Modern HDTVs can read all kinds of technology; DLNA streamed files, external hard drives, flash drives and heck, even SD cards. One thing they can’t read is data from USB optical drives. Or rather, make optical drives one thing HDTVs couldn’t read: Plextor’s new PX-612U External Slim DVD/CD Writer connects via USB and can play information stored on discs, thanks to some technical trickery that convinces TVs that the device is actually an external hard drive.
"It seems counter-intuitive that a USB-supported DVD Drive wouldn't work with a TV, but it has to do with the code that the devices use to communicate," Product Marketing Manager Kathy Huynh says in the press release. "PlexTV uses a code translator to make the PX-612U appear as a hard drive to the television, making the two devices compatible."
The nifty drives work with media streamers and other USB-enabled devices, too, and yes, you can plug it into your PC. It’ll be available in the first quarter, but no word yet on pricing details. The tech is definitely nifty, but does it fill an actual need for anybody out there?