Roku makes a device that connects your TV and your Internet connection. Most people know of Roku as a Netflix player: You can watch any Instant title from Netflix on your TV using the Roku player. Merri and I have been through all of 30Rock several times and are back in season one of King of the Hill now.
Roku plays other media, as well. For example, I connect to Flickr and Facebook using Roku to show pictures from those sources.
In addition to the “official channels” on Roku, the player has a feature for so-called “private channels,” which allow a third-party to provide connections to other media. The Nowhereman has released several of these ‘channels’ that actually simply connect you to YouTube, among others. Now, nowhereman has released a private channel that enables the otherwise idle USB port on the Roku XR player, allowing you to see a slideshow of photos on a flash drive. Very cool. (Get a short USB extender cable to hang over your player, giving you a port in front, instead of in back.)
I’m amazed it took a third-party to do this. I can’t imagine why Roku is still delaying official support for this function, except that they want a certain number of units sold before they’ll do so. I’m also amazed – continually – by the generosity and ingenuity of people on the Web. Thanks, nowhereman, et al..