TV Media Player with USB Inputs?

So I'm looking to replace an old WDTV for a friend of mine and I know there has been a fair few threads on similar topics but this one is a little different.

The WDTV was primarly used for playing media off a host of USB devices. External HDD's and flash drives etc. So that's a must feature (preferably more than 1 USB port however 1 is OK) (TV is a bit older and only has HDMI hence being required. Replacing TV is not an option but that's another story).

The best feature of the WDTV was being able to play pretty much any media file you throw at it.

Features I would like to have however not necessary are Netflix and YouTube access.

I've been assessing options however finding something with USB connectivity is a nightmare!

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!


  • +4 votes

    My suggestion is probably a Xiaomi Mi box

    It can handle VP9 and HEVC x265 codec and up to 4k as well. It only has 1 USB port, and there are probably more pricier Android TV options that could have more features.

    Other competitors might include but not limited to Minix Neo series and Nvidia Shield. Most of these are Android powered and will natively support Youtube and Netflix.

    • +2 votes

      Second the mi box - just make sure you purchase the international version.


      Thanks for your advice. Definitely looks tempting and might message the rep for another one of those USD $59.99 codes.

      Any idea how it handles different hard drive formats and varying file types such as AVI and MP4?


        So far it has played all AVI, MP4 and MKV files that I’ve thrown at it from a portable harddrive and network drives as well. You can download VLC, Kodi and MX player on android tv and they all have a pretty good success rate. Of course if you had really old AVI files you could run them through a free video converter to update them to a newer video codec.


        Yep it has handled every file format I can chuck at it and it can handle x265 (but not always smoothly). I use it with Kodi and a 4tb portable drive (exFAT) and am very happy with it. My remote started playing up around 8 months after purchase, though. Voice commands seem to be knackered and it randomly unpairs every second day or so (even with fresh batteries). Have tried resetting to factory conditions, but no dice. Still an amazing box for the price, and it runs rings round the WDTV Live.

  • +1 vote

    Another idea to above is coming up with a better solution than putting media on portable drives - setup Plex on the main pc, then use a Chromecast to cast it to the TV (as well as Netflix etc). Can also then be used by anything in the house - tablets, phones, laptops, consoles)

    Saves double-handling (download to main pc, copy to usb drive, plug into media player). Instead its: download to main pc, refresh plex library, load up plex app, cast to CC.

    Oh and plex looks so nice :)

    advice is from an ex-wdtv user who uses this method!

    Next step is a nas, but that's a while away!


      Thanks Spackbace. Plex is something that I was shown a little while ago and I've been meaning to revisit it. Might be time to give it another look in!


    I bought this android box , $39. And works great.

    I had an old WD player but it didn't play much more than vid files.
    This new box plays anything I have, hard drive plugged in the USB port.
    Kodi works well, it scans the shows then provided all movie covers, episode info etc.
    it also sees our drive that's plugged in the router.
    People say these boxes have terrible remotes but this one is really good.

    It's great especially for the price.


    Intel NUC (or similar) and LibreElec.

  • +1 vote

    I have a mi box and the only thing it doesn’t play are my video files with lossless multichannel flac audio tracks

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