New HardDrive

Wanting to purchase a new WD portable hard drive.

I read on the internet that so many of the drives will not play the MKV format…

Can anyone tell me if or any of the new portable drives out now will play them…

Most of my movies & Shows are in mkv and i do not want to waste my money on something that wont play…

Kind Regards

B & S

The drive itself has nothing to do with it, it’s just the storage medium. It’s whatever you are connecting to the drive (your computer, tablet, media player etc) which determines what can or cannot be played, as that is the device which is doing it not the drive.

It would only be storage devices which have “added extras” like media servers or DLNA where things may be a bit different as those extras are taking on some of the playback role. An example of that could be the MyPassport Wireless, but even there most of the issue will be the playback device again. But if you’re just talking a plain portable drive like a MyPassport Ultra then it will depend on what you’re connecting it to.

Darren’s correct

eg. i have a My Passport Wireless with a bunch of different file formats on it (Mkv, Mp4, Wmv, Avi etc)

Which all play fine wirelessly streamed to my WDTV (and connected via USB)

But for example of a Non-Working MKV file … sure you can copy a HEVC (H.265) MKV to a Harddrive without any problems … but the WDTV Media Player won’t Play it … because HEVC (H.265) encoded MKV’s are not supported.

(H.264) MKV however … is supported on the WDTV

So, B & S … it depends on what “Player” you are using and what it supports.

WOuld just be using it to basically copy a few shows & movies from my PC and  play them etc through my TV …

So am i to assume the device itself will play the mkv but it all depends on the tv weather it will play it…?

IS that right?

B & S

Yes, if the player device (TV in this case) will play it from the PC, then they should play it from the hard drive. As I said before the drive itself is merely providing the file, it isn’t playing it. You should get out of the habit of referring to the drive as playing the file, or you could confuse things.

The only other caveat to be aware of is if you set/enable stuff like encryption or locking up on the drive (basically stuff that needs the special WD SES driver) then your TV won’t be able to use the drive directly, as it won’t have the driver in place to do the decoding (and WD don’t make drivers for stuff other than Windows or Mac). But if you just keep things simple and use the drive plain without enabling such driver-requiring special features then it should work.

This is one of those cases where you need to be a little selective about which drive you purchase, as WD do a range of them with various features, and if you are going to be using it at a basic level without such features enabled then there is an argument to go for the cheaper (MyPassport Elements) drive that doesn’t have them over the more expensive ones (MyPassport Ultra) which does. You can use a MPU with the TV, but all the security features will need to be turned off.

It may also be worth checking how much current/power your TV USB port provides, to ensure that it is enough to run the drive. The WD portable ones are powered by USB, and if the TV doesn’t give enough juice then you’d need to put a powered hub in there too, and that is sometimes known to cause issues in itself.

My 1TB WD Elements SE works fine on my Panasonic’s USB input (DC 5V 500mA)  Mkvs (& Mp4,Wmv,Avi,etc) play fine

Check your TV specs / user manual for “file” support … some TV’s may not support Mkv (eg.Samsung)