I bought two DVD players with USB ports to watch movies (.avi, divx) by simply connecting an external hard drive and/or thumb drive with the movies on it to the usb port.
My experiment involved one inexpensive
ONYX (SW2300XS) player from Wal-Mart in Atlantic Canada, and a more expensive
PIONEER (DV-420V-K) from futureshop.
The ONYX was a nightmare. Firstly, the file system must be FAT32 format to be read, which isn't so bad once you re-format. But then if you have two avi files on a hard drive, the first avi on the list will play automatically, and the picture will be scrambled, thus not allowing to access other avi files or even mp3's on the hard drive. If you use a thumb drive, formatted to FAT32, still the picture is scrambled, and will shut down entirely shortly after, apparently lacking power. Not a good scenario.
The good news is the more expensive PIONEER loaded avi files to a list, to be easily selected and played, complete with fast forward, rewind, zoom, and what you would expect for basic movie viewing. That is with a Seagate 2TB external hard drive, and avi files, played through the USB port.
I will test the thumb drive with the PIONEER shortly, and inform anyone interested, and I will also test files over 4GB in size to see if they will play on the PIONEER. As for the ONYX it is on its way back to the hole it came from.