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Western Digital WD TV Live HD Media Player

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Product Reviews

Western Digital WD TV Live HD Media Player
Very Good
Below Average
Rating: 8.39/10

Review Date: 12/19/11
Cons: watch the updates

Pros: nice and small, works well,
works better than my patriot with more options. just watch the firmware. if all is working fine don't update

Review Date: 12/16/11
Cons: Some issues with network stability, requires a reboot occasionally. Can be slow with large files. Styling. Runs on the warm side.

Pros: Customizable firmware, plays any file you can throw at it. Nice GUI. DTS output. Great picture quality. Small form factor. 2 USB outputs. Variety of Connections. Price/Value, manufacture support.
purchases this about 1yr ago, used it for quite awhile before upgrading to a HTPC. It played anything i threw at it; USB keyboard worked flawlessly with it. Did have some issues with Wifi but may have had something to do with my Dlink router. Had to do a few reboots to get it to recognize my network, stability can be an issue; not for the impatient. It decoded DTS,Dolby Digital and playback was always smooth; even with large

Review Date: 09/22/11
Cons: specific remote dont lose it

Pros: Plays everything I through at it
update  the firmware and you can play netflix :)

Review Date: 07/03/11
Cons: none

Pros: play's everything I need it to.
So far so good. it has played everything that I have tried to play so far. music, avi's, mkv's, pictures, all have played flawlessly. The remote has really good range on it as well. It is a great little unit to have instead of using the laptop at the tv and for 80 bucks it's worth it.

Review Date: 03/30/11
Cons: DVD menu unsupported. DTS unsupported. Non-standard connectors. Unfriendly remote.

Pros: Good video quality. Small form factor. 2 x USB ports.
I'd qualify this media player as OK. It's not outstanding, but still a little above average. It does what it's supposed to do, but there are still much room for improvement. Btw, recently I've encountered 2 movies that would make the player freeze and require a power cycle to bring it back.

Review Date: 03/12/11
Cons: none so far

Pros: Size, Price, Build, Features
Started using this as a more "portable" solution for my general multimedia device, progressed as to become one of the best tool for digital media type of artwork. Small, easy to hide, plus being able to support various media format allows it to be one of the best solutions for digital media type of artwork installation; not to mention this little bugger manage to run non-stop for weeks without giving me any problems. After a year it is still running strong. The price seems to stay at the same range for the longest time, kind of hard to wait around for another sale. But for what it can do I can't complain much

Review Date: 03/02/11
Cons: occasional bugs

Pros: plays everything, small, frequent firmware updates
The WDTV Live might be the best $100 I've ever spent on electronics. I use it on the TV in my bedroom to play content downloaded from the internet via a USB hard drive. It gets used every night and works like a champ. So far I've encountered only one series of videos that this device won't play. Other than that, it works flawlessly with divx, xvid, and x264 (mkv) content.Rarely it decides it doesn't want to play any videos, but if I reset the unit or navigate back to the root menu, it's fixed.I have not used the device to stream any content online or over my home network, so I'm unable to comment on its network functionality.Finally, it's easy to use. I liked my WDTV so much that I bought one for my extremely non-tech-savvy grandparents and they use it regularly without issue.

Review Date: 02/16/11
Cons: Runs hot

Pros: versatility, simplicity
This is by far the best media player to simply customize with b-rad firmware upgrade(free) and moviesheets. Also look for PhyschoTHC's custom menus (takes away a usb port though). As another reviewer said, with a large movie collection this thing isn't great. If you are connecting a 2TB drive to it full of organized content, it's a beauty. I've done about 8 for friends and family and they are amazed they can throw away their DVD collection! hah. still room for improvement though. Remote sucks and lack of onboard memory to help with large databased contet.

Review Date: 01/26/11
Cons: Menu is a bit frustrating when loading usb driveThe remote work but slow to react, like cheap electronic controllerVery hard to change to an alternative firmware and display full movie template

Pros: SmallEasy to usePlay 1080pWork with old television
Got like 10 for friends and they work great. I start about 2 month to add movie template with Brad firmware and ThumGen. All i can say is /$%&"*?"("$?&(?&*/%?. Pretty easy if you only want some cute poster with 20-50 movies, but when you got like 8TB with like 1500 divx, 500 1080p/720p, 1000 dvd-r, this is really a pain in the a**. It can take up 30 minutes to just load the picture and template.For the audio/video, it's a perfect little machine with all the plug you need.

