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Sony TV USB Not Working (Not Recognized/Supported/Playing Videos)

Sony, founded in 1946, is a tech company with a reputation for its creativity and efficiency and as the market leader in electronic appliances. They’re a household name in home theater and audio-visual devices, including televisions. If you’re a Sony TV owner, you might encounter a problem with your USB not working.

When your Sony TV’s USB port isn’t recognizing devices, it’s like a doorman ignoring your entrance. Often, the culprit is a compatibility mismatch. Some Sony TVs are finicky about the file formats they support. Before getting frustrated, ensure the files on your USB drive are in a format your TV recognizes. If they’re not, consider converting them or checking your TV’s manual for supported formats.

USB connected to back TV

In another scenario, the USB drive itself might be formatted in a way your Sony TV doesn’t understand. TVs usually prefer USB drives formatted as FAT32. If your drive is in NTFS or another format, that could be the issue. To fix this, backup the contents of your USB, reformat it to FAT32, and then reload your files. Give it another try in the TV after these steps.

Lastly, power nuances could be throwing a wrench in the works. Some USB drives require more power than your TV’s port provides, especially larger external hard drives. If your TV struggles with a particular USB device, try using a powered USB hub in between, which can supply the necessary juice for your drive while still allowing data transfer to the TV.

Sony TV USB Stopped Working/Not Working

TV back ports

If the USB port on your Sony television has stopped operating, your television’s firmware might be out of date. Verify that the most recent device software upgrade is activated on your TV by taking the steps below.

  1. Choose Help.
  2. Navigate to Customer Support.
  3. Scroll to Software Update.
  4. Select Network. If this option isn’t available, skip it.
  5. Use the remote to confirm the update.

Is the Help menu mysteriously nowhere to be found? If so, use the following steps to install the most recent updates for your TV:

  1. Push the Settings button on your remote. Or use the on-screen configuration menu.
  2. Navigate to the Customer Support section of the menu.
  3. Select either Setup or Product Support. For various models, only one of these options is available.
  4. Pick Software Update from the menu.
  5. Push the appropriate button on your remote to begin the updates.

Unfortunately, specific models of older televisions cannot force a firmware upgrade. But there may be an option for receiving an automated software upgrade. If this option is available to you, you can activate it. Doing this will ensure that the TV downloads updates while it’s on standby. When the download is complete, the TV will ask you to install the upgrade.

If no new software is available, your TV already has the latest firmware updated, and you can proceed to the next phase of troubleshooting.

Sony TV Cannot Read/Won’t Recognize USB

USB TV side ports

If your Sony TV doesn’t recognize your USB link, reconnect or replace the USB cord. If this doesn’t seem to fix the problem, verify that the USB cable can transfer data. USB cables designed solely for charging aren’t compatible with Sony TVs.

Additionally, if the device you’re attempting to connect uses a media transfer protocol, it’s unlikely to be recognized by your television. That’s because certain Sony televisions can’t detect this kind of communication. Try switching the mobile device’s settings to the mass storage class and seeing how it works. Additionally, depending on the television type, you can also try the picture transfer protocol.

Are you using a flash drive? If so, you might be attempting to connect a USB drive that isn’t correctly formatted.

If it’s not formatted in the FAT32 file system, most Sony televisions will be unable to detect data stored on the drive. You can overcome this problem by reconfiguring the USB memory device to the FAT32 file system using a computer by following the steps below.

  1. Navigate to the File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on your USB drive.
  3. Select Format.
  4. Pick FAT32 as the target file system.
  5. Select the Quick Format check box.
  6. Pick Start to begin formatting the flash drive.

If you don’t see any difference, repeat the procedure, but this time, uncheck the Quick Format box. However, don’t adjust the format of the USB drive frequently. Regularly formatting the drive will cause it to become damaged and incompatible with your television.

Sony TV USB Not Supported

TV on console table

Sony televisions manufactured before 2013 are limited to supporting the FAT16, FAT32, and exFAT file systems for USB. Modern versions can support any USB format. Depending on your model, ensure that the flash drive is formatted correctly for use with your television.

If you continue to receive this error message after correctly formatting your flash drive, your USB ports may be burnt out. It’s wise to check the status of your TV’s USB ports and request a repair from the manufacturer if they’re in poor shape.

Additionally, ensure that the ports are entirely dust-free. Occasionally, the accumulation of dust on ports may cause minor issues with communication.

Sony TV USB Playback Not Available

Male trying to plug cable into back of TV

If your Sony TV doesn’t support playback when a USB device is attached, the file you’re attempting to play is most likely a JPEG document. Consider converting the file to one of the following alternatives if a computer is available:

  • DivX
  • Xvid
  • AVC
  • OGG
  • WMV
  • MOV
  • AVCHD
  • MPEG4
  • RealMedia

Also, the file could be corrupt or may not have been copied in its entirety. Reconnect the USB device to a computer and ensure the file is fully intact.

If none of the above solutions work, try performing a soft reset on your television to restart the mechanics. To do this, unplug the Sony system from the wall and leave it unplugged for approximately thirty seconds. Check to see if the playback problem has been fixed after the power is fully restored.

How To Playback Videos/Movies on USB Correctly

Female watching TV

Use one of the following methods to replay videos on your SonyTV using USB. For television versions manufactured before 2020:

  1. Click the Home button on the provided remote control.
  2. Connect the USB device to the computer.
  3. Wait until a message confirms the successful connection of your USB device.
  4. Choose Open With Video from the menu.

For versions manufactured after 2020:

  1. Attach the USB unit.
  2. Move the cursor to the left with the left arrow.
  3. Activate the menu.
  4. Pick Folders or the name of the USB unit in the left pane.
  5. Select the folder in which you saved the file.
  6. Navigate to and pick the file using the remote.

How To Factory Reset a Sony TV

Male setting up new TV

Is neither of the preceding troubleshooting approaches helping to restore USB connectivity to your Sony TV? If that’s the case, you may need to perform a factory reset. This method will undo any TV settings that can cause a USB link to fail.

To accomplish this, use the following steps:

  1. Navigate to your device’s settings menu.
  2. Select Device Preferences.
  3. Scroll to Reset.
  4. Choose Factory data reset from the menu.
  5. Select Yes.

The previous measures apply only to Android and Google TV. If you’re unsure if your television is an Android or Google TV, the following details prove that it is:

  • If the provided remote control has a microphone button or icon
  • If Android is the specified software on the product Specifications page

If your television is a standard model, you can perform a factory reset using the following procedure:

  1. Disconnect the power wire from the electric socket for one minute.
  2. Reconnect the power line. The television should immediately turn on.
  3. Wait for 40 seconds.
  4. Push and hold the up arrow on your remote control.
  5. While continuing to hold the up button, press and maintain force on the power button on your television until the screen reads “Reset.” Reset may not display on the screen depending on your device, but the television will switch off and on.
  6. Let go of the up arrow. The initial configuration screen indicates whether you completed the previous steps correctly.
  7. Complete the initial configuration by following the on-screen instructions.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on May 28, 2021.

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