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Is it possible to connect an Android phone to my TV with a USB cable, and then browse a network disk instead of the SD card?

To answer comment questions: HTC Desire HD, TV is able to browse USB storage devices. At the moment I go to my PC, connect to my phone with the USB cable, and put a video file on the SD card. Then I walk to my TV and plug the phone into the usb port. Then I browse the SDcard to find the video file, and open it. Every once in a while I connect my phone to the TV, and then find out that I need to go upstairs to my PC again, because there are no video files left to watch. And then I think "If I only could use a network file explorer (like ES) and use it to browse it on my tv"...

The TV supports none of the protocols since it has no network connection (no cable/WiFi). It has a USB port to browse usb storage devices.

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I'd say that very much depends on your Android phone, your TV, the operating systems and version used, and maybe some more criteria we'll never know before you tell -- as it currently stands, your question is hard to answer. Would you please fill in the other details? –  Izzy Oct 10 '12 at 14:06
    
OK, to answer your questions: HTC Desire HD, TV is able to browse USB storage devices. At the moment I go to my PC, connect to my phone with the USB cable, and put a video file on the SD card. Then I walk to my TV and plug the phone into the usb port. Then I browse the SDcard to find the video file, and open it. Every once in a while I connect my phone to the TV, and then find out that I need to go upstairs to my PC again, because there are no video files left to watch. And then I think "If I only could use a network file explorer (like ES) and use it to browse it on my tv"... –  spambas Oct 11 '12 at 6:41
    
Give your TV specs for more answers. Is it Android TV? Does it support DLNA? –  Sachin Shekhar Oct 11 '12 at 7:33
    
By the way, @dymutaos' answer will work. –  Sachin Shekhar Oct 11 '12 at 7:35
    
The TV supports none of the protocols since it has no network connection (no cable/WiFi). It has a USB port to browse usb storage devices. –  spambas Oct 12 '12 at 5:41
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2 Answers

As dymotaos wrote, all possibilities to mount remote drives on your Android device probably require root. But you don't have to deal with the command line and parameters, as the Playstore offers some apps which can help you with this.

One of them is CifsManager, which can deal with Windows shares1, a second one would be Mount Manager, which additionally supports NFS2:

CifsManager Mount Manager

While CifsManager is completely free, while Mount Manager in its full version costs you about 3 Euro.

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When the SD card is unmounted, and connected to my TV as a storage device, how will these mounts stay there? –  spambas Nov 28 '12 at 8:33
    
What do those mounts have to do with the SD card? The mount points are more likely to be created in the internal storage (most probably in the root file system). I don't know why the CifsManager screenshot shows them below /sdcard; but check the second screenshot (Mount Manager), here they are located below /mnt/cifs, which definitly is not on the sdcard. So it's rather a question of configuration (where you create your mount points). –  Izzy Nov 28 '12 at 8:44
    
So this doesn't do what I (topicstarter) need at all... –  spambas Nov 28 '12 at 10:34
    
You wouldn't need to "go upstairs" again with the "upstairs" file systems already mounted on your device, would you? To access those network drives directly on your TV, you might need to mount them on your TV. I'm not sure whether they become accessible via the device's USB connection, but you might give it a try. –  Izzy Nov 28 '12 at 10:41
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It should be possible. You would certainly need root.

If you could mount your network share onto your phone, you could mount it under /mnt/sdcard/network_share. Then your tv would simply browse that folder. To your TV, it would simply look like another folder on your SD card.

This post shows how to mount nfs on your phone. You may need a special version of busybox.

busybox mount -o nolock,ro,hard,intr,vers=3 -t nfs 192.xxx.xxx.x.x:/your/nfs/share /mnt/sdcard/network_share
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mm. My HTC Desire HD is not rooted. Is it hard to do that? never had the need to look it up. –  spambas Oct 11 '12 at 6:46
    
Ah, it took me a while to understand how this answer related to the question, but I see what you are suggesting. Can you think of any way of doing this without root? –  Mark Booth Oct 16 '12 at 15:23
    
The longer I think about it the less sure I am this is going to work. If I connect the phone to the TV as a diskdrive, the sd-card will be unmounted from the phone, or am I going at this the wrong way? –  spambas Oct 29 '12 at 8:32
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