Anyone use/try one of those WD Media Players?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by kjvi5, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. kjvi5 macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2007
    I have 2 ATV's now, and because of those I have all 200+ of my movies and kids movies in m4f format. I have an ATV that I use in my living room which I'm unhappy with right now because at whatever update point recently it lost the ability to stream movies effectively.

    I also have one in my bedroom that seems to work o.k. (presumably due to closer physical proximity to my router/imac).

    The DVD player in our other TV room recently crapped out. I'm not going to drop another 200+ dollars on another ATV especially given the issues I've been having lately. And rather than dropping $100 on a new dvd player I'd just assume spend the same amount (even less since I have some discounts/coupons to use) on another digital media player that can utilize my already digitized movies (I have them all on additional drives that I'd be able to plut into this).

    I'm just wondering if anyone has used one of these and if it plays M4v files or how it works?
  2. bt22 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    I don't have any experience with one of these but the WD website states it will play the following formats...

    File Formats Supported
    Music - MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV/PCM/LPCM, AAC, FLAC, Dolby Digital, AIF/AIFF, MKA
    Video -MPEG1/2/4, WMV9, AVI (MPEG4, Xvid, AVC), H.264, MKV, MOV (MPEG4, H.264),
    MTS, TP, TS
    Playlist - PLS, M3U, WPL
    Subtitle -SRT (UTF-8), SMI, SUB, ASS, SSA

    Hope this helps...

    You may already know, but i don't think this is going to play any protected material you have purchased from iTunes either music or movies...
  3. kjvi5 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Thanks. I saw that but got thrown because I wasn't sure if MPEG4 was the same as M4V. But I think it is.

    That's fine about the protected material. Most of my movies are m4v rips from dvd's using handbrake. And it will be in a room where I won't use it all that much. It's less weighing ATV verus this because I want to watch all my content as it is weighing a new dvd player versus this. And since I have all my movies ripped to digital files now and the dvd's are all boxed up in the basement....
  4. TheBeard macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2009
    Just a heads up...

    The WDTV is not network capable. It is strictly for plugging in a USB drive.

    Unless there is another Media device they have that I'm not aware of.
  5. kjvi5 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2007
    I know. In fact that's it's draw. I'm tired of the small storage and crappy network streaming on the ATV. I just want something that I can browse and which will play my digital file movies in a straightforward manner and not have to stream, or maintain the connect, etc.
  6. TheBeard macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2009
    Well, if you've got the extra drive... and you don't mind moving the drive back and forth whenever you want something new to watch...

    I was actually going to buy one, then did some hard thinking about how much I would regret it when I actually had to move the drive around on a regular basis. My wife finished off the argument for me... by agreeing with how much I would hate that.

    If it fits your needs, go for it. I have always trusted Western Digital.
  7. gigadigit macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2009
    WDTV can play dvd isos. It can even play some bluray isos.
    Also, you can get a usb network card and a hacked firmware to make it work.

    PopCorn Hour comes with the network card already built in but it's a little higher in price.
  8. mohanman macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2007
    Supposedly you can hack it so that you can use it as a network device. See avsforum for more details. I had one but returned it, its nice, but I didn't like a hard drive attached to it, and have to keep adding files to it. Right now I'm using my appletv in conjunction with TVIx.

    I also had popcorn hour, man that thing is ridiculous in terms of trying to get it work with a nice GUI.

    Anyway, I suggest holding off until "hopefully" apple releases an updated appletv.. its the best media device I have encountered over the years, and trust me I've played with everything (media center, sagetv, popcorn hour, tvix, xbox 360, ps3). I have them all!

  9. kjvi5 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Actually I'm a fairly obsessesive back up lunatic. So I have a 1.5 tb hard drive connected to my imac that has 220 movies, 30 or so tv episodes, and about 40,000 mp3s.

    Then I have a 1.5 tb drive that I use as my time machine drive.

    Then I have another 1.5 tb hard drive with the same contents in a fireproof box in my closet.

    Then I have a 250 gb back up drive with just the music and another 500 gb drive with just the movies.

    So yeah, due to my own neurosis and insanity I have the drives to spare that I could use for this. Which is why I've been considering it.
  10. TheBeard macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2009
    Here's hoping to a WWDC announced update!

