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Simple Media Player for TV?
Old 04-19-2019, 06:44 PM   #1
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Simple Media Player for TV?

I'm trying to find a very simple media player I can load up with movies on a USB drive or SD card, that my elderly mother can use to watch movies.

1. I do NOT want to stream online content (Netflix, Youtube, etc.), just the videos I put on the memory card. She already has a Roku.

2. I don't want any "apps" like all of the Android TV boxes I've seen. It should boot up directly to the list of movies if possible.

3. Ideally it should support movie thumbnails, but a text list would be OK to.

4. It should be priced less than $60.

5. I only need it to support standard h.264 MP4 videos. It does not need to support a lot of file formats.

6. It must be simple to use for a non-techy person.

7. Compatibility with Logitech Harmony remotes would be nice, but not a requirement.

The closest I have found so far is this Micca Mplay HD player:

https://www.amazon.com/Micca-MPLAY-H...xbs_sxwds-stvp

I have an older Micca Speck that works well, so I'm somewhat familiar with it, but they are text menus only. It would be nice to find something that supports thumbnails.

Any recommendations?
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mountainsoft View Post
I'm trying to find a very simple media player I can load up with movies on a USB drive or SD card, that my elderly mother can use to watch movies.

1. I do NOT want to stream online content (Netflix, Youtube, etc.), just the videos I put on the memory card. She already has a Roku.
Roku has media player. Insert USB to Roku device, and open Media Player.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:55 PM   #3
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Roku has media player. Insert USB to Roku device, and open Media Player.
Only the Roku Ultra has the USB port and at $90 it's a bit out of my price range. I don't want to spend a lot of money on something she may not use much.

Right now I'm using Plex to stream videos on my hard drive to her Roku, but it's kind of finicky. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn't. She gets frustrated with that so she rarely uses it.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:56 PM   #4
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Why not a cheap blu-ray player with a USB slot? I got one from Costco years ago, and I download videos onto a thumb drive and watch them on any TV I have the player plugged into via the USB slot.

See, e.g.: https://www.amazon.com/Sony-BDPS3700...s%2C255&sr=1-3
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:59 PM   #5
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Many bluray players will play media files on a USB drive. Some DVD players will too and you could pick up one of those pretty cheaply if you don't have one gathering dust in your house.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Birdie Num Nums View Post
Why not a cheap blu-ray player with a USB slot? I got one from Costco years ago, and I download videos onto a thumb drive and watch them on any TV I have the player plugged into via the USB slot.

See, e.g.: https://www.amazon.com/Sony-BDPS3700...s%2C255&sr=1-3
Hmm.. I think she already has that player (I do to). It might be worth a try, thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mountainsoft View Post
Only the Roku Ultra has the USB port and at $90 it's a bit out of my price range. I don't want to spend a lot of money on something she may not use much.

Right now I'm using Plex to stream videos on my hard drive to her Roku, but it's kind of finicky. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn't. She gets frustrated with that so she rarely uses it.
Okay, I am a couple of years behind. Our Roku 2 has a USB port. I see it on Amazon for $30.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:50 PM   #8
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Why not a cheap blu-ray player with a USB slot?
I copied a few video files to a flash drive and played them on my Sony blu-ray player. No thumbnails, but it seemed to work nicely and not overly complicated. Of course, I only had four files on the flash drive, so I'll have to do a better test later with a drive full of many files. Not exactly the solution I had in mind, but it's free and something we already have.

I also discovered her Samsung smart TV can also play videos from a flash drive. Might be worth testing to see how they compare, though I would have to wait till I visit again to see how that works.

Thanks for the suggestion. I had completely overlooked the blu-ray player, especially since they mostly sit unused these days.
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