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Old 09-03-2010, 05:31 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default WD TV Live Plus Media Player

We took a look at ASUS' O!Play media player a couple of weeks ago, and now we're checking out WD's spin on things, with its TV Live Plus. In addition to the fact that it supports a multitude of media formats, it has a great design, dual USB ports, HDMI and Component connectivity, and in our testing, also offered great performance.

You can read our full look at WD's top-end media player and then discuss the review here!
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Old 09-03-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
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Not a bad little piece of kit. Since it's on the network, I would love to see an iPhone or Android app for this to use your wifi enabled device as a remote.
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:09 AM   #3
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I've been toying with the idea of purchasing a media player for quite some time. One thing that I never see in reviews is if the player can read from a USB DVD drive. I have a good collection of DVD movies (commercial store-bought movies), and a HUGE collection of XViD/DivX rips burned to DVDs (up to 6 or 7 movies per DVD+/-R). So, connecting a USB DVD drive would be great. If that doesn't work, being able to access the DVD drives on my PC via the network connection would be a huge plus, but I never see either of these things ever mentioned in reviews of various media players, and I've read A LOT of media player reviews, all makes and models. My current home DVD player has full XViD and DivX support so I can watch all my rips and regular movies w/o problems, but I just kind of want a media player, ya know? Maybe it's my tech jones, but I want one!

BTW- great review! Looks to be a good unit and is now in my top 5 choices for when (if?) I buy a media player.

(Rob - what BR album cover is your avatar? I'm a huge BR fan -mostly older stuff from Against The Grain and earlier- but I don't think I've seen that album cover before)

Last edited by dlb; 09-04-2010 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:04 PM   #4
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Thumbs up WDTV Live Rocks!

Being a media streamers freak - I also own AppleTV, Popcorn Hour (A-200, C-200) and Roku. By all means WDTV out performs them all and give best value for money. It also has the coolest iPhone application that allows you to play YouTube HD videos, SHOUTcast radio, media from network shares, etc - without configuration anything!!! it discovers everything automatically - http://www.wdtvremote.com
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg King
Not a bad little piece of kit. Since it's on the network, I would love to see an iPhone or Android app for this to use your wifi enabled device as a remote.
Western Digital already has a photo-viewing app available for its NAS boxes, so it wouldn't surprise me if such a thing was in progress. I hope so, because it makes perfect sense and would make the product even more appealing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlb
One thing that I never see in reviews is if the player can read from a USB DVD drive.
That is a GREAT question. I don't have a USB DVD-ROM, regrettably, but I can ask Western Digital if the ability is possible. In the meantime I'll need to get such a ROM drive in order to do that testing in the future. Thanks for the idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlb
(Rob - what BR album cover is your avatar? I'm a huge BR fan -mostly older stuff from Against The Grain and earlier- but I don't think I've seen that album cover before)
It's "The Dissent of Man" and it comes out later this month! Nice to meet a fellow BR fan... they are my all-time favorite! Greg is also a big fan, so there's a lot of BR love around here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dissent_of_Man

I recommend keeping up on the band here: http://thebrpage.net/ It's a fansite that's officially endorsed by the band... so it's quite up to date.

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Originally Posted by Unregistered
By all means WDTV out performs them all and give best value for money.
That's good to hear, and after using the WD TV for myself, I can understand why that's the case. Even now I'm still impressed with it... and I actually enjoy using it.

