Sunday, February 20, 2011

Western Digital - WD TV Live Plus HD Media Player Quick Review

Western Digital WD TV Live Plus 1080p HD Media Player
I just purchased the Western Digital HD media player for my parents the other day. The media player plays all the files I download whether it is a movie, songs, or photos I have stored on an external hard drive. It is capable of accessing the internet through purchasing a USB wireless adapter or can connect to the net with a wired connection. That being said,  their player is not connected to the net! No need for my parents' style of use. 
A picture of the picture quality. Picture quality will vary depending on the resolution of your video file as well as the resolution of your HD TV. 
Sample photo just to show interface

The interface is simple and resembles that of a PS3 console. Since there are 2 USB inputs, I'm able to connect an external hard drive as well as a small flash drive stick simultaneously in the player. I can play the files on either drive or I can also copy/move/delete files from one drive to the other. 

The media player is connected to the HD TV through HDMI so it can play video as well as audio through the TV. Since they also have a receiver, I connected the media player to it with the audio composite cables. The media player has the optical audio input as well but my parents don't have that cable, maybe in the future. The cables that it comes with are the composite av cables for non HD televisions and the component cables for HD television sets. It does not come with HDMI cables(also for HD TVs).   

This player really does play many formats. The video formats I've tested were AVI, M2TS, MKV, and MP4 though it can play many more. I've also tested a few audio formats such as .FLAC and .MP3 and they work really well. For the rest of the specs click here.

A few knocks on this player is that the remote is not really responsive and the fast forward feature isn't the best in the world although it can remember where you left off in a movie and resume playing from that point on. Some of the downsides to this player involves connecting it to their wireless home network. I cannot comment on that since I'm not using it in that manner.  

If you are tired of watching your 1080p, 720p or DVD quality rip vids on your computer monitor and don't have a PS3 or Xbox 360 and want to play them on your large HD TV then this is a must buy for only 119 but cheaper online. The picture quality is clear. Remember if you purchase this, you must also have some kind of external hard drive or flash drive that contains the files you want to play. If you want an all in one system that has a 1 TB hard drive already built in the media player, then get the Western Digital HUB. 
Western Digital WD TV Live Hub 1 TB Media Center

Please leave any questions or comments! I'd be happy to help.

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