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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have one? What do you think?

Looks like what I've been looking for. I started ripping everything to an external for use with my PS3 but I might just pick up one of these instead.

One thing I noticed and liked was you can use NTFS formatted drives instead of FAT32 like with the PS3. No more pesky 4 gb file size limit.

Take care,

Scott
 

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I was wondering about this also, Ive been using WD 1T External Hard Drive plugged into my PS3 to play my backed up media. Can you plug the External to the WD TV HD Media Player and get the clip art and a better menu. Tate
 

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I don't own one of these devices, but I'm thinking about it. Like you Scott, the 4GB file size limit of the PS3 concerns me since I have many DVD's backed up as ISO files and don't want to have to compress them.

After looking at WD TV™ HD Media Player's specs, it comes up a bit short for me since they don't specifically say it supports ISO, VOB or VIDEO_TS playback. It plays back most other video formats though. It also doesn't have a component connection. Some folks are worried because Divx isn't specifically stated as being supported, and others don't like that it doesn't have a network connection.
http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=572

Another media player I'm looking at is the INOi MH720. I don't believe it will take external hard drives, but it can be used with an internal drive up to 1TB and does have a USB connection so it can be moved between your home theater and PC. This is an older player so be sure to check it's specs. BTW, it will play VOB files. However; I just found out that, unlike the WD device above, the INOi player will not make it's own playlists; this could be the kiss-of-death for this player for me since I have an earlier INOi DVD player that takes a proprietary removable USB hard drive, and everything on the HDD is in the order of date copied to the drive; very frustrating.
 

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Here is a link to the best review I have seen so far on the WD Media Player.
http://maddhat.com/?p=31

Like all new devices, it will take a little while for all the bugs to be worked out, but right now this looks like a pretty good player for the money.

While I don't have 100% confirmation, I believe the device will play ISO files. This just might be on my Christmas list!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the review link Don!

Seemed like there was a few issues but for the $100 price it might work perfect for me. My TV is only a 720p so I don't think the 1080p issues would affect me.

One of my biggest complaints with using my PS3 is the fan noise. It's pretty much out in the open since it gets so hot but then you can hear the fan all the time. This little thing would be silent. Just need to get a good quite external hard drive. I can picture a matching WD 1TB sitting next to it on the shelf now.

There are some pretty informative reviews over on Amazon also. Seems like there might be a freezing issue when fast forwarding ISO files. To be honest I don't fast forward or rewind much so that should be a big deal. ISO would be great. So much faster to rip to an ISO than to have to convert to something else. I wouldn't even know what the next best file type would be. Too much information for me.

My Christmas list is pretty full so I might have to wait till after. :innocent:
 

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I'll have to check out the reviews at Amazon... I don't know why I keep forgetting to check them on stuff like this. I guess being an old bugger, I still think of them as just a book store.:bigsmile:

As far as external hard drives go, I just got a Fantom GD1000EU 1TB USB 2.0 / eSATA Silver GreenDrive external Hard Drive and I LOVE it! It is super quiet, doesn't have an obnoxious super-bright blue LED like most of my external drives, and runs so cool you almost wonder if it's working! IMO, it would be the perfect drive to use with the WD Media Player.



 

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I know it's twice the money, but an NMT device like the popcorn hour might serve you better (more file support like iso, vob, and network support as well).
 

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I like to just add that presently I'm using the Western Digital TV HD Media player; Let me start by saying that by it being one of the new and popular companies to introduce the whole HD media concept it is definitely according to my family & friends the HOTTEST thing since Blu-ray. Now, I've been seriously thinking of building my own HTPC for a while now and during my research I came across this little black box and considering that a properly built HTPC will run me a few hundred dollars; I jumped on the Western Digital at the steal price of $119 (Newegg) or $129(Bestbuy). I must admit the play-back of downloaded HD video (1080p) are GREAT! It's nice to just download and play using this device w/o having to convert/burn onto dvd just to play on my HDTV. At first I was in awe for awhile until I needed and wanted more, such as, network/wi-fi capability. It is annoying to have to constantly connect/disconnect my external hard drive to add more videos; also at times some videos need to be converted with the included software (ArcSoft MediaConverter) which at times can take hours. Another minor headache is the video player's lack of skip back or skip forward. Sure, you can rewind or fast forward the movie that you're watching but if you restart a movie and want to jump forward to the part you were at you have to sit there and slowly fast forward until you get to the scene you want. Considering how great the WD TV is the lack of a quick skip button is something of a disappointment. For the average user who needs basic media play-back e.g.(music,pictures) and video at 1080p on your HDTV at this price this little unit is awesome!
 