Nice link also! I'm going to check that out more soon. WD really seems to be going above and beyond on its media-related products... nice to see.
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
It's "The Dissent of Man" and it comes out later this month! Nice to meet a fellow BR fan... they are my all-time favorite! Greg is also a big fan, so there's a lot of BR love around here
I saw them at Pukkelpop a month ago... Not their best set, but still far from bad
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:15 PM   #7
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On my list of 5 albums I could take with me to a deserted island, The Empire Strikes First is on that list. A thousand thanks to Rob for igniting my punk fires. NOFX might be my favorite band of all time.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider View Post
I saw them at Pukkelpop a month ago... Not their best set, but still far from bad
Was it a full set? If not, I'm sure it's most of their newer stuff which of course has a hard time competing with the older stuff

Quote:
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On my list of 5 albums I could take with me to a deserted island, The Empire Strikes First is on that list. A thousand thanks to Rob for igniting my punk fires. NOFX might be my favorite band of all time.
No probalo. Yes, NoFX is a classic band also... hard to be upset when listening to them.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:20 AM   #9
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Exclamation Enough BR

Sorry when you have an article about media streamers any mention of BR *MUST* pertain to BluRay .. Its the Law.
Whilst everything is sweetness and light with the WDTV LIVE PLUS, I am an owner of the original WDTV and feel that owners of the earlier kit have been somewhat let down by WD.. eg they promised full menus on DVD iso images but never released a firmware that did that. Instead they brought out a new machine with network access which did have full dvd Iso menu access. There was no reason why they could not have offered this feature, with an updated firmware for the earlier machine. ALSO, and most damning, was that the earlier machine enabled the connection of USB hubs, allowing more than two usb devices (disk drives in my case) but then in a later firmware, this feature was disabled. Thank god for B-rad firmware. Nit-picky I know, but support for older hardware (9 months!) is not to be sniffed at.
I will probably end up getting one of these tho, or an ACRYAN (full)
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered
Sorry when you have an article about media streamers any mention of BR *MUST* pertain to BluRay .. Its the Law.
Doh, I didn't even clue into that before, haha. Good point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered
There was no reason why they could not have offered this feature, with an updated firmware for the earlier machine.
I couldn't agree more. As I've only been dealing with these things for just over a month, I'm unfamiliar with the history of the WD TV, and thought that what I was reviewing was basically the first iteration. I think WD has a responsibility to offer up that functionality even on its older device... I mean, it can't be that old. Unfortunately there seem to be few companies that like to cater to their early-adopters. And I have no idea why.
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:34 PM   #11
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I've got the first WD Live box (USB only no network no nothing else) and it was a fantastic first effort. The *only* thing I didn't like about is something I see from this they are still doing which is that horribly litttle and fiddly controller.

If they could forego their "small is better" ethic for that and produce a better spaced - and would be even better - backlit controller for another few dollars this new product would be an instant buy for me.

As it stands the thought of another little remote like that puts me entirely off which is a huge shame.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
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If they could forego their "small is better" ethic for that and produce a better spaced - and would be even better - backlit controller for another few dollars this new product would be an instant buy for me.
I agree 100%. I just took a look at the AC Ryan Playon!HD mini, and it has the stark opposite... a huge remote. And while I do prefer it over WD's option, I find it to be overkill, because there are like 30 buttons, but I'll never use more than 10. The remote with ASUS' O!Play was almost perfect... it just wasn't near as responsive as the others.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:43 PM   #13
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Default Missing component

What I would like to see is a simple web browser option/implementation. Incomplete without it. Search the net and you will see many are asking for a browser on this device. I am waiting for it myself.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:04 AM   #14
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Lightbulb

My friend got one of these but he said it was complete junk and gave it away. He couldn't get it to connect to his "mapped network drives" in Windows 7.

I would be interested in seeing how the WD TV Live compares to these other media streamers:

http://www.boxee.tv/box
http://www.xtreamer.net/

I think the Boxee Box is unbeatable. I was going to get it next month but I've changed my mind because it is being sold for 200 in the UK but only for $200 in the US. That is a massive, extortionate, difference (75 or $118)!

Thanks,
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:34 AM   #15
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I am currently testing the Sony SMP-N100 and so far, its a great little streamer. It has Hulu+ and Netflix apps on it and if you are a fan of the Sony crossbar, you will love this.

For what it does, I think the Boxee is overpriced but until I have a chance to get some hands on with it (maybe at the local Fry's), I am reserving final judgment.
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