PDA

View Full Version : Western Digital TV Live




mscriv
Oct 14, 2009, 11:40 AM
It looks like Western Digital had updated it's Apple TV like device with a new version, the WD TV Live.

Western Digital announced Tuesday the launch of its new WD TV Live HD Media Player. The WD TV Live is an upgrade over the previous WD TV model, now adding Ethernet connectivity and digital theater sound to its extensive features. Available now for $149.99, the WD TV Live hopes to transform your television into a home media hub.

The concept remains the same: you plug the WD TV into a television set and any external hard drive. The WD TV is designed to take your media files from your external hard drive and play them on your TV. To that end, the WD TV Live is equipped with an HDMI port and a USB port. The device supports many different types of audio and video files, such as H.264, MKV, VIDEO_TS folders, and FLAC audio, and can play back HD video in full 1080p resolution.

Full story (http://www.macworld.com/article/143260/2009/10/wdtvlive.html)

Looks like a decent option that could be quick and easy.



spacepower7
Oct 14, 2009, 12:52 PM
I have the original but this one looks like a nice upgrade.

In their support articles they give a step by step guide for setting up streaming from a Mac running 10.5 and 10.6. You can use ethernet or an "approved" USB Wireless thingy.

ZachsMacDaddy
Oct 14, 2009, 12:53 PM
I'm glad I sold my WD TV before this came out. I would have taken a much bigger loss on it had I waited any longer.

gugy
Oct 14, 2009, 12:57 PM
Looks like a solid alternative to the old AppleTV.
But it seems does have many issues. Just go to AVSForum to see it.

But I have to say I am very temped to give a try. Best Buy sells it for $119 and that's not bad at all.

I rather have an Apple solution, but so far they dropped the ball big time on AppleTV. MacMini is nice but too overkill and $$$$ for what I need.

Tilpots
Oct 14, 2009, 03:43 PM
So could you plug an Elagato tuner into this and record OTA ATSC signals?

Also, it mentions it can view internet based programming. Does this require a full blown computer to be operating?

TuckBodi
Oct 14, 2009, 04:07 PM
I wonder if they updated their more than crappy interface. They've had several updates on the original WDTV but they've mainly been things which I consider should have been part of the release (i.e. srt support). Some of the things I've seen using the interface reminds me Windows because it's so arse backwards.

brmaki
Oct 14, 2009, 05:27 PM
Hmm, well I was definitely thinking about getting an Apple TV, but it would be nice to just be able to hook my external hard drive to this, instead of only having the storage that I'd get on an ATV. Anyone know what program I could use to rip DVDs to work with this device?

Dapness
Oct 14, 2009, 05:54 PM
If the UI was polished (doubt it) I think it would be a good deal. I gave the PS3 a try and returned it after 3 days due to the terrible UI. Although dated, thats where the Apple TV really shines in my opinion. My technology illiterate wife can navigate it with ease :)

KevinC867
Oct 14, 2009, 07:14 PM
Hmm, well I was definitely thinking about getting an Apple TV, but it would be nice to just be able to hook my external hard drive to this, instead of only having the storage that I'd get on an ATV. Anyone know what program I could use to rip DVDs to work with this device?

I use HandBrake - The same files I create to play on the AppleTV work great on the WDTV as well. The only quirk is that you get better playback features from the WDTV if you change the file name extension from m4v to mp4.

The WDTV is compatible with LOTS of video formats, so pretty much any ripping/encoding software/hardware should work. Besides HandBrake, I also use my WDTV with the high-def "m2ts" files generated by my Hauppauge HD-PVR. The HD movies captured from my DVR and Blu-Ray player look great played through the WDTV.

brmaki
Oct 14, 2009, 07:45 PM
I use HandBrake - The same files I create to play on the AppleTV work great on the WDTV as well. The only quirk is that you get better playback features from the WDTV if you change the file name extension from m4v to mp4.

That's good to know, I've been using Handbrake, but didn't see .m4v listed as a video type that would work with it under the specs. What settings have yielded good results as far as TV playback is concerned?

KevinC867
Oct 14, 2009, 10:52 PM
That's good to know, I've been using Handbrake, but didn't see .m4v listed as a video type that would work with it under the specs. What settings have yielded good results as far as TV playback is concerned?

I usually just use the Apple Universal preset.

BigAudio
Oct 14, 2009, 11:42 PM
I bought one monday, and I am returning it tomorrow. I have 2 Apple TV's, and I like to stay on top of these things.. It does play almost anything you throw at it. Even MKV files from a blu ray rip. Picture quality is pretty good.

