I have an HDTV (37" I think, not sure of the native resolution on it) and I want to be able to hook my external hard drive up to it so I can watch the movies and shows I've ripped on it. Now I could do this through my laptop no problem, but I find it annoying having my laptop connected to the tv - I'd rather leave my laptop wireless and find another solution. Something I could permenately attach (or rarely move).

I've been wanting to get a netbook or tablet for portability - something I can take on vacations and what not as my laptop is 17.3" and kinda heavy to lug around and pack/unpack. The only thing is I read somewhere some tablets don't have enough power to run usb external hard drives? And I don't know if a netbook (or the tablet for that matter) can handle displaying on my tv screen.

I do know you can get stand alone media players that can interface with the TV and hard drive (or has it's own storage) and whatnot but I figure if I'm gonna spend a couple $100 or so I'd like something a little more multipurpose.

So I was hoping someone with a little more hardware knowledge might have some advice :D Thanks.

I regularly use the portable drive to the tv through its(the tv)| usb port, the tv treats it as a usb stick, but it comes very close to overloading the power supply available to the usb port, would have been better as a powered drive, but then I would need to power it when using the laptop
my laptop is an acer aspre one, 10 inch, with the usb drive connected ~2hours, without around 6 hours, running plugged, no issues,
external screen output, easy,

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