    I'm holding off on buying an AppleTV until after Monday... just in case.
  11. kjvi5 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2007
    I would completely prefer that ATV work flawlessly. But that's just not happening for me. I liked the first enough to buy a second. But now they are just both working so poorly at streaming and with such small hard drives (I'm not an adept enough hacker to increase the size with what's required for that) they're almost unusable.
  12. mohanman macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2007
    Then something is wrong with your setup, because I have two for the past one year and haven't had a single problem whatsoever. In fact it is much more reliable than media center, sagetv, tvix or any of those. I didn't spend too much time with popcorn hour because it gave me a headache. GUI means a lot to me. I can't have my girlfriend comeover and use those things, appletv is the easiest for everyone to enjoy. Plus NONE of the above systems have music organized in such a manner with album art and stuff.. except for maybe media center. Popcorn hour is NOT for music, unless you want to spend hours up on hours of your life trying to figure out how to make it nice like some people out there. I prefer let the apple people do that and give me a simple to use device that does it all and isn't plagued by firmware updates and such.


  13. kjvi5 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2007
    My set up has not changed at all, which is why it's so darn perplexing. And if I didn't read about the same exact problems being had by a lot of other people, all coincidentally new over the past 1-2 months I'd definitely be wracking my brain trying to figure out what I did wrong or changed. But it's been nothing other than the updates Apple has put through.

    I'm going crazy here trying to get it to work well.
  14. mohanman macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2007
    Do you have a mac or windows machine?

  15. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004

    I have a WDTV. I got it for $99 at Best Buy the week it came out.

    The one thing to keep in mind is that the WDTV will play .m4v files but it will not currently allow you to FF or RW them. You just have to change the file extension from .m4v to .mp4 in the Finder in order to have FF and RW.

    I think the WDTV is a great little box for the price. I just came back from a 2 week vacation. I took the WDTV and a WD 500GB Passport Portable Drive with me. I had around 400 movies and 60 GBs of music which I plugged in to my friends' TV. This all fits in the space of a normal sized external 3.5" hard drive.

    My friends easily figured out the menu navigation on their own, I didn't have to explain anything.

    I have no regrets my purchase. Much better than my old system of burning AVIs to CDs and DVDs for my DIVX/DVD Player. The AppleTV never worked well at my home, too much interference and think walls.
  16. kjvi5 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2007
    I have a 20" Imac running the latest version of Leopard and I have an airport extreme router (not sure what version but it's only 6 months old). My entire system and network is Apple.
  17. bt22 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    Just curious what kind of wireless router are you using? I know you said nothing has changed, but I know a lot of people have had issues with their router causing connection problems. The reason I say this is my boss bought an AppleTV and used a Lynksys router with his and has lots of problems. My brother-in-law bought one and also used a Lynksys router and had lots of problems. I use an Apple router and have never had any problems with mine. My brother-in-law just bought a new dual band apple router and has not had any problems since. Both bought because i can't stop talking about how much i enjoy mine. I hate you are unhappy with yours especially since you have 2. you seem on top of things so please understand i am just curious and not implying you have not done your research.

  18. kjvi5 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2007
    I have an airport extreme router. And I also have an airport express base station plugged into the wall not 3 feet from the Apple TV.

    That's the thing. I have everything Mac and I'm not unaware of how things work or should work. It's definitely very strange.

    My latest attempt was to plug an ethernet cable from the airport express base station directly into the ATV. I realize it's still a wireless signal from my router upstairs to the base station downstairs but hopefully it gives it that little boost of connectivity. We'll see.

    I'm convinced that it does have something to do with the wireless signal since the one in my bedroom which is upstairs and closer to the router has had no issues at all. But the question is: what changed in the past month that muddied up the signal?
  19. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2007
    My .m4v's, which are hanbraked with the AppleTV preset which gives you both an AC3 and AAC stereo track, will not play sound unless I change the extension to .mp4. PIA

    I think this is one of the biggest downfalls of the WDTV, the navigation. If you want to use cover art it has to be very low rez or they won't show. Wonderful if you don't have a high def TV. Because I have a 46" LCD I had embedded hi rez art so it'll look the best on screen but WDTV cannot display it.

    I've regretted my purchase.
  20. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    I don't regret my purchase. It is the same chip as in the Popcorn Hour but at half the price. I prefer having the drives external as I have a few lying around. The value is in WD's commitment to updating the firmware and its player is the only one I can think of that supports HFS, so no reformatting needed and it seems to support one or two more formats than competing products, like the Sumvision Cyclone does.

    As mentioned, you can get it to network with hacked firmware if you need that, although there is also mention of an updated model in the pipeline which may have this incorporated. The only bugbear for me is that it seems to stay warm even when switched off, so probably best to detach the power cord if not being used for a while.

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