First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Western Digital WD TV Live high-definition media streamer
Western Digital's first network-capable media streamer is inexpensive but versatile
- Inexpensive, extensive format support, easy to use
- No integrated Wi-Fi, limited photo viewing options, no Gigabit Ethernet
The latest version of Western Digital's WD TV media player is better than ever. It boasts an Ethernet port and has ability to view YouTube videos and photos on Flickr. The WD TV Live's extensive format support will let you access almost any movie, photo or song.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Western Digital's WD TV Live is a tiny and inexpensive high-definition media player that can access a wide variety of video, audio and photo files from both local and networked storage devices. It is extremely easy to use but lacks wireless connectivity, so it may not suit all home theatre setups.
The WD TV Live media streamer is slightly larger than the WD TV it supersedes but, as it lacks internal storage, it is still one of the smallest network-capable media streamers available. It has two USB ports for plugging in external hard drives or flash drives formatted with NTFS, HFS+ or FAT/FAT32 file systems. You can also plug a supported wireless dongle into the USB ports. It doesn't support a large range of devices, however, and a dongle jutting out the side of the media player can be an eyesore.
The WD TV Live can stream media from shared folders on a network (SMB, AFP and Bonjour are supported) and DLNA-compliant devices thanks to its Ethernet port. Unfortunately, it's only a 10/100Mbps port instead of Gigabit Ethernet, so it isn't ideal for streaming high-definition media or copying data between a network source and a local hard drive through the media streamer.
Output connections include HDMI 1.3, digital TOSLINK audio and breakout cables for composite and component cables. The WD TV Live media player is capable of outputting a full 1080p HD resolution.
Western Digital includes the same tiny remote control that is bundled with its other WD TV offerings; it feels firm in the hand. Though the buttons can feel rubbery and resistive at first, we have found they become less resistive over time.
The WD TV Live media streamer's user interface is slightly sluggish but is still extremely easy to navigate; even this reviewer's mother could use it. Media is accessed by selecting audio, photo or video categories and source (local, shared network folders or DLNA sources). Each type of media can be viewed as a list or thumbnail gallery, and videos can also be viewed in a preview mode. Unlike the WD TV Mini, however, video previews include audio and continue to loop even when the media player's screensaver starts.
Photo viewing options are also better than on the WD TV Mini, but there is still room for improvement. The ability to view local and network photo libraries by tags, folders and dates makes it easier to navigate, but slideshow options are minimal and the lack of transitions detracts from the viewing experience.
The WD TV Live's network capability means you can also access your YouTube, Flickr or Live365.com account. The interface for each service is tailored to the media player, but you can still utilise all of the regular features you would find if you were accessing them in a Web browser. WD TV Live users get a five-day free trial of Live365.com's commercial-free VIP access, though you'll have to enter your credit card details and you will automatically be charged at the end of the trial unless you cancel. Australian users can't access the Pandora music service.
Western Digital's WD TV range has always offered extensive format support and the WD TV Live media player doesn't disappoint. This tiny box can play most popular audio, video and photo formats, with Real Video and DRM-protected content being the only striking omissions. Unless the majority of your videos and songs are from the iTunes Store or similar, chances are you'll be able to play all of your media files on the WD TV Live.
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Tab S: hands-on with Samsung's 2014 flagship tablet
- 2 Fetch TV set-top box
- 3 Dell Inspiron 15 5547 laptop
- 4 Samsung NX30 camera
- 5 ASUS T100 Transformer Book hybrid
GGG Evaluation Team
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
Latest News Articles
- Harman Kardon CL headphones review
- Mitro makes password manager open source as team heads to Twitter
- Microsoft security tool EMET 5.0 puts a leash on plugins
- AMD A10-7800 (Kaveri) APU
- Some are twisting the facts in requests to be forgotten, Google says
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
- Home Entertainment View all »
- 25% off $299
- 9% off $1499 free shipping
- $191 free shipping
- 25% off $59.99 free shipping
- TVs View all »
- Projectors View all »
- Monitors View all »
- Digital Video View all »