Cons: HDMI only out of the box, you have to turn on the component video output with the menu

It doesnt see any of the metatag info in any of my M4V files.
Clunky, slow interface.
Fast forward or rewind didnt do anything on my files.
and skip forward and skip back, rather than going chapter by chapter, go title by title.
Live 365 internet radio stations. (some free, some pay)

Pro: Cheap. you can directly attach storage, and play media. It shows up on your network as an attached NAS, and you can move files back and forth.
You can run other DLNA server applications, like Play On, and then watch hulu, (slow to load, but looks good) CBS (same) ESPN (same) Netflix, (slow to load, and HORRIBLE quality)
Pandora

Thats all I can think of for now. No one has really hit the mark yet. I want to try a popcorn hour next..
Pandora

KevinC867
Oct 15, 2009, 12:06 AM
It doesnt see any of the metatag info in any of my M4V files.
...
Fast forward or rewind didnt do anything on my files.
and skip forward and skip back, rather than going chapter by chapter, go title by title.
...


Yeah, my WDTV doesn't do much with metadata. When I put the browser display in Thumbnail mode, it will display the cover art, but that's about it. But the browser is pretty slow at displaying the thumbnails, so I just use list mode instead.

It only barely tolerates Apple's ".m4v" file name extension. If you rename the files to ".mp4"s fast forward and rewind will work and skip will move you forward or back 10 minutes at a time during FF or RW.

I created a script to take care of the file names. The simple way is to just rename all the files to .mp4's. I got a little fancier and created a parallel media directory which just contains ".mp4" links to the ".m4v" files. That way I can use the drive either with the WDTV, or for streaming to the AppleTV.

The bottom line is that you need to be a little geekier to be happy with the WDTV than you do with the AppleTV. ;)

BigAudio
Oct 15, 2009, 01:56 AM
Yeah, my WDTV doesn't do much with metadata. When I put the browser display in Thumbnail mode, it will display the cover art, but that's about it. But the browser is pretty slow at displaying the thumbnails, so I just use list mode instead.

It only barely tolerates Apple's ".m4v" file name extension. If you rename the files to ".mp4"s fast forward and rewind will work and skip will move you forward or back 10 minutes at a time during FF or RW.

I created a script to take care of the file names. The simple way is to just rename all the files to .mp4's. I got a little fancier and created a parallel media directory which just contains ".mp4" links to the ".m4v" files. That way I can use the drive either with the WDTV, or for streaming to the AppleTV.

The bottom line is that you need to be a little geekier to be happy with the WDTV than you do with the AppleTV. ;)


Seeing as I sell and recommend these type devices, I am sticking with the apple tv for now.

KevinC867
Oct 15, 2009, 11:38 AM
Seeing as I sell and recommend these type devices, I am sticking with the apple tv for now.

I have and use them both. I love the interface on the AppleTV, so that makes it my preferred device for what it is capable of. More than anything, I use it for playing music, controlled remotely with the iPhone app - brilliant!

Unfortunately,the limitations of the AppleTV mean it can't be my only media player. There are just too many video formats it can't handle. I have also found its lack of composite outputs to be limiting. The WDTV (along with a small 500GB media drive) is the perfect thing to bring on a vacation - often in places without HDTVs.

aristobrat
Oct 15, 2009, 11:44 AM
Unfortunately,the limitations of the AppleTV mean it can't be my only media player.
Same here. My Samsung TV has a media player built-in (that you can connect USB drives to), so I mostly use that now for anything Video, and the AppleTV for Music + Pictures.

pmcdunnough
Oct 16, 2009, 01:28 AM
I have and use them both. I love the interface on the AppleTV, so that makes it my preferred device for what it is capable of. More than anything, I use it for playing music, controlled remotely with the iPhone app - brilliant!

Unfortunately,the limitations of the AppleTV mean it can't be my only media player. There are just too many video formats it can't handle. I have also found its lack of composite outputs to be limiting. The WDTV (along with a small 500GB media drive) is the perfect thing to bring on a vacation - often in places without HDTVs.

Which limitations are you thinking of? I have an ATV, WD Live and Asus O!Play on my TV (it's a long story :) ). The ATV really shines compared to the other two. Of course if HD video from a variety of places is your aim then the Apple TV isn't suitable. 720p main profile is really nice but if you are into .mkv things and have no control over how you get it then the ATV won't do.

Mind you, the prices of these things kind of make them throw away items (not the ATV but the other two). Wish they had been purchased from places with reasonable return policies but that's the risk I took for the price.

philip

mscriv
Oct 16, 2009, 07:49 AM
Same here. My Samsung TV has a media player built-in (that you can connect USB drives to), so I mostly use that now for anything Video, and the AppleTV for Music + Pictures.

