WD TV Live stops working sporadically

Hi, I’m an inexperienced gadget granny whose gadget  guys have all grown up and now live overseas.  I recently bought a WD TV Live and a Seagate Free Agent external 320 GB HDD to view AVI files in particular.  I connect the 2 with a USB 2 cable. For the first few goes I had smooth viewing, then the movies intermittently stop working.  I can get started again by jiggling the USB cable, however the problem continues.  I have tried 3 new USB cables.  I even exchanged the WD TV unit only to get the same problems.  The USB cables and the HDD work fine with other equipment.

Is what I have incompatible?

Are there settings that I don’t know about?

The software in the Seagate and the WD is up to date. The Seagate drive testing feature shows it is functioning fine but it is 80%full.

I’d really appreciate any help that is out there.

Welcome to the forums.

I don’t think it’s a physical thing, despite the apparent symptoms (which I believe are coincidental – “jiggiling” the cable probably didn’t really have anything to do with the movie starting up again).

My hunch is it’s the AVIs — take one of the “bad” AVIs and run it through Handbrake (freeware).  Use the High Profile preset but change the output type to MKV.  Then try playing that file and see if it doesn’t play smoothly.

My hunch is that it will and, if so, that will answer the question.  (If not we have other things to try).

Thanks mkelly, I’ll try that tomorrow.  This forum is really interesting.