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  1. I have a large collection of 720p and 1080p video files in the three or four most common formats - MP4, MKV, AVI, etc.

    I also have a massive old rear projection TV set that I'm still perfectly happy with. I don't watch any television, so it just gets used to watch video files. The TV set has RCA jacks, just like the old tube TVs.

    There's a tiny gadget called the Micca Spec, which was perfect for me. You just put in a USB thumb drive with the video file and it outputs via RCA jacks to the TV set. Even 1080p files get transcoded so the 480p TV can play them. The problem is that, even though it does the job, the Micca Spec is a cheap piece of junk and only lasts a few months. I don't want to keep buying these things at $40 a pop.

    Is there such a thing as a Blu-Ray player that has a USB slot - and which is known for handling all the common video files without problems ... AND also outputs via RCA jacks so my old TV set can hook up to it?

    A DVD player would also be just as perfect for my purposes. I just assume there is no such thing as DVD player that plays all the common file formats.

    I'm looking for something new and currently available. I know there is older hardware that does this, but I really don't want to buy used stuff.
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  2. VH Wanderer Ai Haibara's Avatar
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    You might not have a choice, due to the industry and government mandating the removal of all things analog.

    I know the early PS3s allowed A/V connections (my sister had hers connected to her 40-something-inch SD TV for the longest time), but I'm not sure if the current PS3 firmware still allows it, or how well the PS3 handles upscaling. It's not much of a file-based media player, either.

    Yeah, DVD players tend to be a bit limited. My Phillips 5990 only plays DivX/Xvid AVIs (SD), SD MP4s that are really just DivX/Xvid video streams and MP3 audio streams, and SD WMVs. That's probably the best any DVD player supported.
    Last edited by Ai Haibara; 7th Nov 2016 at 17:27.
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  3. You obviously completely understand what I'm trying to achieve, Ai. Now I just need to find someone who knows of such a machine that does what I'm trying to do. The Micca Spec is still for sale, but like I said, it's a very poorly made device and lasts just a few months. Either a BR, DVD player, or just a media player would all be fine, as long as they output to RCA/composite.
    Last edited by Video_John; 7th Nov 2016 at 17:59.
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    A Playstation 3 can be hooked up to older TVs and can
    Play files off of a usb flash drive. And also plays bluray
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    Originally Posted by Video_John View Post
    Is there such a thing as a Blu-Ray player that has a USB slot - and which is known for handling all the common video files without problems ... AND also outputs via RCA jacks so my old TV set can hook up to it?

    A DVD player would also be just as perfect for my purposes. I just assume there is no such thing as DVD player that plays all the common file formats.

    I'm looking for something new and currently available. I know there is older hardware that does this, but I really don't want to buy used stuff.
    Finding a Blu-ray player with composite video out that is still in production in 2016 is going to be difficult. 2012 was the last year that Blu-ray players with a composite video connection could be granted a license.

    You are right about DVD players. Many can't play media files. Those that can are very limited in what kinds of files/video/audio they will play and won't play HD media files.

    The PS3 does play Blu-ray discs, but newer media players have fewer restrictions on the types of files/audio/video they will play.

    That leaves media players. This one plays almost any kind of media file and is definitely not a cheap, disposable item. https://www.cloudmedia.com/?product=a-500
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  6. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    That leaves media players. This one plays almost any kind of media file and is definitely not a cheap, disposable item. https://www.cloudmedia.com/?product=a-500
    Whoa! That's just about exactly what I'm talking about, Usually_Quiet. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Amazing how with all my googling and Amazoning, I haven't seen this thing. It's even brand new - won't be available until Nov 11.

    So this is essentially the same thing as a Micca Spec G2 (with one or two added features), but it looks like it's built to actually last a few years.

    So for the price of this one unit, I could buy six Micca Specs - which are only $40, but which last at most about six months before they fritz.

    I've never had to make a decision like this before. What a conundrum!
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  7. Can't you buy a cheap modern player and add a cheap HDMI->analog converter?
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    Originally Posted by Video_John View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    That leaves media players. This one plays almost any kind of media file and is definitely not a cheap, disposable item. https://www.cloudmedia.com/?product=a-500
    Whoa! That's just about exactly what I'm talking about, Usually_Quiet. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Amazing how with all my googling and Amazoning, I haven't seen this thing. It's even brand new - won't be available until Nov 11.

