Western Digital TV Play: 1080p and USB for less - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 02-14-2013, 01:03 AM - Thread Starter
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There is a war going on, a war among streaming set top boxes. TV Play from Western Digital joins the battle sporting a very attractive price and feature set. The TV Play is a direct alternative to Roku's XD and XS devices ($79 and $99 respectively). Western Digital's Play TV is affordable at $69 and comes with an Ethernet port, an optical audio output, analog A/V output and a USB port - a combination of ports that were reserved for $99+ devices up until now. The WD Play TV has a remote but can also be controlled through smart phones and tablets.


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Streaming in full 1080p, the TV Play has access to a wide range of services including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, Spotify, Pandora and Vimeo. Users can also access and stream personal media via either the USB 2.0 port or any DLNA/UPnP device on a home network. In addition to the USB port, the TV Play also features Ethernet, HDMI, Composite A/V, built-in Wi-Fi and Optical audio.
source: gizmag.com

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post #2 of 25 Old 02-14-2013, 02:02 AM
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The deal breaker for me is that this doesn't decode MPEG2 (or MPEG1). There are several other players out there at this price that can playback and decode a lot more than this unit. I think many will see this and buy other products. That's just my take.

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post #3 of 25 Old 02-14-2013, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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It does appear that under the $100 price point, one is forced to pick and choose the features they want. Leaving out MPEG2 and DTS playback capability seems like a strange omission, even at that price point.
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The deal breaker for me is that this doesn't decode MPEG2 (or MPEG1). There are several other players out there at this price that can playback and decode a lot more than this unit. I think many will see this and buy other products. That's just my take.

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post #4 of 25 Old 02-16-2013, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

The deal breaker for me is that this doesn't decode MPEG2 (or MPEG1). There are several other players out there at this price that can playback and decode a lot more than this unit. I think many will see this and buy other products. That's just my take.

I am looking for a device. What other boxes are you talking about.I want to be able to play ISO and get 1080p and 5.1. Could you recommend some boxes under $100.00. to look at. I could convert all my ISO's to MKV if that helps playback choices.
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post #5 of 25 Old 02-16-2013, 11:22 AM
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This isn't better than the top of the line Roku is it? Because I just bought one of those and it hasn't even arrived yet!
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-16-2013, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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It is on-par with the Roku XS, not specifically better. The Roku XS has the motion sensing remote to differentiate it. The thing about the Roku is this: without the ethernet port high-bandwidth streaming can be troublesome, this is especially true for Vudu which is the most demanding service. So with Roku, getting the $99 XS model is what I recommend whether you want the enhanced remote or not. At these prices it seems like you can't really go wrong, the price difference is less than a month's worth of cable or a night out at the movies for two. It all depends on the exact apps and features you want. Don't forget Blu-ray players also stream and often go on sale at prices as low as the mini boxes.
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This isn't better than the top of the line Roku is it? Because I just bought one of those and it hasn't even arrived yet!

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post #7 of 25 Old 02-16-2013, 12:11 PM
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A full Android "Mini PC" like the Minix Neo G4 or G5 (a new and rapidly improving set of device types with a lot of potential) plus a Bluray with smart features like Netflix and Vudu seemed to me like the best expansion for my HD set with no (thank the FSM) built in "smart" features of its own, since those usually seem so poorly implemented on the sets themselves. There are many other such options but most of them are either too crippled, too expensive or both. WD sound like they've short-changed some important features so unless there's a major price break I'd look elsewhere.
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post #8 of 25 Old 02-16-2013, 02:21 PM
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The big issue I see is the only access to local network content is through DLNA... this actually seems to be a downgrade from the WDTV Live Plus and WDTV Live Hub.

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post #9 of 25 Old 02-16-2013, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Isn't that because it is a downgrade, the least expensive of those 3?
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The big issue I see is the only access to local network content is through DLNA... this actually seems to be a downgrade from the WDTV Live Plus and WDTV Live Hub.

