Why I ditched my Jailbroken Apple TV for a WDTV Live

djrobsd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 2, 2008
797
7
Don't get me wrong, I will still use my AppleTV when I want to do AirPlay Mirroring, but if you're someone who downloads movies and TV shows from sites other then Apple's over-priced iTunes mess, even with a Jailbroken Apple TV you will not always be happy.

Lately, pretty much every movie I've downloaded constantly says "buffering" or won't play on XBMC on my jailbroken 1st gen AppleTV. Forget 1080p, those don't work, but even the 720p movies I download have issues... It used to work really well, but these days it just doesn't work, so that's why I finally decided to go with a WDTV Live.

Hands down, the WDTV live runs circles around the Apple TV. So far, it has played every single file I've thrown at it. It has a remote app for the iPad/iPhone just like the Apple Remote. It has a LOT more options for online services, including Spotify and FacebooK! AND it has 2 USB ports on it so I can plug a memory stick or an external drive in on the fly and play whatever I want to play from it.

It even plays files off my NetGear ReadyNAS Duo just perfectly. A 2 hour movie only rebuffered once on my 802.11n Wifi network. If I didn't live in apartment building with 30 other wireless routers, it probably would never have to rebuffer.

So, if you're having issues playing back files, or just tired of constantly having to tinker with your AppleTV to get stuff to play back, and you're not one of those Apple brainwashed people who has to buy everything in iTunes, I'd STRONGLY recommend you look at the WDTV Live for $99 bucks as an alternative to AppleTV. Don't get me wrong, I'll still use my AppleTV for Airplay mirroring, but as a go to device to play all my media, it totally sucks.
 

Dorfdad

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2007
405
2
mehh WD isn't that good and new features never come. You never good firmware updates that do anything and are forced to upgrade to a new one to get any new features. I prefer the boxee box or a Roku.. both do tons more..

PS if you have an applt TV3 like I do as well just use PLEX and all will work fine for 85% of the users out there.
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,498
9
Hamilton, Ontario
Don't get me wrong, I will still use my AppleTV when I want to do AirPlay Mirroring, but if you're someone who downloads movies and TV shows from sites other then Apple's over-priced iTunes mess, even with a Jailbroken Apple TV you will not always be happy.

Lately, pretty much every movie I've downloaded constantly says "buffering" or won't play on XBMC on my jailbroken 1st gen AppleTV. Forget 1080p, those don't work, but even the 720p movies I download have issues... It used to work really well, but these days it just doesn't work, so that's why I finally decided to go with a WDTV Live.

Hands down, the WDTV live runs circles around the Apple TV. So far, it has played every single file I've thrown at it. It has a remote app for the iPad/iPhone just like the Apple Remote. It has a LOT more options for online services, including Spotify and FacebooK! AND it has 2 USB ports on it so I can plug a memory stick or an external drive in on the fly and play whatever I want to play from it.

It even plays files off my NetGear ReadyNAS Duo just perfectly. A 2 hour movie only rebuffered once on my 802.11n Wifi network. If I didn't live in apartment building with 30 other wireless routers, it probably would never have to rebuffer.

So, if you're having issues playing back files, or just tired of constantly having to tinker with your AppleTV to get stuff to play back, and you're not one of those Apple brainwashed people who has to buy everything in iTunes, I'd STRONGLY recommend you look at the WDTV Live for $99 bucks as an alternative to AppleTV. Don't get me wrong, I'll still use my AppleTV for Airplay mirroring, but as a go to device to play all my media, it totally sucks.

my friend has one and yes they are nice for your avis and such that don play in iTunes, nice Plex like look to the menus but my friend complains it often does weird things like if he's in a folder it will bounce him back to the main screen, won't show files in some folders even though the files are still there,
 

djrobsd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 2, 2008
797
7
mehh WD isn't that good and new features never come. You never good firmware updates that do anything and are forced to upgrade to a new one to get any new features. I prefer the boxee box or a Roku.. both do tons more..

