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Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by dragonetti, Feb 11, 2009.
Anyone have this thing or know if it's worth a buy?
WD TV HD Media Player ( WDAVN00 )
I bought it about a week and a half ago but have not got around to it yet. I've talked to a couple of people who have it and they like it, particularly at $100. I had some free digital copies of movies that came with Blu-Rays and about 4 weeks back I picked up a WD 500G USB hard drive at Target for $77.77 (figured a portable device would be better as I have multiple computers). Besides movies, I figured I would record a decent portion of my music collection in WMA (lossless) and use it to transfer to the Zune player I use in the car. It will either end up in the bedroom system or the main system (which back to each other and are somewhat interconnected) at some point in the near future. I've ordered a new bedroom rec'r (mine is 8 yrs. old - ordered a Marantz 6003) and am going to move my Samsung 2500 Blu-Ray player to the bedroom and get the Oppo player for the main system when it is out. I have components in the bedroom system I'm moving to the basement (DAC, Sony 2000ES CD/SACD changer) and a Harmony 1 remote I have not unboxed either. So it may be several weeks before I get to it. I've been slowing putting music on he hard drive when I've had spare time.
Wow that thing is small, let me know how it works for you when you get time to play with it. I am a little more interested in the video side of it, I stream my music from my computers to my Denon so I will not be loading any music on my portable HDs. I have a 80g passport and a 500g WD also. It would be nice to take the media player and the passport to work when I work nights to pass the time.
I'd rather have something like the Popcorn Hour Media Tank that allows streaming over your home network and/or attached USB. It also does not need to have any media converted because it plays back almost every format I have ever heard of.
These players from the network companies like Linksys and Netgear have been around for a while but never caught on because it is not their core business. I think it may be the same for WD. I would like to be proven wrong though.
There's lots of stuff like that such as - Welcome to Digital Connection -Home Theater and Multimedia PC Convergence Products
My PS3 is also hooked to the network (along with a MAC G5 and and Dell XPS 410 Tower) but I've not done anything with it. Of course my main use is for lossless audio for home playback and using the hard drive for conversion to populate the Zune player for the car. The Samsung 2500 has Netflex capability and if I choose to stream movies, the $8.99/month is cheap and doesn't involve me taking lots of time.
I chose the WD TV as a budget alternative to the Popcorn Hour... its codec support is nearly as comprehensive and it does MKV playback extremely well. There's a handful of 1080p files it won't play smoothly, but they have a high number of ref frames and there seems to be a ref frame limit. There's an extremely length and detailed thread over at AVS that you could check out. I've done some comparisons of 720p MKVs vs native BluRay from a UP5000 on a 100" screen at 720p, and the MKVs actually seemed a bit more pleasing due to far less film grain... perhaps not the most accurate picture, but the film grain was far less distracting, particularly on Transformers... I'm guessing this has more to do with the compression of the file than the WD TV player itself.
All said, for $100 this is a great little box. It's had one firmware update so far and at least one WD developer is active in the AVS thread discussing future updates. Big updates I'd like to see are thumbnail or cover art support for MKVs (either embedded or external) and the ability to copy from one USB device to another (like from a USB stick to a USB hard drive).
Yes, I have seen few 1080p files that don't play smooth on my computer. I'll see if I can find that post on avs. I really like that it uses a hd so I can bring and use it anywhere. I am gonna go get it.
Can you plug ANY hard-drive into this and have it work? I was a bit disappointed when I got a DVD recorder with a USB input and found it could not play stuff off my hard drive when I plugged it in. I'm not computer-literate enough to set up a 'network'.
I think for 100 bucks or less this one is a winner. MKV and Flac support covers most of my PC media collection. I undestand it'll even play back extracted (native) Blu Ray files.
Whle the lack of WiFi seems like a drawback, I think the inconsistent throughput of most G and N devices makes that less suitable for streaming high bitrate movies to a primary viewing location. Wired Ethernet would have been nice.
So worst case, you spend 100$ bucks on this, and you can still pickup a 1.5TB drive for 120 and a USB enclosure for 20 more and have an endless media server, that is also highly portable should you need it, for less than 250.
And yes, it will work with any USB external HDD. That's really another benefit here, is the simplicity of it.