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In this age of TVs and other media llowing for media sharing, I found the biggest problem I was finding was having ONE solution that could play it all. To be clear, I wasn't looking for anything to use for Netflix or other online services. But as cheaper options were cropping up, I kept hoping that one of the 30-40 options (Chromecast, etc) would suffice, but none ever did. Even my Panasonic Viera which supports DLNA and could be networked would not play certain files.
So, after hemming and hawing, I decided to pull the trigger on this unit, as it was on sale and many reviews said that this unit really did play alot of file types. I've had the unit now for about 2 months and am consistently amazed by everything it plays. I've yet to encounter this being unable to 'see' a certain file or play something.
The other convenience I like is that I like to watch foreign films and while I do have subtitle files, my TV or even my console wouldn't allow me to use them with the file. This has a great remote and an options button that lets me use an .srt file.
Small, compact (I might travel with it for business!), the remote is very handy, and for my purposes, it's perfect.
I have no complaints with the media player in itself, but, as a total incompetent with technology, I am at a loss with maximizing the use of it due to the lack of any instructions whatsoever. I went to the website to download instructions, but from one misdirect to the other, I am still unable to maximize usage. No instructions=not happy.
Very slow to boot up, very slow to bring up a 'channel' or program, very slow to respond to input.
Most or all channels aside from Netflix are just filler.
I've owned a few of these and find them to be very useful. Much easier and better than plugging directly in to the TV and offers more functionality as well. Plays all formats (my TV's don't).
just ordered this gaget couple days ago. so far love how it works! no more cables to hook up from my computer to tv! only down side id that this streamer cannot play rmvb files, other than that everything works fine! love it so far.
Flawlessly plays files of all kinds. Netflix and YouTube come across in full HD. Navigation is easy. Bust of all, it is the only player out there that has manual network and DNS settings, allowing you to bypass regional restrictions.
great the different format in can read! I did plug a USB hard drive to it with a huge library of movies and I can access to the movie directly with the remote control.
the only improvement to do: slow to start and slow to display the library
i bought this unit to hook up to my 4tb hard drive plays almost 99 percent of all formats, has its own menu just like a cable guide..love it....
So easy to set up considering I,m not tech smart did everything i needed and more
I purchased this product as I have numerous media files that I wanted to access through the box. Netflix and other options were a bonus. Unfortunately, after the firmware upgrade, less than 1/10 of my files were even available. Out of those, very few could even be played. The WD Live is able to play a wide range of formats, yet so few of mine would work.
I had read that Netflix was slow in loading and those reviews are accurate. Once loaded, it was fine. I wasn't expecting the world with this product (based on other reviews) but I was a little surprised at how little progress I could get in trying to access my video files. This is my 2nd product purchased from Western Digital (the first product died in under 30 days).
I am returning product as it doesn't work as well as advertised.
This is the third one we have bought.
The two older models are still working quite well.
It will stream just about any video format you can throw at it from your network shares (PC).
Newer remote takes a little getting used to as it is a lot bigger than the older ones but no big deal.
This is a 1080p media player that hooks up to our HD TV and plays video files. It will play any format file. MKV, AVI, MP4, and does so with great resolution. We also use it for netflix, and again it has great resolution. These are the upsides.
Downsides: 1/ does not support nhl game center. I still have to watch that on our iPad. Also, if you hook up a big hard drive to it, it takes a while to map the drive before you can see the files on it. I suggest a thumb drive for moving media over. We used handbrake to convert all our DVD's to mp4's. Now we have our whole video library on a hard drive. (with a cloned second drive in case the first dies). We also have a couple of 32Gig thumb drives to play media on the TV. So when the kids are allowed to watch a kids movie, its on the thumb drive. (30 of them actually). For us, its simpler to watch a video. And of course netflix. its a great unit for what it does.
Hint, connect it to your home network and update the firmware when you buy it. the latest firmware is much more stable.
I have bought 5 of these now. All working great and have them setup at most of the family I visit most. This does a really good job of streaming anything from an external drive. However I can't get apps like netflix to work on any of them. There are numerous other apps that are similar that I am not optimistic about their ease of use either. However if you want something to just watch movies, TV, pictures... in any format that you have taken or downloaded (legally of course although the player doesn't check), then this will do the trick and it is really as simple as plugging it in. The advanced features it boasts in terms of networking is a lot harder to setup. Dollar for dollar, get this and spend the extra hundred on something like a Wii U of a smart DVD player to play apps. An extra device but you get extra benefits as well.
