Connecting 2 TB+ External HDD to (LCD / LED) TV - Hell Corner

  1. Posts : 1,309
    Windows 10

    Connecting 2 TB+ External HDD to (LCD / LED) TV - Hell Corner

    So the majority of those who like to watch movies on the big screen tend to rather follow the nasty act of using an external HDD to watch instead of connecting their laptop/desktop/phone/tablet etc for multiple reasons : First of versatility and Second saving disk space on these devices as usually movies aren't coming any compact even the ripped ones .

    Usually those who started with connecting <= 1 TB external HDD were the ones better off as it worked right off without much hassle , but like you see with the catching up of 4K videos and everybody knows 1 TB isn't quite the optimum space that should be dedicated for these .

    Problem raised when people started happily buying 2+ TB external HDDs only to realize they either wont read on TV or start throwing weird messages at you sending you on loops with manufacturers .

    An early miss-leading answer people had was that "Oh but 2+ TB hard drivers require more power to operate that the TV can't provide , Look at the size of those disks , almost double the 1 TBs" , and despite that sort of answer showing on even reputable firms forums such as Western Digital , Samsung and LG it was entirely misleading and incorrect and is evident that they both (2+ and 1s) would run on laptops with standard USB voltage (I omitted Desktops since some of these have USBs capable of providing various voltage for fast charging smart devices etc) .

    I kind of came to the answer years ago on comparing 2 external HDDs a 1 TB and a 2TB , so it seems that the industrial standard of shipping a 1TB was with MBR (A 32 bit Boot Record System and that is the data base where all file names and location of data is stored on disk) over NTFS file system and that of 2+ TB was GPT (A 32 bit Boot Record System that is claimed to be faster and more capable of storing more files than MBR) still over NTFS file system .

    Converting GPT Boot Record System into MBR over a 2 TB external HDD is a painless quick procedure , all there is to it is rather download a partition manager such as the trusted free : "Minitool Partition Wizard" and then right click your 2 TB drive from white panel down then choose "Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk" then hitting "Apply" from top left corner .

    Result is almost instant surprisingly or would rather take few minutes on filled drives and then the 2 TB drive is TV compatible .

    The sad story is this is not achievable with same ease with bigger sizes , you see MBR system can handle only 2 TB partitions (1862.98 GB to be exact which is actual size of 2TB external HDDs) and attempting to convert 2.5+ TB external HDDs might result in instant corruption of file system that may require advanced tools to recover it (Believe it or not "Minitool Partition Wizard" would allow such corrupting conversions with minimal warnings then hands the either : Would you like to format the drive ? or Leave it corrupted as is !) .

    There is a way though but is a little iffy , if the drive is new or lightly filled , you might well shrink the partition size to 1862.98 GB (2 TB) and then convert it to MBR then create another partition in free disk space appearing after using GPT file system (A brainless procedure since the creation wizard will suggest it by default) .

    The catch is partition 1 has to be the MBR and 2 would be the whatever choice you made , then comes the shock , the TV wont be accessing nor recognizing but partition 1 while partition 2 would only be recognizable by PC (On plugging your external HDD two partition will show now) .

    While this doesn't sound like a convenient solution it kind of offer the best of the 2 worlds : Having a large capacity external HDD and yet accessible by TV .

    So while this trick might benefit some I am raising the topic as of why is it till date 4K TV manufacturers still ship TVs that would only access MBR partitions , I mean I am defiantly casting the first stone on this one .

    Last edited by nIGHTmAYOR; 12 Nov 2018 at 17:32.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 4,779
    Windows 11 Pro 64 Bit 22H2

    You can always Share your media drive over the network, in either a NAS or a USB Drive, if it is Shared, the Smart TV should be able to find it if your TV is connected to the internet, as long as the movie files are in the Root of the drive and not in a folder, it should play them. Since it is not directly connected to the TV, it won't matter what the File system is.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 1,309
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Correct but renders the external hdd highly unorganized and yet like you mentioned indirectly with the root remark , this method has a lot of hidden techy bits like what about subtitle files and that only certain media formats / encoding can be shared and that sharing through routers might be a process filled with technical terms and choices different per router etc , these would freak casual users from doing it .
      My Computer


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