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post #10 of 25 Old 02-16-2013, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesnomaybe View Post

I am looking for a device. What other boxes are you talking about.I want to be able to play ISO and get 1080p and 5.1. Could you recommend some boxes under $100.00. to look at. I could convert all my ISO's to MKV if that helps playback choices.

The western digital TV LIve media streamer might be your best option at around $100

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005KOZNBW?ie=UTF8&force-full-site=1&ref_=aw_bottom_links
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post #11 of 25 Old 02-16-2013, 08:00 PM
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I'm looking for a streaming device that is not a BD/DVD player. When I rip my BDs that have Cinavia protection I can't play them when I stream through a BD/DVD. Anyone know if the Western Digital boxes or the Roku implement the Cinavia?

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post #12 of 25 Old 02-16-2013, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadEd View Post

I'm looking for a streaming device that is not a BD/DVD player. When I rip my BDs that have Cinavia protection I can't play them when I stream through a BD/DVD. Anyone know if the Western Digital boxes or the Roku implement the Cinavia?

To my knowledge, none of the media players currently available honor Cinavia. Or anyway the last time the subject came up at videohelp, that was what I came away with.

The point is, they don't have to. And it's likely that if a given model did, sales of said model would plummet. For obvious reasons.

OTOH, to get a license from the Blu-Ray Assoc., any new BD standalone player models submitted for licensing after February 2012 must implement Cinavia.
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post #13 of 25 Old 02-17-2013, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzi93 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadEd View Post

I'm looking for a streaming device that is not a BD/DVD player. When I rip my BDs that have Cinavia protection I can't play them when I stream through a BD/DVD. Anyone know if the Western Digital boxes or the Roku implement the Cinavia?

To my knowledge, none of the media players currently available honor Cinavia. Or anyway the last time the subject came up at videohelp, that was what I came away with.

The point is, they don't have to. And it's likely that if a given model did, sales of said model would plummet. For obvious reasons.

OTOH, to get a license from the Blu-Ray Assoc., any new BD standalone player models submitted for licensing after February 2012 must implement Cinavia.

Thanks, that's very helpful. After looking into it more I think I'll probably go with the WD TV Live (instead of this one) since it includes MPEG2 and DT capabilities. Roku makes some great stuff but no DLNA which takes them off the table for me.

Dyslexics are teople poo.
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post #14 of 25 Old 02-17-2013, 08:19 AM
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That sounds good. Everything I've read leads me to think the WD players are first-rate.

The only reason I don't have a media player is because my LG's onboard player is adequate, and does ignore Cinavia. I have 3 pre-Cinavia BD standalones as well, the newest of which can stream. I may never buy another, since playing from a network or external hard drive is so much more convenient than handling individual discs.

Tell you what though, for me removing trailers, warning screens and menus are a must. (I can watch extras once from the original disc if they look interesting.) And load times for some discs are getting to be ridiculous. I really feel like I've been forced into ripping my Blu-Rays, quite apart from the convenience factor.

Good luck.
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post #15 of 25 Old 02-17-2013, 08:33 AM
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Meh. Looks to me like WD still doesn't get it. There are no photos on WD's website showing how the UI looks/works. WD has been doing this long enough that they have no excuse for not recognizing the importance of an elegant UI. Heck, they could meet the Plex or XBMC guys halfway and I'm sure that both of those groups would me more than happy to get their software working on WD's hardware. But it looks like this one doesn't even do MPEG-2 anymore, so I fail to see any reason why someone should buy something like this over an Apple TV or Roku.

