The Borrower — 8 Comments

  1. I’d love to know why an “mp4” file will work in most players, yet an “FLV” or “mkv” file containing EXACTLY THE SAME AUDIO & VIDEO CODECS frequently won’t…

    • Normally mp4 files always work whereas mkv can be flaky. This is possibly due to the use of different codecs. Lately though my little black box is refusing mp4 files which hasn’t happened before. I have often noticed that if I copy a file twice from different sources that the mkv files are significantly different in size.

  2. When you borrow a book from the library, you prevent anyone else reading that item while it is in your care. When you ‘borrow’ material on-line, that doesn’t stop anyone else using it, so borrowing on-line is even kinder.

    • Fair point. Imagine a sign in a library telling customers they can take any number of books but those books must be left on the shelves for the duration for anyone else to read?

  3. At the risk of telling a Tech Savvy Grandad how to suck eggs, and probably a stupid question, but can you not just connect PC to telly with HDMI lead or chromecast and then play files on the PC? It,s what I do, if VLC can play it I can watch it on my telly.

    • I have indeed done that on holiday – Laptop to TV via HDMI. It has one major disadvantage and that is the lack of remote control. I suppose if I had a long enough HDMI cable I could keep the laptop by me for control? I don’t know how long they make them. [Just checked – 5m which could work…]

  4. If your TV has a USB socket, all you need to do is put the movie file onto a USB stick and plug it in. No need for any intermediary box. Some brands of TV, like Sony for example are a bit particular about what file types they will play. Others, like my Samsung have a built in player controlled from the remote and will play anything you care to throw at it.

    It follows that if the TV can play movies from a USB stick, it will also use an external laptop hard drive, which I have attached to my TV. Its a 2TB drive and contains all my entertainment material – not only movies (Right now I think there are over 300 on there), but my whole collection of music and photographs. Music is all in MP3 format but the movies are a mixture of MP4, some MKV and even MOV. Photos are JPG and PNG mainly.

    All this is topped off with a Roberts SB1 sound bar, the best I have seen as yet, with built in DAB/FM, Internet Radio, a network player (wi-fi), Bluetooth (straight from PC or phone with multi-room capability), Spotify and amazing connectivity – AUX in, RCA x2, Optical x2 and Co-ax. It also has a remote relay which passes the signal from the remote through to the back panel, for situations when the soundbar is in the way of the TV remote.

    • There is rather a messy setup here at the Manor. I have a new[ish] Sony which does have a USB but that set is parked for the moment. The set in Herself’s bedroom doesn’t have one. I’d move the Sony in but it’s a bit on the large side for that room.

      One of these days I must make an attempt at moving the Sony in. It has lovely picture but the sound is a bit weak, lacking bass. Again, I could invest in a sound system but there wouldn’t be room for that either. In the meantime I’m just too knackered to do anything.

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