PS if you have an applt TV3 like I do as well just use PLEX and all will work fine for 85% of the users out there.
Yeah, but you have to do a tethered boot, so any time there's a glitch which causes the AppleTV to reboot... you gotta hook it back up to your computer. No thanks.

----------

my friend has one and yes they are nice for your avis and such that don play in iTunes, nice Plex like look to the menus but my friend complains it often does weird things like if he's in a folder it will bounce him back to the main screen, won't show files in some folders even though the files are still there,
I'm sure it's not perfect. The navigation/menu is not as good as the AppleTV is, but the fact that it just plays my stuff without too much fuss is the deal winner for me.
 

geiger167

macrumors newbie
Jan 26, 2006
26
0
I had the opposite experience, coming from WD Live to atv3. I had so many issues with files not playing due to folder rights and problems connecting drives to my WD Live, that I gave it away to my nephew lol (who sold it to CEX lol)
With my ATV I either convert my movies to M4v files (which is just an extra step in my workflow) or airplay it from my ipad. Had no issues at all with the apple, no wifi issues, netflix is better on it as as well for me.
It's not perfect of course, content in Uk from apple is a bit crap, and I've had issues with Apple trying to pass off 720p content as 1080p content when I have purchased movies (issues which they resolved by refunding me and giving me show credits) But on the whole, my experience on ATV has been very easy without any of the issues I had with the WD live :)
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,498
9
Hamilton, Ontario
I had the opposite experience, coming from WD Live to atv3. I had so many issues with files not playing due to folder rights and problems connecting drives to my WD Live, that I gave it away to my nephew lol (who sold it to CEX lol)
With my ATV I either convert my movies to M4v files (which is just an extra step in my workflow) or airplay it from my ipad. Had no issues at all with the apple, no wifi issues, netflix is better on it as as well for me.
It's not perfect of course, content in Uk from apple is a bit crap, and I've had issues with Apple trying to pass off 720p content as 1080p content when I have purchased movies (issues which they resolved by refunding me and giving me show credits) But on the whole, my experience on ATV has been very easy without any of the issues I had with the WD live :)
i was the same i have a Iomega Media Player that has a 1TB drive and it plays any format but its just that a media player doesn't have any bling i had no issues converting over 300 AVIs to MP4/M4V added all my tags with identity and i love my ATV3. At first my attitude was much like the OP i didn't want to have to convert my files but the ATV is a much more enjoyable media box, plus cant wait for ML mirroring
 

djrobsd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 2, 2008
797
7
I had the opposite experience, coming from WD Live to atv3. I had so many issues with files not playing due to folder rights and problems connecting drives to my WD Live, that I gave it away to my nephew lol (who sold it to CEX lol)
With my ATV I either convert my movies to M4v files (which is just an extra step in my workflow) or airplay it from my ipad. Had no issues at all with the apple, no wifi issues, netflix is better on it as as well for me.
It's not perfect of course, content in Uk from apple is a bit crap, and I've had issues with Apple trying to pass off 720p content as 1080p content when I have purchased movies (issues which they resolved by refunding me and giving me show credits) But on the whole, my experience on ATV has been very easy without any of the issues I had with the WD live :)
Hmm, interesting, I've never had any issues with folder rights. Then again, my home wireless network is completely locked down, so my security "inside" my network is a little lax, i.e. I allow read only anonymous access to my videos folder on my Netgear ReadyNAS Duo, so that way I don't have to worry about folder permissions when accessing it from my devices.

I would prefer not to have to convert anything, it's VERY time consuming even on my 2011 Macbook Pro, HandBrake can take upwards of an hour to convert a movie, usually longer then it took for me to download it. Also, there's a slight loss in quality whenever you re-encode something, so I prefer to just download and play it. Last but not least, don't forget how much wear and tear you're putting on your computer converting, generally maxes out the CPU, generating heat, and shortening the life of all your components, as well as wearing out the fans faster since they run non stop generally when converting a video, even on a 2011 Macbook Pro. :)
 

WannaGoMac

macrumors 68020
Feb 11, 2007
2,362
3,096
I wish there was a reliable good device that I could install plex or Xbmc. I tried roku 2 and plex is too buggy on it still and roku was crashing too. Boxee is too expensive for what it is. Looks htpc is still the bst way to go...
 