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post #16 of 25 Old 02-17-2013, 10:14 AM
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The WD box is miles beyond any Roku....Roku can't even see a connected USB drive on your network without loading in one of their "channels.".
WD also supports more file types than any other device available...Roku is made well works fine but is pretty much limited to the channels they support
while WD is much more networl friendly and can stream alot more things....
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post #17 of 25 Old 02-17-2013, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kesando View Post

The western digital TV LIve media streamer might be your best option at around $100

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005KOZNBW?ie=UTF8&force-full-site=1&ref_=aw_bottom_links

I second this. Since I cut the cord on cable two years ago I've been using these on every tv in my home in conjunction with a Synology NAS. Local file streaming on the WDTV Live boxes is first rate. They work without fuss and their formats supported are for all intents and purposes comprehensive....no transcoding necessary.
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post #18 of 25 Old 02-19-2013, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kesando View Post

The western digital TV LIve media streamer might be your best option at around $100

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005KOZNBW?ie=UTF8&force-full-site=1&ref_=aw_bottom_links

Does the WD TV Live media streamer support both DVD and BD ISO's? I'm guessing you don't get full HD audio from the BD ISO's?
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post #19 of 25 Old 02-19-2013, 06:36 AM
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The versatility of the Live SMP leaves the others streaming devices in the dust. I have one on each of my tvs and they stream all formats from my server. On one of my TVs, I have a PS3 attached. It didn't play all the formats, but that was ok until Cinavia was added via firmware. I got tired of that message popping and added an Live SMP to that TV too. It can't do DTS-HD, but it's played every format that I've thrown at it.
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post #20 of 25 Old 02-20-2013, 09:47 AM
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I'm trying to figure out which one of these streaming devices to get and was looking at this one. Do all these devices like Roku, WD, and BluRay's provide the same content now? It looks like Roku doesn't support Youtube? Does anyone have a comparison chart of the content and devices? That would be nice to see!
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post #21 of 25 Old 02-21-2013, 11:20 AM
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Take a look at this one made by Dan Rayburn from the StreamingMediaBlog.com.

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post #22 of 25 Old 02-23-2013, 11:34 AM
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Why don't all these manufacturers get it right? If they have one feature , they do not have another ..

I finally settled on the arctic MC001-E unit , sure it is not a sub 100$ device but it is definitely what I would go with ... I even tried the junkie stick ( yes those android usb dongles that are supposed to play the streaming video ). The last I built my Media center pc was using Zotac Ion ITX board about 4 years ago and To tell you the truth , it still works FLAWLESSLY , openelec / xbmc with the free addons , I never have to worry about the hulu , netflix or what ever you can think of ...

Here is the link to my build - http://www.slimads.com/slimads/tiny?WA11BB22

I am 100% +ve this is going to last me for next 5 years .

Do yourself a favor ,leave all these junkie boxes and something like this - while I was not able to get the tv tuner to work , apparently the next version of openelec uses a different kernel version that is packed with the right drivers ...

What you need is a one unit to go under the TV that can play dvd (atleast ) blueray nice to have , that has an optical out , hdmi out , from which you can stream, a CIR reader , a remote , that is open and does not lock you into any of the proprietary services , has tv tuner should you want to ditch that cable tv and just rely on basic over the air and internet streaming .

I do not care much about storing the dvd's etc.. so I am just fine with the usb cruizer stick driving my openelec .
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post #23 of 25 Old 02-26-2013, 07:47 PM
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Anyone ever heard of Micca brands? Micca MPLAY-HD and Micca Speck? Will they play Bluray MKV with loseless audio?

http://www.amazon.com/Micca-Speck-Full-HD-Portable-Digital/dp/B008NO9RRM/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1361936704&sr=1-1&keywords=micca
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post #24 of 25 Old 03-03-2013, 06:10 PM
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I really wanted to go with the WD unit over the Roku, but the lack of Amazon Instant Video forced me to go with the Roku. I have family members that can't live without that service.
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post #25 of 25 Old 03-03-2013, 09:10 PM
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Is this an alternative to the Apple TV (I own 2 and have a lot of problems with them - 1st & 2nd Gen), especially trying to use iPad & iPhone remote apps like Roomie Remote. My Apple TV's also limit my use of AirPlay mirroring with some apps.
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