Greetings again, I recently acquired a WD TV Live Plus HD. At first I was rather suprised how tiny the device is. Once plugged in, be prepared for a a lot of patches. Not exactly what I call a good time but with each upgrade you can see a lot of new and improved functionality. If they keep on improving the software, as well they should, it’s only going to get better.
Navigating through the system is fairly self explanatory. There are a lot of services available to you in the internet media section. Any network shares you have setup are available to you (with some configuration in the settings).
The remote leaves me wanting more. The buttons are rather small and require a little more pressure applied to them to get them to work. Western Digital does provide the ability for a USB keyboard (even wireless). I have yet to try this but I’m very anxious to use a keyboard with it, I have seen a keyboard used and it is much faster to navigate and search for your shows.
1080P (via HDMI), need I say more… The clarity is superb. Of course, one caveat is the video is only as clear as the source. If a YouTube video is low res, the video on the WD is going to be grainy, especially if it’s on a big screen. The WD TV Live Plus includes CVI/RCAs that plug into the back of the device with a minijack connector.
As mentioned earlier, the device can accept a keyboard from one of it’s two USB ports. These USB ports can also accept a wireless adapter or a WD portable hard drive. YOU HAVE TO REVIEW THE LIST ON WD’S WEBSITE FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF WHAT IS ACCEPTED AS IT IS VERY PICKY. The list can be found here.
Note: The portable hard drives take a while to be recognized, but typically install in a minute. You will see a new icon in Settings > File Management if it was successfull
Wireless ~ Tip
If you are like me, your TV is far away from your router. I took a look at the list WD provides and didn’t like the fact that they get extremely particular, down to versions numbers of the hardware, something you can’t get to without blind luck. You could buy something like a Linksys Range Extender, they work well if you do not have a lot networks surrounding your home plus, they don’t yet offer wireless-n.
My solution was to create a wireless bridge using my dual-band Netgear router, (I purchased a second one to get this to work). The great thing about doing that is the dual band functionality. All of my other devices are either wired to my base router or using standard 2.4ghz wireless g. All of my “entertainment” devices at my tv (like an Xbox, Wii,Blue-Ray) are wired into the repeating-secondary-router. On the base and secondary routers, the 5ghz band is reserved for just communicating to one another. 5ghz does not recieve as much interference as 2.4ghz and transfers data much faster (300mbs vs 54 mbs) than a standard wireless g on 2.4ghz.
If you are interested in a more detailed explanation, let me know, I will be happy to post a more detailed explanation with some instructions.
How To Get Lots of TV Shows
Playon.tv offers a lot of great value. Install it on a computer you don’t mind running all the time. Basically it turns your PC into a media server. Your PC, using Playon.tv, will grab shows from tv websites that they are providing. The TV Live Plus can connect to your PC (media server) and browse through content and play them on your TV. Also, you can stream the channels to your phone. All this for a one time fee of $50 for the software.
Hulu Plus offers good value. They offer a free trial but you have to pay every month.
Flingo, currently free, has some great exclusive content. I really enjoy Engadget, and if you are reading this, I am sure you will too.