Review Date: 01/24/11
Cons: Firmware updates (very slow on getting them out)

Pros: Good streaming.Ease of use.
Seriously it play all my MKVs flawlessly. Good streaming. Ease of use.

Review Date: 01/23/11
Cons: Lack of ability to change interface or options.

Pros: Negates the need for an HTPC Computer, plays almost all common file extensions with built in codecs.
Overall, I went back to my computer, as I found this item simply too frustrating. I wanted to play torrents that were on my network on an XP Computer running IPX protocol: no support for using that protocol.You cannot jump forward to a designated spot in a movie, you can only fast forward to it.You cannot enter text directly from a keyboard, you have to use the remote to pick letters from a virtual on screen KB.It does not have wireless built in.The remote is real cheap in looks, feel, and ergonomics, it is so small.The onscreen interface is not intuitive and so slow it becomes maddening to use.The way I looked at it, you'd be better to take the money you would have spent on it and upgrade an existing old computer to make it an HTPC, which effectively addresses the shortcomings I found with the WD Live. (I would have given it 2 stars but I did not have my order ID to enter, so it would not let me).

Review Date: 01/13/11
Cons: Some files that should play, won'tView camera photos unusable due to raw photo sizesAlthough it can access a fairly wide variety of Internet content, most of it isn't very useful

Pros: Plays most formatsLinux powered - alternative firmware availableSmallSilent2 USB ports1080p with HDMI, many other connections availableEasily finds network sharesEasily mounts USB devicesPlain but functional easy-to-understand menusMinimalistic, unobtrusive lookSimple remote with few buttons
Overall this is a very nice media player. I should say I haven't really stressed it yet, it's mostly been testing.It plays most formats without a problem. It won't play any QuickTime .MOV files that I have though and it won't play certain files in a format that it should - no explanation why. Some of these are old files and I suspect there are minor differences in the file structure or headers it doesn't like.The menu is rather plain but quite functional and simple. The unit finds network shares and mounts USB devices with no problems.I couldn't get a Hawking HWU54G wireless USB adapter to work with it but it's not on the supported list anyway, so I wired it into a WAP. Works fine this way. Besides, a wireless adapter will use up a USB port.It's truly high-definition with 1080p playback over HDMI. There are also standard definition composite AV cables and 480p component AV cables included in the box.It's minimalistic, quite small and unobtrusive. The remote is small and simple with few buttons. I was able to have a universal remote "learn" the codes.It gets fairly warm after extended usage but mine remains cool when in standby. It's passively cooled, no fan noise.The Internet content is somewhat extensive but uninteresting. I guess I might occasionally watch a YouTube video or two but I wouldn't do that for hours. The TV content is disappointing - mostly 1-minute clips of shows, very few full episodes. It'd be nice if it could access what's available on broadcasters' websites. There are other services available, but note that Pandora is not available in Canada (not WD's fault). The others work fine. The WD TV Live *Plus* supports Netflix streaming BUT this service is also not available on this device in Canada, even though Netflix is officially in Canada now. The "Plus" has the same CPU as this one but with an encryption/decryption engine, so this "non Plus" box will never be able to play Netflix content. No big deal right now because not even the "Plus" can play Netflix content in Canada anyway.It can also access photos right off a digital camera but due to the size of the raw photos this operation is so slow as to be unusable. Better to use the camera's AV cable.It can act as a USB network hub, moving files back and forth between network shares and attached USB drives or between two USB drives.Because this unit runs Linux there is alternative firmware available - google "WDLXTV". It adds a lot of functionality for advanced users although right now the unit does what I need it to do so I haven't changed it.It's a nice, simple player and it mostly just works with a minimum of fuss.