Second one i bought.Works quite well. Use it dILY
I ordered this online and was very impressed with the speed of the delivery
Simple to install and use. Small form factor, great picture quality with HDMI and easy to connect to AV system with digital audio optical cable.
I use these with my Synology dlna streaming and file system access, works great. I have this one and the hub version. Firmware updates every so often, plays everything i could throw at it.
Bought it to play movies from my flash drone and it will play any format. Also sync's right to my computer n then I play movies that way as well, just wish I could download apps like pptv.
Very easy to use. Plays all files, I would recommend this product to my friends.
Had some problem setting it up but once done its perfect. I wanted something to be able to watch any video files I have on my computer, directly on my TV with wifi. It do just that. No more computer and hdmi cable on my TV.
Bought this unit during a boxing week sale. The unit itself is pretty easy to set up and straight forward to use. It has been great and I have no issues connecting with my WiFi network. The quality of the videos is also good. I'm happy with my purchase.
I've had this device for over a year now - it's very reliable, the WIFI connection on this thing is great. I stream bluray movies over WIFI from a location where not even my laptop or phone would connect to the WIFI. I don't know how WD do it but it's awesome.
I'm satisfied with the performance of this device and would highly recommend it.
So far I was able to play all video format that I came across.
I currently have an Apple TV 3and this WD Live TV. The triumph of the WD TV is that I could attach a hard drive to it and it would play all my video types. That includes ISO's, Video_TS, *.mkv, and etc. This was a great big plus. I liked the look and feel of the Apple TV better but that isn't too critical for me. After reading some forums it became apparent that it isn't possible to play DRM files from iTunes. I didn't test this but it is probably true.
I also set up a Raspberry Pi with Xbian on it (XBMC). It worked great (like having an Apple TV, WD Live TV, and more) but I did find it a little slow. So in the end, I have ended up actually selling both my Apple TV 3 and WD TV Live and I now in the process of setting up an old laptop with Linux (Ubuntu or Mint) and puting XBMC on it. I think it will be the best. We will see.
But I digress. If you want a good device and can stream Netflix, and watch videos from external sources other than DRM filled content .... Go for it.
I bought this unit because it was one of the few that are able to stream video files directly over a network share without using a DLNA server. However, I ran into some issues connecting to my PC's shared folders, and it turns out these issues are not uncommon. I tried a few of the suggested solutions I found on the internet, but no luck. I did not try changing my PC's workgroup name to WORKGROUP, maybe that would have worked...
Instead I decided to connect my portable USB HDD directly to the WD TV Live unit. This turned out to be pretty convenient because the WD TV Live essentially turned my portable HDD into a network drive (which I have always been too lazy to setup properly). All my PCs and laptops on the network can see this HDD even when the WD TV unit is off (stand by). I doubt the bandwidth is as good as it could be if I set up the HDD directly on my router, but it's good enough for my purposes.
Can't really comment on other features since I've only used it for videos. The unit hasn't had any issues playing any of the video files I've tried. I have used it to view videos from my Youtube subscription using the "Youtube Leanback" service. The navigation is kind of slow and underwhelming, but works nonetheless.
Navigating the menus on the unit is ok. I wouldn't say the responsiveness is too slow or laggy, but certainly not instantaneous. One nice feature is the remote app for iOS (and Android I think); basically emulates the normal remote but makes it much easier to type when you need to enter more than a few letters.
Overall it's a pretty good unit. Easy to use and no need to setup a DLNA server to stream videos over your own network. Plays just about any file type you can throw at it. I just wish the issues regarding connecting to network shares got worked out.
this box was great, just what i needed, hooked up the 4 tb sea gate to my television and it plays everything...love it
I gave this a 4 out 5 because I am still learning all the ins and outs about the product. My friend recomended this one and I am completely satisfied so far. I needed something compact for travelling and this fits the bill. Now while away I can just plug into any TV and watch my movies.
Plays everything I throw the it. Have it networked with a WD Hub and no problems whatsoever. Recommend this box to anyone.
