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

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?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Tiborg GuaranaIT beginsCommented:
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.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
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?

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
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.
Exploring ASP.NET Core: Fundamentals

Learn to build web apps and services, IoT apps, and mobile backends by covering the fundamentals of ASP.NET Core and  exploring the core foundations for app libraries.

BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
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  : )
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
"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?
BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
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 FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
For thumb drive, very simple.

Plug the thumb drive into a Roku box.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Multimedia Programming

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.