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Western Digital Reveals WD TV Live with Wi-Fi, Spotify

By - Source: WD | B 19 comments

This Wi-Fi device will stream content provided by Netflix, Hulu and even Spotify from a home network's Internet connection to an HDTV.

Thursday Western Digital introduced a new model in its WD TV Live streaming media player lineup that features Wi-Fi connectivity. Now consumers can stream the latest hit movies, TV shows, music and online services from the likes of Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora and YouTube to an HDTV without having to be physically connected to a local network.

In addition to the new media player, WD also introduced an updated WD TV Live Hub, which provides 1 TB of HDD space for storing and streaming local personal content. However both models include a new intuitive user interface, access to the Dailymotion video service, and access to the recently-launched Spotify music service, allowing Premium Spotify subscribers to stream over 15 million songs in excellent sound quality (available in up to 320 kbps) to their home entertainment system.

"WD incorporates Spotify's popular features in the new service, including the ability to create and manage Spotify playlists, share songs to Spotify friends, and see and subscribe to friends' playlists via their Spotify profiles," WD said. "Users can also share tracks by sending songs directly to other Spotify users' inboxes. Spotify for WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub delivers an exciting new way to enjoy and share music on the best sound system in your home."

Both the WD TV Live player and the WD TV Live Hub support a wide range of file formats, allowing users to stream personal content like photos, video and music from any connected USB drive, digital camcorder or camera, network drive, and any networked PC or Mac in the home. Both also support Full-HD 1080p video resolution, but only the WD TV Live player offers 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity -- the Hub still depends on an Ethernet connection. The Hub however is capable of multi-room streaming to any DNLA device on the network.

"WD is committed to providing our customers with a premium entertainment experience that includes seamless streaming of personal media and the best of the Internet directly to the highest quality screen and sound system in the home," said Jim Welsh, executive vice president and general manager for WD's Branded Products and Consumer Electronics groups. "By marrying advanced features of the new wireless WD TV Live with quality content from service providers, including a first of its kind service with Spotify, we are excited to deliver on that commitment."

The new WD TV Live player can be purchased at select retailers worldwide and online at wdstore.com for $99.99 USD. The Hub is $100 more, costing $199.99 USD.

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  • 1 Hide
    ram1009 , October 6, 2011 8:39 PM
    WD players have always had desirable features & formats but a reading of their "firmware upgrade" forum will discourage purchase.
  • 0 Hide
    shadamus , October 6, 2011 8:45 PM
    I've got one of their older models, and it would be perfect if it would allow me to specify a network share as it's "home" location so that my kids could just turn it on and be right where they need to be.

    Presently they are having to navigate to the "network shares" section, then navigate my home network to find the server, then the share, that actually contains their movies. They manage, but it shouldn't be that complicated. I keep hoping it will show up as a feature on a future firmware update (I've never had a bad firmware update experience with it).
  • 1 Hide
    nikorr , October 6, 2011 8:53 PM
    ram1009WD players have always had desirable features & formats but a reading of their "firmware upgrade" forum will discourage purchase.

    I have a WD TV Live Hub, never had a problem. If it works, why upgrade the firmware? But u can always restore to another one.
  • -1 Hide
    Branden , October 6, 2011 9:17 PM
    i've got the WDTV live (ethernet, not wifi). it's network implementation was a disaster originally, but after a year and a dozen firmware updates it finally works as it always should have, nearly. my only complaint not yet fixed with firmware update is the lagginess. if it's capable of decoding 1080p h264 you'd think there'd not be a 500ms delay with every button-stroke. it'd be nice to be able to make short-cuts to most often used network shares instead of navigating to them manually, but that's a bit moot.
    all in all i love the thing, use it almost daily to catch up on yesterday's downloaded television shows. it can handle any codec/container/file-type i've thrown at it which is why i got it over all the other comparable media players.
  • 0 Hide
    dark_lord69 , October 6, 2011 9:44 PM
    Great, now just put in a TV tuner and a hard drive so I can record TV shows.
  • 0 Hide
    ram1009 , October 6, 2011 11:15 PM
    dark_lord69Great, now just put in a TV tuner and a hard drive so I can record TV shows.



    Maybe you should read the article again. The HUB model has always had a 1TB HDD.
  • 1 Hide
    ram1009 , October 6, 2011 11:24 PM
    nikorrI have a WD TV Live Hub, never had a problem. If it works, why upgrade the firmware? But u can always restore to another one.



    I agree completely now that mine is running OK, however out of the box it was a nightmare and that was before I was aware of all the problems caused by firmware "upgrades". If you don't know any better people on the forum tell you to upgrade immediately top solve issues. I have two different models and have been monitoring the forums for over a year now and I haven't seen a simgle FW upgrade that didn't cause more problems than it solved.
  • 1 Hide
    nikorr , October 7, 2011 12:07 AM
    ram1009I agree completely now that mine is running OK, however out of the box it was a nightmare and that was before I was aware of all the problems caused by firmware "upgrades". If you don't know any better people on the forum tell you to upgrade immediately top solve issues. I have two different models and have been monitoring the forums for over a year now and I haven't seen a simgle FW upgrade that didn't cause more problems than it solved.