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I like to just add that presently I'm using the Western Digital TV HD Media player; Let me start by saying that by it being one of the new and popular companies to introduce the whole HD media concept it is definitely according to my family & friends the HOTTEST thing since Blu-ray. Now, I've been seriously thinking of building my own HTPC for a while now and during my research I came across this little black box and considering that a properly built HTPC will run me a few hundred dollars; I jumped on the Western Digital at the steal price of $119 (Newegg) or $129(Bestbuy). I must admit the play-back of downloaded HD video (1080p) are GREAT! It's nice to just download and play using this device w/o having to convert/burn onto dvd just to play on my HDTV. At first I was in awe for awhile until I needed and wanted more, such as, network/wi-fi capability. It is annoying to have to constantly connect/disconnect my external hard drive to add more videos; also at times some videos need to be converted with the included software (ArcSoft MediaConverter) which at times can take hours. Another minor headache is the video player's lack of skip back or skip forward. Sure, you can rewind or fast forward the movie that you're watching but if you restart a movie and want to jump forward to the part you were at you have to sit there and slowly fast forward until you get to the scene you want. Considering how great the WD TV is the lack of a quick skip button is something of a disappointment. For the average user who needs basic media play-back e.g.(music,pictures) and video at 1080p on your HDTV at this price this little unit is awesome!
Welcome to HTS!

If you need to convert programming from one format to another, you might want to give MediaCoder a try. It's free and contains no spyware or other nasties. See this thread for more info: http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/computers-games-htpc-digital-devices/14371-what-really-good-wmv-avi-dvd-converter.html


I believe the WDMP will play standard TS_VIDEO folders, and even DVD .ISO images without needing a virtual drive. Both of these methods will preserve the Chapters that are on the DVD so you can use those to skip to the areas of the disc that are so marked.

It would surprise me if WD isn't working feverishly on a unit that will add network capability. ;)
 

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Welcome to HTS!

If you need to convert programming from one format to another, you might want to give MediaCoder a try. It's free and contains no spyware or other nasties. See this thread for more info: http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/computers-games-htpc-digital-devices/14371-what-really-good-wmv-avi-dvd-converter.html


I believe the WDMP will play standard TS_VIDEO folders, and even DVD .ISO images without needing a virtual drive. Both of these methods will preserve the Chapters that are on the DVD so you can use those to skip to the areas of the disc that are so marked.

It would surprise me if WD isn't working feverishly on a unit that will add network capability. ;)
I'm glad I found this site...It Rocks! Thanks for the info on the video conversion software, I'll give it a try.
 

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first of all great thread and replies guys on the Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player , i am seriously bought with this piece of equipment and ready for buying it but my question is:

1) is this the best piece of equipment out at the moment for the price? or is there other alternatives?
2) if i was to purchase this,what would be the best external hard drives to compliment this around the 1TB size

I have a very large collection of films,mp3s etc and looking for the very best solution for storage and playback on my tv with the convenience of an easy accessible menu for search and playback of the files

Im in the UK so if anyone knows any good sites to purchase these from would also be very much appreciated

Darren
 

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first of all great thread and replies guys on the Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player , i am seriously bought with this piece of equipment and ready for buying it but my question is:

1) is this the best piece of equipment out at the moment for the price? or is there other alternatives?
2) if i was to purchase this,what would be the best external hard drives to compliment this around the 1TB size

I have a very large collection of films,mp3s etc and looking for the very best solution for storage and playback on my tv with the convenience of an easy accessible menu for search and playback of the files

Im in the UK so if anyone knows any good sites to purchase these from would also be very much appreciated

Darren
If you think you might like to pull files over the network in addition to a local hard drive, look into a Network Media Device like the Popcorn Hour, Emptek EHP-606, or others. That solution will cost you a little more though at a bit over $200.

For the best MP3 navigation, the AppleTV is my current pick, but it won't handle quite as many file types as either the NMT or the WD.

But, for the money, the WD device seems like a real winner.
 

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My brother just bought one of these babies.

He was interested in it for awhile now and I just went down to visit him and took my PS3 along. After seeing it work and play movies and TV series directly from an external drive he was sold! He already has a very nice BD player, so he had no interest in a PS3. As for the Popcorn Hour, he doesn't have a cat5 cable down in his HT area, and doesn't plan on it. Plus since he's new at archiving to a drive, he didn't want to spend a lot of money and then decide he didn't like it afterall.

As far as file compatability, from what I see it plays everything, including .vob files, so that's a moot point.

He couldn't get the unit while I was down there because Best Buy was completely sold out. He tried later and they were sold out again so he ended up ordering it online and just got it the other day. So right now I haven't seen it in person.

I did give him a 320GB My Book knowing he was going to get this baby soon and this way he'd have a drive to play around with. While I was down there I reformatted the My Book to NTFS. This way he would have no 4GB file size limitation and no compression at all no matter how slight.