321estrellas

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2007
253
30
Currently I use Plex on my ATV2 - I love it and my dad loves it. But in a few months, I'm moving out with my Mac Pro which hosts the Plex Media Server. My dad's laptop and desktop are both not fast enough for that. So I decided to buy him a WD TV Live so it can read off an external hard drive.

For someone a little more techie like me I think I wouldn't mind it, but for my dad I think he'll like the ATV interface better. Also when I plugged in an external hard drive to the WDTV, it seemed like it takes a while to read the movie files completely. It didn't stop saying "searching" (or whatever it says) but I went ahead to the Files menu and they were all there anyway. But they all played fine.

I don't like how WDTV just lists the file names. I really really like Plex's interface and if WDTV had a Plex app, my vote would go to the WDTV.
 

TuckBodi

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2007
389
0
I had the old WD TV and hated it. Crappy interface and buggier than hell. I hacked it with a different firmware (fixed some of the bugs WD wouldn't fix and changed the UI a little) but I still didn't like it. Mainly because of network issues I finally threw it in the corner.

I've had an ATV1 & ATV2 from almost day one they came out. For the ATV1, getting a CrystalHD card ($25 when I bought mine) is the way to go and then use Crystalbuntu, which is free, and boots you into XBMC. You can try it out by booting off of a 4gb flash stick (actually runs ok) or run the installer to convert the internal drive to boot directly. With the Crystal card, you can play 1080p movies. Lastly, throw Metropolis and one of Amra's themes on there, and you're rockin'. I run all my media off my Synology NAS with no problems.

And when the ATV3 get jailbroken? There's the fake site out there but unless I missed something, nothing from pod2g or musclenerd yet...
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,498
9
Hamilton, Ontario
Currently I use Plex on my ATV2 - I love it and my dad loves it. But in a few months, I'm moving out with my Mac Pro which hosts the Plex Media Server. My dad's laptop and desktop are both not fast enough for that. So I decided to buy him a WD TV Live so it can read off an external hard drive.

For someone a little more techie like me I think I wouldn't mind it, but for my dad I think he'll like the ATV interface better. Also when I plugged in an external hard drive to the WDTV, it seemed like it takes a while to read the movie files completely. It didn't stop saying "searching" (or whatever it says) but I went ahead to the Files menu and they were all there anyway. But they all played fine.

I don't like how WDTV just lists the file names. I really really like Plex's interface and if WDTV had a Plex app, my vote would go to the WDTV.
You should be able to change the view my friends wd tv looks almost the same as plex, cover art all the details and background images that change
 

sim667

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2010
1,371
2,881
I use plex on a jailbroken atv and i only ever have problems with channels...... vids and music work fine.

I dont do tethered boot either, both mine are untethered.

They both work pretty well, there's one which likes a hard reset about once a month....... If apple brought out an apple tv with an app store, and plex came out on that, id be all over it.

After a new macbook, my plan is to try and get a plex server running on nas rather than my mac pro.
 

djrobsd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 2, 2008
797
7
I use plex on a jailbroken atv and i only ever have problems with channels...... vids and music work fine.

I dont do tethered boot either, both mine are untethered.

They both work pretty well, there's one which likes a hard reset about once a month....... If apple brought out an apple tv with an app store, and plex came out on that, id be all over it.

After a new macbook, my plan is to try and get a plex server running on nas rather than my mac pro.
That's a great plan, I thought about doing that myself. My Samsung TV actually has a 3rd party Plex app that I got, but it requires the Plex server to be running on my MacBook Pro. I thought it would be nice to run Plex on my NAS, and then I did the research and found that to do the trans coding of the video you need a NAS that has a newer dual core CPU, like these ones here:

http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-ReadyNAS-Diskless-Attached-RNDP400U/dp/B004AM61Y8

http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Ready...d=1339523939&sr=1-1&keywords=readynas+ultra+2


The Ultra 2, 4, and 6 plus from NetGear have a dual core Intel CPU. I suspect a few other companies are making ones with dual core now that could handle either Plex or XBMC server running on them natively.

