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Looping video on USB Stick?

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Greg BallLooping video on USB Stick?
by on Jun 12, 2014 at 5:04:40 pm

I have a client we're producting a 10 minute industrial video for. They would like to be able to have the video on a USB stick, so they can play back a looping vesion of this on a large screen at a trade show in HD

To my surprise, I see playback is possible. Has anyone done this? Can you tell me how? Also how would you loop a video on a USB Stick?

Thanks much.

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Steve KownackiRe: Looping video on USB Stick?
by on Jun 12, 2014 at 6:13:30 pm
Last Edited By Steve Kownacki on Jun 12, 2014 at 6:18:15 pm

This has got to be the handiest feature of the new displays/TVs! I've done this a number of times, here's my notes:

Make sure they get a name brand like SONY, Samsung, etc. The players seem to be more robust than the VIZIO-types.
The name brands all seem to have a "loop playback" feature built in. (I do not know how you could possibly make a file self-looping)
Look online at the model they are considering, make your file and go visit a retailer to test it out. I usually tell my clients to buy a Samsung as I have one in the office and can confirm the file with them watching it.

Look very carefully at the manual for supported file types. AND TEST, TEST, TEST.
One drawback is that if they have more than one monitor there is no way to sync them together.

With a wifi-ready TV, you could browse to a website with an embedded video that could loop. Of course data usage may kill them if using a hotspot; but they may already be paying for internet access if at a trade show for instance.

And make sure your client has EXTRA REMOTES! Many of the TV menus can only be accessed with the remote and if they forget to pack it, lose it or it's stolen - no video no more.

One client had an off-brand model that only took WMV (or some PC-only-type of file) with no looping function. And a 2gb file limit. Ended up putting a lower-res video on the drive as a single file that simply played about 20 times. When the menu came on the screen, they had to hit play again. I'm sure the guys in the sales booth at the trade show were thrilled.

Oh yeah, the other reason for testing is to make sure the USB stick you have actually fits into the TV. Some jacks are in strange places with tight access and larger sticks simply will not be able to be plugged in. Be a hero and have a short USB extension to give them. They're about $2. Also makes accessing the jack very easy.


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Matt TownleyRe: Looping video on USB Stick?
by on Jun 13, 2014 at 1:52:26 am

I have tried using the built in USB drive for looping and it works fine sometimes, but can be unreliable and varies greatly from TV to TV. I have had numerous occasions that my client said they were using "XYZ" model and I ensured it would work, but they they made a last minute substitution and the model they ended up with on the show floor, in the meeting or at the conference with doesn't work. The solution I found was to get a bunch of Bright Sign HD220s. I can pre-program they to play and look a designated video form an SD card as soon as the device is plugged in. The only thing my client has to do is plug in the power and HDMI and it's set to go until they tear down. Works brilliantly and has all but stopped the frantic calls from clients trying to make it work. These devices can do MUCH more complex tasks, which I have not ventured into yet, but even a base model like this is handy. Just another approach to look at.

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Greg BallRe: Looping video on USB Stick?
by on Jun 13, 2014 at 7:58:23 pm

Thanks Matt,

Unfortunately my client is in another state so I would have to program it and ship it to them.

How do you get the video from a NLE system like FCP onto an SD card? Does this also take a .h264 file from a USB?

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