Monday, June 24, 2013

WD TV Live Review

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I bought a new Media Player/Streamer. Here's a little backstory why I bought a new one.

Two years ago, I bought a media player. The Verbatim MediaStudio HD DVR. It was a great media player and it still works perfectly up to this day. It did have one problem though, a problem that I didn't realize when I bought it. The damn thing can't play MP4 and MKV files which have become the standard format for compressed videos.

I had to download videos that were AVI and the problem was, it was getting harder and harder to find media that were AVI and the ones I could find that were HD had huge file sizes. I'd run out of space quickly if I downloaded those. Not to mention it'll take a while for those to download because Smart Bro WiMax has been acting up lately.

I bought a TV back in December which was my Christmas Gift to myself and by default, the TV had a USB slot for external drives and flash disks (Yes, those thing are called flash disks or thumb drives. Not USB. USB is where you plug it in). It had a built-in program to run media files and it played MP4 and MKV files flawlessly. But then I discovered a problem, it wouldn't read some of my AVI files. It was a problem with the encoding. It did not read DivX encoded videos.

So while I was walking around Megamall, I passed by Silicone Valley and for the fun of it, I asked if they had any media players. They showed me the WD TV Live. It was a media player AND a media streamer. Why a streamer? The thing comes with WifFi!

After nagging the salespeople to make sure that this can read 1TB external drives, I paid for it and was on my merry way.

So out of the box, there's the remote, power adapter, RCA cable and the WD TV Live Box. Also, it came with a free HDMI cable which I was happy about since my only HDMI cable at home is connected my Xbox.

This thing is tiny. It fits in the palm of my hand.

Setting up was easy and a no-brainer. I had it detecting my external drive in seconds.

Upon initial launch, it searches for WiFi but you can also do that in the 'Setup' menu. The WD TV Live also has an Ethernet port at the back if you prefer wired connection.

 It also has some built-in 'apps'. So far, I have only used Facebook and YouTube.

So the very first video I watched was the Opening Number of the 2013 Tony Awards. #gay lol

Here is the file explorer.

Oh, here is something I found really cool. Apparently, there's an iOS app that you can download for free and  it serves as another remote. It connects through WiFi. Since I don't have an iPhone or shit, I installed the app on my iPad.

So now, when I can't find the remote, I just open the app and use my iPad as a big-ass remote. I found a similar app on the Google Play Store but I haven't installed it yet. I should do that one of these days.

I've been using the WD TV Live for around 2 weeks now and so far it works like a charm. Here's a list of things I like and dislike about it.


  • It plays every file format I've thrown at it.
  • It can read 500GB and 1TB external drives.
  • I can use my iPad as a remote.
  • I can browse YouTube using it and the iOS app provides a keyboard you can use to search.
  • Video quality is awesome. I noticed the difference between using the MediaStation and the WD TV Live.


  • It takes a while to read external drives and sometimes I have to restart the device. Im guessing that's because I have both external drives plugged in.
  • The firmware that came with it was a little slow but when I updated it, it sped up a bit.
  • Eventhough I set the videos to automatically replay, I still have to manually set it every time I switch it on. Weird.

So there you have it. That's my review for the WD TV Live. If anyone of you guys use it, do you experience the same thing with the replay function?

But overall, I love it. I can finally watch all of my media files.

I installed the remote app from the Google Play Store so I can use my Note 2 as a remote. It works like a charm and it's so much easier to browse YouTube because of the keypad. It was hard typing on my iPad because the app was meant for the iPhone so it had the iPhone's native keyboard.

Been using it for a month. Still love the damn thing.


citybuoy said...

Ooh I've been looking for something like this. It's getting more and more difficult to find series on xvid. Will def check this out. Thanks Adam! :)

Adam said...

Eh kasi when I was planning to buy this, I tried looking for reviews. I couldn't find any that answered my questions like can it handle 1TB or can I access the internet. So I made a review. I bought this on a whim not knowing if it would be good but so far I love it. It costs around 5k in Silicone Valley(Megamall) but totally worth it.

Anonymous said...

Would you know if it would read 2tb drives? How about movie selection, can it download poster art? Thanks

Adam said...

@Anonymous 2TB HDD I am not sure of. Although if you go to Megamall in Silicone Valley, try asking if they can test a 2TB HDD before you buy it.

For poster art, I think it can but im not sure if it's for all videos. Some of my videos suddenly have poster art. Some dont.

Hope this helps.