I got 2 at home. They work great.
Love it! When it actually works. Freezes up playing local MKV and Avi files. Freezing up playing netflix. When it works it's great. Upgraded firmware has made no difference and I've had two of these units with the same issues. Buyer beware.
I bought this because my Sony Bravia TV with USB barely played any files at all. I bought an HDMI cable to go along with it - as one isn't included - and now I can play everything I download, MKV, FLV, MP4, AVI, etc.
Although a little difficult to get set-up, depending on your operating system, this thing works perfectly for 1080p avi, mp4's and more if you have the codecs on your pc for it. Also works well as a youtube, netflix box.
The box itself does get hot but havent had any issues yet with system crashing.
Only problems have been when my 20mth old shuts off my pc and the streaming stops.
Well worth the price over a 2nd pc.
Simply put: WD Live TV works, but is sluggish and buggy. If you're patient enough to deal with performance issues, it does have good technical functionality. Compared to other players on the market, it can not only stream services, integrate with DLNA media servers, and play your downloaded movies and TV shows in any conceivable format, from anywhere on your network.
Easy to configure and run. Works perfectly. All features I need.
Extremely easy to set up and use. Small so takes little space. Works like a charm.
Purchased this product to replace a failing media center computer. I have been quite impressed with this little unit. It has been able to handle every file type I have thrown at it with ease. It is easy to set up and configure. It found all my shared network drives and I have a few. Even the wife and kids are able to use it without too much help. Biggest down side I have found is no internet browser. Lots of internet content but no browser. If they were to add this feature it would make it a real winner.
I purchased this unit as a result of online comparison and suggestion of BB sales rep. Started setup but got stymied when it came time to insert network name and password. Could not figure out how to get to on screen keypad. Tried everything then returned to store. Felt very stupid when sales rep told me to hit OK button when network field appeared. Returned home to try again.
Got through set up but couldn't get on network. Device showing only one bar signal yet laptop sitting beside it was showing 5 bar signal. Returned to BB. Sales agent said that all devices would likely be the same and that I should get signal booster. Return home with another box.
Good signal, setup complete and online. Can get online to netflix. This works. Device sees other computers but is not seeing content. Have a couple of freeze ups. Lose patience and call support. Have only 1 minute wait and I get a very helpful agent who suggests all kinds of things to no avail. He asks for time out to research and says he will send me an email with instructions. Get email and next morning try suggestion but no luck. Call support again and this time told to do full reset. This gets some results. Can now see computers and some files. Video files start then become choppy and lose sound. Long files don't seem to load.
I've installed a USB in the device and this seems to work well. So far I have a signal booster, wireless keyboard to operate the unit and a USB to hold the files. My main purpose was to stream web content and it does this OK. For other purposes it seems best to load content on the USB and plug the USB directly into the WD TV live.
Can't compare it to other devices but didn't like the time it took to figure things out. WD support was very good and they called back to see how things were working.
No problems , works exceptionally well! Does what it's sopposed to do!
The media player is easy to install and set-up. However if you have a large volume of media files this device should be avoided. I have about 1TB of media files, mostly .mp3's. After setting up the device and directing it to my media share, the device began to load it's media library. After about 1 hour the device froze and not only stopped loading the library, but would not respond to any input. On searching many forums it became apparent that this is a very common problem with the WD Live TV device. No amount of re-booting, re-setting, or changing of network settings would cure the problem. After trying about 10 times, I called the WD telephone support. After an hour with them on the phone, trying to fix the problem, the support tech told me I should either not use the media library (instead access the media by browsing through directories) or return the device and get a replacement. I chose to get a replacement but the new device had the same problem.
We got an Apple TV for Christmas last year, and were dissapointed with it, so we were wary of these smart-tv-in-a-box devices, but this thing is awesome. The major failing of the apple TV is that it only plays content that you have associated with your itunes account - and you have to have the computer with your itunes library turned on to view that content. If you have a bunch of content sitting around on an external hard drive, or if it's anything but a .mp4 file, then forget it. But the WDTVLive will not only play every type of file I've been able to throw at it, I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that once you plug in a USB hard-drive to it, it will serve it up as network attached storage over your home network, making it available for streaming content or back-up storage for any other PC's in the house. This device is a hair less responsive to control input than the Apple TV, but it has 100 times the utility. Awesome product - would have given it 5 stars if it was a little snappier.
