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Thread: DVD player that can read external HDD via USB

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    Taz
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    DVD player that can read external HDD via USB

    I've ripped my entire DVD collection of around 100 DVDs to DivX and stored the DivX files on an external hard drive. The quality isn't too bad and the files are between 400MB to 1GB in size. I started back in January so it's taken a while (not full time of course)!

    This was primarily done as I travel a lot and want to watch my films on the plane or in hotels using my laptop. However, the convenience of having everything on one external HDD is making me think that there must be a DVD player out there that will be able to read my HDD.

    So, which DVD players can be recommended that meet the following criteria:

    1. Playback of DivX/XviD files.
    2. Able to read files off an external HDD via a USB connection.
    3. Cost < &#163;300

    I don't want a DVD player/recorder that has a built in HDD as I want to use my portable HDD. I just want to be able to plug my external HDD into it and be presented with the folder structure and select a movie file to play.

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    Taz
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    In case anyone is interested in doing this, i've solved this problem by buying two different components:

    1. Philips DVP-5960: &#163;59.99 from Comet

    2. 400GB Freecom external HDD from PC World: &#163;84.99

    TOTAL COST: &#163;144.98

    The Philips DVP-5960 DVD player has a USB 1.1 port on the front and recognises the external HDD (although it doesn't work with all HDD's). It also upscales movies and pictures to HD quality (via a HDMI connection) and will do Progessive Scan. I'm very impressed with it so far, and a bargain at &#163;59.99.

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    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    I wish I'd seen this earlier, as I would have suggested a Kiss DVD player, should do all you want

    However, it seems you've found a better, cheaper alternative.

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    I have the exact same setup .... but the 5960 doesn`t recognise the Freecom 400GB external drive ...

    any ideas ... (its formatted as FAT32)

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    Taz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steff1968 View Post
    I have the exact same setup .... but the 5960 doesn`t recognise the Freecom 400GB external drive ...

    any ideas ... (its formatted as FAT32)
    I had to flash the firmware first. Assuming your exact model is the DVP5960/05 then you can get the latest firmware here:

    1. Go to http://www.p4c.philips.com/cgi-bin/d...ct_selector.pl

    2. Enter 'DVP5960/05' into the 'Enter model number' field in the top left. Click 'go' (the 'play' symbol). You will be taken to the FAQ for this DVD player.

    3. Click on 'Software and drivers' from the menu on the left-hand side of the page.

    4. Click on the ZIP file for firmware V12.06.36.40 (which appears to be the latest). This opens a PDF page for the firmware flashing instructions. Print this out.

    5. At the top left of this page (near the browsers menu bar), there is a download link for the firmware. Click on this link to begin the download.

    6. Follow the instructions in the PDF for firmware flashing instructions.

    7. Enjoy!

    Note: the usual disclaimers about flashing firmware apply. For me, the whole process took about 30 minutes and I was able to play DivX movies off my Freecom hard drive. If you've got exactly the same setup then there's no reason why it shouldn't work for you.

    You will need to power on the Freecom hard drive and let it spool up (i.e. wait 5 seconds) BEFORE switching on the DVP5960 in order for it to be recognised. Also note that the DVP5960 doesn't support long file names so all the files on your Freecom hard drive will appear as 8.3 filenames - this is a bit of a pain sometimes. However, the setup overall is hard to beat in my opinion.

    I hope that helps you!

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    Thanks for the info ... and taking the time to type it all ...

    Will double check the firmware version ... sure its already the latest version ...

    ... divx files run no problem from my 1gb cheapo usb pen (no stuttering) ...

    how do they play from the Freecom ? ....


    Thanks again.

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    Taz
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    ^ DivX plays supremely well from my Freecom hard drive. There is no stuttering whatsoever. There is a pause before the film starts as the player buffers the data - this can take 5-10 seconds. But once the film is playing, there are no problems whatsoever. The fast-forward and fast-reverse works brilliantly, even at 8x normal speed.

    I was initially disappointed when the hard drive did not work with the player but it only started working after I flashed the firmware. I hope you get it sorted.

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    Taz
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    Steff, did you get your Freecom HDD working with the 5960 in the end? I really hope so.

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    Swapped the 5960 for the 5980 and managed to get it to work ....

    Its all down to the order in which everything is connected as far as I can tell .....

    the Freecom is switched off at the back but is connected to the philips via usb ...... switch the dvd player on ... it will scan for a cd/dvd .... when it comes up on screen with a
    no disc message ..... I switch the Freecom on at the back ... this works everytime ... any other way I get a device not supported message .... (I imagine this would work on 5960 also)

    Thanks again for the help ..... I would have gave up otherwise .

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    Taz
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    Steff: Good to hear you got things to work in the end. With my 5960 I always switch on the Freecom power first and then the 5960. The 5960 then scans for a disc and briefly flashes up a 'no disc' message and then reads the directory and file information from the Freecom HDD. Anyway, i'm glad you're all sorted now with the 5980 (which I assume is an upgraded version of the 5960).

    Paulm: Scan was my first port of call when I was after a USB-capable DVD player but I couldn't find one on the Scan site at the time so I bought the Philips one from Comet. One of my important criteria was to be able to connect an external HDD to it (instead of a memory stick) and the research I did suggested that very few DVD players could support an external HDD via a USB connection.

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    Smile

    Think the only differences between the 5960 and the 5980 are that the 80 upscales to 1080p ..... and its black

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    hi

    I have two dvd players both which have usb ports. Now if i use the 1 gig key any movies will play but if i use a 2 gig key no movie will play they are divix movies.

    This id doin ma heed in

    Thanx for your time

    Tan
    Last edited by tanman; 02-06-2007 at 10:02 PM.

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    Taz
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    ^ Tan, what are the exact makes and models of your DVD players?

    Also, have you tried formatting the 2GB key on your PC? Can you play the DivX file from the 2GB key on your PC?

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    Re: DVD player that can read external HDD via USB

    hey guys, im so glad ive found someone trying to do the same thing i am.
    Maybe you could help me get this working? I would appreciate it so much.

    Ive had a Seagate FreeAgent 500GB usb hdd for a while now, and i recently bought a Samsung DVD-P380 for the sole purpose of playing videos off of my hard drive. I tested it with a 1GB flash drive, worked fine, and tried playing avi off of a dvd and works great. But it does not recognize my Seagate at all. Ive tried calling Samsung, they were no help at all, they basically read back the manual to me, quoting the two specific models of hdds that they say works with this model of dvd player. I also emailed them, wondering if there was a firmware upgrade that may help, but again was told, "the UDB host is designed for accepting small type of plug & play media devices that requires not drivers to communicate. Your seagate is probably too big and we do not have any such driver to provide" thats an exact quote...
    So my question, is there anyway of telling which hdds will work with what dvd players? or is there anything else i can try to make this one work?

    thankyou so much for reading...

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    Re: DVD player that can read external HDD via USB

    couchpants has it right.

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