WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

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WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by MikeC » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:49 pm

Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
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redsun
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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by redsun » Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:10 pm

great review... thanks!

perhaps you can review Pivos Aios Media Player if possible ...

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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by Abula » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:23 pm

Nice review.

Would be nice to review some of the higher end Media streamers like Dune Player Smart (no fans), Popcorn Hours A300 (no fan IIRC), Netgear NEOTV550 (fanless), Dlink BoxeeBox (atom based but has a fan).
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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by mkxyz » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:52 pm

From the review - Page 6
"With a 500GB USB hard drive about half full of a hodge podge of files (many thousands), the WDTVL activity light stayed blinking for hours, presumably trying to scan all the content, even though the ~150GB of media files seemed to be fully accessible in a few minutes"

If the USB hard is unplugged from the device while the device is switched on this problem can manifest. There is a hidden .wdtv folder on the USB hard drive which the WDTV uses as an index. Delete the hidden .wdtv folder forcing it to build a new index.
Switch the box off before unplugging the USB HD and this problem should not reappear.

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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by Vicotnik » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:00 am

I use a WDTV Live, but I have the older version. I use a custom firmware, WDLXTV (http://forum.wdlxtv.com/) but I'm not sure it can be used with the new version. WDLXTV opens up a lot of possibilities, like for example using a different remote, using the WDTV Live as a torrent box etc.
Love my WDTV Live but missing a few things like gapless playback.
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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by gregrah » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:13 am

I have a lot of ripped DVDs and Blu-rays in my collection, which are either stored in ISO format or in an expanded format (basically just a directory structure with VIDEO_TS files, etc) on my hard drive. I can play these on my HTPC by mounting the ISO image with Deamon Tools, or by choosing the "Open DVD" option in Media Player Classic to load the whole directory in the latter format.

Would the WD TV Live be able to handle these use cases?

Also - while I assume I would run into trouble trying to stream a Blu-ray disc over wifi, would it be able to handle playing a ripped blu-ray disk on external hard drive?

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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by Vicotnik » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:21 am

Yes, the WDTV Live can play DVDs, both ISOs and VIDEO_TS folder structures. In later firmwares DVD menus are supported, but "just playing the movie" has been supported for a long time. Bluray doesn't have menu support but playing the movie from a file structure (BDMV dir) works.
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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by gregrah » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:56 am

Thanks for the info Vicotnik.

One more question regarding Blu-ray / DVD playback... most of the movies I download are subtitled, do you know if it's possible to view subtitles on Blu-ray discs without proper menu support?

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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by Vicotnik » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:16 am

I'm not sure but I don't think subtitles would work. Sorry, I have no ripped BD movie to try on, usually I remux them into MKVs. edit: DVD subtitles do work, that I know.
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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by MikeC » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:28 am

gregrah wrote:One more question regarding Blu-ray / DVD playback... most of the movies I download are subtitled, do you know if it's possible to view subtitles on Blu-ray discs without proper menu support?
As long as the subtitle file is in the same folder & has the same file name, no problem.
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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by xan_user » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:03 pm

ive been toying with getting a roku for a while, but last i checked they still dont do streaming from network shares.
I swore off ever buying WD a long time ago.... but this is a really nice piece of kit, and has me really thinking about rescinding my WD ban.
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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:20 pm

Thanks for the review. Glad to see it was fairly painless to use. I hope HBO Go gets added to the widget list. Of course, I'm still waiting for these things to provide DVR functionality with an external tuner and HDD. I'd rather use an appliance like this than a subscriber based Tivo or build a full-up HTPC for it.
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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by NeilBlanchard » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:35 pm

My question is can you view streamed video from a web site like Comedy Central? Would a wireless keyboard and mouse combo, like from Logitech with their unified USB receiver work?

Also, I am still using my 19 year old Panasonic GAOO 27" (nearly flat) CRT TV -- it has about 500 vertical lines which was great for the time. Would it drop to 4:3 aspect or give a letter box HD image?
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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by victorhortalives » Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:29 pm

I read somewhere that there is an iPxxx app that can be used to control the unit. Is there one ?
I have some Netgear NTV550s that I might replace with this as every new NTV firmware seems to break something that worked fine before.
Pity since the Netgear stuff has worked well before (EVA8000, EVA9150)

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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by bogus » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:21 am

I think you should not show the group name in the file X-Men.FirstClass....
and there's no such thing as "wireless ethernet". Also, I hoped you tested the wire network performance, because there are reports and reviews from other sites that the GigE is just a marketing gimmick, the device can not go faster than 100Mbps.

<rant on>
Subtitles support in WDTV devices is always a show-stopper for me. My wife wants/needs Vietnamese subtitles which is supported even devices as old as the PCH A100 and the latest WDTV managed to NOT support it. It's kinda hard to understand why it's so difficult to support subtitles for a Roman-alphabet language. For heaven sake, all you need is a Unicode font like Arial or Tacoma.

Even non-mainstream system like linux has excellent support for Vietnamese. On a gnome desktop, right-click on anywhere you can enter text and it will show a menu with an option for "Vietnamese Input Method..."
</rant off>

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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by FrankL » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:23 am

I find the 7 watt usage in 'off' mode disappointing. My old and trusty Netgear EVA9100 has an option to really turn off (30 seconds after 'soft-off'), and uses less than 1 Watt in this mode. From this mode it can auto-switch on at a predefined time every day to scan all the network locations for new content (useful when you stream from a NAS).

I'm also a bit surprised to see a media player review on silent pc review. I'd think the only relevance to this site would be the presence of a fan and/or internal HDD. There are plenty of sites out there to review media players; many completely focussed on them with a lot of build-up expertise (e.g. mpcclub.com) that'd be hard to compete with. Please don't see this as an attack... I am just curious why things outside the niche of quiet computing pops up here.
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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by xan_user » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:23 am

makes sense to me to cover media players here.
tons of posts are made each year that ask "how can i build a fanless HTPC?", when what they really need is a decent media player.
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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by ist.martin » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:12 pm

I would love to buy a cheap IPS monitor (like this one - http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=59772), mount a tiny WiFi photo streamer to it, then mount the whole thing on a wall as a killer 'digital photo frame'. I've been thinking about doing this for my wife for some time now - she would love it - her digital photos would finally come out into the open:)

Does anyone know if there is smaller, simpler dedicated device just for streaming photos? Or would that be absurd?

Is there any way to mount the WD TV Live to a monitor and mount both to a wall?

Any ideas on an elegant solution would be most welcome.

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Re: WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Post by HW_mee » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:56 am

mkxyz wrote:From the review - Page 6
"With a 500GB USB hard drive about half full of a hodge podge of files (many thousands), the WDTVL activity light stayed blinking for hours, presumably trying to scan all the content, even though the ~150GB of media files seemed to be fully accessible in a few minutes"

If the USB hard is unplugged from the device while the device is switched on this problem can manifest. There is a hidden .wdtv folder on the USB hard drive which the WDTV uses as an index. Delete the hidden .wdtv folder forcing it to build a new index.
Switch the box off before unplugging the USB HD and this problem should not reappear.
I have mine attached to a 1 TB green drive and I have experienced that problem, even when not detaching the HDD, I would get constant pop-ups warning that the chosen media was not available and changing folder was painfully slow.
Deleting the .wdtv folder resulted in a night of "compiling media library" and the unit was still unbelievably slow, changing folder still had a 3-7 second delay.

My solution was to turn off the media library and use the folder structure to navigate. Now the WD does not care if I detach the USB HDD, folder change takes less than 1 second and I am happy :D

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