Unfortunately, there is one big hurdle that the WD TV can’t entirely overcome – a hurdle of Apple's making. The WD TV works perfectly well with hard disks formatted using Windows' NTFS and FAT/FAT32 disk formats. It also works fine with the Mac’s HFS Extended format. However, there’s a variation of this format called ‘HFS Extended Journaled’, which is used by many Mac hard disks, including WD’s own Passport portable drives. When you plug a ‘journaled’ hard disk into the WD TV you get a message saying that the Media Library doesn’t work properly with this type of disk.
Play your songs...
Now, when we plugged one HFS Extended Journaled hard disk into the WD TV it worked properly and organized our files correctly in the on-screen menu. However, things got a bit messy when we plugged in a second journaled device: some of the files didn't appear in the correct places in the Media Library menu.
There’s a work-round here, as the Media Library can simply list the contents of each disk separately, but Mac users that want to use a hard disk with the WD TV on a regular basis will be better off reformatting the disk in the HFS Extended format or FAT 32 - which is easily done using the Disk Utility program pre-installed on all Macs.
...and view your videos
However, the real show-stopper comes when using an iPod with the WD TV. Apple’s FairPlay DRM system prevents the WD TV from playing copy-protected files purchased from the iTunes Store. It can play unprotected files, but the file system that Apple uses on the iPod - either a Windows-formatted one, or one used with a Mac - means that the WD TV can’t display the file names correctly. You end up with unintelligible names like ‘XyZabc.mp3’ that make it virtually impossible to locate the files you need.
The iPod issue is disappointing, but the WD TV is still an excellent option for anyone that has a collection of music, ripped DVDs or video downloads stored on a USB hard disk that they want to play on their TV. Its 1080p output provides very good image quality on HD TV sets, and its menu system is nice and easy to use. And, best of all, the fact that it works with any existing USB hard disk means that it comes in at well under £100, while still leaving you the option of buying larger, inexpensive hard disks in the future.
Western Digital WD TV
I use an external 2.5" HDD and have played two hour programs in xvid format with no audio sync problems.
Your thumb drive is not up to supplying the speed or the files are encoded at very high bit rates.
So far my only problem is losing hdmi setup and having to redo and the HDD not powering down when the unit is switched off. I hope a firmware update will address these minor niggles. I did have to reformat my USB HDD from ext3 to fat32, but that was no big deal.
I think it is a great device and the video quality at 1080p is superb even when playing back content encoded at lower resolutions.
It looks like there is now a good, and pretty cheap 1080p media player which plays lots of formats (that we want, xvid, mkv/x264 etc).
And now all people can moan about it.
ITS GOT NO ETHERNET (if it did, and then moan it doesnt have smb or something (which I would prefer of course)
ITS GOT NO HDD (its got 2x USB ports, stfu)
Isn't this something that could be brought out on newer versions, internal hdd, ethernet, wireless(for 1080p, have fun)
This is the first WD hardware I have seen (I think), and if thats the case, it looks like they are onto a winner from the start.
Support Ext2/3 in the future would be nice. More people should start supporting this to remove the evil of NTFS (Search IFS Ext2 everyone...)
new firmware released. WD keeps its promise to support this device
Western Digital has released today a first firmware upgrade.... with a significant list of improvements. (pdf link: release notes: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/wdtv/releasenotes/WDTVreleasenotes101.pdf)
they've also stated that further upgrades are forthcoming, and have pledged to support this product for some time to come (as posted by user "ScottWD" on http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=15342049#post15342049 , who has signed some messages as Scott Rader, product marketing manager at Western Digital)