Why would you want to play an MP4 video on a set-top box when you can do it directly on your HDTV.
HDTVs come with USB ports. You can play MP4 videos through your pen drive or an external hard disk.
Your TV’s built-in media player should be able to detect a universal video format like MP4.
But what if your TV USB port isn’t functioning or you’re using it for something else?
Set-Top Box USB Port
You would have noticed that your set-top box comes with a USB port.
This may have given you the idea of playing an MP4 file by attaching a pen drive to it.
If you’ve unsuccessfully tried to play MP4 video on a set-top box, you may be wondering why.
On most set-top boxes, the USB port is not meant for video playback as on a TV.
If it’s not meant for video playback, why is it there then?
Here are among the uses of a set-top box USB port
On some set-top boxes a firmware upgrade can be undertaken using a pen drive containing the upgrade program, usually downloaded from the Internet.
Firmware upgrades usually happen automatically through the set-top box. When this doesn’t happen, a service technician would use the USB to carry out the process.
You may also plug in a pen drive to record TV shows. Usually, this would be the case if the set-top box doesn’t come with hard disk storage.
Also, you may be allowed to use the USB port to record video to a USB device when the hard disk storage is full.
However, you can’t play back the recording on a computer. The playback of the video recording is only supported through the set-top box
The USB port can also be used as a charging port for smartphones or other devices that can be powered through a USB port.
Use a Wireless Keyboard or Mouse
You may also use the USB port with a wireless mouse or keyboard by plugging the device receiver into the USB port.
This will save you the trouble of using your remote to navigate your menus.
Import or Export Channel List Settings
You can also use the USB port to import or export channel list settings from or to a pen drive.
A set-top box is generally designed to receive TV programs and record them.
This is not to say that your STB can’t playback video files from a USB device.
To find out whether you can play MP4 video on your set-top box, you would have to check the device’s manual.
If there’s a listing of supported media under USB, then you can play your MP4 or other video or audio files on a set-top box.
What if the St Top Box Doesn’t Support the playback of MP4?
If the set-top manufacturer or provider has disabled the playback of MP4 video on your set-top box, fret not.
You can go for an affordable TV box (around $50) that allows you to play media files through an external USB device without hassle.
Check out some of these TV box ideas.