Suggestions on how to play a video file (currently in MP4, but we'd change it) on a TV with common hardware.

BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp used Ask the Experts™
I have an MP4 video file.  I and extended family want to watch it on  TVs.  Curious what ways you can suggest I do it.

I have a PC with VGA output connected to a VGA port on the TV (an HD capable 55" TV a couple years old).  That works.

But what other ways for those of us without the PC connected to the TV?

I have the MP4 in my iphone's pictures / videos.  It plays great on that little screen.  but it doesn't seem to be able to stream / mirror to a TV.  I hear that an apple TV box WOULD work.

Any other ways?  with a chromecast? with an apple firestick?  Can most newer DVD players play a DVD with an MP4? Or I have to convert it into a DVD format (the audio and video folders, etc.?)  and then there's actually 3 different videos.  Do I need 3 DVDs or can a DVD player select between 3 different MP4s?  Or in DVD format, have to make a menu?
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Tiborg GuaranaIT begins
Distinguished Expert 2018
Here are the options:

If your tv has usb, try to use that. Anyway keep in mind that you cant expect super quality video on tv if it is recorded with phone.
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Ideally need the model of TVs you want to play to so we can give you all the options.
Specifically that will help identify what inputs they have and if they are "Smart" TVs what options there are to stream directly to them.

Are you looking for your family to watch on a single TV in the same location as your phone or is your family spread over a larger area and all want to be able to view the file on multiple TVs?
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

No easy way to allow many people in many places to watch many videos on many different TVs/Devices.

If you have a huge library , one simple way for many people to view your library, is running a private Roku channel.

Roku Channels are free to setup. You'll require hosting your content (videos, audios, image files) on a public server running a LAMP Stack (easy way).

Likely you'll also have to setup PHP Pseudo streaming (GitHub has many good examples) to support scrubber bar actions (moving around in videos).

This means each watching device will require a Roku box. These boxes are dirt cheap + even cheaper used.

So basically provide a private Netflix-esque system for your family + friends.

Note: Be careful you only stream your content. If you mix in any copyrighted content your country's government may treat you like a cartel kingpin.
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I was hoping to give people a thumb drive of the MP4 and simple instructions on how they can watch it on their TV at their house, so yes, several different TVs / different locations.

I could put it on onedrive and send a link.  I did that a couple times.  and they watch it on their PC (same for the thumb drive) or iphone but hoping to get it on the bigger stream.

I guess DVD might be an option - have to play with some of the free apps to see about making a menu to choose the first, second or third MP4.

JUst kinda funny how so much technology has changed.. but for something like this, you are almost back to making a VHS video and giving it to people - everyone (years ago) could play that  : )
Most Valuable Expert 2013

"JUst kinda funny how so much technology has changed.. but for something like this, you are almost back to making a VHS video and giving it to people - everyone (years ago) could play that  : )"

Then everyone had a VCR that worked to the same standard and had a dedicated standard output to a TV analog input - you might have had to send it in  VHS NTSC or PAL formats to different households and some might have had Betamax players, so not so different!

At least now you get to use a smaller envelope! - If you're sending on USB does this mean everyone has a computer they can use to extract your file?
PAL was non US, betamax was a small part of the market, yes, everyone has a PC.

We're geting off the topic here. but maybe no realistic / easy answer.

David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

For thumb drive, very simple.

Plug the thumb drive into a Roku box.

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