Review Date: 11/15/10
Cons: Firmware updates (very slow on getting them out)

Pros: Good streaming over wireless network. Ease of use.
I've recently purchase the WDTV Live HD and so far all I can is: Niiiiiiiiice! Seriously it play all my MKVs flawlessly. The only problem I ran into was my wireless USB Asus N13 300Mbps, the device wouldn't recognize it. Even though it's on the supported list. After some digging around I found that I need to update  my firmware to a beta version (1.03.43._v) and now it's perfect.my setup:Router: WRTG54USB NIC: Asus USB N13 300MBPS
Signal To Noise@NCIX

Review Date: 09/28/10
Cons: The unit I had was defective

Pros: Seems to play every format imaginableGroovy interface
I currently own the basic WD TV model and was looking to upgrade when I purchased this. The major issue I ran into was that the power light would flash and the unit would freeze with the WD logo on the screen. Repeated power cycling allowed me to use the unit, but it shouldn't take 4 or 5 to get it to work the way it's supposed to.

Review Date: 09/21/10
Cons: - Remote controller could have a little more options- Device is heating even when powered off so I assume there is power consumption all the time

Pros: - Nice interface- Pretty easy setup- Quiet
Great media player even though I must admit that the heat from the device even when powered off is bugging me a little.

Review Date: 08/25/10
Cons: Takes a fair amount of troubleshooting to get set up with W7

Pros: Plays (almost) all formats flawlessly
This is hands down an amazing choice if you are running windows XP. If, however, you are running Windows 7, it takes a fair amount of tweaking to get it to work properly. There are many videos and tutorials online to walk you through this. I have this unit running on Windows 7 currently and the only problem I still have is that I cannot play MKV files (ALL of my Anime).

Review Date: 08/24/10
Cons: No Wi-Fi, Some video codecs wont play.

Pros: Small, Easy to use, Great video quality
Overall a great media device but last the customization of a full PC. This would be great for a bedroom or spare TV.

Review Date: 08/03/10
Cons: Remote is a bit small and can be awkward to use at times

Pros: Compact, attractive, includes cables (except HDMI and networking)
I bought this last month and am very happy with it. I'm able to stream my movies, tv shows, etc. via a networked hard drive. I haven't had any problems with this unit. Setup was a breeze, especially since this product comes with A/V cables. HDMI and networking cables aren't included but you can't expect everything to be included. No problems playing a variety of video formats. I'm very happy with this product.

Review Date: 07/21/10
Cons: drop  connection to receiver via hdmi switch

Pros: play smooth high bit rate videosmall in size
I love it even once a while it drops connection to receiver and recovers in a few seconds, problem could be the hdmi switch, my receiver has only two hdmi inputs, one dedicated to blu ray player leaving me no choice to use the hdmi for the rest devices.

Review Date: 07/20/10
Cons: the remote is kinda smalla little confusing to configure if you have a mac but WD support is there to help

Pros: Small, quiet, two usb ports so you can have more than one hard drive or usb wifi thing
Just Picked one of these up the other day. Had a little trouble setting up a sharing network on my mac, but WD has awesome support if you phone them within 30 days of purchase. So I have it hooked up with a d-link wireless N dual band network stick and the speed of the transfer rate is awesome no buffering. Sort of lags a little if you do like x16 fast forward on youtube, but other than that it plays almost all video types I need it too. Just make sure you get common file types like avi and mpeg not like mkv or whatever. Awesome device not bad for the price.

Review Date: 06/13/10
Cons: -Doesn't Support DVD Menus

Pros: -Cheap When On Sale-Plays Almost Any Video File
I have the original WDTV and have loved it ever since I first used it. This was for a friend and I had a chance to play around with it a bit while setting it up for him. Basically the same as the original except for the networking and YouTube access. We didn't have any issues with the network setup or stability. And a month later it hasn't dropped on him yet. The only small drawback is that there is no dvd menu support, it would be nice, but I wouldn't say it's a deal breaker. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a simple, easy to use and affordable media player.

