Western Digital TV HD Media Player - 501483
Compact media player
This unit is a WD TV Live Air and not a WD TV Live Hub, which is what the photograph showed when I bought mine. The basic difference between them is that the hub has a built in hard drive to store media on and the WD TV Live Air doe not. Other differences also exist which I will not go into here.
The WD TV Live Air will play most media formats including video, music and photos. It has built in wireless N networking and also a standard ethernet netowrk connection to connect to your home router. This allows it to connect to online streaming services such as, iPlayer, Netflix, Flickr and many more.
It connects to yout TV via a composite lead (supplied) or HDMI lead (optional).
To play your own media contant on this device, you have a couple of options: connect a USB hard drive/flash drive to it or connect to a PC on your home network. Most people will find it easiest to attach a disk drive to the box to get it working. Doing this allows the WD TV to download information from the internet for each film, such as artwork and a synopsis which then can be viewed.
The other way to play media is to stream it across your home network. There are two options to do this; via a shared network drive or via a media server. The WD TV supports UPnP media servers and both Windows (SAMBA) and Linux (NFS) shared folders.
The most important this to note with this box is that you must already have your films in a digital format. QVC sell software that will help you with this.
The big bonus for having this player is not having a lot of DVDs clustered around the television making the lounge look untidy. They are now selectable from the WD TV and stream across my network.
If you are thinking of converting your DVD collection into digital media files to play on your TV, then the WD TV is a good choice with which to play them. You need to be prepared to spend some time converting your DVDs, but once it is done you will benefit from being able to quickly and easily select a film from the list without having to crawl around the televiaion looking for the DVD case.
June 06, 2012