    So this is essentially the same thing as a Micca Spec G2 (with one or two added features), but it looks like it's built to actually last a few years.

    So for the price of this one unit, I could buy six Micca Specs - which are only $40, but which last at most about six months before they fritz.

    I've never had to make a decision like this before. What a conundrum!
    I am only aware of Popcorn Hour because a VideoHelp member in Australia has owned some of their past media players and the A500. He's been very pleased with his.

    The Popcorn Hour A500 it isn't a newly released model, merely Cloud Media's latest. November 11 is probably the day they can ship one to you or the soonest it would arrive. It looks like they don't have a US distributor, so it probably ships direct from China. (I thought they had a distributor in New Jersey, but I have either confused them with another company, or their distributor is no longer with them.)

    [Edit]If you don't like that, there aren't a lot of similar choices. Below is the closest. It is less expensive, but doesn't mention hardware decoding H.265. https://www.amazon.com/KDLINKS-HD720-Extreme-Internal-Gigabit/dp/B00CHDSPSM NBOX US sells new stock.

    Their are many, many, Android media players that cost between $70 and $200. They can play many kinds of media files, but they are mini computers, not a firmware-based appliance like the Micca Spec, KDLinks HD720 or Popcorn Hour A500. Most have an unauthorized version of Kodi (open source media player software) installed plus unsupported plug-ins for Kodi that assist users in obtaining warez. Since Kodi's developers don't approve of this use of their software, I can't recommend them.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 8th Nov 2016 at 10:46.
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  9. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Or just get a new TV!

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  10. I keep a circa-2012 LG BP-320 BluRay player on hand for when I need analog output-downconversion of USB video files. Got it cheap ($40) as a refurb on eBay last year. The analog composite (RCA) video quality is very noticeably better than any HDMI>Composite converter I've ever tried with a PC (clear clean colors and no obvious IRE errors, compared to the murk one gets out of the converters). The BP-320 is very slim, so doesn't take up much space in a rack. The only files it won't play are H265-HEVC, and the occasional AVI file that violates some obscure AVI container rule (its only happened once, so I've never bothered to figure out what causes it).

    Its USB port has enough juice to run the several Western Digital Passport 1 and 2 terabyte USB-powered portable hard drives I use as "media banks" (besides the usual USB thumb drive memory sticks). The on-screen interface for choosing and playing files is fairly quick-responding for a BD player, with a couple different title view options. The remote control is small and buttons a bit confusing, but the onscreen display does prompt you which buttons you need to press to invoke various functions.

    The drawback to using a BluRay player instead of a dedicated USB media player is the annoying Cinavia chip. Any video file ripped from a Cinavia-protected BluRay disc source will have the same Cinavia protection embedded, which will trigger the same playback shutdown after 20 mins. Most of my video files do not have Cinavia, so it isn't a huge problem for me, but its a total PITA when it happens (you'll need to switch playback to your PC or a dvd player if possible). Eventually I'll pick up a dedicated USB-only media player device with HEVC capability, but they can have their own technical hassles that I'm not in the mood to troubleshoot just yet.
    Last edited by orsetto; 8th Nov 2016 at 14:43.
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  11. Member turk690's Avatar
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    There is one currently-manufactured type of device where the RCA analog output jacks are not going to disappear anytime soon: digital converter boxes such as this http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16886803005 They are marketed as such, but what they really are is a full-fledged ATSC tuner with an HDMI output and analog outs (HD scaled down to 480i to fulfill the primary intended use, which is to view ATSC broadcasts on old CRT SD TVs). The part which will benefit OP is these boxes also have a USB port, where you can record programs you are viewing on, and play back media files taken from external sources (which also get truncated to 480i via the analog outs if they are HD). I've played HD and SD MP4 files on a flash drive through the USB ports; not clear if they will play MKV, etc. Basically the same box is sold under different brand names like RCA, Sylvania, etc.
    For the nth time, with the possible exception of certain Intel processors, I don't have/ever owned anything whose name starts with "i".
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    Home Worx PVR 150
    Falls into this group, I haven't tried playing any of my older avi files
    It does great with h264 mp4 files , mpegs etc..
    I don't know if it supports hevc 265 and mkv , I haven't explored those files on this device
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    Originally Posted by Video_John View Post
    You obviously completely understand what I'm trying to achieve, Ai. Now I just need to find someone who knows of such a machine that does what I'm trying to do. The Micca Spec is still for sale, but like I said, it's a very poorly made device and lasts just a few months. Either a BR, DVD player, or just a media player would all be fine, as long as they output to RCA/composite.


