Western Digital TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by pulsewidth947, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    Anyone using a Western Digital TV yet? I wanted something to play media in my front room. I'd love a Mac Mini in there but I can't afford it.

    Apple TV is too limited for me, but this thing sounds great. £79.99 UKP, no network, but 2 USB ports and it plays almost anything. Sounds perfect.
  2. nordesmic macrumors member

    May 2, 2005
    Adelaide, Australia
    Yeah I bought one of these and am very happy with it. The main benefit for me was the playing of HD .mkv files. It plays everything I have on my 1 terabyte external drive. If you keep everything on the one drive it really isn't much of a hassle to move it between a computer and the TV, as opposed to streaming with the AppleTV.

    Very good interface and all around neat package.
  3. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    Great - I've seen a lot of people be negative about the lack of network on it. But for the price, it's fantastic. Is it really that much hassle to unplug your hard drive, take it to your mac and copy over content? I think not :)

    I've put my order in, now I have to play the waiting game. And decide what 1TB drive to get :)
  4. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Looks interesting, but it can't do video_ts folders, which would be almost a requirement for me if I were to go with something else.
  5. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    It can do video_ts, but not menus. There development team are working on firmware updates already, so menus maybe included in the future.
  6. Boise Jim macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2008
    Too limited. It doesn't have network capabilities, plus no component output (no HDMI here).
    It shows some promise, though.
  7. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    I bought one the weekend it came out for $99 at Best Buy. I use it in the bedroom. I don't know how I lived without it. And indeed, it does play _TS files, and even ISOs.
  8. mkubal macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    I bought one the day it came out and absolutely love it. It does exactly what I've been wanting a device to do for a long time now. I know many people love the bells and whistles with networking and youtube and whatever else, but I just wanted something that could play movies from a hard drive I plugged in. (The xbox 360 didn't cut it).

    This thing delivers. I suppose you could complain about the lack of networking, but that's just not what this device does and if someone wants that they'll have to find something else. No use complaining about a lack of networking. It does what it does and it does it really well. Take it or leave it.

    My only complaint so far is that it lacks support for subtitles that are embeded in mkv files. Other than that this device is awesome.
  9. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    I believe subtitles are the biggest issue at the minute. I naively had no idea so many people were interested in subtitles. However a couple of the big forums have had a product specialist for WD checking over the suggestions, and I think they are trying to sort out the major subtitle issues.

    I realise this unit may be too limited for some people, but for me I think it looks wonderful! No need for a computer or NAS to be on all the time. As I mentioned, streaming has never worked for me over wireless (buffers are never high enough to have glitch free playback). Also it's the first media thingy thats been in my price range (sub £100). If this hadn't come out I'd have looked for a second had Xbox to play my content :)
  10. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I didn't even get to the part about no component out after I saw that it didn't do video_ts with menus. If it had these 2 items I may be interested. I suppose since it does composite that it supports 4:3 tv's, which the :apple:TV does not do.
  11. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    Yeah I suppose if you don't have HDMI then it is fairly useless for you. I have a couple of music tuition dvds that would benefit from menus, but I'm just going to rip the individual elements that way it doesn't matter that I don't have menus. Also I'll save myself some HD space. Score.
  12. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Valid Point
    1. Video_TS menus problem isn't as bad as the problem not accessing DVD chapters. I don't care about menus if I can FF to the scene/song I want.
    As far as I know, subs and audio tracks can still be switched, but chapters are still a problem.

    2. No Component outputs
    Many people complain that the AppleTV has no composite outputs and no support for 4:3 TVs.

    This device will out 4:3 or 16:9 (still testing myself)

    Well this device has composite and HDMI, which makes it pretty much compatible with 99.99% of TVs built since the mid 1990s.

    And what is the AppleTV compatibility with TVs from the same time period?

    No device is going to please everybody, but for $99 on sale, this is pretty good. And it still hasn't even had it's first firmware update.

    Even if Apple comes out with a new improved AppleTV/MacMini or combo of them. I may just put this in my bedroom TV setup. No streaming/iTunes problems either.
  13. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    Mine should arrive today. Can't wait.

    Another advantage for me is I'm not locked into proprietary formats like Apple TV. You can't use other formats (xvid, mkv, etc) unless you unlock, which complicates things if you have to send it back. spacepower7 said it well "No device is going to please everybody, but for $99 on sale, this is pretty good. And it still hasn't even had it's first firmware update."

    I think the most perfect system would be a Mac Mini running plex, but I can't afford another Mini, and I don't want to move my current one downstairs just for watching TV.
  14. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Plex seems good so far, but I have barely played with it and I really need a manual to set i up properly, unlike and AppleTV or WDTV.

