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I decided to start a new thread for this device since it really is a new version of their older player that was not network-ready.

I stumbled onto this device while I was cruising Newegg for portable hard drives. I didn't purposely wait for this device, I just never had the $$$ to spare when I thought about buying it's older twin.

The device uses a non-proprietary USB WiFi adapter to access wireless networks!

This player is being sold for $119 with free shipping from a number of sources. It sounds like a deal that is hard to beat!

Official site: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=735
 

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Don I plan on buying one after Christmas. This time of year I don't buy things for myself, I am however really itching to get my hands on one of these!

Why you may ask when I have a PS3 and use it as my media player? I'll use the WDTV Live in other rooms as a media extender! Much much cheaper and easier than buying a PS3 for each room in the house! This way I can have my video server with all the drives in my main computer room and then feed all my TVs throughout the house.

Honestly, I like the WDTV better than the PS3. The PS3 is great, but the FAT32 restriction is a pretty big hurdle. Still, my mindset is since I have it already I might as well use it... and why add another device, another cable, another remote to my already cluttered system downstairs? However I would like to access all my DVD library I have spent all this time archiving from other rooms than just my media room downstairs. That's where the WDTV Live is going to come in nice!
 

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I love this thing. Its much easier to use than the PS3 for streaming.
Using windows shares is so much easier to manage than running software. though it will also work with UPnP software.

Not only does it not need a server but it plays everything i have thrown at it. A lot of which the ps3 had trouble with, even with server software running it and transcoding.

The only thing i really wish it would do is netflix and hulu.
Netflix might come but Hulu is unlikely since they seem to not want their service to be played on a tv.
 

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The only thing i really wish it would do is netflix and hulu.
Netflix might come but Hulu is unlikely since they seem to not want their service to be played on a tv.
There is a new wave of players coming this year new Boxee (d-link) could do hulu and many other services. I'm interested in upcoming popbox (makers of popcorn hour). I've heard some horror stories about WDTV wired network performance.

HTPC is and will be more expensive than entry level 1080P players, however there is always less hassle with codecs support and sky is 'almost' a limit. :D
 

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meh, that boxee box as cool as it is, is ugly.

i have had no issues with the wired performance at all on the WDTV live. sure its not the first gen you are talking about that you had to use a USB NIC on?

Also as far as codecs go, the WDTV life is compatible with near everything. It even plays ISO across the network.
 

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meh, that boxee box as cool as it is, is ugly.

i have had no issues with the wired performance at all on the WDTV live. sure its not the first gen you are talking about that you had to use a USB NIC on?

Also as far as codecs go, the WDTV life is compatible with near everything. It even plays ISO across the network.
Come on you could put some lipstick on it :bigsmile:

I was talking about WDTV live, I based this on feedback from users on various forums. Some people even bricked their units while upgrading legit firmaware. Are you playing 1080P mkv files over your network? BTW what OS and protocol (NFS/SMB) are you using?

IMHO if I had to do all over again, I would probably buy Acer Revo and I would put XBMC Live (FREE) on it.... :ponder:
 

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I haven't heard of problems bricking units yet, but it's possible with any unit (even the PCH) if a bad FW update is released.

The ISO playback... unless they changed things it is true the WDTV (and WDTV Live) will play ISO files, but... and this is a big one... they will only play the movie and not the menu. For episodic TV DVDs it only plays one episode, and not necessarily the first one either. That's a huge issue and for me the primary reason for wanting ISO playback.

As far as everything else, it plays everything I have seen thrown at it so far. The only other low grade I would give it is the thumbnails. They are small and the size ratio ends up making a lot of things look squashed.

Like I have said before in this thread and in other threads- There is no perfect unit out there. Each have some issues with them. Some issues are small, some are rather large. Still there is no denying every unit has at least one thing that can be improved.

I'm looking at a few other boxes too just to see what's out there and what's coming.
 

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I haven't heard of problems bricking units yet, but it's possible with any unit (even the PCH) if a bad FW update is released.

The ISO playback... unless they changed things it is true the WDTV (and WDTV Live) will play ISO files, but... and this is a big one... they will only play the movie and not the menu. For episodic TV DVDs it only plays one episode, and not necessarily the first one either. That's a huge issue and for me the primary reason for wanting ISO playback.

As far as everything else, it plays everything I have seen thrown at it so far. The only other low grade I would give it is the thumbnails. They are small and the size ratio ends up making a lot of things look squashed.

Like I have said before in this thread and in other threads- There is no perfect unit out there. Each have some issues with them. Some issues are small, some are rather large. Still there is no denying every unit has at least one thing that can be improved.

I'm looking at a few other boxes too just to see what's out there and what's coming.
Hi Bill,

it is probably an old news and WD guys fixed it, but:

WDTV Live bricked by firmware update

The full DVD ISO support would be nice, but for me wired network performance is priority #1. I use my main rig (win7 pro 32bit) as a file server with all movies/music/pictures stored on it. At the moment my HTPC (win7 pro 32bit) using smb shared folders is working excellent on wired 100mb network. If I was moving more files, I would consider adding a 1Gb switch to my network. Most of network uses cat6/cat5e cable, and both pcs have 1Gb nics.

I agree with you 100% no unit is perfect. i.e. the upcoming popbox (from creators popcorn hour) will have 20% of the screen covered in advertisment, at least it looks like this from CES 2010 demo.

There is several promising units on the horizon this year, sooner or later these players will become a standard in our HT setup.

However I could use a unit with a solid 100mb wired performance in my livingroom to access my win7 file server. I'm just sick of burning dvds or copying files to my usb drive so my Philips DVP5990 could play them. Also Philips's format support is 'very' limited to what it can play.... :sad:
 

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Whoa... I had intended on getting one of these, but not having true ISO playback is a total deal-breaker.
 

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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.

Thanks.
 

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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.

Likes:
- 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.

Greg
 

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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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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 :T

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. :bigsmile:

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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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:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/picture11i.jpg

What would you say?
 

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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.

thanks
 

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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.

thanks
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:
Code:
http://screencast.com/t/vXB0vODMY9p
(Sorry I cannot normally post links now as I'm new to this forum)
Download this one: 1.02.21_WDLXTV.COM_WDLXTV_LIVE-0.4.3.1.zip

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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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 +
WDTV Live Hub
WDTV Live-s(2011)
 

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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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