    U must have gotten it soon after it was released : )
  • 0 Hide
    palladin9479 , October 7, 2011 1:26 AM
    I have a WD TV Live and haven't had a single issue with it, including FW upgrades. I use it to play video files kept on my home server.

    And again, networking was easy, put in IP address / connection info and your finished.
  • 0 Hide
    klavis , October 7, 2011 2:11 AM
    Why would I get this if I can just get an xbox 360 for $99 or a PS3 for $199 and get basically the same function but with a gaming system?
  • 0 Hide
    Nim Chimpsky , October 7, 2011 2:41 AM
    I like how Kevin takes entire paragraphs of their advertising and reproduces it for us.
  • 3 Hide
    palladin9479 , October 7, 2011 3:04 AM
    Quote:
    Why would I get this if I can just get an xbox 360 for $99 or a PS3 for $199 and get basically the same function but with a gaming system?


    Because their supported formats absolutely suck, especially the PS3. I have both of those and a WD TV Live and neither the 360 nor the PS3 can play 80%+ of my media files. They only work within a narrow set of media formats and CODECs, go outside that and they stop working. The WDTV can play just about anything, it's just a mini linux kernel and supports anything that's on the net (similar to VLC). WDTV also supports subtitle files and connecting directly to a SMB share (windows file sharing) while the others want you to have media management software loaded.

    Of all my devices, the WD TV Live has been the absolute best network media player I've ever worked with.
  • 1 Hide
    klavis , October 7, 2011 3:08 AM
    palladin9479Because their supported formats absolutely suck, especially the PS3. I have both of those and a WD TV Live and neither the 360 nor the PS3 can play 80%+ of my media files. They only work within a narrow set of media formats and CODECs, go outside that and they stop working. The WDTV can play just about anything, it's just a mini linux kernel and supports anything that's on the net (similar to VLC). WDTV also supports subtitle files and connecting directly to a SMB share (windows file sharing) while the others want you to have media management software loaded.Of all my devices, the WD TV Live has been the absolute best network media player I've ever worked with.


    Thanks, that makes me almost want to get one. I'll have to seriously think about it now.
  • 1 Hide
    scifi9000 , October 7, 2011 3:26 AM
    I was about to post the same as palladin9479 but he beat me to it. I too have the XBox 360, the PS3 and a WD TV Live, the WD plays anything and everything I have ever thrown at it. The games consoles are fussy at best.
  • 0 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , October 7, 2011 7:52 AM
    Quote:
    Thursday Western Digital introduced a new model in its WD TV Live streaming media player lineup that features Wi-Fi connectivity. Now consumers can stream the latest hit movies, TV shows, music and online services from the likes of Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora and YouTube to an HDTV without having to be physically connected to a local network.


    So... Wi-Fi doesn't count as physical connection anymore, huh? :lol: 

    That said, I was about to post how this device sucks because PC can do it anyhow, but then I saw the price... $99 or $200 isn't bad if you know nothing about computers and can't build or buy an HTPC...

    Oh yeah, streaming sucks. I fail to understand what's so good about streaming movies instead of watching them locally. And I also fail to understand people who purposefully go looking for new movies to fill their free time instead of learning about a good movie and THEN making some time to watch it :)  But that's just me, I guess.
  • -1 Hide
    darkavenger123 , October 7, 2011 8:29 AM
    amk-aka-phantomSo... Wi-Fi doesn't count as physical connection anymore, huh? That said, I was about to post how this device sucks because PC can do it anyhow, but then I saw the price... $99 or $200 isn't bad if you know nothing about computers and can't build or buy an HTPC...Oh yeah, streaming sucks. I fail to understand what's so good about streaming movies instead of watching them locally. And I also fail to understand people who purposefully go looking for new movies to fill their free time instead of learning about a good movie and THEN making some time to watch it But that's just me, I guess.


    Streaming movies sucks?? :x You obviously do not have a media server in the house...Streaming movie is the preferred media sharing method because it is much more efficient than plain folder sharing and reducce problems like movie lagging...also, you can decode non-supported files format automatically like RMVB format. And i can have my whole libray at my finger tips and access them whenever i want. I have 2 units WDTV Live in the house...being served by a media server. It rocks.
  • 0 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , October 7, 2011 9:33 AM
    Quote:
    Streaming movies sucks?? :x You obviously do not have a media server in the house...Streaming movie is the preferred media sharing method because it is much more efficient than plain folder sharing and reducce problems like movie lagging...also, you can decode non-supported files format automatically like RMVB format. And i can have my whole libray at my finger tips and access them whenever i want. I have 2 units WDTV Live in the house...being served by a media server. It rocks.


    No, media server kicks ass. I don't have one at home but I do have one at work, I don't use it but I recognise its usefulness and I'm going to set one up at my house eventually. What I meant is streaming from the Internet.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 16, 2011 12:22 AM
    anyone have one with spotify and if you do how well does it navigate to spotify with a third party control system.
  • 0 Hide
    darkavenger123 , March 8, 2012 12:18 PM
    I don't get what's the big deal with this "no physically connected thing". I have been running my WDTV Live with an ASUS N300 WIFI adapter which plugs into the WDTV Live USB port for ages...but it's not good enough for my 1080p HD movie rips...nothing beats wired. In the end, i got myself a 500Mbps powerline adapter ..which is able to sustain 100MBps over the wired...finally good enough for my HD movies.