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jrm27
Nov 12, 2010, 10:00 AM
Hi all,

I am trying to help my buddy with a solution for a tv in his kid's room. Kids are notoriously bad to DVD's and a few of his kid's favorite movies are now scratched beyond repair as she just snags them when she wnts to watch them. I suggested he get a little hard drive and rip his daughter's movies to it. Then he can hook up that hard drive to something like the WD HDTV and plug it into her tv. Then, there's no need for the DVD's to be out, and all her movies are right there.

So.. question. I currently do something similar as I have ripped nearly my entire dvd collection to a hard drive I use with my netbook (running osx) while traveling. I use Handbrake to rip my movies and they play fine. However, I've not interfaced with something like the wd hdtvbefore.

Will the WD HDTV accept mac hard drive formatting, or does it need to be FAT32? Also, can the WD HDTV read ISO files? If space isn't a concern for him (which I dont think it will be), it would just be faster to rip the ISO files and put them on the hard drive.... Thanks for any tips!

(oh, since he doesnt have internet at his house, or even a home computer, I think getting an apple TV wouldnt be the best solution... hopefully a standalone unit like the wd product can do the job!)

-jon



WiiDSmoker
Nov 12, 2010, 10:25 AM
I know that the WDTV Live Plus reads DVD ISOs and worked flawlessly with them, including full menu support.

Check their website

ftaok
Nov 12, 2010, 10:29 AM
(oh, since he doesnt have internet at his house, or even a home computer, I think getting an apple TV wouldnt be the best solution... hopefully a standalone unit like the wd product can do the job!)

-jon

If he doesn't have a home computer, how would he rip the DVDs? Does he have a work computer that he uses for this?

Not sure if the WDTV can play ISOs, but I think there are other streamers that do, like Popcorn Hour.

Here's an alternative. I like to rip DVDs and then burn them back to a DVD-5 as a movie-only disc. We take these along with us on road trips. Just put the disc in and it plays right away. No need to mess with the previews and ads. Of course, you'd need a computer (or access to one) to do this. This way, the originals stay nice and safe.

I also agree that the AppleTV isn't for him. You need an internet connection and a computer for full functionality. If the WDTV does ISOs, then this would be up his alley.

danny_w
Nov 12, 2010, 10:55 AM
Yes the WDTV Live+ can do everything you need and more. If you can find the original WDTV (not Live of Live+) this might even be better because it is cheaper and does not have ethernet that he won't need. The menu structure on the WDTV is crude compared to an :apple:TV but it is definitely workable and very simple (file structure format); I have both but use the WDTV for movies and the :apple:TV only for music. For the price it is difficult to beat. The Popcorn Hour or other such streamers would be overkill for this situation, and would cost considerable more. You should be able to find an original WDTV on CraigsList for about $50-$60.

mike457
Nov 12, 2010, 11:15 AM
Yes, it will use an Apple-formatted hard drive. If I remember the instructions correctly, there is a preference for non-journaled.

I would suggest that ripping the disk and running the files through Handbrake is preferable to ISO format. You get rid of all the stupid compulsory extras. they drive me nuts! The WDTV does support chapters, multiple soundtracks, and subtitles.

jrm27
Nov 12, 2010, 12:02 PM
Thanks all. It sounds like one of these wdtv things will do the job just perfectly then! I wonder if he could find an older one.. it even looks like there is a "mini" one too... cool.

Re his home computer... he has a macbook pro that he uses at both work and home. There's jsut nothing setup permanently at home to set up to stream from.

-jon

iowamensan
Nov 12, 2010, 02:00 PM
I got a refurb WDTV from eCost.com for $35