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Customer Review

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bought for Slingbox (built-in Slingplayer app), August 1, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: WD TV Play Media Player (2013 Model) (Electronics)
Caveats: I'm a very experienced network engineer / architect and software developer. I can get things to work, and I can troubleshoot networks and devices. My primary intended use is to use the Slingplayer application at a vacation home (I have a new Roku 3 which is great so far, but astonishingly Roku doesn't support slingplayer), and get rid of the Dish.

This product has fatal flaws.

Out of the box experience was merely okay. Sluggish set up. Gave me composite video and audio, but not the HDMI cable I really needed.

The user interface is bizarre. I'm just not sure anyone put any thought into UX. The flow is baroque, unique, unintuitive, and chaotic. I wanted to accomplish 2 things; (1) get rid of that huge Accuweather icon dominating the favorites page (come on, did anyone want this?), and (2) check the firmware and make sure it is up to date. It took me 45 minutes to figure out the very odd UI navigation to do these 2 things. Usually I can pick my way through anyone's widgets and flow, but I struggled. I finally cheated and got some hints from online forums. Firmware from the factory turned out to be the latest version available, and it appears (though I have not seen it) that the WD Play will auto update firmware over the network.

The Netflix app crashes about 30% of the time I invoke it (by crash I mean the WD Play freezes up completely). The other 70% of the time it makes it to a welcome screen and presents 2 buttons: begin a "free" trial, or sign in as an existing user. I have Netflix, and pushing the button to sign into my existing account doesn't appear to do anything. I can wait and wait, or push the button repeatedly, and nothing will happen. No alerts are generated, nothing. At this point, I can push the "home" button to get out. Luckily, the Roku takes care of Netflix just fine.

The Slingplayer app does in fact work. Yay! But the lag is crazy. So I did a head to head test using an iPad with the slingplayer app, from the same room over the same wireless network, and ... wow, I think I will use the iPad. The lag is noticably less .. huh? Plus the iPad controls give me the replica of my Comcast DVR remote, and the slinplayer app on the WD TV Play is more of the strange menuing. Too bad, we really wanted to cancel the Dish out here in the boonies. We still will, but will have to settle for the iPad.

I really wish that this product worked. I'm beginning to suspect the processor inside is just underpowered for the job. Does the WD TV Live do a better job with Slingplayer?
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 11, 2014 6:47:02 PM PDT
Kaniki says:
not to be rude, but this post actually scares me a little. You say "I'm a very experienced network engineer / architect and software developer. I can get things to work,...." but then say it took me 45 minutes to figure out how to update and remove something from being pinned to the front page.. to remove from the front page, highlight the app by moving the box to that app, then hit the options button on the remote and select "unpin".. done.. to update, again, move the box to, not the app, but to the setup icon in the top right corner, hit the ok button, and its in there. it took you 45 minutes to figure that out??? it took me something like maybe 5 minutes.

agreed, it is not the fastest. like when watching something on netflix. if you hit the pause button, a lot of times, there is something like a 2 or 3 second delay before it pauses. so yet, major lag time. i have not had any trouble with netflix until just recently. something in the system just started screwing up overnight. I was one day past a year since i ordered it, but less then 1 year since i received it (shipping), so i contact WD.. they were very nice and slightly extended my warranty so i can get it fixed. but my problem was not just with netflix, it was with the connection. for some reason, it just stopped connecting to my network. It said everything was fine, but could not get anything to connect to the internet. either wired or wireless.. tried both.. i had to unplug the power and plug it back in to get anything to work, and that only worked temporary, maybe a day, then repeat. it worked fine one day, got up, and it refused to connect. so now, RMA, here i come.. also, i know it was not on my end that messed it up. I have them connected through decent UPS's.. and it was protect from surges.. Im talking 1500va type and better. so it was not a power surge that did it.

granted, it is lacking in features, but all i got mine for was the netflix app, so i can not say about the rest of the stuff you said, and the menu is not the greatest, but it is not that hard to navigate or figure out. it kinda reminds me of a touchscreen menu.. but still, seriously, 45 minutes.. that one just scares me..

PS.. i am a network admin by trade too.. so i have some technical ability, but seriously, 45 minutes???

Posted on Jun 5, 2014 4:49:28 PM PDT
freeway4 says:
I am not a network admin...not even close. While I was able to get everything to work with much less effort and trouble than you had, I DID have the exact same experience with the Slingplayer app.

Slingplayer is MUCH less laggy on the iPad sitting in the same room. I was hoping Fire TV would have sling but not yet. Looks like it will be Roku 3 for me. At least that has more ram and a much faster processor.

Posted on Dec 6, 2014 5:08:50 AM PST
A customer says:
Some experienced network engineer; can't get this little thing to work...must not understand instructions; this was simple to setup, simple to about reading the instructions...
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