Pros When it works properly this product has a great interface reads nearly every video format is compact & easy to use & set up.
Cons The device hangs. Is to hot even when in standy it also keeps the power running to the external HD in standy mode & needs to be turned off at the power socket after every use. The maximum working room temperature is 35C to low especially in summer.
Summary I originally set the WD TV up using a HDMI switch using 1.3 cables to my Sony Bravia KDL-40X2000. The interface hung 1 in every 3 boots (it would go to save screen mode after a while but the remote never responded until switching the device off & on at the wall socket). I then did some trouble shooting & dedicated the device to each HDMI port swapping numereous HDMI cables & updating the firmware but the problem only worsend to working about 1 in every 15 boots. This was all extremely frustrating to say the least. I went back to the store & swapped WD TV 3 times & continued the trouble shooting but had the same issue on all devices. I came to the conclusion that it could be one of three issues... a HDMI issue with the WD TV, the TV was not recognising the WD TV properly, or I just got a bad batch. Every other device I have connected to the TV works without fault including my Pioneers DV-410S with has DivX operational thru a USB port to external HD.
I was extremely disapointed as I like the product but feel it has been released to early & requires a load more tests & updates. I have read forums from other people with similar but not identical HDMI issues to mine. I beleive there may be a known error with the HDMI. I also read about a possible HDCP certified issue that may be causing these problems on some TV's.
The composite worked well even on my mother in laws 18 year old telly using a scart to composite converson box.
I ended up purchasing a Mediagate MG-450HD I have been testing it since yesterday & it runs very well but does not accepts slightly less media formats.
Pros ? Easy setup
? Excellent quality
? Plays H.264 and MKV movie formats without conversion
? Relatively inexpensive
Cons ? No built in Hard Drive
? Have to physically move the external hard drive back and forth from you computer to your Home Theater System to download movies
? Stays warm in standby mode
? No HDMI Cable included
? Small remote contol
Summary If you download movies especially H.264 or MKV formats this little box plays them with no conversion and avoids the need to burn them to a dvd or blu-ray disk. You load the file on an external hard drive plug the external hard drive into the WD TV which hooks to your TV or home theater through an HDMI cable, or composite cables if you must, and you are good to go. The setup is as simple as it comes.
While it does show photos and play music to be honest I didn't buy it for that purpose and have not tried those features.
I have the WD TV hooked to my Home Theater System which has a projector with 1080i output and a 100 inch screen. The quality of the video and audio output is excellent, essentially the highest quality you can get on 1080i, virtually blu-ray quality. The WD TV is also easily upgradeable with downloads from Western Digitals website.
The WD TV is relatively cheap for what it does. Bottom line this is a great little box.
Pros - Capability of playing CD-quality sound files (FLAC) to hi-fi RCA connectors
- Full-HD TV playback through HDMI
- Easy firmware updates
- Playing from any USB drive
Cons - cumbersome organization of files
- not continuous playing of sound files
Summary The WD-TV can play a large number of video and audio formats, from any USB drive. It has 2 USB connectors, so it is convenient to have a hard disc permanently attached to it, and left the other free for playing from a pen drive. I have read that you can plug an USB hub, but I have not tested whether it works. What convinced me to buy the WD-TV was its capability to play FLAC files, i.e. lossless sound files, since then I could rip all my CD collection and listen to them in CD quality trough my hifi system. Moreover it has a hdmi connection, and I could also see movies on my HD-ready TV. In fact it can play full-HD files, I would like to be able to use this feature in the future.
The quality of both image and sound is good (not audiophile, but excellent for the price). The design is elegant and the size is very convenient. The menu is simple to use. The big problem is the organization of the files, since when you have a large number of them is rather cumbersome. You can select music files by album, by artist, or navigate on the folders of your hard disc. But to select an album you have to find it between all your albums in alphabetical order, regardless the artist. If you have a large number (easy in a 500 GB drive) this is a hard task. If you select by artist, you find all the songs by that artist in alphabetical order, so mixing all the albums. It will be more convenient to find albums by that artist, in order to select one to play!
Other problem, which should be easily solved in a firmware update, is that there is no option to play continuously (i.e. without gaps in sound) sound files from an album. This is awful when listening to certain albums or to live recordings.
Of the video files I used for testing the unit, roughly one third played without problems, other third played without sound, and the other third didn't play at all. When I updated the firmware, those without sound then played without problems. Those not playing continued to not play. The unit came with a conversion software which I have not tested yet, I hope this will permit to convert these files into a compatible format, but I cannot confirm it.
In conclusion, if in a future firmware update WD solves these issues, the WDTV would be an excellent player of all types of media files. But for the moment it is not. Before buying this unit, I would recommend checking the release notes of the last released firmware version (which you can find in the WD web page) in order to check whether all these issues have been actually solved. If yes, then the firmware update is very very easy (simply copy the file in a USB pendrive and plug it into the WD-TV).
Pros 1) Easy setup and play
2) Since there is no built in drive, no fear of becoming obsolete in storage
3) Plays most formats -audio, video and photo with very good quality
4) Compact in size
5) WORTH the Money spent
Cons 1) No proper product promotion and manual
2) Does not use the playlist in HD recorded movies. Each movie clip need to be played separately.
3) The unit I brought required firmware upgrade to play ".mts" files (the file format in AVCHD cameras).
Summary It is a useful HD media player especially when there are very limited players available in the market to play HD clips (I think IOmega Screenplay PRO HD is the other available one). I have a HD TV and HD camera. Always the camera need to be connected and the files are to be copied to camera SD to playback and it is a hassle.
Even though i could not confirm about its capability to play .mts files before buying (Neither the product box nor the WD web page does not list this format), it did with some initial hitch. I had to rename the .mts files to .m2ts files (!!!). Later i upgraded the firmware and it worked without problem.
Then I had to struggle with remote to play each HD clip separately ( 1 or 2 min duration each). I got a solution. The .mts files can be combined using a free software Tsmuxer (try http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/tsMuxeR-Download-92743.html)
AND NOW I have an excellent device to playback the HD clips. In addition you can use your HD TV to play back high res. photos. Hence, it makes the HD camera, digital still camera and your mp3 collections more useful and meaningful (Enjoy.!!!) at relatively low cost (around US$120/- in middle east) when compared to the HD gadgets (I mentioned earlier) we possess.
"Cool Media Player"on by Birdman7
Pros This is a great device that enables you to watch movies from the thumb drive of this device. Set up was a snap. Once I got the hardware out of the box it took no more than a minute to set up. The on-screen menu is simple and easy to interact with.
Cons Spent more time tracking down this media player in the store then setting up the device. It's not well know.
Summary For the price of $110 this is a great product.