    Main options on WDTV (which we should refer to it as bc the MacRumors search engine can't find words less than 2 or 3? letters such as WD TV) is to decide how to navigate.

    Currently, I use the WDTV just for movies/TV shows. My music Library is way too large to navigate on WDTV or AppleTV. Without keyboard input I would spend more time scrolling than listening. Hint Apple (I already have the BT Keyboard)

    Glad I have an Airport Express for my music.

    When it comes to WDTV movie playback, I'm impressed. Not just the quality (supposedly it has the same decoder chips as in many Blu-Ray Players)

    But I shut off the WDTV on Thursday, turned it back on on Sunday, sorted thru my movies, picked the one I was watching on Thursday and it remembered exactly where I left off and asked me if I wanted to resume from that point.

    So far, not one single playback issue.

    And from what I have read that you can use it with a car adaptor if you have a built in car video system.
  15. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    Yeah Plex is complicated. You have to have all your media named in a specific way, to get the full benefit. I just like the way it'll download a synopsis of a TV show you have on your media drive.

    That's what I'd do - I don't want my music playing on my TV anyway as I can't afford proper speakers yet.

    Yes the resume feature is nice. I loved that about Front Row, until Apple broke it. Apparently it'll only resume if you do not unplug your drive before opening the file again. But that may change as the WDTV apparently leaves db files on your drives - it could be added that the current play point is added to these files.

    Really excited to get mine, but the postie didn't bring it today so I have to wait another 24 hours. :)
  16. awr macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2007
    i grabbed a WD TV the weekend it was released as well - it's great.

    i use it upstairs were i don't have an HDTV. all of my files are formatted for my Apple TV, so i don't really take advantage of its ability to handle different formats . . . but it's great to load up a pocket drive with some movies and TV shows and have it in the bedroom for viewing before sleep.

    i'm even considering this as a gift for a few people on my list - it really seems to fulfill alot of needs out there.:)
  17. MLC4SGR macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2008
    Will the WD product play existing Apple TV files?

    I.E. - 720HD AAC/AC3 mov files?
    anyone tried that one yet?

    Curious if you still get the 5.1
  18. staka69 macrumors member

    May 21, 2005
    Yeah but will it blend.

    I might have jumped all over it for my bedroom, but all is well with my appletv ever since I installed boxee and also have my usb hdd attached to it.

    Plus, the appletv hack community is doing a great job with the appletv.
  19. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    I've played 720p MKV and 1080p mp4.

    From my understanding/experience
    MKV with 5.1 AC3 will pass stereo out the analog and 5.1 out the optical.
    MKV with 5.1 DTS will not pass stereo out the analog, but will send DTS out the optical.

    Haven't tried a MOV with AAC/AC3 yet, but I would assume the AC3 will work out of the optical.

    Will try when I get time.

    And let's call this device WDTV so we can actually search the forums for info about it.
  20. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    If you have DTS mkv files, and access to windows, you can use the Popcorn Hour Media converter.

    Or if you are not afraid of Terminal you can do it within OS X. Here are the instructions
  21. TheZA macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2007
    I've had the WD player for a day and love it ($99 from NewEgg). As for networking, I bought a mini-DVI to HDMI converter and long HDMI and audio cables from Monoprice, and use my LCD TV as a monitor. Now there is nothing I can't do.
  22. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    Postie finally dropped off my WDTV! I cant believe how small this thing is!!! When I saw the box I thought damn thats small, then I found that it was at least an inch smaller than the box!

    Watched a couple of movies on it now. I love it. It's played 720p MKV (AC3 sound), Xvid, mp4. The menu is a bit sluggish, but thats the only complaint I have.
  23. TheZA macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2007
    Handbrake settings

    Anybody have any better suggestions than the Normal (default) for Handbrake settings when ripping a DVD movie for use on the WD Media Player? I've been using the Normal setting to create an mp4 and everything looks pretty good, but maybe it could be even better or more versatile. Typical movie file is about a gb. I did try the Apple TV setting to make an m4v but it wouldn't fast forward on the WD player.
  24. vadim.iablokov macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2007
    WD TV and DVI

    I have a older tv with only a DVI input. Has anyone successfully connected the WD TV to a DVI only tv? And if they did, how did they get the audio to work? Does the WD tv output from both the hdmi and component sources at the same time? I'll order one right now if someone can help me, this thing sounds amazing. I want it because I fear my macbook's processor is going to melt when I play .mkv HD movies. VLC takes up all my cpu's power and I fear for the longevity of my macbook.... Thanks to anyone who can help.
  25. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    Well providing you have an HDMI to DVI lead, you could just plug a cable from the white/red phono outputs to a set of speakers. That'd probably work. Haven't tried it though :)

    You might have to set your audio output in the settings.

    Few days later, few more videos watched. I still love this player :)

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