WDTV Sucks - ATV wins Hands down

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by GRuizMD, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. GRuizMD macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007
    Got an WDTV to accompany my ATV in another room with the idea of a no hassle movie playback with no network issues etc.

    The WDTV is unreliable as it can be, his response is non consistent, and I wasted 12 hours of my life going in the net trying to figure out what the problem was.

    It did not play any of my HB encoded movies that play perfectly on the ATV. For those that may want to know, Yes I checked and the codecs are supposed to be supported.

    Even worse, It failed to respond consistently in reading the Hard-drive attached, a My book 500gB. and I also changed the formatting.

    This machine behave like the worst of the PC/MS nightmares, slow, non consistent response, impossible to troubleshoot because its failures were not reproducible, and a total lack of support in the forums and by the manufacturer.

    The ATV may have its quirks, but at least they are consistent.

    This WDTV was repacked and sent back to the retailer.

    Thanks for listening. Rant is over...
  2. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    I've had the opposite experience with the WDTV...

    I wanted a media player to take to our vacation cottage to play my media on our standard definition TV there. The lack of SD support on the AppleTV meant that was a no-go - also the small internal hard drive and the lack of support for an attached drive. (Setting up a wireless network in the cottage to stream from my laptop was a hassle I didn't need.)

    The WDTV worked great for this application. I just brought a small 500 GB hard drive and the WDTV and I was all set. The user interface is nowhere near as nice as the Apple TV's, but it was very functional and I didn't experience any glitches. I did need to rename my HandBraked ".m4v" files to ".mp4" files to get full featured playback with fast-forward, etc. There are a variety of tools which can make this step very easy. An added bonus is that the WDTV will also play lots of other formats, including mkv, m2ts, and VIDEO_TS folders. It even plays 1080P files with no problem.

    At home, the AppleTV is still my preference for the content it can play. However, it's great to have the WDTV for other content and for traveling.
  3. GRuizMD thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007
    That piece of *rap I bought never worked, not a single video played, either it gave me a Unsupported format message, or a black screen or a "there are no files in this Drive" message in a very random fashion, with no logic whatsoever,

    A couple of times the movie played, and then I turn it off, and on again and then the messages again.

    Maybe mine was a defective unit, but I got so frustrated that probably will not want to get a replacement and troubleshoot during the rest of the weekend.
  4. GRuizMD thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007
    were your movies encoded with handbrake? I encoded mine with the ATV preset and added subtitles SRT with subbler on a few of them.

    Nobody seems to have an answer...

    You are my only hope to find a solution.
  5. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    Yes, most of my movies were encoded with HandBrake. I use the "Universal" preset. The ".m4v" files from HandBrake played OK on the WDTV, but for some reason, you can't do things like fast-forward unless the files are renamed to ".mp4" files.
  6. BORIStheBLADE macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2008
    I wonder if the new WDTV with ethernet will be better?

    Probably should have got a Popcorn Hour.
  7. richorlin macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007

    No...probably should have gotten an AppleTV and ATVFlash.
  8. donster28 macrumors 68000

    Oct 5, 2006
    Great White North
    Posted this on another thread as an advice to a poster. I thought I post it here to show my love to th ATV.

    I understand that you want your movies in ATV, but...

    ...why don't you just save your movies to an external hard drive (in APT format/m4v), connect it to your mac, run itunes and point it to the movies/library and "stream' them to your ATV. If you want to listen to your music through your audio receiver, which I assume your ATV is connected to, just turn on "Airtunes" in iTunes and stream them to your ATV too. This way, you don't have to worry about your library expanding. You can just buy another external hard drive to accomodate more. This will futureproof your collection without figuring out how to upgrade your ATV's hard drive. Just leave it as is. I bought the lowest model (40gig) and I'm happy with it.

    I've been doing this for a while now seamlessly. I have 50+ of my Blurays and HD-DVDs ripped to an external hard drive along with regular movie DVDs that aren't available in hidef yet and let me tell you, nothing beats the ATV and I tried the rest. I even have my movies organized, complete with artwork. And one cool tidbit for you: ATV labels my bluray and hd-dvd rips as 'HD' automatically...now that's smart I think.

    If you have an iPhone, download the 'Remote' app and control your ATV using gestures...I can't even describe how awesome this is. Everytime, I feel like Tony Stark.

    In addition, and I can also bring my portable external hard drive on the road and connect it to a friend's mac and play the movies. I recommend a 500 or higher Seagate FreeAgent Go...this thing is cute.
  9. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
  10. mddharma macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2005
    Hagerstown, Md
    4 months plus on mine and all is well...

    I have had no problems with my WDTV and I have two 1TB drives hooked up to it. All of our movies in the last 2 month were ripped with MakeMKV which is a lossless format.

    For the money, and the speed of ripping my DVD's with MakeMKV I am quite satisfied with it. :)

    Now it Apple comes out with a new unit that recognizes MKV's - I will take another look.
  11. BORIStheBLADE macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2008
    Man... All they have to do is let the Atv they have out right now play .MKV. I've been using MakeMKV for a while and love it.
  12. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2007
    Because "richorlin" is trying to get somebody to buy something which is free and better.

    To the OP:

    I have both the ATV and WDTV and I hear your pain. I know the WDTV has had issues with subtitles and just doesn't like the default ATV format of .m4v so you have to change them to .mp4. There's a wiki which has links to newer beta's and other info you may want to check out. Yeah, my WDTV is gathering dust as I only use it every now and then but for what you need it for it may be a good alternative.
  13. TheZA macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2007
    Interesting. I haven't had any of those problems with WDTV. I've encoded a number of things and they have all played. MakeMKV, iSquint, Handbrake with various settings, ripped MTR files. I've standardized to going to mp4 with Handbrake on the normal setting, and tagging a tumbnail with MetaX. Just got back from a week of vacation where I took the WDTV. I could show the relavatives all the home movies, slideshows, and a ton of movies easily transported and with composite connections to several TVs. And I don't consider myself that tech savy. I guess I'll have to give myself more credit.
  14. Thomss macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2008
    First bad report I've heard about this item.
    I know loads of people that have them, and they seem to play anything chucked at them. Playing back from anything from a usb memory stick, to 1TB drives.
  15. gan6660 macrumors 65816


    Aug 18, 2008
    I have a question is the best setting in handbrake the universal setting? This seems to allow me to watch my movies on my ipod and MBP and have no loss of quality on the MBP. If I purchase an apple tv can I use these to watch on that?
  16. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Yes the Universal preset works just fine on the appletv.
  17. newcronos macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2009
    I've never had any bad experience with my WDTV.

    The only negative thing I can say about my WDTV is that it takes a very long time to recognize the external drive after I plugged it in. This may be firmware related though, of which I'm too lazy to update from the stock one, so I won't complain about it.

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