back to article Western Digital WD TV HDD-to-HDTV adaptor

Streaming media players were all the rage a couple of years ago. They were a nice idea, allowing you to stream music and video files stored on your computer over your home network to a TV or music system. However, most of them were expensive and fiddly to set up, so they never really caught on. The next step was the ‘multimedia …

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No DivX? Fail.

These things should include divx and xvid support as standard, I'm not going to spend time cocking about with converting a library of video just so it'll work on one device, when I could buy another product that can handle them out of the box. Hell, even a cheap media player hard disk enclosure would probably be less hassle.

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No Divx?

Divx isn't just used by Bittorrenters you know. My Archos uses it, as does my xbox 360, and consequently, that was the format I ripped my entire DVD collection to.

Oh well :(

Any chance of Divx support via a firmware upgrade?

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so...

...whats the ui like? Does it support playlists? Will it do gapless playback? There appears to be a remote control, does it work well? Come on Reg, you've told us all about its features, but did you actually use it?

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Tim

i'll stick with my ps3.

its better..... though a tad pricier....

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Unhappy

Makrosa

So um... it doesn't support Makrosa then? One of the most popular video containers for HD freetards everywhere?

Nice idea, I guess it could possibly be upgraded with firmware updates, I'm a bit disapointed though that it doesn't include at least an ethernet port.

I think I'll give this one a miss.

Rob

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Anonymous Coward

Why?

I think I'd rather pay the extra money and get a PS3 which will do all of this and play DVDs, BDs, DivX files, connects to the internet and to Media Server, oh and it plays games as well.

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ISO

support would have been good also

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iPod / Apple hardware issues

"The iPod issue is disappointing..."

So, don't get an iPod. It's not WD's fault that Apple use proprietary disk journaling systems on their internal storage and file indexing on their iPods. Apple does NOT dictate how the world should work. The consumer will be tricked into buying their rubbish, though, and it's those (few) in the know who suffer.

If I used a TV for watching videos / TV (and not a huge monitor connceted to my PC) i'd be very tempted by this device. Very tempted indeed. Apart from the lack of reading VOB from ripped DVDs (but I guess it's my fault for using that format).

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Nice enough idea

But a shame they (like many other manufacturers) assume that the large number of people still happy with SDTV are also happy with ZX Spectrum quality video connection. RGB SCART gives a brilliant display for typical SDTV sizes, but increasingly is no longer supported even on devices with easily enough space for the portage. Probably a combination of the HD agenda and the historic lack of global support for SCART in a market increasingly being US-led.

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A real shame

That there's no Ethernet/WiFi connectivity....

Otherwise I'd have ordered one already! WD missed a trick there I feel.

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Joke

Playback

By "ripped DVDs", you of course refer to legally backed-up films, I assume. :)

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Linux

Google "MythTV"

I bought a £25 pIII and turned it into a "media centre" using MythTV. It sounds like it would give this £100 job a run for it's money.

Okay, it helps if you're a Linux nut. And a friend donated a freeview card (about £30). But I seem to remember that Linux will read Mac discs just fine...

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No DivX?

And all for a mere £100? Bargain.

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Anonymous Coward

No DivX?

No DivX?????

Had they planned on selling any of these things? Convert my films using ArcSoft MediaConverter™ 2.5? Get stuffed.

This would have been ideal, especially with the MP3 player app, but I'm going to have to look for alternative products that are useful.

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What no VOB ?

Looks an interesting idea but without VOB support and ideally ISO support it's no good to me.

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Why did they bother

As in the above comments they seem to have missed a trick or three.

I'm happy with TVersity running in the background on a PC that picks up all media on my network. I then watch it on my xbox 360. Tversity converts files on the fly so format is never an issue.

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Could be useful..

This actually looks like it could be a useful replacement for my chipped mk1 xbox that I currently use as a media centre - it's major shortfall is it can't physically process the HD content, though it plays lower res stuff admirably. I still don't consider my 360 to be a media center at all - it refuses to connect to my PC, and it won't play a damn thing that I put on disc for it, crap in other words.

Big questions/comments on this -

1. will it hook up to a PC via USB to browse it's drives? (would save having an external being moved about)

2. DivX seems to be omitted, but can be converted to, annoying extra step for a large chunk of files

3. Why is there no LAN for firmware updates / connecting straight to PC (as per point 1!)?

My old xbox is awesome for being able to play EVERYTHING you throw at it (bar the high res stuff) - if they update it to do the same, via LAN, then I would buy one in a flash

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doesn’t support DivX video - WASTE OF TIME

This box is a waste of time. All my films are divx format and there's no way I'm going to

spend hundreds of hours converting them.

I've also got a Zyxel DMA-1000 - an ethernet based video streamer. It is a similar waste of time - claims to support avi/divx but only plays a small portion of them. The manufacturers claim it's a limitation of the hardware and they can't fix it.

