Western Digital's TV streaming device expands in-home video support

Western Digital adds support for Miracast to the $99.99 WD TV Personal Edition streaming video device

Western Digital has added more in-home video-streaming options and file-format support to its latest WD TV Personal Edition.

The US$99.99 TV box, like its predecessors, can play video from streaming services Netflix, Hulu Plus and Vudu. New features include support for Miracast so users can stream video directly to a TV via the box.

WD has also added the capability to discover video files from its My Passport Ultra and My Book external hard drives for playback on TV sets. The storage devices can be attached directly to WD TV or video files can be pulled from drives attached to PCs.

WD was one of the early players in the TV-streaming box market, releasing the WD TV HD Media Player in 2008. That was the same year Roku released its first streaming device, but WD has since fallen behind with companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon also competing in the market.

WD does not offer as many streaming channels as Roku, but has been popular for its ability to easily stream video files from media servers and PCs. With support for Miracast, streaming video from a variety of sources across a home network becomes much easier, removing the need for media servers or mobile apps from companies such as ZappoTV to replay streaming video on TVs via WD TV boxes.

The streaming device supports popular video file formats such as MPEG-4, WMV, MKV, AVI and MOV. A new addition is high-definition XVID format, which has been adapted from MPEG-4.

The new streaming box also has an improved user interface, WD said. iPad, iPhone and Android devices can be turned into remote controls via the downloadable WD Remote applications.

The company did not immediately respond to requests for details on product specifications and a product page was not up yet at its website. The product is available through some retail stores and WD's online store.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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Agam Shah

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