Review Date: 06/10/10
Cons: Problems with some old AVI formats

Pros: Plays x264 and DivX formats
When you setup this device update  the firmware right away as mine was quite old. Easy to do over network unlike Asus O!Play Air which requires downloading from PC to USB key. GUI is easy to use and figure out. Plays HD videos flawlessly including extra subtitle and sound tracks. Had some problems playing some older camcorder AVI's from 3yrs ago but current x264 video is fine - strange. Doesn't play RMVB so not good for Asian content. Was easy to network on my Mac network and play all content on my Macs - HD content streams perfectly. I rarely use the USB port since I've networked the device but it does come in handy when we travel and want to bring the unit and a portable hard drive along. I like it more than the Asus O!Play Air which I also own.

Review Date: 05/27/10
Cons: Very few online content providers.

Pros: Ease of setup.Low cost.HD Support.Small size.
This unit was very easy to setup and get going. I bought it when it was one sale and it was definitely worth the money I paid. It connects to my home server with ease and so far has displayed anything I have thrown at it without any jitters.

Review Date: 05/20/10
Cons: File copy system is unintuitiveDVD menus are not supported

Pros: Plays back almost any media fileExcellent WiFi streaming (From DLNA/UPnP server) o 720p resolutionSimple to use
I currently own 2 WDTV's so obviously I'm a fan of these little boxes and I've found them to be an excellent buy.My network configuration may be helping me, as I've heard complaints of networking issues with the WDTV. Most of my network usage involves video streaming from my host server, which for me has been absolutely successful. I can stream any audio, or video content up to 720p from either of my boxes without any hiccup's or issues.My server is a dedicated unit, a Synology Disk station, with the DLNA service active, this allows me to easily browse my media library without having to worry about network shares. I simply browse the library and stream at will. Without the DLNA service I have a feeling my network experience would be a bit more negative, as copying files to/from the WDTV through the network is very buggy and prone to issues.Media support for the WDTV is excellent, it can play almost anything, minus some odd formats. I haven't really had anything that I couldn't play yet. The only negative to video playback is DVD images, the movie works, but the menu system does not.In the end I'd say this is a good buy, its very, very easy to use, I've given these out as birthday presents and people just rave about them because its plug and play, especially with the HDMI connection, set up is literally 15 seconds.

Review Date: 05/19/10
Cons: haven't used the network option, so cannot comment on this function. I have heard this is where it lacks though.

Pros: plays a whole host of files. Easy connect with external drive. HD movies seem to play fine....
Have this box hooked to HDTV and receiver. Plays lots of different files(avi,mkv etc) DTS from bluray movies works well with the receiver.
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Product Features

Product Specifications

Brand Western Digital
Interface USB 2.0
Features Full-HD video playback and navigation - up to 1080p

Play a wide variety of file formats

Play videos, music and photos from the Internet on your big screen TV

Access media files on your home network

WiFi Ready

Turn your USB drive into an HD media player

Play media seamlessly from multiple USB drives

Transfer files easily

Show photos and movies directly from your digital camera or video camera

HDMI 1.3, composite video and component video output

SPDIF digital output

Interface: Ethernet, HDMI, Composite A/V, Component video, USB 2.0

File Formats Supported:
Video - AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9
Playlist - PLS, M3U, WPL
Subtitle - SRT, ASS, SSA, SUB, SMI

- MPEG2 MP@HL up to 1920x1080p24, 1920x1080i30 or 1280x720p60 resolution.
- MPEG4.2 ASP@L5 up to 1280x720p30 resolution and no support for global motion compensation.
- WMV9/VC-1 MP@HL up to 1280x720p60 or 1920x1080p24 resolution. VC-1 AP@L3 up to 1920x1080i30, 1920x1080p24 or 1280x720p60 resolution.
- H.264 BP@L3 up to 720x480p30 or 720x576p25 resolution.
- H.264 MP@L4.1 and HP@4.1 up to 1920x1080p24, 1920x1080i30, or 1280x720p60 resolution.
- An audio receiver is required for multi-channel surround sound digital output.
- Compressed RGB JPEG formats only and progressive JPEG up to 2048x2048.
- Single layer TIFF files only.
- Uncompressed BMP only.
Package Contents HD Media Player
Compact remote with batteries
Composite AV cable
Component AV cable
AC adapter
Quick Install Guide
Manufacturer Warranty
Parts 1 year limited
Labor 1 year limited
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