There is a big gap in the market for a device such as this. It's just strange the manufacturers specifically left out DivX support.

And £100 is far too expensive when you can buy a £20 DVD/DivX player which happily all DivX/AVI files off a USB memory stick or DVD.

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Rubbish.

Grab yourself an old PC, and stick XBMC on it, much cheaper, and far superior.

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IT Angle

Divx Situation is grave and constant- or is it?

Can someone other than me be bothered to double-check with WD that these things can't play Divx/Xvid/Makrosa files (Come on El'Reginald, contact WD and get the facts straight)

This is a major issue for most of the potential buyers. i.e. me and a few of you and my brother and his mates and my mates and your mates, etc.

Unless of course, this is actually aimed at mums and dads who just want to show what they did in Bournemouth with the new baby, etc, etc through a craply converted Windows Movie Maker effort. Listen, I am sure the kid is great but there's a point to be made when a device that doesn't include a cheap fan system that will fail after the warranty is bust is available to the market.

Am I supposed to shell out another £230 for a TVix HD?

P.S. Whoever made that comment about legitimately ripped DVDs achieved a perfect score if it was some mundane attempt at creepy-crawly big-brother love was absolutely right to remain anonymous. It was almost as pointless as me having a go at you about it.

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Go

got one, it plays XviD just fine

so I assume that DivX shouldn't be a problem either.

I think the BitTorrent Brigade should be just fine.

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Anonymous Coward

I'll stick with my eva8000

And cant wait till the eva9000 is out.

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My Samsung Home Theater kit does all this and DivX

My Samsung Home Theater kit does all this and DivX, but only with a FAT32 format. Oh well, you can't have everything....

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re: Makrosa

yes, i have used this device...it supports MKV (Makrosa) files mate - smooth as you like too

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XBMC

Turned an original xbox into a media centre that even the family can use for the grand sum of nothing. Plays just about everything chucked at it apart from H.264 (which I don't care about as I've got a CRT), ISO files, zip files (unpacks media on the fly), FLAC etc. etc. And as a bonus it plays games.

Before that we had a Pc doing media centre duties but I could never get it user-friendly enough to not need my constant assistance.

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Anonymous Coward

Complete waste of time

As a previous poster already said do WD really WANT to sell these things?

Look at the list, No Divx, Xvid, MKV, VOB or iso support.

What about the music formats, no Flac or Ogg, (I assume, since you dont mention them).

No network port, or stereo RCA jacks.

Complete waste of time (especially if your Video and/or music is already ripped to

a non supported format).

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May have DivX?

Other reviews of this device (see Google) indicate that it does support DivX even though it is not listed in the supported formats. It would be nice to have a definitive answer to this. An ethernet port would also be very useful.

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Popcorn Hour A-110

The Good :

-high quality AV output

-price

-user interface

-stability

The Bad :

- no chapter skipping, so if you watch 3hr movies like me then you have to fast forward or rewind and it ain't fast

- no DVD menus from ISO files, it's like buying a car that can only go forward or backwards

- sluggish menus eg choosing between movies, music and photo is a slow laborious process.

I purchased the Popcorn Hour A-110 and would highly recommend it.

It is a product that is very well supported.

You get what you pay for.

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@ AC

By "ripped DVDs", you of course refer to legally backed-up films, I assume. :)

Nope, I actually mean the 7 archive boxes of DVD's up in the loft :)

The biggest pain is ripping series but its eminently doable.

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Should support xvid/divx and Matroska

I don't own one, so I can't comment from experience, but at least on WDs website (http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=572) it says that the device _does_ indeed support xvid and Matroska (mkv).

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Alert

actuial WD specs

File Formats Supported

Music - MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV/PCM/LPCM, AAC, FLAC, Dolby Digital, AIF/AIFF, MKA

Photo - JPEG, GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG

Video -MPEG1/2/4, WMV9, AVI (MPEG4, Xvid, AVC), H.264, MKV, MOV (MPEG4, H.264)

Playlist - PLS, M3U, WPL

Subtitle -SRT (UTF-8)

Note:

- MPEG2/4, H.264, and WMV9 supports up to 1920x1080p 24fps, 1920x1080i 30fps, 1280x720p 60fps resolution

- An audio receiver is required for surround sound output. AAC/Dolby Digital decodes in 2 channel output only

- JPEG does not support CMYK or loss less.

- BMP supports uncompressed format only.

- TIF/TIFF supports single layer only.

File Formats Not Supported

Does not support protected premium content such as movies or music from the iTunes® Store, Cinema Now, Movielink®, Amazon Unbox™, and Vongo®

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Anonymous Coward

Completely NOT TRUE

I bought one of these last month and I can say it DOES play MKV (H264) up to 1080p. It also plays XVID and VOBs. The only thing it won't play is a DTS soundtrack, but the digital out copes with that through an amp. Haven't tried ISOs as I burn these to a disk instead.

