I've been reading this thread since it started and it's been so interesting, fun and educational that i decided to become a member.
I have to say i have great hopes on this little piece of hardware, since i'm an iStar owner who sadly got the version 1.1 just before it became disscontinued, and learnt it didn't decode DTS either, just as many report on the WD TV HD, and just like the PCH was just before the a-110 version got it's last firmware. It was very dissapointing, mostly because i came to another forum asking for information about it and received a harsh treatment.
My iStar does a great job most of the time, but it's not perfect, just the same as the PCH and many other players including the WD TV HD; what's the difference then? My iStar cost me 200 bucks and i'm not using any network functions, so i paid for something i don't use and will never use, i will rather prefer to have all my HD collection on DVDR-DL media(the ones that fit, of course) than having a NAS server with untrustable HDD's wich by it's nature can and will fail some day, contrary to the DVD's which may last a lifetime if cared properly.
So, a 100 bucks less for something almost the same i have now it's a great deal, cause just a month ago the iStar and all other PCH based players had the same issues addressed here for the WD TV HD: Bad aspect ratios on most movies when zooming, missing character fonts, lack of DTS decoding (yes, not even the A-110 had it a month ago), many MKV, AVI and many others didn't play at all, and they still have issues on some audio codecs, bad subtitle rendering, unsupported subtitles in sub/idx form, hangs in many different ways so bad that it needs to be power cycled. The PCH family doesn't play everythig you throw at it like some try to make the people think, i have a collection of more than 200 HD movies and i can assure you, it doesn't play everything. I don't think i have to mention a month ago it played a lot less media than now.
But now they are ahead of the WD TV HD, many things have been fixed, or been tried to be fixed, some succesfully(true zoom instead of stretching, many audio codecs, many video codecs), some unsuccesfully(subtitles, DTS decoding, some audio codecs, some video codecs, full DVD backups support, etc), so the thing here really is: if any, how often the WD TV HD firmware updates will be? Will they be adding some new functions like external DVD and Blu-Ray units support? Will they extend the list of supported external enclousures? Or will they limit to bug correction?
By the way i had to buy a home theatre to enjoy my movies with DTS audio cause i don't want to transcode anything, many of you will have to do so if WD doesn't pay for a DTS license and don't want to loss quality or struggle with conversions.
I like my iStar a lot just like many people sure likes their PCH or HDX, or Kaiboer or TiVix, or whatever, but if there's something that does the same job without the networking functions, the same including the bugs and everything, and costs 100 less with the same or better (haha) firmware updating, i will definately buy it and recommend it. I hope the WD TV HD is the one. Yes i'm a cinephile
I'm looking forward to see how quickly they release a firmware update and read the comments about it's functionality, i will not make the same mistake as with the iStar, stupidly hoping an update will bring DTS decoding and then being mistrated by some PCH paid reviewers about it.