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Bob asked: “My wife takes videos of my grandkids I download them on my windows 10 computer. We go on vacation and I download these to a DVD Disc. It has always worked to plug into a Cruise ships DVD player. The ships have upgraded to flat screen TVs. They do not offer DVD Players anymore. I downloaded the videos on a thumb drive that works fine on my Computer but does not work on my smart tv. These are showing MP4 files on my movie maker. How can I get these to work on the TV?”
Bob, unfortunately, it won’t be an easy task.
Newer flatscreen TVs almost always have extra HDMI ports, and you could bring a device with you and plug it into one of the extra ports, but since people don’t really like overpaying for movies and cruise lines like to rent overpriced movies, those ports are disabled on a lot of ships.
Without having the ability to plug in external devices, you won’t have a way to play your own content on your TVs.
Their TVs are basically just another way to get you to spend money, before they probably rented DVDs, and that’s why they offered the option, now they can stream what you rent to the TV and they probably don’t want passengers to use them to bypass their charges.
You could always bring a laptop or tablet onto the ship and play your movies on it, but you probably won’t be able to use their new TVs. At least not on every ship.
Bob, there are many media streaming boxes on the market that will solve your problem inexpensively IF you can gain access to the HDMI port as Dave mentioned. I’m not talking Roku or Apple TV, but gizmos specifically designed for you to stick in a thumb drive, plug into your TV’s HDMI port, and go to town! Take a look at the Mikka Spec G2 or the Buyee Portable — both available on Amazon for under $40. You can even get a second hand Intel ComputeStick on eBay that turns any TV with HDMI into a full, though not very powerful, Windows 10 PC.