I then loaded it up with all four seasons of The Man from U.N.C.L.E, 48 DVDs worth of TV series right there! Then we did all the U.N.C.L.E movies, which was another 8 DVDs, and then the entire series of The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. ... another 15 DVDs. Again nothing was compressed one bit. This pretty much filled the 320GB drive, but him and I were geeking out that something the size of a Stephen King novel had around 72 DVDs worth of UNCLE on it! (The shelf space for the TVseries DVDS alone takes up around a foot!)

Until he got the Media player, he had the drive hooked to his computer and 22" HDTV/monitor in his bedroom. He got the player yesterday, plugged it in, hooked it to his receiver and 60" SXRD and plugged the drive in. He said it took quite awhile for the Media Player to sort through everything on the drive, around 20 minutes I think he said. After that, he was clicking away with the remote and watching everything on his big set!

I asked him if there was any video quality issues, or audio sync issues and he said none at all. So the method I outlined to use the PS3 as a media server also works like a champ for the WD Media player.

He wasn't too impressed with the remote or the menu sytem, and as of now he hasn't played around with thumbnail images or anything like that. Overall though he is extremely happy right now and I have have him hooked on the idea of archiving things to external drives like I'm doing!

I've heard comments about the WD's short comings, and on other forum have seen people trash it because it doesn't have a network connection, but guys come on... this baby is just a bit over $100, (I think he paid $129) and it's bound to come down in price some too. It seems to upconvert okay, but that's a hard one to really tell because the SXRD also upconverts. For $100 you couldn't build anything that does what this thing does that's for sure.

Sure it doesn't have networking, but not everyone wants or needs that. If you do, then yeah sure spend the extra on a Popcorn Hour. If you don't have a Bluray player yet and want one as well as this functionality... then take a good look at the PS3. It now even decodes True HD onboard as well as supports play lists and streaming video over a network.

For the money, this is one slick little device, and the menu system as well as other things could be improved and added with future firmware updates. Don't sell it short! :)
 

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WD TV™ HD Media Player Firmware Update Release Notes

New Features:
•Added .MKV chapter selection for video playback for MKV with chapter support
•Added .MTS file extension support
•Added .TP file extension support
•Added .TS file extension support
•Added 1080p 24hz support
•Added disk volume name to folder navigation in list mode
•Added EXIF orientation flag functionality for auto picture rotate
•Added file size in filename
•Added jump feature to the remote: While fast forwarding or reversing, if the “Next” or “Prev” buttons are pressed, video will jump 10 minutes in the respective direction
•Added progress indicator for the duration of the FF or REV function
•Added a blinking status LED behavior while drive is mounting; previously the light just stayed on
•Added sequential .M2TS file playback function
•Added additional subtitle support (SMI, SUB, , SSA)
•Added user selectable font size for subtitle support
•Added song title scroll in music playback to prevent truncation
•Added embedded subtitle display in .MKV files
•Added additional subtitle encoding support for the following: Western Europe (ISO), Traditional Chinese (Big5), Simplified Chinese (GB18030), Japanese (Shift-JIS), Korean (EUC-KR), Cyrillic (Windows-1251), Cyrillic (KOI8-R), Greek (ISO); previously only UTF-8 was supported
•Added display sizing menu for photo playback: Fit to Screen, Full Screen, Keep as Original
•Added accelerating scroll speed based on how long the arrow is held down on the remote when navigating folders with a large number of files; previously only one, constant speed was available

Resolved Issues:
•Resolved issue when 2 drives were connected, then one drive was disconnected, the files from the disconnected drive still showed up on the file list but were not playable
•Resolved "repeat one" failure during music playback; previously songs would not repeat
•Resolved artist name truncation issue during music playback
•Resolved issue where WD TV would not turn back on with remote after extended period of inactivity; previously WD TV had to be unplugged and was unrecoverable with the remote
•Resolved image size and position issues during video playback; previously the image displayed did not fill the screen until the picture was zoomed in and then out again.
:T
 

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Thanks for the update Jblaze! :T

Not a bad list of added features and resolved issues for a box only about 3 or 4 months out of the gate!

I just checked and another update is available.

Version 1.01.02:
Resolved Issues:

Resolved the issue surrounding updating the firmware from a large (500GB or larger) drive, previously the WDTV™ would not recognize the updated firmware on a large drive

Known Issues:

When image is rotated 90 degrees there is some elongation in the rotated view

If the user unsafely removes an HFS+ formatted drive from the media player without using the Eject button, the drive will become read only media
 

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Hey folks,

I've not been around for a while, but could anyone advise as to whether or not these little devices play back DVD images in the form of .ISOs and/or VIDEO_TS? If so, does the WD TV provide full-disc support - menus, special features, audio tracks, subtitles etc...?

I'm currently using a Popcorn Hour A-110, but I'm keen to know what the WD TV can do. I'm considering buying one as a birthday present for my father.

Thanks,


DH.
 
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