WD TV Live Network-Ready HD Media Player - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #11 of 32 Old 03-12-10, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York, NY
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Re: WD TV Live Network-Ready HD Media Player

Bill, thanks for all your input. Over the last couple of days, I read through all 34 pages of your ps3 posting and it's been very informative. Unfortunately I think I've determined that it won't work for me. Thus, I've turned my attention to a couple of other systems, specifically the WDTV, Asus O!Play, Popcorn Hour and Netgear Entertainer Elite (which I was surprised to not see mentioned in the previously mentioned forum).

Regarding your concern about the lack of ISO playback on the WDTV, is that the case for the O!Play and Popcorn Hour as well? I was thinking the WDTV was just the system for me, but that limitation sounds concerning.

Perhaps the next question isn't most relevant to this thread, but I'll go ahead and ask. If you were starting from scratch, i.e., no existing PS3, and you wanted to play your music, pictures, and most importantly movies over your home stereo, what direction would you go? Would you get one of the above systems or would you do some sort of a computer set-up, like the Acer Revo that was mentioned here or the Dell Zino HD.

I apologize for the rather naive questions but I've been researching this for a while now and can't seem to settle on the best method of achieving my goal. It sounds like the above devices are close, and maybe that's as good as we can do right now, but I just want to make sure I've explored everything.

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post #12 of 32 Old 03-24-10, 03:43 PM
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Re: WD TV Live Network-Ready HD Media Player

I'd thought I'd add my 2 cents worth here. I was given the WDTV LIVE for a gift in December (at my request). I thought it would do everything I needed based upon the description. It does not. As other have mentioned it does not play DVD menus, but it plays the movies very well. From a fomat perspect it seems to play many more formats than others, but some still have issues. So with that said I'll run down what I have found so far. Please note, a new firmware release is in the works and betas are out now. They seem very promising in terms of new features and fixes.
I use an HP mediasmart server to store my files and stream to the WDTVLIVE. I have also used a USB harddrive. Both work great. There were some issues orginally with the network, but they turned out to be the orginal server I had hooked up. The WHS Mediasmart works flawlessly both as a network share and as a media server with the WDTV Live. Network issues are all gone.

- Plays most formats. I use MKVs without a problem both mpeg and h264
- Plays Flac - though music was not my primary reason for getting this
- Plays standard def smooth, no issues, look very good on 50" plasma.
- Plays 1080P smooth, network bandwidth can be the big killer here.
- Plays ISO, Mp4, mkv, mepgs, avi, etc. decently. Its not high end but its also not $1000 either. there is a know color mapping bug which will be fixed in the next firmware.

Minor stuff
- Thumbnails for MKVs work fine on an attached drive, but show up both for the MKV and as an image by themselves on network shares. Don't show at all for MKV if vewed off mediasever.
- FF and REW work but not in all formats and not the same in all formats
- chapters work but they are a hassle. The >| button should go to next chapter, instead goes to next movie.
- Needs 1Gbit NIC
- Menues do not filter the topic. Viseo section still shows photos folders, etc. Should only show videos.
- Netowrk requires "workgroup" workgroup name (fixed in new firmware).

Bigger stuff
- Youtube won't do high def (you tube legal issue)
- no DVD menus
- some sync issues but generally its OK. New firmware should fix all sync issues.

That said its only $100+ so it works for what you pay for it. It plays the movies I have stored. Its funtional. Its CHEAP. I figure it will be relegated to the guest room when the next hot toy comes out.

Would I buy another..no. Am I glad I have this one..Yes.

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post #13 of 32 Old 04-28-10, 07:17 PM
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Re: WD TV Live Network-Ready HD Media Player

I have had both the WDTV and the WDTV Live. I was reading about all of this before it came out. I wasn't that interested at the time and didn't think about it. Later on a friend mentioned it and I had to revisit and again I wasn't that interested. When my first PS3 blu-ray rom died, I went down to WallyWorld to pick another one up and I saw a WDTV on the shelf. I picked it up and saw the formats it supported and figured I would give it a shot. Since there was no moving parts, I could pack it up and return it if I wanted to. Needless to say I was shocked at how well it did. Aside from it not being networked (I had a laptop sitting underneath where I could move a USB drive to it to copy things to the drives). I decided I wanted a Live because I got tired of moving USB drives around and the .wdtv folder rewriting every time. I got the Live and it was quite enjoyable throughout the network. Everyone loved it. The problem is that you have to create your own thumbnails or you get the default CD/DVD icon for every file. Scrolling through these makes it difficult if you can't differentiate between titles quickly. At that point my wife was getting confused (read "Frustrated"), so I started researching a way to organizing titles better and someone pointed to their screenshot which was actually XBMC. I sold/traded off my WDTVs and bought a ZOTAC Mini Mag.

