Anyone know how these compare to Roku or Chromecast?
edit: the above reviews were linked to the same model, however look generic. These reviews are for the recertified unit on amazon
is this the version people refer to as the wd live smp? trying to figure out if this is the same as that one.
We’ve had one of these for a little over 2 years now; we bought it when we cut the cable to add Netflix, etc. to our TV, which was at the time a tired old Trinitron.
Overall, it’s a decent little box. It plays a wide variety of formats without needing a server to transcode on the fly, and has pretty robust options to stream your own media from a network server (Samba or NFS, etc.); the likes of a Roku or Apple TV doesn’t do that natively.
The downside is that it’s getting pretty long in the tooth in terms of computing power. The entire UI is far slower than the likes of a Roku 3, and if you hate having to wait, you won’t like this. Its Netflix interface looks and feels exactly like what you’d get on a current SmartTV, except that it’s literally 3-4 times slower.
Its built-in indexing of media apparently also doesn’t like large video libraries. We have something like 500 DVDs that I ripped to our home server, and something like 60 blu-rays, and it seemed to stop caring about pulling down metadata a while back. I can still instruct it to index each movie manually, but that’s getting old rather fast.
Edit: I should also add that this is 1 generation older than the current version, which is apparently called “WDTV Media Player” and goes for $100.
I’m mildly familiar with this stuff, here’s how I’d summarize it:
If you play off local drives (USB or local network) get a WD TV.
If you want to stream video from Internet services, get the Roku. The Roku Stick is the same price, and has vastly more streaming options (although, apparently, NOT YouTube).
If you like messing with technology, get a Fire TV. It does a little of everything, and I hear it does it well, but it will take a while before it can compete with the above.
it is better then Roku, in that it will stream from a hard drive, or a network attached storage.
AT this price, these are also great for just dumping in your travel stuff, so you can just take a USB drive full of media with you and play it anywhere that has a TV with HDMI.
Friends house, Hotel, etc.
It’s easier than lugging the laptop out sometimes, finding a place to set it so it doesn’t get knocked over, etc.
WD TV for playing stuff off of usb drive. But Roku and Plex or Firetv and Plex streams everything you want from a laptop or server. And apparently the interface is prettier? I’ve gone Plex/Roku and never looked back.
We have a Roku Streaming Stick and it does indeed have a youtube app available.
I also have one of these for playing media off my local network (Synology Diskstation). It can pick up DLNA media servers, Windows servers and Mac servers. It also has A LOT of apps, but to be honest I don’t use them. I picked it up because my Xbox 360 was picky about which file types it would play. So far, this has played everything I’ve thrown at it.
In the couple years I’ve had it, it’s received a handful of software updates which was nice to see. The last one was a few months ago so it seems WD is still supporting it. I also recently discovered WDLXTV if you’re into that whole custom firmware scene. I haven’t messed with any of that yet since it’s working fine as-is.
I second everything smegheid stated…
The WDTV can play from any networked computer, without requiring Plex.
That isn’t because the device is getting old, it is due to a bug in the latest firmware. Though WD calls it a “feature”, everyone else thinks it is a bug. If you click Settings > System and change the Metadata retrieval from auto to manual then back to auto, it will grab the data for everything without prompting. For some reason, WD made it not do that automatically for new files added. Alternatively, with it set to Auto, you can power the unit off/on (not just standby, but full power off) and upon booting up it will automatically grab the metadata for any files that don’t already have it. Once it has the data for a particular file it shouldn’t need to do that again.
I purchased this a month ago on a previous Woot. It works as described by all the other comments. I have an older D-link Movienite, two Rokus(1st gen and 2nd gen LT). My existing three won’t play anything off my home network without paying for extra subscription/software or having a media server send it to them(still buggy though). This seems to play everything. I have several different formats of movies. It is slower than the LT, on par with the Roku 1st gen and faster than the D-link. I will probably buy another today. I’m trying to talk myself out of it since I don’t need another box.
I have this model as well as an older one that didn’t support Netflix. Overall, I like it. Simple interface, easy updates, small enough to tote around.
I agree that it can take a bit of time to index the movies, but if you leave it running with the hard drive or network plugged in, it is pretty much ready to go when you are. I like that it can handle all the different video formats, so if you want to rip your DVD collection or simply play the odd video file that you have on a usb drive, no problem.
I also have a Roku. I like them both. Helps keep the cable company at bay.
This is about improving Roku picture quality.
Press Home 5 times
Press Back 3 times
Press Forward 2 times
Select 3.5 Mbps
This should deliver HD signals to out of your Roku. There may be problems with slow initiating of downloads and re-initiating of downloads but it does force HD only output.
There are videos on YouTube about this too.
In that respect, yes. (There are third party solutions for doing this with a Roku, but native support is almost always better.) However, while it supports the major streaming services, you won’t be getting the glut of channels and user-created apps that you can get on a Roku.
I have both devices. I use the WD more, on our main tv, because of the static media capabilities. We watch pre-recorded shows and ripped movies from a HD, and can still get Hulu Plus, Amazon, Netflix, etc. Most of the time we don’t miss the Roku channels, but if that’s something you do a lot with your Roku, you’ll be disappointed in this.
I have these in every room of my home. I have an 8tb NAS that they stream from. These devices are great. The only problem I have had is that they do not stream from Amazon Prime, if you use your windows PC as the network media storage some file types do not show and that is acutally a problem with Microsoft rather than this device. I have ripped mp3’s, mp4’s, avi, mov, m2ts, mkv’s and all play really well. I just wish it could do amazon.