Feeds
85%
WD WD TV Live

Western Digital WD TV Live

HDD media player revamped with networking

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

This is doubly a pain because the box doesn't remember you journey through the menus. Visit YouTube, and then go and listen to some music, and you'll find that when you eventually go back to the Video menu, you once again start off on Local Devices. This will irritate anyone who stores everything on a Nas box.

WD WD TV Live

More sober styling this time round

That said, the list of formats the WD TV supports is extensive and here augmented with DivX - XviD has never been a problem - and our test file played just fine. We won't list them here - the More Info link at the end of the review takes you to WD's product page, which enumerates them all. Suffice it to say, all iTunes friendly formats are catered for - except DRM'd files - along with MKV, Ogg and Flac for the open source crowd, and Windows Media for Microsofties.

Connected by composite-video, the WD TV's UI is a mite fuzzy, though video and photo playback was fine. You shouldn't expect staggering quality from composite, but we have seen better - even on the Apple TV, which doesn't officially support it. HDMI and component will be fine.

Connecting the WD TV to a network allows it to check for firmware updates - several were released for the previous edition - and to sniff out aforementioned network shares and servers. It will also operate as a server too, allowing you to view content on, say, a laptop while viewing something else (or the same video) on your TV. It'll happily pick up Windows SMB shares but not AppleShare or FTP - we tried all three.

WD wanted £100 for the first WD TV. The new one is £120, but the increase is probably the result of Sterling's plunge on the exchange markets as anything. Certainly, £20 is well worth paying for the extras the new model brings.

Verdict

The WD TV grows up. The original was a great way of hooking up a hard drive full of content to your telly, but the Live makes it a fully fledged network media player, allowing you to hide the HDD right out of the way. It's not perfect - the UI is still a tad clunky and inconsistent in places - but it does the job. ®

More Network Media Player Reviews...


LaCie LaCinema
Black MAX

Freecom
MediaPlayer
II

Wyplay
Wyplayer

Netgear
EVA9150

Intelligent flash storage arrays

85%
WD WD TV Live

Western Digital WD TV Live

A nicely-priced, flexible network media player for your HD TV.
Price: £120 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.