Playon tv playback device (non-wireless)?

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I have an iPhone and the PlayOn Cloud app that I can use for scheduling the recordings.  I do not want to use wireless for downloading the recordings or for streaming to the TV, etc.  I can use a laptop at work for downloading of the videos onto a USB storage device but I need a device that will show the videos (MP4s?) on the TV.
Amazon has plenty of media players that play from a USB drive, but I am only finding ones that have simple (meaning, not very good or aesthetically pleasing) interfaces for selecting a video to watch.
Can anyone recommend a cheap media player that will play from a USB drive that has a good interface?  
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Ken

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Posted 9 months ago

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Diana, Viasat Employee

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Hi Ken,  Viasat is not able to endorse or recommend any 3rd party device. Maybe one of the forum members can recommend a device for you.
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Ken

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My apologies.  I had seen your statement before, so my question was directed at forum members.  Thanks.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Roku
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Jim16

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Love Roku. I have 2 of them.
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Jim16

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Can you play movies from USB on Roku?


1) Install the Roku Media Player channel, either through the Channel Store on yourRoku or via Roku's website. 2) Add the video file to your external USB drive from your computer. The Roku 3 can play MKV, MP4 and MOV files. 3) Connect the USB drive to the Roku 3's USB port, located on the right side of the box.Feb 18, 2014

How to Play Movies on Your Roku 3 from a USB Drive - Tom's Guide
(Edited)
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Ken

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Thanks guys. I’ll google for some video or images showing the Roku USB interface. I downloaded a completed Netflix recording fro PlayOn onto a USB drive and connected it to my Sony Blu-ray player and it shows the file structure and plays the video just fine. Hoping the Roku interface is better than just listing the files.
(Edited)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I highly recommend installing Plex onto a computer and loading your files onto that Plex server.  I download content with Playon and use Plex to cast the content to my Roku.  The Plex software does an amazing job at sorting content and marking watched stuff as already viewed.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Ken

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Yes, I’ve used a Plex server before. I need a computer-less solution. I’ll look for a NAS that can run a plex server. It won’t need transcoding capability as the Roku plays MP4 files natively. Don’t want to spend a lot on it. Would be nice if it had hdmi output as well so it could be the plex server and the media player.
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Ken

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Good start. I have it set up. I still need to enable ssh so I can access it remotely and use it headless (no monitor, etc).
I have the drive shared and plex going.

I can copy a file to it from my laptop and tell plex (in a browser) to scan files and within seconds the copied file is showing in plex.

Tape dispenser for size comparison.

EDIT: Upload of pic from iPhone is sideways, LOL.
(Edited)
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Jim16

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Ken

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Haha, thanks.  Use some html code or just re-uploaded a fixed pic?
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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It downloaded to his Samsung phone sideways then he re-uploaded it.

I tried it on Windows but they always do things backwards and lean left anyway:

(Edited)
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Ken

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Well, I have it headless now.  Only has ethernet and power cables coming out (USB drive cable is short and wraps around it).  If I were doing wifi (I'm not), I would only have the power cable.  Neat little package.

I can connect my laptop to my network and transfer videos to the RPi and can use the laptop web browser to view Plex.  I used the Plex app on my Tivo Roamio (over-the-air DVR) and it played videos nicely.

Any idea how much data Plex uses for scraping, etc?  And can that be scheduled for certain times?
I haven't tried to determine the amount of data yet, but I set it to scan files manually.  It also appears that it does it's maintenance during a user-defined time, i.e. 2am-5am.

I  haven't tested it to see how well it transcodes other video formats, but MP4s (from PlayOn) work great.