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Western Digital WD TV Live Hub

Some of the most popular and easy to use media players are from Western digital. hey have many models and some the interesting are listed below :
  1. WD-TV
  2. WD-TV Live
  3. WD-TV Live +
  4. WD TV Hub
I have good experience on most of them since I own WD-TV, WD-TV Live and WD- TV Hub. The latest being WD-TV Hub I will focus this posting on this. It has a built-in 1TB HDD and a feature to sync with USB connected external HDD. Like other media players in the market it also plays almost all the video and audio formats and access Internet through a add on Wi-Fi dongle, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, mediafly , 360 etc… Infact it is a long list.

Where it differs from other media players in the following areas:
  1. True 1080P playback which is very smooth without any hitches for HDMI playback. Its CPU is powerful enough to handle any kind of 1080P video and lossless Audio (Dolby True HD & DTS Master HD). Most of players falters here including WD TV to WD TV Live +
  2. Excellent 1080P Video , looks gorgeous in a 52” TV, almost same quality of good Bluray players.
  3. Very pleasing colors for GUI and good navigation and a better remote
  4. HDMI Pass through for audio so your AVR can decode lossless 7.1 channel audio
  5. Smooth HDMI handshaking no stuttering here.
  6. Smooth compiling of very large number of media files, most of the media players cannot handle this gracefully due to limitation of RAM size.
  7. Act as a DLNA server, can access movies (media files) from anywhere in the network. For example you can stream movies stored in your WD-TV Live HUB (kept in living room) in another room and watch in TV using a WD-TV Live (or using other media players/ PC).
Cons: It does not have a USB 3.0 support or e-SATA interface and currently limited to 2TB max external HDD. It does not support Apple Airplay even with the latest beta firmware 1.04… released on 3rd Mar ’11.

Latest Xtreamer Prodigy (which is to be released in Apr ’11) support all these on paper atleast . Hope it will not be like Motorola Xoom player which offers a good hardware platform but cannot even dream of competing with iPad/ iPad 2 which offers outstanding experience for the end users. I will not equate WD TV Live HUB experience with Apple products but it evolved a lot compared to other attempt at media players. It is not a product for Geeks like Popcorn Hour C200

Most of the media players in the market cannot handle 1080P movies gracefully; it will be a little better than watching 1080P movies in a Windows machine.