Western Digital TV Live

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mscriv, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #1
    It looks like Western Digital had updated it's Apple TV like device with a new version, the WD TV Live.


    Full story


    Looks like a decent option that could be quick and easy.
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #2
    Nice Upgrade

    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.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #3
    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.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors 601

    Tilpots

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #5
    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?
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors member

    brmaki

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #7
    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?
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #8
    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 :)
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors member

    brmaki

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #10
    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?
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #11
    I usually just use the Apple Universal preset.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    #12
    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
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #13
    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. ;)
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    #14

    Seeing as I sell and recommend these type devices, I am sticking with the apple tv for now.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #15
    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.
     
  16. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    #17
    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
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #18
    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.
     
  19. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #19
    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. :)
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    #20
    I use MacTheRipper with DVD2OneX and/or through VMWare, AnyDVD and Clone DVD2.:eek:
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #22
    Quick Aside...

    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?
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #23
    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.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #25
    Unlike ATV. :mad:
     

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