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Western Digital Live TV

By on January 26, 2010
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WD Live TV is one of the easiest ways of getting your pictures and videos from your hard drive to your big screen.

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The Verdict:
WD Live TV delivers what it promises to in a fool-proof way. We do wish it was slightly cheaper.

With an explosion in the sales of external USB hard drives, its no surprise to see people storing media such as photos, music and videos on such drives. They offer a reasonable capacity to price ratio. 

However, to view these files, you generally need to connect to a PC or Mac and launch the relevant application. Although that’s a bit inconvenient, its fine if you want to view your photos and videos on your computer. But chances are that you’d want to enjoy a movie or even your photos on your flat screen TV in your living room. That’s where the Western Digital Live TV comes in.

WD Live TV is a very small device looks like Western Digital’s external My Book hard drives. It comes bundled with composite and component cables and a power adapter required to power the device along with a remote that you use for navigating. The front of the device has power LEDs and the iR receiver giving it a nice minimalist look. On the back side you have all the connectivity options such as Composite, Component and HDMI outputs, TOSLink Digital Audio Output, Ethernet port and a power port. You also have one USB port on the back along with another USB port on the top of the device to connect two drives in total.

The device powers up within a few seconds but for some strange reason, I could not get WD Live TV to work over our 720p LCD display. I kept getting a “Incompatible mode” message on my LCD. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any other TV in the office to test Live TV with but switching over to component solved the issue. The main menu of WD TV Live lets you move between Videos, Photos Music and Settings. Each of these menus has further sub-menus and instead of writing about it, we decided to record it so you can get a better idea.

As you can see, the interface is pretty easy to use and I like the fact that you can access your network shares or a Media server. Adding You Tube is also a pretty good idea just in case you forget to pack a hard drive with your movies on it. In fact, that would pretty much be my only complain about the WD Live TV- a lack on internal storage. The device is big enough to add an internal 2.5″ hard drives and I think WD should’ve added at least a 250GB hard drive- somewhat like the LG HXF1 that we reviewed some time back.

Other than that, the WD Live TV is a pretty cool device that lets you access your media on the big screen relatively easily. Its available at most of the larger electronics stores across the UAE and is priced at US$150 or AED 550 which is a tad bit on the higher side.


About

Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

Comments
  • MagnusTheBrewer

    I’m sorry but a great deal of information is lost when a supposedly tech aware person making a presentation can’t figure out how to turn auto focus off.

  • http://mvmajorem.blogsome.com Mvmajorem

    It’s a cool device but lacking some features. Please also put into that this support DTS audio as we are not dealing with AVIs anymore but MKV which carries Dolby audio which could not be decoded without an AVR, something which the first version (WD HD TV) was lacking aside from network support. I think the incompatible mode issue is due to the HDMI otherwise a firmware update would be good but the 2nd firmware update they released bricked them, so be extra cautious.

    One product I would endorse is the Xtreamer Media Player which has really good support from the makers as well as cooling and NAS solutions. Been there and tried it… way better.

    Extremely overpriced here in the Gulf though, look at what they did to Popcorn Hour.

  • ThumbHole

    Why can't you just do all of this on your Xbox 360?

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