On Saturday I purchased a Western Digital TV Live from my local Currys/PC World. I wouldn’t normally advocate buying anything from there, but it is currently on offer at £76 making the price very reasonable indeed.
I have included a gallery showing the unboxing and initial set-up below.
First impressions are that it works really well. It seems to play everything I throw at it and effortlessly passes Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS out of the Optical Audio jack for my amp to decode.
Since the device itself doesn’t have an internal hard drive, I am accessing my media through an NFS share to the FreeNAS appliance I have running on the server in Node 0. It works well with SD content, but HD suffers a little. I think this is due to WiFi bandwidth though and will be testing with a CAT5 connection later tonight. I had similar issues streaming content wirelessly to the Plex client on my Macbook so I don’t think it is due to limitations of the device itself. Certainly on paper it should deal with HD content.
I eagerly await Plex Media Server releasing their DLNA compatible version which is expected shortly. I hope this will take my movie streaming to the next level given that it will support on-the-fly transcoding for content that needs it and, I hope, control through the Plex client on my iPhone and iPad.
Over the last few nights, our consumption of online media has shot up – we have watched numerous programmes on the BBC iPlayer, a movie on Netflix and my 2 year old now brings the remote to us saying “baa baa sheep sheep?” – he knows there are plenty of versions on YouTube (although he probably doesn’t know what YouTube is yet!!)