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

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.

  • ram1009
    WD players have always had desirable features & formats but a reading of their "firmware upgrade" forum will discourage purchase.
    Reply
  • shadamus
    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).
    Reply
  • nikorr
    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.
    Reply
  • Branden
    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.
    Reply
  • dark_lord69
    Great, now just put in a TV tuner and a hard drive so I can record TV shows.
    Reply
  • ram1009
    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.
    Reply
  • ram1009
    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.
    Reply
  • nikorr
    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 : )
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    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.
    Reply
  • klavis
    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?
    Reply