Anyone else have good suggestions for NAS that can run Plex without having to have it on a media center PC or server?
 

maturola

macrumors 68040
Oct 29, 2007
3,863
1
Atlanta, GA
Anyone else have good suggestions for NAS that can run Plex without having to have it on a media center PC or server?
Synology, QNAP or ReadyNAS x86 based NAS will run Plex (with some work), but to be honest, it is cheaper and easier to build a HTPC with NAS support (if you still need the NAS feature to serve other devices, computer, etc). Last one I build was around $500, with 4TB of storage, full HD output (3D Support as well) + HD Audio support and servicing 1 additional Roku box and 2 ATVs.
 

JST

macrumors newbie
Feb 23, 2010
4
0
Roku 2 is currently the best option. I am using a wired setup and it is just a blast to use it. Sold my Apple TV on e-Bay...

Hmmm, I am surprised to hear that Plex isn't working for some folks on Roku 2. It works great for me. Are you using a specific format that might cause an issue?
 

djrobsd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 2, 2008
797
7
Roku 2 is currently the best option. I am using a wired setup and it is just a blast to use it. Sold my Apple TV on e-Bay...

Hmmm, I am surprised to hear that Plex isn't working for some folks on Roku 2. It works great for me. Are you using a specific format that might cause an issue?
I like the Roku boxes, but they don't have any USB ports so no hooking external drives up - a deal breaker for me.

----------

You should be able to change the view my friends wd tv looks almost the same as plex, cover art all the details and background images that change
Yes, ditto that, the WDTV does load all the cover art and descriptions from various online databases - you just have to configure it first, and it does take a while if you have a large drive full of stuff... But then again so did XBMC and Plex.
 

Tekkster

macrumors newbie
Apr 1, 2008
17
0
No one likes the MacMini idea anymore?

This idea seems to have disappeared by the wayside. But whatever happened to attaching a MacMini to a TV and running a Plex client or other client or even iTunes as a client to another iTunes home share idea?

I do that now, and yes, it's a bit of a paid sometimes to keep the updates going and all, but other than that, it's fun and pretty flexible. A refurbed MacMini is still plenty powerful to run video clients and you can get one for $300 on some sites. ATV, WD, Seagate, and Roku may all be cheaper, but the flexibility of the MacMini is kinda nice.

*caveat: as I mention this, I kinda laugh at myself because my MacMini just died this week, and since I had a spare iPad2 lying around, I just got an ATV3, run Plex on the iPad2, and send everything over via Airplay. resolution is only soso, and sound is only soso...but it still looks okay on the big screen, and you know...I'm lazy*
 

erpetao

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2011
199
72
This idea seems to have disappeared by the wayside. But whatever happened to attaching a MacMini to a TV and running a Plex client or other client or even iTunes as a client to another iTunes home share idea?
I have the 3 things plugged to my TV:

- Mac Mini with XBMC
- Apple TV 3
- WD TV Live

The problem with the Mini is that it doesn't do 23.976fps, so if you have one of those new fancy TVs that support it, you don't get the smooth play that you get from a blu ray player. Playing bluray rips (at full size, no compression) show some jittering. The good thing is that the Mini with XMBC or VLC will play any format under the sun, including blu ray rips to mkv with subtitles, directly from makemkv.

Apple TV requires to recompress the mkvs with handbrake, which means an extra 12h-14h after you rip the disc (which only takes around 40 min with an external drive).

