WD , WD TV Mini Media Player
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- DVD-quality playback
- Play media from your USB drive
- Collect without limits
- Real Media playback
- Supports a wide variety of video, photo and music formats
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WD TV Mini media player is an easy, affordable way to watch digital media on your big screen TV. Simply plug in WD’s My Passport portable hard drive, or similar USB drive, and play movies, music, and photos in a wide variety of file formats, including Real Media (RMVB) format. There’s no limit to the size of your media collection; just add more drives for more movies. Supports DVD-quality video playback. Also works with most popular USB drives, digital cameras, and camcorders.
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Top Customer Reviews
+ very small and minimalist design, akin to the Apple TV. It's square and flat. Measures 3.6 x 3.6 x 0.8 tall.
+ plays RMVB @ 1024x576x24, 1024x576x30, or 800x600x30
+ $20 cheaper than WDTV
+ great support for various music formats, including the lesser known FLAC (free loss-less audio codec), OGG, and APE
+ retains the look and feel of the WD TV interface (mostly)
- no HDMI output
- no MKV support
- 1 USB port
The $20 price difference does not make this an attractive buy when compared to its fully-featured big brother, the popular Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player. The only reason you might buy this instead of the much better WDTV is for RMVB support, but the trade-off simply does not add up.
A "wide variety of file formats" is a subjective term here. WD added RMVB support, but took away MKV, one of the player's biggest selling points. RMVB is only useful if you intend to watch a lot of internet-downloaded shows from mainland China/Hong Kong, as the low CPU requirements for this format makes it a popular choice for encoders there. For hi-def encodes, MKV is the format of choice.
For audio, the only new format is APE, which is very rare and unlikely to be of use to the vast majority of users. You also lose AIFF support with the Mini, but that is unimportant.
It's advertised by WD as being "small enough to take with you", but the WDTV was already compact enough to transport. The Mini flew in under the radar, just like the WD TV originally did, but it's a puzzling new addition to the product line considering the existence of the superior WD TV and the anticipated release of the WDTV's successor.
WDTV owners have been clamoring for network support for a long time, and I'm surprised WD went and devoted resources to making this new, under-powered (and un-asked for) product instead of putting all their efforts into bringing the WDTV 2 to market earlier (officially called the WD TV Live Network-ready HD Media Player).
If you need a player right now and don't need RM/RMVB support, I recommend the WDTV instead of saving the $20 here. If you can wait 2 months for the release of the WDTV 2, then wait. It will have network support (wired) and DTS-downmix (so you don't need a separate audio receiver), 2 very big and important additions requested by users. If WDTV 2 retains RMVB, it will be the best of both worlds.
UPDATE: 10/30/2009. The WDTV Live is out now. It's networked and WiFi enabled (via third party USB dongle). If you need RMVB playback and networking, you may wish to consider the excellent (if homely) ASUS O!Play - TV HD Media Player (Black)
-Easy to use for people just want to play and enjoy contents. It is pretty much as easy to use as your TV. This is designed for general consumers than the techies.
-Play SD movies and RMVB materials really well. It will play the dvd menu and the entire movie if you select the VIDEO_TS folder. No need to manually play each VOB file and no need to create iso file either. I have not encountered any issues playing movies or RMVB files since I received this player two months ago. Subtitles and language tracks all played properly. This is also the only WD player that will play RMVB.
-Good video quality. When connected to my 40" LCD TV, video quality from 1080i output seems to be very good for both movie and RMVB materials. I do not see perceivable differences between the mini and my oppo dvd player in daily viewing. Quality from composite output is fine for what you would expect of such signal.
-Energy efficient. Consumes 5 watts when powering an external usb drive. 4 watts if a flash drive is used. It also cuts power to the attached player-powered usb drive when off. This player does not get hot even while powering a usb drive.
-Video cables come with the player are short. You have to position the player close to TV and that limits the placement flexibility. These cables are proprietary design so you can not easily swap them out with regualr cables.
-No support for 1080p output. No hdmi so you have to run video and audio cables separately to your tv/receives.
This player has served me well for what I seeks. With the current going price this may be a good choice for people looking to enjoy their SD collections now and wait for better HD players and contents couple years down the road.