    I still have a functioning 1st generation WDTV. It has the old RCA outputs. Once I got the right firmware on it, it has been reliable for me for what...a decade? I have the same issue fwith the TV that it is on - it is very old, works perfectly, and doesn't have an HDMI connector.

    You may be able to find an old used WDTV online somewhere.
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  14. [QUOTE=Jay4;2466039]
    Originally Posted by Video_John View Post
    I still have a functioning 1st generation WDTV. It has the old RCA outputs. Once I got the right firmware on it, it has been reliable for me for what...a decade? I have the same issue fwith the TV that it is on - it is very old, works perfectly, and doesn't have an HDMI connector.

    You may be able to find an old used WDTV online somewhere.
    That is so tempting ... I've read so many good things about WDTV. It's a shame that the new one no longer has RCA jacks. It would definitely be my pick right now.

    Buying electronics used would definitely be my last resort. I've never had good luck with used gear.

    I'm not too excited about an HDMI to RCA converter ... I keep reading that they break down the image quality noticeably.

    It looks like I'm down to the $40 Micca Spec (which is very shoddily manufactured), the Home Worx models recommended by theewizard and turk690 (another similar unit I've never heard of before, so thank you), and the Popcorn Hour - which may be out of the picture due to price. It sounds like the Home Worx is ideal for me ... I just need to read more posts to see if it plays all the stuff - MP4, MKV, AVI ... from 480p to 1080p.

    That 2012 LG BP-320 BluRay player that orsetto mentioned would also be ideal, but still, I'm too chicken to buy used gear or refurbs.
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    Originally Posted by Video_John View Post
    Originally Posted by Jay4 View Post
    Originally Posted by Video_John View Post
    I still have a functioning 1st generation WDTV. It has the old RCA outputs. Once I got the right firmware on it, it has been reliable for me for what...a decade? I have the same issue fwith the TV that it is on - it is very old, works perfectly, and doesn't have an HDMI connector.

    You may be able to find an old used WDTV online somewhere.
    That is so tempting ... I've read so many good things about WDTV. It's a shame that the new one no longer has RCA jacks. It would definitely be my pick right now.

    Buying electronics used would definitely be my last resort. I've never had good luck with used gear.

    I'm not too excited about an HDMI to RCA converter ... I keep reading that they break down the image quality noticeably.

    It looks like I'm down to the $40 Micca Spec (which is very shoddily manufactured), the Home Worx models recommended by theewizard and turk690 (another similar unit I've never heard of before, so thank you), and the Popcorn Hour - which may be out of the picture due to price. It sounds like the Home Worx is ideal for me ... I just need to read more posts to see if it plays all the stuff - MP4, MKV, AVI ... from 480p to 1080p.

    That 2012 LG BP-320 BluRay player that orsetto mentioned would also be ideal, but still, I'm too chicken to buy used gear or refurbs.
    Did you look at the KDLINKS HD720? https://www.amazon.com/KDLINKS-HD720-Extreme-Internal-Gigabit/dp/B00CHDSPSM

    The HDTV converter boxes are more limited in what they will play.
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    .mvk, .avi, mp4 are containers and can have a number of different types of video files that only a dedicated media player (will likely) play.

    Another consideration (if it's important to you) are subtitles. Again, subtitles come in a number of different formats that may only be playable in a media player.

    The KDLinks 720 has been around a while and has a number of recommedations on this forum. There's a recent discussion about media players in this thread:https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/379453-Recommend-a-streaming-media-box-to-replace-W...Live?p=2464656

    IMHO, the WDTV Gen 3 (refurb with 90 day warranty at Amazon) is your best bet for media compatibility and price. Yes, it's a refurb, but it's a proven design that's been around for years.
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    hard to go wrong with a WDTV box

    i tested my Home worx with several MKV 1080 res files, and it played them flawless

    i know i don't have all possible combinations possible in an mkv container
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    You can get converter boxes which take in HDMI signals and spit out analog signals over RCA jacks fairly cheaply. Why not go with a more modern player connected via one of those?
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    Video_John solved his problem. He just bought a new 48-inch HDTV and is planning to purchase a Blu-ray player. https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/381260-Do-480p-videos-look-any-better-on-higher-res...=1#post2466531
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