Which Samsung TV do you have? What file types can be played on the built in media player? With the pace of technology today it probably won't be long until most TV's have built in players and network connections standard.

aristobrat
Oct 16, 2009, 08:17 AM
Which Samsung TV do you have? What file types can be played on the built in media player? With the pace of technology today it probably won't be long until most TV's have built in players and network connections standard.
Looking at their website, it's available on "Available on 2009 Samsung Plasma and LCD Series 6 (650 models) and above, and LED Series 7 models and above. "

It supports quite a few formats. On the link below, click the top FAQ entry. It's about a page worth of stuff, otherwise I'd just repost it:
http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/learningresources/medi2.0/usb_faq.html

The interface is utilitarian and it doesn't appear to do anything with metadata, but for free, I've been happy that it's been able to play any file I've given it, including the mkv's that my AppleTV stutters on. :)

jamerican
Oct 16, 2009, 10:39 AM
Hmm, well I was definitely thinking about getting an Apple TV, but it would be nice to just be able to hook my external hard drive to this, instead of only having the storage that I'd get on an ATV. Anyone know what program I could use to rip DVDs to work with this device?

I use MacTheRipper with DVD2OneX and/or through VMWare, AnyDVD and Clone DVD2.:o

MagicWok
Oct 16, 2009, 11:42 AM
Should be good.

Looking at this budget WDTV Live, or reaching into my wallet further and getting the Popcorn Hour C-200 recently released also. Both are very appealing, for different reasons.

I do like how both support so many different formats though, and is updated frequently by their respective makers.

Hopefully make my mind up over the weekend.

milbournosphere
Oct 16, 2009, 02:34 PM
I have and use them both. I love the interface on the AppleTV, so that makes it my preferred device for what it is capable of. More than anything, I use it for playing music, controlled remotely with the iPhone app - brilliant!

Kevin, I am getting an iPhone on Tuesday, and one of the features I am looking forward to is using the device as a remote for my ATV. However, I just thought of something. What Apple TV firmware version is required to take advantage of the Remote app? I am still using 1.1 as I do not like the look and feel of Take 2 and later. Has anyone had a problem using the app on older firmware versions?

KevinC867
Oct 16, 2009, 03:06 PM
Kevin, I am getting an iPhone on Tuesday, and one of the features I am looking forward to is using the device as a remote for my ATV. However, I just thought of something. What Apple TV firmware version is required to take advantage of the Remote app? I am still using 1.1 as I do not like the look and feel of Take 2 and later. Has anyone had a problem using the app on older firmware versions?

I'm pretty sure the remote app won't work with the 1.1 ATV firmware. I think it needs to be a relatively recent release - maybe something like 2.2.

milbournosphere
Oct 16, 2009, 03:24 PM
Okay, thanks. Looks like I'll end up having to upgrade. Darn. I was hoping it'd be okay, but I couldn't find any concrete specs on the Remote app anywhere.

jim.arrows
Oct 16, 2009, 05:28 PM
Should be good.

Looking at this budget WDTV Live, or reaching into my wallet further and getting the Popcorn Hour C-200 recently released also. Both are very appealing, for different reasons.

I do like how both support so many different formats though, and is updated frequently by their respective makers.

Unlike ATV. :mad:

Macnificant
Dec 25, 2009, 02:37 PM
I'm glad I sold my WD TV before this came out. I would have taken a much bigger loss on it had I waited any longer.

What is the difference between the WD TV and WD TV Live other the the Live has access the youtube and other sites?

What does Live do the WD TV doesnt?


I am considering the WD TV fo the ability to take movies and TV shows from my external hard drive and play on big screen tv.

Any feedback would be appreciated

KevinC867
Dec 27, 2009, 10:54 AM
What is the difference between the WD TV and WD TV Live other the the Live has access the youtube and other sites?


The big difference is that you must connect your media drive directly to the WDTV. The WDTV Live can use your computer network to stream content from a shared drive connected to your computer (or a networked storage device). Also, if you do attach a drive to the WDTV Live, you can access it remotely from your computer and add content to it without removing it from the WDTV.

MowingDevil
Dec 28, 2009, 03:30 AM
Wow, glad I read this thread. I've been waiting for Apple to include 1080p capabilities in the TV for ages to no avail. I was on the verge of picking up the WD unit...w/o being aware my TV can do the media thing w/o it since I've got the 7 series. Sweet!
I'd still rather have an updated ATV but in the meantime this is perfect.

Does Apple not realize an updated ATV will boost iTunes sales? Get on w/ it already.