Can i use the USB port to see pics or MP4 video files stored on my USB flash drive as I can on my Rocu or Sony blue-ray player by HDMI ti television?

I am looking at a new television for another room and would like to be sure I can use my existing USB flash drives will work with Apple TV as they do with my Sony blu ray player to watch MP4 files of home movies or with my Rocu, thousands of photographs I've either taken over the years professionally or of family and friends and scanned to USB flash drives . Does the USB port on the Apple TV have similar capability?
If not, what is it for?

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1 Answer from the Community

  • No, you cannot use the Apple TV's USB port for anything at all; it's strictly for maintenance purposes. Should the Apple TV somehow get corrupted and become unusable, the people at the Genius Bar at your local Apple Store can plug into the USB port and use it to restore the firmware to "factory" condition.

    However, you can still use your USB flash drives with Apple TV. Plug one into a PC or Mac running iTunes and drag the movies into the iTunes window. iTunes will then "serve up" the movies over WiFi to the Apple TV. Similarly, you can point iTunes to a photo directory on a USB drive (File > Home Sharing > Choose Photos to Share with Apple TV) and they'll become viewable under the Computers icon on the Apple TV home screen.

    Note that if you have two televisions and two Apple TVs, any movies or photos served up by iTunes are available on *both* TVs so you won't need to walk around from room to room swapping flash drives.

    It's best, of course, to simply copy all your movies, music and photos to your computer's hard drive (or a large external USB hard drive) so that they're all available all the time without the annoyance of switching USB drives. With hard drives getting so large and inexpensive, USB flash drives are rapidly becoming obsolete anyway.

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