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Solved Use TV to Access External Hard Drive on Network

December 8, 2011 at 00:15:17
Specs: Windows 7

I have a Samsung TV, which I can use to stream media from my computer. I also have a Western Digital My Book Essential external hard drive connected via my router.

I was wondering if it was possible to access media on that drive, even when the computer is off (that's the goal here).


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✔ Best Answer
December 8, 2011 at 06:00:20

"Western Digital My Book Essential external hard drive connected via my router"

Would this drive connect to a USB port in the router? Is it therefore accessible by any PC on your LAN ? I get that you have attached a wireless dongle to the TV and yes that is the equivalent of running a LAN cable to the router.

Here's the wiki description of NAS : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Networ...

Such a device can be regarded as a type of server but only in a cut-down manner. It is only a file-server. A storage repository for fast ready network access to shared files. It cannot have the samsung software installed on it so your WD drive is in a sense a simple NAS device. Your TV would have no greater success accessing files on a "Proper" NAS than it does on your WD. The TV does not reach out for the files. It simply displays whatever is fed to it. Feeding it requires the software running in a suitable environment ( a PC )

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)



#1
December 8, 2011 at 01:18:59

The answer depends upon whether the streaming is controlled & initiated from the TV or the PC.

I have a DVR which can access content on a network drive or PC and it is connected to the TV for display of the streamed content. What is the exact model of your TV?

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#2
December 8, 2011 at 02:03:38

Thanks for the quick reply.

It's a Samsung LCD Series 6 46inch
Model No. - LA46B650T1F

I don't have a DVR and am hoping to not have to include any more hardware in this picture.


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#3
December 8, 2011 at 03:12:31

http://www.samsung.com/au/support/d...

there is a LAN port on the back of the TV and the manual does tell you how to establish a network connection. This is separate from the VGA or HDMI ports that you would use to connect to your PC. What isn't clear is whether this LAN connection is used only for the TV to access internet content or whether it can search for and access files saved on network storage.

The inbuilt PVR seems to save recorded content to a suitably formatted USB storage medium but that saved content cannot be viewed on any other device.

You did not say whether the Streamed content from your PC is controlled from the PC or the TV. I suspect you had to install suitable software on the PC. In this case I see no method of directly streaming from your NAS to the TV. The NAS is a passive device. The TV is a passive receiver.

At some point in the future I will have to replace my analog TV that is currently connected to my DVR. Your question has helped me determine that I do not need a "Smart" TV. The DVR is a smarter device and I know that content I have recorded on it can be transferred to any of the PCs on my LAN, and suitable content could be held on a NAS and run from the DVR. Of course the DVR cost almost as much as a mid-size HD TV.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#4
December 8, 2011 at 05:31:42

Glad I helped in that regard :)

Sorry, you're right, I didn't mention whether content is controlled from PC or TV, but not sure what you mean by 'controlled' exactly. Yes I installed Samsung software (AllShare) on PC. Instead of using LAN port, I have a wireless USB plugged into back of TV. Same diff I imagine?

When computer is on, I can use the software to select folders/files which are visible on the TV. My thinking is that when the computer is off, that software is not running, so it's not serving the TV. So this is probably where my setup falls apart

Forgive any ignorance I'm about to spew but...
I don't have a NAS, just plain old external hard drive. I understand NAS would act as a server, serving the files to the client (TV), so not passive?


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#5
December 8, 2011 at 06:00:20
✔ Best Answer

"Western Digital My Book Essential external hard drive connected via my router"

Would this drive connect to a USB port in the router? Is it therefore accessible by any PC on your LAN ? I get that you have attached a wireless dongle to the TV and yes that is the equivalent of running a LAN cable to the router.

Here's the wiki description of NAS : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Networ...

Such a device can be regarded as a type of server but only in a cut-down manner. It is only a file-server. A storage repository for fast ready network access to shared files. It cannot have the samsung software installed on it so your WD drive is in a sense a simple NAS device. Your TV would have no greater success accessing files on a "Proper" NAS than it does on your WD. The TV does not reach out for the files. It simply displays whatever is fed to it. Feeding it requires the software running in a suitable environment ( a PC )

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#6
December 8, 2011 at 20:11:52

Yeah I figured I would need something running to feed the TV. I was hoping there might be a cheat or a way around it or something like that.

Yes my WD drive does connect to router via USB port. I can't tell you if it's accessible by any PC on the LAN as I've never tried. But I would assume/hope so.


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