Bottom Line: For an average user with very little options WDTV is great. If you are the type of person that requires more bells and whistles.. you may want to look at another option.
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post #14 of 32 Old 05-05-10, 01:04 PM
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Re: WD TV Live Network-Ready HD Media Player

Whsperz wrote: View Post
Bottom Line: For an average user with very little options WDTV is great. If you are the type of person that requires more bells and whistles.. you may want to look at another option.
I think you've nailed it

My bro-in-law has one of them and he loves it. I belive most of the networking issues has been resolved.

It is simple/cheap and it works.

For my current needs (tuner less projector) I prefer HTPC with Windows 7 where I can watch OTA HDTV via WMC7, watch movies from my file server using XBMC with its eye candy skins, browse internet and play games from time to time...

However if I ever need a secondary simple box (i.e. for my livingroom), I would most likely buy one WDTV Live box or something similar...
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post #15 of 32 Old 11-04-11, 08:35 AM
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Re: WD TV Live Network-Ready HD Media Player

Hi guys!
I've bought WDTV Live recently and searched the web for some ways to customize its interface. Maybe someone here tried to modify it too?
I've managed to create a graphic catalog for my collection using OSDmods and Movienizer (It's the film cataloger that I use). I download info for movies with the cataloger and create thumbnails for them in it. So I get something like this:

What would you say?
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post #16 of 32 Old 11-07-11, 11:08 AM
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Re: WD TV Live Network-Ready HD Media Player

Bubblegum - do you happen to have a step by step on how you achieved this? I've just started researching on how to make this server a little more robust and this would be helpful.

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post #17 of 32 Old 11-08-11, 02:59 AM
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Re: WD TV Live Network-Ready HD Media Player

prokoj wrote: View Post
Bubblegum - do you happen to have a step by step on how you achieved this? I've just started researching on how to make this server a little more robust and this would be helpful.

I can describe you how I made this catalog with my words, I haven't found any universal tutorials on the net.

Firstly, you should decide whether you want to install alternative (unofficial) firmware or not. You can roll back to the standard official firmware whenever you like though. The alternative firmware allows you to show backgrounds with movie info (like on my screenshot) and a lot of other stuff on your TV. Without it you will be able to see only covers of your movies instead of video file/folder icon (which is also great). So for the best experience I'd recommend installing the alternative firmware, it does no harm, but extends your player's abilities.

The alternative firmware that is needed for such customization is here:
(Sorry I cannot normally post links now as I'm new to this forum)
Download this one: 1.02.21_WDLXTV.COM_WDLXTV_LIVE-

Before the setup simply open and edit in Notepad the "wdtvlive.ver" file and change the version number there to any value higher than your current firmware version number. This is needed for your WDTV to start updating.
Save changes and proceed to the "S00custom-options" file. Open it as well and add these strings in the end:
config_tool -c SHOW_FILESIZE_SETTING=0
config_tool -c MSHEETMODE=sheet
config_tool -c VIDMSHEET=ON
config_tool -c GENMSHEET=ON
config_tool -c LISTMSHEET=ON

Now simply copy all modified and unmodified files of the firmware to the root of your flash stick\hard drive and plugit in WD TV. Accept the firmware update.

After the firmware installation you can try creating a catalog with 'Movienizer' (Can't paste links, so simply google it). The program is intuitive and rather useful even if your'e not going to use WDTV. It's a movie cataloger that automatically searches and downloads info about your movies from the net (IMDb and other resources) thus forming a catalog of your film collection. Add some movie, download info and covers for it in the program and click "Tools" - "Create covers for WDTV".
Now if you browse to the folder with video file in it you'll see the similar view like on my screenshot.
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post #18 of 32 Old 11-09-11, 01:35 PM
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Re: WD TV Live Network-Ready HD Media Player

thanks for this, I will give it a shot
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post #19 of 32 Old 11-10-11, 09:25 AM
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Re: WD TV Live Network-Ready HD Media Player

Is this for the old WD TV Live? Might want to clarify for some people. I only mention this since the new

You have a few versions:
WDTV Live +
WDTV Live Hub
WDTV Live-s(2011)
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post #20 of 32 Old 11-10-11, 12:54 PM
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Re: WD TV Live Network-Ready HD Media Player

Have they gotten any better? I didn't realize there were more options now.

I bought a first-gen WD-Live when they came out, and promptly returned it upon discovering how terrible it worked with my large collection of M4V files (originally converted for use with AppleTVs). They played, but no metadata or graphics, no FF, etc... not usable. I suspect the interface still blows compared to AppleTV but the extra format flexibility could come in handy at times, and they're cheap enough to pick up just for occasional use.
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