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No Surround Either :(

Website claims that Dolby surround output is 2 channel only....

Great idea, but missing too many tricks.

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Jobs Halo

Popcorn Hour A-110

Ok twice the price but silent and plays all of the above formats that you are all moaning about (apart from Apple DRM'ed files obviously).

On the ability to play files bought from iTunes, why do reviewers always get disappointed by the fact that you can't play iTunes DRM protected files on anything other than Apple hardware? Has there been some big announcement from Apple (or anybody else for that matter) saying that they have opened up Apple DRM to other hardware manufacturers? No of course there hasn't and it isn't going to change because WD or anybody else bring out a piece of hardware that will sell 0.00001% of what the iPod does. Lets get real and deal with reality here regardless of if it is right or wrong.

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@ David Gosnell

The idea is to make you WISH you had a HD set so you go BUY one.

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It does support divx!

This most certainly supports DivX (every version I've tried so far) - and .mkv and every non drm'd video format you can imagine. I have one and, after about a month, I can't find any video file that it won't run. Do you seriously think a major player would release a media player without divx support? This little thing has been extremely stable and picture quality with decent res files is extremely good. I watched an .mkv of No Country For Old Men last week on it and it was practically indistinguishable from the blu ray copy I have.

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.ISO, .VOB Support

Sorry, forgot to say that it also supports .vob and .iso - with .iso it will simply play the main movie - no access to the menu.

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Unhappy

Wot no SCART?

It's a shame about the absence of a SCART socket. On any TV of 50cm. or larger, the difference between a composite signal and an RGB signal is obvious. If I didn't know better, I'd suspect this was a deliberate attempt to persuade people that the old-fashioned, low-definition 625-line system (which was once described as high-definition, back in the 405-line days) is no good.

I'm also sure many people *haven't* got blisteringly-fast multi-core boxes (with painstakingly-tweaked kernels omitting all unnecessary drivers) on which to run ffmpeg and so convert their video files to supported formats :)

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Plays Xvid, and MKV

Well it does play XviD and does play MKV container stuff..

specs: http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=572

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Dead Vulture

Did you test DIvx?

Any actually tested divx? (or did you review the spec sheet? Divx and xvid are variants of MPEG4, therefore likely supported...

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Twonky / U share

Nothing Twonky / ushare / media ctr won't do really then is it.

Though having said that I was tempted with one myself, play.com advertise it with mkv support which lets be honest, if you download, the chances are you download mkv's.

Nope, i'll stick to NAS with Twonky on thanks. Does the job for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Damn it!

I was so excited..

but No divx = nojoy

and no Network/Wireless is the killer.

Please try harder.

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£99 buys you

A half decent media player hard drive with full multi-format support from Maplin, PC World or Scan.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "It does support divx!" by Mike A

Hurrah! This might be on the Christmas list, then....

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Paris Hilton

Blu ray player???

So could we put a blu ray player in a USB caddy and have a useable player?

Paris cause obviously she's no doubt already on blu ray...

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Unhappy

Nice try but

no divx and no component video earn this product a FAIL.

I'm eagerly awaiting the competing offerings though.

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Sounds pretty good.

Sounds like it does have DivX support from what people have said.

I would be tempted to get one of these if it had WiFi and Ethernet and could act as a wireless/wired media server that a PS3/Xbox 360/PC could connect to from anywhere in the house and access the files on the HDD.

Would be perfect if the PS3 (for example) just picked it up and used its usual PS3 interface, then on your actual TV that the WD is connected to elsewhere in the house you would use the WD menu that's built into the device.

Another useful feature would be if it could pick up shared files from a wireless computer elsewhere in the house and play them directly on the TV.

Would be an easy way of sharing files since it seems to support all the same formats as PC's / Mac's / Games Consoles.

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Dosen't make the grade.

I have seen an used one of these. There are many little niggles about this bit of kit from WD. I have at home a Popcorn Hour A110 HD and this virtually plays all video inc mkv + h.264 and audio files and has a lot higher spec inc Dolby 7.1. Which costs around £200. It completely blows the WD out of the water, sorry WD but it's just another product that dosen't make the grade.

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@ Bad Beaver

Yep, that's what I meant by the "HD agenda". It's no different to Gilette (allegedly) actively lowering the quality of their older razor cartridges to persuade you you really do need 15 micro-oscillating quantum blades with Aloe Vera Duckworth 'n all. A J Stiles has it dead right above.

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Anonymous Coward

surround sound :)

No Surround Either :(

David • Thursday 18th December 2008 12:17 GMT

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Website claims that Dolby surround output is 2 channel only....

Great idea, but missing too many tricks.

Dobly DIGITAL is 2 channel output, if you switch it to optical output, you can get the full surround sound but you need an amp...

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