WD TV Live Streaming Media Player Review
This document reviews the Western Digital TV Live Streaming Media Player. After owning the device for about one week, I have some comments to make on its performance.
Connecting this unit to my old CRT 32" TV was simple. After connecting the TV with a single cable (mini video/audio - to - RCA), connecting the power adapter and fitting the two supplied AAA batteries into the remote control, I was ready to turn the unit on. I turned the unit on with the remote. A white LED showed up on the lower front right of the device as expected. I turned the TV on and set the language to English.
This device may be connected to an HDTV instead if one is available (cable is not provided).
I had a USB (Belkin b/g) wireless adapter available and plugged this into the rear USB. The adapter was recognized and two wireless networks appeared, the strongest signal being from my own network. I entered my WEP 128-bit security code for the network and within several seconds, I was connected to the internet. This was very straightforward.
Netflix, Facebook, Youtube
As I had previously subscribed to Netflix and had only been watching this on my 22" PC LCD monitor, I was excited to get this (above all) working on the device. After entering the required username and password, the wireless worked pretty quickly and without a problem. I use the wireless connection to stream reasonable (easily watchable, decent quality) video to my TV. We have watched several movies so far without glitches.
I signed onto my Facebook account and was able to see various aspects of my FB account, although with the poor TV display resolution, this was not a great experience. Signing in to Youtube worked well, and I was able to navigate my account and search for videos as well. Video quality for all of these services was very acceptable but I will be happier when I have an HDTV for display. Searching without a keyboard (with the remote) is a tad slow and a bit cumbersome. I will be trying a USB keyboard connected to the device in the future to see if this is a better way. The second USB connection on the front of the device will allow interfacing USB drives and accessing the data on them. I have yet to test this feature.
Comments and Future Testing
Although I have been successful in accomplishing what I set out to do, I am having difficulty displaying videos from my PC. I believe this is my incomplete understanding of what I need to do. I can and have viewed images from the PC and have streamed music from the PC using Media Center from J.River successfully. I do feel that I have only scratched the surface of the capabilities of this device and will be testing the remaining features in the near future. A full printed manual did not come with the device, and I have downloaded a PDF copy from WD's website. This will help a lot, I am sure.
Overall, I am very happy with the performance of this WD TV Live device and even if we do soon update to a Smart HDTV with these capabilities built in, I will still use this device in our rec room for viewing there.
I hope to provide an update to this brief review in the coming weeks.