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WD TV Live Review

By on January 12, 2012
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All your entertainment needs in one tiny box.

Good: Small size, Passive cooling, Easy setup, Can play virtually any file format video and audio
Bad: Navigating menus isn't instantaneous, Browsing through radio stations and YouTube videos is laggy
Price: AED 550
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Streaming boxes should be the norm in every modern household nowadays. There is just too much media online not to have one hub hooked directly to your TV. While there are many options available locally, Western Digital’s media boxes have always had a major presence in the market. Today I’ll be looking at the latest WD TV Live.

In the past we’ve had some forms of WD TV media boxes, most notably the WD TV Live Hub which comes with a 1TB hard drive built-in. The first thing you’ll notice about the WD TV Live differing from WD TV Live Hub, apart from the price difference, is the incredibly small footprint. Whereas WD TV Live Hub has a very low profile and sleek design, the new WD TV Live is very boxy. Even so, the matt black finish makes it very easy to blend with your existing setup.

Measuring just 125x100x30mm, the WD TV Live weighs a mere 200 grams. The front has a simple transparent plastic plate which just shows the white activity LED (which can be turned off) and a USB port. On the rear you have the power plug, Optical out, LAN input, HDMI out and another USB port, finished off with an old school AV out port.

Pretty much the entirety of the bottom panel has holes in it, with the bottom of the circuitry having a large metal plate. And unlike the WD TV Live Hub, there’s no fan in the WD TV Live, so the entire thing is passively cooled. You’ll only be thankful for this when the WD TV Live is in standby mode, because the WD TV Live Hub would have its fan running almost all the time.

Included in the box is the power cable, manual, the remote control plus batteries. The remote control itself is identical to the WD TV Live Hub, which means it has the same irritatingly long rubber buttons. The layout, however, is nice and simple to use.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

Comments
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  • Guest

    Hi, is the product available now, and with which retailers?

    • Taimoor Hafeez

      It should be available at Sharaf DG, Carrefour, Plug-Ins, and all other major electronic outlets.

  • Derek

    I own a WDTV Live, despite its great features, the biggest draw back for me is the fact that it cannot create play lists on the fly, which when having a nice music collection should be pretty standard. The only way to get play lists going is to create them ‘offline’ on your pc and play the file on the WDTV Live. That means everytime I’d like to spice my mix, I need to run for the nearest pc with my hdd in hand… silly really :(

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