In a previous blog, I talked a little about a new TDS TV/Mediaroom feature regarding home media playback. I am going to expand on that in this post, and talk about an additional way to play your personal media using TDS TV. Both are a really handy way to access your files without meandering over to another device.
The first way is to use the Mediaroom USB playback feature. You’ll notice there is an open USB port in the front of your Cisco set top box. There are often a couple of fun things television providers have done with this connectivity, and one TDS TV is focused on is the ability to play your files through your TV. I recently took an open flash drive and tossed a couple handfuls of songs on it. I also loaded up a few family photos, and plugged it into the drive.
When you scroll through the TDS TV menu, you can select the personal media option, set it to USB and connect from there. You’ll see a really easy-to-use menu that shows you how you can play your MP3’s as well as scroll through your favorite photo album. The slight kicker is if you’re an iTunes user, the format you download is not supported at this time.
The other option at your disposal is connecting your computer (desktop or laptop) to the network. You can do this by going into the personal media menu and having your set-top box search for PCs attached to the network. It’ll show up whatever you’ve named your PC in Windows. Select the name and it will sync from there. You determine what files and folders you’d like to “share” with the TDS TV network. If you select all your music for example, all your music will pop up on the screen. You can sort by playlist, artist, album, or song name. From there, you can make playlists on the go using the remote to select any combination of artists or songs you want to play.
Personally, I really enjoy using the direct connection when I’m doing stuff around the house. I can set up a playlist to play, turn my surround sound on, and then let it blare while I’m cleaning, working on a project, or just wandering around looking for something to do.
Since I’m bigger on music than pictures, I haven’t used that quite as much, but you can definitely scroll through an album just like if you connected your digital camera through an AV cable. Through your PC, you select the folders you want to share and instead of selecting music you select photos. From there you can find the folder with the most recent vacay photos and run a slideshow from there.
Note: you can access the TDS TV User Guide online if you’d like. Click here (the User Guide is the second one on the list) and go to page 41 you’ll see the directions for Personal Media Sharing.