WD TV Live plays the blu ray rips very smoothly, it supports 23.976 so it's beautiful. The only issue is that it doesn't play the subtitles from bluray rips straight from makemkv. Seems that you need to remux again the mkv with another tool to make the subtitles available for the WD.
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,498
9
Hamilton, Ontario
I have the 3 things plugged to my TV:

- Mac Mini with XBMC
- Apple TV 3
- WD TV Live

The problem with the Mini is that it doesn't do 23.976fps, so if you have one of those new fancy TVs that support it, you don't get the smooth play that you get from a blu ray player. Playing bluray rips (at full size, no compression) show some jittering. The good thing is that the Mini with XMBC or VLC will play any format under the sun, including blu ray rips to mkv with subtitles, directly from makemkv.

Apple TV requires to recompress the mkvs with handbrake, which means an extra 12h-14h after you rip the disc (which only takes around 40 min with an external drive).

WD TV Live plays the blu ray rips very smoothly, it supports 23.976 so it's beautiful. The only issue is that it doesn't play the subtitles from bluray rips straight from makemkv. Seems that you need to remux again the mkv with another tool to make the subtitles available for the WD.
curious why rip to MKV only to convert to M4V wouldnt you save a step by using handbrake and rip straight to M4V
 

DavoteK

macrumors 6502
Jan 5, 2012
294
42
Big fan of the WDTV Streaming units. Got 2 at home, on a wired network with a Synology DS411 serving them both (as well as all other computers & devices). Haven't had an issue and plays everything that I throw at it without any conversion.

Was going to go down the route of jailbroken ATV3, but that still hasn't materialised yet.

All a case of how you have stored your media. If its all iTunes or you like converting it to iTunes and having a PC/Mac on while viewing your media, then ATV is obviously the way to go.

If you have a shedload of DVDs/Blu-Rays ripped or digital copies or even acquired from other online stores/means, then the Apple TV solution is, IMO, not the correct solution, due to the fact that it doesn't work out of the box.
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,498
9
Hamilton, Ontario
I like the Roku boxes, but they don't have any USB ports so no hooking external drives up - a deal breaker for me.

----------



Yes, ditto that, the WDTV does load all the cover art and descriptions from various online databases - you just have to configure it first, and it does take a while if you have a large drive full of stuff... But then again so did XBMC and Plex.
yes my friend has about 700 Movies/TV Shows and it says compling for about 3-4 minutes before its loads everything but ill admit its a nice look when he scrolls through his movies that mine looks on the ATV3

----------

Big fan of the WDTV Streaming units. Got 2 at home, on a wired network with a Synology DS411 serving them both (as well as all other computers & devices). Haven't had an issue and plays everything that I throw at it without any conversion.

Was going to go down the route of jailbroken ATV3, but that still hasn't materialised yet.

All a case of how you have stored your media. If its all iTunes or you like converting it to iTunes and having a PC/Mac on while viewing your media, then ATV is obviously the way to go.

If you have a shedload of DVDs/Blu-Rays ripped or digital copies or even acquired from other online stores/means, then the Apple TV solution is, IMO, not the correct solution, due to the fact that it doesn't work out of the box.
true doesnt work out of the box but the majority of my movies were downloaded from sites we will remain nameless and it only takes me about 15 minutes to convert to m4v and add the metatags with iDentify...sure its 15 minutes longer than some devices would require to use those AVIs but still not a huge deal
 

fred.bloggs

macrumors member
Feb 9, 2011
37
0
I'm sure it's not perfect. The navigation/menu is not as good as the AppleTV is, but the fact that it just plays my stuff without too much fuss is the deal winner for me.
I ditched my WD TV for ATV becuase of the integration to iPhoto.

WD played photos in filename order, this is especially painful if your family has more than one camera on the go. It was such a huge amount of effort exporting them so that the order was maintained.

Although transcoding the video is a lot of effort for the processor, it is just a few clicks of the mouse and let it get on with it.
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,498
9
Hamilton, Ontario
I just rip to MKV (40 minutes), rather than compressing to M4V (12h-14h with High Profile in Handbrake).
ahh i see, i guess i dont use high profile because it only takes abou 30 minutes or less to rip a dvd for me and its pretty clear but than again im not too picky on resolution i still get dvd quality
 

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