WD Unveils WD TV Live HD Media Player with Ethernet Port



Oct 16, 2009
By Dan Havlik, PDN's Technology Specialist

WD TV

Earlier this year we picked the WD TV Media Player as a PDN "Object of Desire" because of how easily it lets you display your images and high def videos and play your music content on an HDTV.

This week Western Digital improved on that product with the new WD TV Live HD Media Player ($150) which adds an Ethernet port to let you stream content to your HDTV directly from the Internet. Ethernet support also means you can pull content directly from a networked hard drive.

Our only gripe is that though WD TV Live HD Media Player has added a few more compatible file formats, if you want to show off your RAW images on an HDTV with this device, you're out of luck. You'll need to convert them into JPEGs or TIFFs.

Though offering full native RAW support would be pretty difficult, it'd be nice if WD could at least make the player compatible with Adobe's DNG RAW format.

Otherwise though, this is a pretty nifty device which should help liberate your images from your computer or network hard drive and show them on your studio's big screen TV. And with the Internet connection, you'll be able to stream HD content from YouTube, images from Flickr, and music from Pandora right through your HDTV theater system.

More details in the press release below.



PRESS RELEASE

WD Unveils WD TV Live HD Media Player With Network Capability and Enhanced User Experience

Consumers Can Stream HD Content from USB Drives, Network Drives and Popular Internet Sites to Their Big Screen TVs

LAKE FOREST, Calif., Oct. 16 -- WD, a leader in external storage solutions, today introduced the WD TV Live HD media player featuring network capability and Full-HD 1080p resolution. The new WD TV Live HD media player makes it easy for anyone to play HD (high definition) videos stored on USB and network drives, as well as Internet content from popular Web sites, on the biggest screen in their home -- their HD television. Building on the success of the WD TV HD media player, the WD TV Live HD media player offers a new, more responsive interface to help consumers enjoy a world of digital content in their living room, without a computer.

The network capability of the WD TV Live media player enables users to stream or transfer movies from PC or Mac computers or a network-attached storage device such as WD's My Book® World Edition(TM) and WD ShareSpace network drives to their HD TVs. The WD TV Live media player also allows users to stream rich content from YouTube, Flickr and Pandora. The HD onscreen menu brings together all of the users' available media in an elegant and simple-to-navigate interface.

Consumers are amassing large libraries of digital videos, photos and music on their computers. According to research firm Parks Associates, the average consumer had 123 GB of videos, photos, and music in 2009 which will grow to 1.3 TB by 2013 (Digital Lifestyles: 2009 Outlook). In addition, an increasing number of consumers are looking for seamless access to their personal media, as well as to Internet media. According to Parks Associates, the sales of connected consumer electronics devices, such as connected TVs and digital media adapters, is expected to more than double from 57 million units in 2009 to 115 million units in 2013 (Home Networks for Consumer Electronics 2009).

Consumers are investing millions of dollars in HD TVs, with HD televisions representing more than 50 percent of TVs sold in the U.S., according to Parks Associates (Home Networks for Consumer Electronics 2009). But consumers' digital content is often relegated to the relatively small screen on their PC or Mac computers. The WD TV Live HD media player is the newest member in the family of WD TV media players by WD, which make moving digital content from a computer to playing it on a big screen TV simply plug-and-play.

Like the popular first-generation WD TV HD media player introduced last fall, the WD TV Live media player connects directly to a users' HD TV and plays almost any file stored on a connected USB drive such as My Passport portable drive. The WD TV Live media player features powerful media processing, which enables playback in Full-HD 1080p resolution. WD TV Live media player also will play movies and photos stored on other popular USB devices such as digital camcorders and digital cameras.

"The media enthusiast community has embraced the first WD TV HD media player and given us tremendous feedback," said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD's branded products group. "With the new WD TV Live media player we're giving them what they asked for -- network connectivity and Internet-content streaming capabilities -- and offering them a simple way to enjoy all of their digital media and enjoy it on their HD TVs."

WD TV Live HD Media Player

Features of the WD TV Live HD Media Player include:
    •    Full-HD 1080p video playback and navigation with the included remote control and crisp, animated navigation menus;
    •    Play a wide variety of file formats including support for a wide variety of the most popular file formats with no need to spend time transcoding;
    •    Play videos, music and photos from the Internet on your big screen TV and discover new music with Pandora Internet radio or listen to thousands of radio stations via Live365 Internet radio;
    •    Ethernet port for wired or WiFi connection(1) to access files anywhere on the network to play movies, music, and photos from any PC or drive on a home network;
    •    Turns a USB drive(2) into an HD media player and plays content from most popular USB drives, and digital cameras, camcorders, and portable media players that can be recognized as mass storage devices;
    •    Unlimited media collection, just add more USB drives for more space;
    •    Two USB ports for seamless media playback from multiple USB drives and ability to access them simultaneously while a media library feature collects the content on all the drives into one list sorted by media type;
    •    Transfer files by copying, moving or deleting files stored on a USB drive, a network drive, camcorder, or a camera to the attached USB drive using the on-screen menus;
    •    Picture Transfer Protocol support to show photos and movies directly from digital camera or video camera and or any digital imaging device that supports Picture Transfer Protocol;
    •    Advanced navigation options including thumbnail and list views, media library and search;
    •    Photo viewing to create custom slide shows, zoom and pan and search;
    •    Movie viewing with fast-forward, rewind, pause, zoom and pan, view subtitles, and search;
    •    Music playback with fast-forward, rewind, pause, shuffle, repeat and search;
    •    File copying between USB devices;
    •    HDMI 1.3 port, composite video and component video output(3) for the highest quality HDTV or home theater;
    •    SPDIF digital output that sends digital signals to your AV receiver for the best surround sound experience; and,
    •    Ultra-compact design to fit easily into a home entertainment center.

Pricing and Availability
The WD TV Live Media Player is available now at select retailers and online at shopwd.com. Covered by a 1-year limited warranty, the MSRP for WD TV Live Media Player is $149.99 USD.






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