Fantastic; plays everything... Liked it so much' I bought one for my son; we liked them so much, my brother-in-law and Dad have both bought one. Two other family members are considering trading in their apple TV... Great product.
I may have had a defective product but I experienced audio breaks while watching Netflix and other streaming media (problems I don't have on other devices). I couldn't connect to computer or wireless storage to stream video files. When I connect portable storage WD froze. Like I said, probably defective but if not then is is seriously nothing but a paper weight. I wasn't impressed and won't buy another. Recommend you get Apple or Roku.
I have had my WD TV Live for several weeks. I was initially impressed with the unit until I noticed sporadic lock-up during video play-back. I checked the WD support forum and found out that the lock-up issue has been happening all over the world for over a year! The unit sometimes has problems playing back 720p and 1080p movies. You need to disconnect and reconnect the USB drive to watch the rest of the movie after a lock-up. The unit will play one movie without problems and then the next movie will lock-up one or more times. WD support did not mention the problem when I contacted them about it. I had to find the information myself on the support forum. I do not recommend purchasing this unit.
I bought one and liked it so much I replaced all my DVD players with these units. I have them all running wireless with no issues. I am very pleased with this device but recommend you have a good router and know how to set it and your LAN up. If your network isn't set up right any media device will run slowly and crash. So I doubt the people with issues have their network set up properly [...]
Plays everything, including 3D and ISO's of DVD's. Couldn't live without it and being that the WiFi is great for streaming, makes it ultra-portable for any TV I have in the house.
I got the WDTV for Christmas and use it primarily for streaming video from a shared folder on my desktop computer(s). You need to have a basic understanding of setting up Windows shares for this method, but is very simple to configure on the WDTV and see's the shares right away. The WDTV also allows you to connect a USB keyboard, which makes typing much easier and faster than using the remote.
I hard wired my WDTV to my home network after reading reviews that the wi-fi can by hit and miss. I've had no playback issues going this route.
It plays pretty much any video format with no issues. I mainly use it to playback xVid and MP4 files. Playback quality is very good and smooth, which is something I haven't found when playing video through (various) DVD players through the USB port using a USB stick.
I compared this product to the Apple TV box and I opted for the WDTV since the Apple box is proprietary to iTunes and MP4 files. I am seriously thinking about purchasing a second WDTV for the TV in our bedroom.
Our DVD player(s) will rarely get any use now; maybe playback of our own DVD collection.
Great player. It will play any video format from Xvid,AVI, MKV,MP4. I have not seen a file it won't play.
I bought an older version of this product a few years ago and it worked great... we still use it and it works great. I bought this second one for the kids... and this newer model is crap... it constantly freezes up and doesn't work... then you have to reboot and start all over. Stay away and avoid the headache!!
Save your money and stay away from this [...]. It continually freezes, basically it is impossible to use.
All firmware updates have been completed. Still, it barely functions. WD's customer support has been extremely poor to say the least.
I gave this unit a 1. Unfortunately the number 0 isn't available.
I should have avoided their junk products when a hard drive failed after 2 months use and WD failed to stand behind their product.
Never again do I purchase a Western Digital branded product.
first off, do not buy this, it is more of a head ache then anything else, i've had it now for about 3 months, still doesn't work properly, took several days of searching online for figure out how to get this to work, there is no support from WD with this product, the included manual was useless, you have to find online forums to get any help, and now im back to having the same problems as before. When the item actually does work, its great, but the amount of enjoyment i got out of it is far less then the stress and headaches i get from it. save your money and buy something else
I love my WD TV live! I have a TB drive with all my movies and TV shows plugged in. All my hard drives are WD also so they are compatible. Maybe the reviews saying they have slow load speeds are not using WD drives? Both my elements and my book WD drives work great! Scans through 1TB of data very quickly!
Wifi is great too, can access my drive through home wifi network, no more unplugging and replugging my HD to multiple computers to watch movies and TV. All my downloads are in one central location accessible from all computers and the WD TV Live brings it to the big screen too.
Resolution is 1080 GREAT quality when watching downloaded blurays. Highly recommended I love it!
PS: Works with harmony remotes too! Flawlessly.
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