Playing AVI videos from external drive



Hello everyone, this is my first post. I hope this question has not been answered already because I search and did not see anything.

I have both a desktop and a laptop that are on my home network. I have no problem accessing files from either machine. I have a much larger hard drive on my desktop so I tended to store my AVI files there. I have recently connected my laptop to my Plasma and Home Stereo in order to watch movies straight from my laptop. I found that when I tried to play a movie on my laptop that resided on my desktop over the wireless network, the movie stuttered, skipped and sometimes even hung up my Windows Media player. So I started moving AVI files onto my laptop because they play flawlessly there.

Now my laptop drive is slowly filling up. I am considering a purchase of a Western Digital My Book drive. It looks good, it’s apparently quiet and comes in many sizes (100GB - 1 TB). My concern is that if I connect this drive through either a USB 2.0 or FireWire connection, I am going to get about 400mb/s transfer rate, I understand. Is this fast enough to support me playing AVI files from the external drive on my laptop? Will it play the same as if the files was residing on my laptop hard drive?

Thanks everyone. I appreciate any advice. :bow:


That should be plenty fast enough. Just tried with my external Seagate drive & it’s fine.

You could try VideoLan VLC as your player rather than WMP.

Seagate externals are pretty good as well.


Thanks for your note Tim. I’ll look at the Seagate ones as well. Is there any sort of advantage to the Seagate External drives vs. Western Digital? Also, did you choose to use USB2.0 or FireWire for your setup?


Either one is fully sufficient, Firewire has a higher practical speed but USB2.0 is quite sufficient. I have an external enclosure connected via USB and it “streams” videos fine.


I chose the Seagate 'cos it was a good offer & I knew USB2.0 would be adequate for my needs.


Thanks Tim, I just purchased a Western Digital MyBook Premium Edition and it works great! Problem solved.