Customer Review

317 of 344 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best choice for the $100 range of devices, October 11, 2011
This review is from: WD TV Live Media Player Wi-fi 1080p (Electronics)
---------------UPDATE 5/25/2012-------------------
There's been a lot of changes since writing this review but just this week, WD updated the youtube leanback app and made a ton of improvements!. Now I can play my new videos from my subscriptions playlist :) There's also more data provided about each video and a sleek ui overhaul. You can also control the app through your iphone/android device (haven't tested this yet). Nice job WD! Loving this so much now!
--------------- /Update----------------------------

I want to start by letting you all know that I'm very picky about my electronics and I'm not easily satisfied nowadays, so I always play with several products before sticking with one. I've gone through the wdtv live plus (grey model with small remote), sony smp-n100, and the apple tv 2 before trying out this device (also used various BD players, gaming consoles for netflix/youtube streaming). I must say that this unit takes the cake in terms of what you get for the price.

Too lazy to give you my full story and thoughts so I'm just going to sum it up and give comparisons to the atv2, which I'd consider the next best choice for a set top box.

-Video quality exceeded my expectations (netflix, youtube, network streaming)
-Youtube steams HD (unlike smp-n100 and other revisions of the wdtv live/plus)
-Wifi is integrated in this unit but won't see my N network (no big deal)
-Youtube won't allow you to access your subscriptions from the app, only your favorites list, search, popular videos, and your published videos (biggest downside for me)
-Can stream nearly every video file format I would ever use
-Netflix app on this device functions very well, better than other devices I've used.
-Includes a few games like chess, memory, dumb boring stuff mostly.
-The remote is more responsive and has more buttons (which I love) than the other model I used (WDBABF0000NBK-NESN)

Okay, now for my comparison of the WDBHG70000NBK vs the apple tv:

Both devices operate exceptionally well compared to the sony smp-n100 and the wdtv live (WDBABF0000NBK-NESN).
I was very pleased with the performance of Youtube and Netflix on both the apple tv 2 and the WDTV live; However, I appreciated the interface of the atv2 Netflix app slightly more simply because it gave me more choices and allowed me to specify sub-genres of movies to choose from and giving me similar movie/tv choices based on the content that's currently selected... similar to how Youtube shows related videos on the sidebar. The wdtv live had slightly better loading times with netflix buffering than the atv2 but not by much. The major selling point for me on the wdtv live was the fact that it consistently streams HD and doesn't change the video quality as often as atv2 did while watching Netflix. I hated switching from HD to SD or worse during a movie!!! The atv2 also has a noticeably blurry/pixelated image quality even while streaming HD content. That alone was the reason why I had to try out this revision of the wdtv live. This unit does not experience the loss of image quality that my atv2 had undergone, but I read somewhere that atv2 uses a different bandwidth standard for HD streaming than other devices and will dynamically change the quality while streaming without notification to avoid disturbances... I have a 20Mb downstream rate... still looked ugly with my 20Mb connection so I'd stay away from that unit if picture quality is important to you. Your wife probably won't find it irritating but if you've gotten used to the clarity of 720p, you WILL see the lack of focus and pixelation while using netflix on the atv2 (youtube was less noticeable). Jailbreaking the atv2 was a MAJOR selling point for me and in my opinion, increases the value of the unit by at least another $100 if you use the couch surfer addon or xbmc :) I won't go into that but google it if you want to learn about it.
WDTV live also supports almost every video format you'd ever want to stream from your pc so you wont have to go through the hassle of converting file types to make them work on your device. Atv2 lacks strongly in this department.

Alright, I'm getting restless typing all this ****. I'd rate the wdtv live a 9/10 and the atv2 an 7.9/10.
I'd highly recommend this device especially for the price!

PS- If you buy elsewhere, make sure you buy this unit with the large remote (as seen in the picture listed) not the version with the tiny remote, that's the old model and it sucks compared this this one. I'm too lazy to list the details, just take my word for it. I'm a wizard.

Edit 1: Found a few minor negatives about this device that I'd like to address here for the manufacturer to make notice of:

1. HDMI cec cannot turn off the device when Netflix app is open due to confirmation prompt- FIXED!
2. Youtube app should include subscriptions section or the ability to view only videos from specific users- FIXED!
3. New FW update causes issues with video output when the device wakes from sleep (might be related to hdmi cec)
4. general sluggishness of the menus with all the additional apps taking up space, maybe give us an option to uninstall certain apps?
5. youtube leanback has occasional buffer error where it wont come out of a buffer ring state
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Comments

Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 11-17 of 17 posts in this discussion
Posted on Aug 23, 2012 10:29:35 AM PDT
Bob Discher says:
Chaz,

I noticed that you mentioned that the unit wouldn't see your N network. If you are set up not to broadcast the SSID, that may be the problem. Although the unit allows one to manually enter the network information, what I found was that mine would not find my network until I enabled SSID broadcast. As soon as I enabled that, it found the network in seconds. But sadly, disabling the broadcast while it was connected caused an immediate disconnect and it again wouldn't find the network. Looks like they didn't think allowing the security of disabling SSID broadcast was worth considering. That should be another thing that Western Digital should take notice of and consider correcting.

Posted on Nov 2, 2012 1:09:35 PM PDT
"I'm a wizard". This comment pushed me over the edge to buy it :-).

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 7:24:42 AM PST
Hi Chaz,

I was wondering, does it allow you to transfer media, via a network connection (wired or wireless), from a PC to the unit's connected storage, such as a USB Flash Drive or USB HD?

Thank,
Shane

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 12:23:06 PM PST
Steve B says:
I just got this for Christmas as a gift and read this review and this comment thread and I had the exact question. If I load up a USb HDD and hang it off the USB, can I then add to it via my home network without messing with the physical setup at the tv.

I will continue my research. The OP had a great review and I hope is still here.

Posted on Jun 8, 2013 6:44:54 AM PDT
Can this unit be used with an Apple i mac? I've tried searching the web but have not found a satisfied answer. If you can advise, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

Posted on Nov 12, 2013 7:43:05 AM PST
Keith says:
So does the documentation say anything about the max hard drive that can be installed? Also, can you please measure the height again? Based on the pictures of the back, I don't see how it can as thin as a dvd case (not saying that's incorrect but the network port alone is about that height and there's room above it and below it. Plus I imagine a 3.5 inch hard drive is what is installed.

Thanks.

Posted on Nov 23, 2013 9:55:32 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 23, 2013 9:59:34 PM PST
Hi, I'm looking for a device that I can hook into my HARDWIRED (ethernet) home network. The purpose: to be able to watch on my living room 63" Flatscreen ANY of the hundreds of .WTV files stored on my desktop PC, which is located in my bedroom. (Basically, I record ALL my OTA broadcast programming for free on my desktop using two HD Homerun tuners.) I also have a 51" flatscreen in my bedroom and can watch the files in there via the HDMI connecting my PC directly to it. But sometimes I wanna watch recorded programs in the living room and am unable to do so. I have two blu-ray players, both of which are Netflix, home network and internet capable but neither can play these files. My 63" also has network/internet capability but cannot play these files either. My research thus far seems to suggest that MOST streaming devices on the market today WON'T recognize .WTV files. Do you know whether this unit has such capability? Thanx in advance.
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