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Connect Portable Hard Drive To Network

Posted on 2016-09-02
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Last Modified: 2016-09-03
I have a portable Hard Drive connected to a small media player via USB.
I can then play MP4, AVI, MKV etc. files on my TV through the HDMI output.

This works great, except for the fact that I have to disconnect the hard drive from the media player
and connect it to a PC/Network to add and remove files (and then reconnect it).

Is there any gadget available that will allow to leave the hard drive connected to the media player
via usb and simultaneously connected to my network?
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Question by:Eirman
3 Comments
 
LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:akahan
akahan earned 800 total points
ID: 41782169
In short, no.  The operating system that connects by USB assumes that it has full control over the drive, so if something else (network) were simultaneously writing to the drive, you'd get data corruption on the drive.  Even if you never plan to write simultaneously to the drive from the USB port (since you're just fetching media from the drive to play on your TV), USB just isn't built to allow this.

There are USB enclosures that have both an ethernet and a USB connection, like those made by Ximeta, but even on those you can only use one connection at a time... the USB connection will not be active if the network connection is plugged in.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Kyle Santos earned 1200 total points
ID: 41782338
I had a similar question recently.  This is what worked for me based on multiple recommendations.
https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28948670/How-can-I-have-an-external-hard-drive-on-my-network.html

I'm not saying its the best solution, but it was definitely informative and fun for me to figure out how to get my external hard drive on my home network. =)

tl;dr

Is there any gadget available that will allow to leave the hard drive connected to the media player
via usb and simultaneously connected to my network?
Buy a device like a Roku or Apple TV & Airport Extreme (if you have mac devices) and use Home Sharing through iTunes.
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LVL 24

Author Closing Comment

by:Eirman
ID: 41782848
Thanks  Kyle & akahan - useful info.

I'll probably wind up making/buying up a USB switch of some sort.
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