How to connect an external hard drive to a television

Updated February 21, 2017

Certain models of LCD and plasma television sets allow you to connect external hard drives directly to the unit in order to play computer video and audio files. Once connected, the content contained on the hard drive is accessible via the TV's main-menu system. In order for this to work, you need a USB hard drive that connects to devices using a USB cable and a television set that supports both USB as well as the connecting of external hard drives. If one of those requirements isn't present, you can't connect your hard drive to your TV.

Locate the USB input on your television set. This looks identical to the USB inputs on your computer, which are the inputs typically used to connect your external hard drive to that particular machine.

Plug the external hard drive's USB cable into the USB input on your television set.

Plug the opposite side of the USB cable into the external hard drive's USB input.

Turn on your external hard drive or plug it into a wall outlet (if applicable). Your television won't be able to recognise the drive if it isn't turned on. Once on, your external hard drive is properly connected to your television set.

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About the Author

Stephen Lilley is a freelance writer who hopes to one day make a career writing for film and television. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites. Lilley holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production from the University of Toledo in Ohio.