i run the extension all the way to his favorite chair? because someone would trip on it!

Please note i already tried setting up a large hard drive and velcro'ing it to the back of the tv, but the tv listed everything alphanumerically (mixing everything up).

So what i have been (unsuccessfully) looking for is something that my dad can plug a USB thumb drive into at his chair, and have a receiving device on the back of the tv. (similar to a wireless bridge, but specifically for usb devices).
 
the tv listed everything alphanumerically (mixing everything up).
this should still happen no matter what type of "extension" was used.
the TV will still be accessing the drive in the same ways.

why would it matter if files are arranged and displayed this way?
sort them into corresponding folders, name/number them in whatever order you wish, and just have the drive connected and seated near the TV.
you will still be using the TV's remote to access the drive so it shouldn't matter where it is actually located.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
In this regard, you could have a NAS that was accessible by your TV/your dad. Some routers have an USB functionality whereby you can use the pen drive as a data drive to read off of. If you run the USB cable under the rug, that prevents people from tripping on it. You could even look into a cable management channels/floor cable covers.
 
Please note i already tried setting up a large hard drive and velcro'ing it to the back of the tv, but the tv listed everything alphanumerically (mixing everything up).
So what i have been (unsuccessfully) looking for is something that my dad can plug a USB thumb drive into at his chair, and have a receiving device on the back of the tv. (similar to a wireless bridge, but specifically for usb devices).
What model TV is it? Is it a smart TV?
If TV is not smart, you can make it smart with AppleTV (for example).
Does your dad have a pc?

Just set up PLEX server on PC,
install PLEX client on TV,
connect them both to same network and
access all shared content on TV.
 

mozga628

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May 9, 2012
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this should still happen no matter what type of "extension" was used.
the TV will still be accessing the drive in the same ways.

why would it matter if files are arranged and displayed this way?
sort them into corresponding folders, name/number them in whatever order you wish, and just have the drive connected and seated near the TV.
you will still be using the TV's remote to access the drive so it shouldn't matter where it is actually located.
the 4tb usb hd contained multiple shows..
a single thumb drive is only large enough for a single series
so mixing everything up wouldn't happen.

example (multiple shows)
s01e01 title
s01e01 title
s01e01 title
s01e02 title
s01e02 title
s01e02 title
s01e03 title
s01e03 title
s01e03 title


example (one show)
s01e01 title
s01e02 title
s01e03 title

the files are meticulously sorted into folders, but the TV is not using the folder structure, and just listing all the files together. so i have ALL of the episode 1's clumped together, followed by all the 2nd episodes...
this is why a large hard drive on the back of the tv is a no go.
 

mozga628

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May 9, 2012
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What model TV is it? Is it a smart TV?
If TV is not smart, you can make it smart with AppleTV (for example).
Does your dad have a pc?

Just set up PLEX server on PC,
install PLEX client on TV,
connect them both to same network and
access all shared content on TV.

it is a smart tv.
it's an LG but i don't know the model number
This is by FAR the solution overall for anyone under the age of 40... but my parents are not techies.
i want to dumb this down for them. not put more tech into it.
 

mozga628

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May 9, 2012
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In this regard, you could have a NAS that was accessible by your TV/your dad. Some routers have an USB functionality whereby you can use the pen drive as a data drive to read off of. If you run the USB cable under the rug, that prevents people from tripping on it. You could even look into a cable management channels/floor cable covers.
i was so hopeful on this! i setup an old linksys wireless N that has usb support. i thought i would put the router behind the couch and run a usb extension cable through the couch into the arm rest with some aftermarket parts so make it look good (and not just a loose dangling wire).
when i tested it at my house, and connected the thumb drive it worked absolutely flawlessly.
until i disconnected the thumb drive and connected a new one...
at that point, i had to go back into the router and reshare the new usb device.

so close!!!

maybe i just need a different kind of router?
 
the files are meticulously sorted into folders, but the TV is not using the folder structure, and just listing all the files together
that sucks. i can see how that would make viewing anything pretty annoying even if the episodes and/or movies were properly labeled.
the last 3 TVs i've had over the last 10 years or so all worked differently where they followed any folder structure created.

maybe just time for a TV upgrade?
 

DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
Of course, the natural question I have is why don't you just name them in an order that works alphabetically? Seems really weird to have S01E01 before the name of the show.

A Plex server doesn't cause any issues to the user; the expertise is the setup, not the use. My mom logs into my Plex server from her house all the time without any problems and she's not tech-savvy; I have had to go over there and "fix" her PC and the PC was just not on, despite me building it for her in an RGB case that will look like a rainbow orgy every time its on so that she knows it's on.
 
Reactions: JohnBonhamsGhost
This is by FAR the solution overall for anyone under the age of 40... but my parents are not techies.
i want to dumb this down for them. not put more tech into it.
Does your dad have a computer?

If Plex server is properly set up (you do it only once), then it's extremely easy to use.
Adding new video files requires
to copy them to video library location and
rescanning library (this is being done automatically too depending on settings, default 1h).
And done - new videos are available on PLEX.

Everything will be sorted automatically with pictures and descriptions.
 
As mentioned previously: Dumb-down your dad' TV, and get him a "Smart TV box" with USB interface, being it Android, Roku, Amazon, Shield etc. On some of these devices you can install Plex, or Kodi, etc. with nice 10ft user interface. Some of them even can be controlled thru the TV using TV' remote.
 

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