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  1. #1
    Andy_S3's Avatar
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    Watching films saved on laptop hard drive on TV?

    Hi all. My sister is wanting some sort of media player that will play movies from her laptop onto her big TV. Ive just had a look round PC world and Im none the wiser to be honest! It doesnt have to be wireless so can anyone give me any suggestions? Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    i use my playstation 3 for that, but you can get a dvd player from aldi and the likes that has a usb socket, save the films onto usb stick and the dvd player will play straight off that, all for under 40quid

  4. #3
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    TBH there are several routes, 1 is to use a seperate media player as in hardware as you can get a software based media player aswell.

    The hardware version needs to support the movie file format to be able to watch these as in divx, mpeg4, mov, amongst many others, so you need to check the format of the movie files on her laptop 1st mate before buying a hardware media player as you might end up with a media player that wont play her films.

    I would say your best bet is to plug straight into the TV assuming hdtv via cable from laptop tbh, I do this with mine given I have hdmi port on both.

    Using this route all comes down to what connections your laptop & tv have mate, if her laptops has a pc output as in 15pin dsub connector on laptop & tv you could link the screen up & then run an audio output from laptop to the tv,hers may have a video out aswell, but if the laptop is fairly new it might have an hdmi port that carries the video & audio together in one cable, so when you play the film on the laptop it can if setup correctly in the laptop display preferances, will also play on the tv or solely on the tv, benefits of hdmi use is the higher image & sound quality, alot easier overall tbh.

    Also using the laptop inconjunction with the tv instead of seperate media player would limit your risks of the movie file formats not working as laptop probably plays most of them with ease & easily get free software to play many formats, where as hardware based media players have a limited number it will play.

    Which laptop does she have, make & model number would help us advise better.

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    Try an archos, you can get a 705 fairly cheap second hand. One of the best bits of kit lve had. l recently upgraded to an archos 7.

  6. #5
    Andy_S3's Avatar
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    Not sure on the laptop, I know its roughly 6months old and pink lol (maybe a Dell). Thanks for the advice though guys! I think I might pop down to my local Aldi this afternoon and see what these DVD players are like...

  7. #6
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    Something like this might be worth a go http://www.ebuyer.com/product/167205 you would also need a usb memory stick though or portable hard drive to keep the movies on...

  8. #7
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    Yeah that supports a fair few well known formats, but this is the thing, what format is she watching in, dvd's or downloaded movies, this is important andy as dvd player might not even work

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  9. #8
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    lve got a dvd player here that plays everything, almost, and it only cost 30 quid

  10. #9
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    My 2 cents worth.

    This very much depends on what connections you have on the laptop, and on the TV. If the laptop has a HDMI socket (unlikely if a low end laptop) you can connect the laptop to the TV digitally and just play the movie from the hard drive using an application like PowerDVD or DivX Player (the latter being free).

    Similarly if the laptop has a VGA output (quite likely) and the TV has a VGA input (less likely) you can again just connect the laptop to the TV, and use the same software app as above, but the video quality will suffer.

    In both cases you will need to setup the laptop to use the TV as a second display and switch the output to that.

    Hope that is of some use.

  11. #10
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    If the TV is a modern plasma/lcd TV, then chances are theres a USB socket on the side which will allow you to plug in a USB memory stick and watch the films off that.
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  12. #11
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    Cheapest and sure viable way id VGA (Male Connector) to VGA (Male Connector) for visual. - all/most flatscreens have vga input. Ebay do have VGA to Scart leads going to.. I bought my gf one the other day as she doesn't have HDMI on the laptop. and it cost me 2 including postage from Ebay. Bargain.
    no for Audio, all you need is the 3.5mm Jack to 3.5mm jack plug that into the headphone socket then into PC Audio In socket on the tv, (not the TV's headphone socket)
    again this cost me 4 including postage from ebay.

    That is the oldest and cheapest way - but quality will be in SD as you can't pass High Definition audio or video through these cables.

    If your laptop and tv posses HDMI ports then all you need is a HDMI Male to HDMI Male cable and the world's your oyster for as little as 6+ from ebay in terms of quality.

    Any problems or issues let me know.

  13. #12
    Dougie Fresh's Avatar
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    If it's a plasma TV, odds are it will not have a VGA input. If it's an LCD it probably will. That's the simplest solution. You will still need to route the sound from the laptop headphone jack to the TV or a stereo for sound. If the TV does not have an VGA input, most likely, the laptop will have a DVI-D connector. You can get a cheap DVI-D to HDMI cable that will supply the video. You then need to output the sound from the headphone jack either to a stereo or input into the TV. Ideally, you have an HDMI connector on the laptop if you can't use VGA since it will supply video and audio.

    The tricky bit with HDMI will be configuring the laptop to output a signal over HDMI that your TV can understand. You laptop's video card will need to output a resolution your TV supports. Once you get that working, you'll notice black bars around the video. That's called overscan. Your video card driver may or may not support changing the scaling of the video to remove the overscan. Once you get that sorted, now it depends on what operating system you are running how to view the videos. If you have Windows you can use Windows Media Center. What kinds of videos you can play will depend on the operating system and what codecs are installed. Codecs translate the various video formats into video that can be displayed. If you're lucky enough to have Windows 7 it comes with all the modern codecs for video and audio with a few exceptions.

    You can learn a lot more at http://www.avsforum.com in the Home Theater Computers forum

  14. #13
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    Having read this thread I thought i'd give it a try on my laptop. If I connect my laptop via HDMI cable should I have sound as well? I can connect my laptop via HDMI and view videos etc. on the TV fine however the sound still plays through the laptop. I don't have a PC Audio in socket on the TV only the Component Audio In and Out. I thought that the HDMI cable would transfer sound and video. Thanks.
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  15. #14
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    I have HMDI on my laptop. to get the sound you have to enable the sound on the HDMI output. If running W7 then right click on the loud speaker in the task bar and then select playback options then select HDMI out. May be different for different systems but i get sound and picture through the TV and catch up all the time from a low spec laptop on iplayer. HTH.

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    Bought one of these a few months back. delighted with it, full HD and no more dvds / cds to worry about. also been able to handle any file format i've thrown at it

 

 

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