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Play 4K Videos on 4K TV: Load Onto USB3 Drive

OWC Envoy Pro Mini

Get OWC Envoy Pro Mini at MacSales.com.

See also: What to Consider for a 4K TV.

Have a 4K TV and any one of the many cameras now capable of shooting 4K video? Such as recent iPhone models, the Sony A7R II and Sony A7S II, and the Panasonic GH4.

Here’s a great way to enjoy those videos on a 4K TV using a USB thumb drive (or any USB3 drive, but I really like simple form factor + high speed of the OWC Envoy Pro Mini for this purpose).

It turns out that my Sony XBR-65X930C 4K TV has a USB slot which accepts a thumb drive for playing stills or videos. With over 100GB of 4K video (and I’ve hardly started shooting 4K), I wanted a fast USB stick of high capacity. Enter the OWC Envoy Pro Mini 480GB USB2 thumb drive. It took only about six minutes to copy 100GB of videos to the Envoy Pro Mini.

Here’s how to enjoy 4K videos (or still photos) on the Sony 4K TV:

  1. Format the drive as ExFAT using Disk Utility (as shown below).
  2. Copy videos to the drive, optionally organizing into folders.
  3. Insert the drive into the USB port of the TV.

With the Sony X930C, simply inserting the thumb drive pops up the Videos app; otherwise navigate to the Videos app using the menu system of the TV. Select the folder, enjoy the videos! There is also a Photos app for still photos.

The 100M/30P video quality from the Sony mirrorless cameras and the Panasonic GH4 is easily better than most 4K video streaming from Netflix (excepting my own technical errors), and that’s lovely—because I shot it direct to card in ready-to-play “.MOV” format, not S-Log or anything fancy requiring extra work: just press the record button to stop/star.

Moreover, the video from those cameras is entirely free of smearing and other ugly digital artifacts issues often seen with streamed 4K. Only UltraHD BluRay is likely to equal it. The poppies video from the GH4 was stunning; I’ve not seen anything as good on NetFlix—period.

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Formatting OWC Envoy Pro Mini thumb drive as ExFAT, videos as organized on the thumb drive

Shown below is the Sony 4K TV video app displaying the videos in a “Lundy2” folder on the OWC Envoy Pro Mini thumb drive.

Sony Videos app showing 4K videos on USB3 thumb drive
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