What Size of USB Stick for TV Recording?

Recently I learned that my TV has a USB TV recording feature. So I went searching for the perfect USB Stick for TV recording and what I found might help you.

In this article, we’ll cover topics such as; what is the best USB size, USB variations, read and write rate, and more. When you’re done, you’ll know exactly what you will need to record TV on a USB stick.

What Is The Best USB Stick Size for Recording TV?

The best USB stick size for recording TV is at least 128 GB with USB 3.0. There are a lot of factors that can affect the file size, such as video resolution, frame rate, length, and others.

If you’re going to record a high definition TV show, then you’ll need plenty of free space on the USB stick, and 128 GB is more than enough. For that purpose check out the Kingston DTEG2/128 GB Data Traveler Elite G2 which will do the job perfectly.

In most cases, you can get by with a smaller USB stick, such as 64 GB, but if you record a lot of media, it can fill up fast. Hence, the more space, the better.

Not to worry, USB sticks are relatively inexpensive, even the latest models are budget-friendly and won’t set you back. It’s worth investing a few more dollars into one that has more than enough size and speed to accommodate your TV recording sessions.

I know what you’re probably thinking: wouldn’t it be better to use an external hard drive? While external hard drives have a much large capacity, they’re also bulkier, more expensive, and not as portable.

Chances are you won’t use more than 100 GB of storage space, so most of the space in a portable hard drive will be left unused. Unless you record a lot of content, it’s not worth it.

Continue reading to learn more about USB types and other portable storage options.

Does USB Type Matter?

When checking your TV’s manual, you might have noticed that each USB port is labeled differently, some are USB 2.0 while the others are USB 3.0. Does it matter which port you use?

Much like HDMI, the USB versions are backward compatible, which means you can plug a USB 3.0 device into a USB 2.0 port, and it will still work. The problem here is your 3.0 device will be bottlenecked by the 2.0 port. In other words, it won’t perform and it’s true potential, the performance will be limited.

In short, if you want to make the most of your USB stick, then you need to make sure to plug it into the USB port that matches the USB type. For instance, the USB 3.0 stick will go into a USB 3.0 port, which is usually marked with a blue interior.

While USB 2.0 can record TV shows too, the read and write speeds are much lower than USB 3.0 which means you can encounter bugs, buffering, and freezes.

Can I Watch TV-Recorded Files on My Computer?

At the moment, you can’t watch TV shows that you recorded on your TV from your computer. The reason for that is most TVs save files in a very specific format that can only be read by the same model. While you might be able to “see” the files that your TV saved to the USB stick on your computer, you won’t be able to open them.

Of course, there are many different TVs out there, and some manufacturers might allow you to save in PC-friendly formats. However, most popular companies, such as Sony Bravia and LG do not allow you to do that.

I recommend taking a look at your TV’s manual or browse this list of external hard drive compatible Sony Bravia TV models.

FAQ:

What is the Largest USB Memory Stick Available?

Currently, the biggest commercially available memory stick is 2 TB. These USB sticks are generally not recommended for the average consumer because they’re very expensive, as in more than $1,000. They’re more ideal for corporate use. There are lots of 2 TB USB scams, so be careful.

Is a Memory Stick the Same as an SD card?

No, USB flash drives and SD cards have very different hardware. Generally, USB 3.0 flash drives are faster than SD cards, but SD cards are much smaller and portable, mainly used in cameras. Either way, both storage devices perform quite well.

How Long will a USB Flash Drive Last?

If you’re careful with it, a USB flash drive can last for many years. The age isn’t determined by the components but rather the number of uses. So you can copy files onto a flash drive and it will probably still work after 10 or more years. But if you use the same flash drive daily, it will probably degrade within a few years.

 

Image credit: “USB stick illustration” (CC BY 2.0) by BrotherUK

About S. Santos

Tech columnist and tech blogger, audiovisual aficionado trying to keep up with the ever-evolving world of gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology. If not fiddling with AV cables at home or in front of the computer, he can be found playing tennis or padel.

2 thoughts on “What Size of USB Stick for TV Recording?”

  1. Do you know why one flash randomly stops recording early when it’s newer and nicer and the old one records normal

    Reply
    • My first guess it’s because it might be faulty. Another thing is size and version, make sure you have at least 128 GB, check also which USB version is your TV, 2.0? 3.0? And get a drive that matches the version.

      Reply

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