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Topic # 148549 23-Jun-2014 10:25
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Am thinking of buying a WD TV Live, if for no other reason than they happen to be only $129 at Noel Leeming at the moment.

The question is , what's in it for me ? They seem to be quite useful devices, with apparently being happy to play lots of different file types, useful for playing files and DVD rips (hopefully) on the TV, some internet apps to play with  - Youtube etc.

But I have a smart(ish) TV (Sony KDL42W670A), I can stream DVD rips to it using Mezzmo, and it has web apps too, so as I said, would I get anything really useful for my $129 ?

Thanks very much




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  Reply # 1072432 23-Jun-2014 10:44
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Depends what you want to be able to do, I have a WD TV Live Hub and find it good because of it's decent range of media support, and it can play media straight off my NAS. That said, I mean if your TV supports what you need, then you probably won't gain much. Our TV supports playing most media, too, but only via USB, not over a network share, so for me the benefit of the WD TV is the ability to play from the NAS instead of having to go and copy stuff to USB. That said, I have a NUC running Plex for our other TV.




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  Reply # 1072538 23-Jun-2014 12:44
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play media off my nas, on the biggest screen in the house for multiple viewers

built in services such as youtube and vimeo, although faster to cast youtube video to wd live from my phone

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1072540 23-Jun-2014 12:47
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Hi and thanks for quick reply.

Was wondering if you could clear something up about transcoding ? If the WD TV can handle lots of file formats, but the TV can handle significantly fewer, wouldn't the formats that the TV can't handle need to be transcoded anyway ? and I presume the WD TV doesn't transcode, so the computer would have to do that ?

Am asking that as a general question as I think my TV wouldn't actually need stuff to be transcoded for the particular formats we have.

Can I also ask if the WD TV plays ripped dvd's OK ?

and also, the WD plays stuff through HDMI with its own menus rather than what we do at the moment which is stream dvd's etc via Ethernet or wifi ?




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  Reply # 1072543 23-Jun-2014 12:49
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I also use mine to play videos from my NAS, I'm yet to come across a format it won't play. The biggest reason for having it though is for streaming Huluplus with a DNS service.

It will frustrate you at times though as it's quite slow to respond...

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  Reply # 1072556 23-Jun-2014 13:04
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rb99: Hi and thanks for quick reply.

Was wondering if you could clear something up about transcoding ? If the WD TV can handle lots of file formats, but the TV can handle significantly fewer, wouldn't the formats that the TV can't handle need to be transcoded anyway ? and I presume the WD TV doesn't transcode, so the computer would have to do that ?

Am asking that as a general question as I think my TV wouldn't actually need stuff to be transcoded for the particular formats we have.

Can I also ask if the WD TV plays ripped dvd's OK ?

and also, the WD plays stuff through HDMI with its own menus rather than what we do at the moment which is stream dvd's etc via Ethernet or wifi ?


The WDTV wouldnt need to transcode - it will decode and render the video/audio and output this through the HDMI cable. 
All your TV is picking up is the video and audio signal coming out of the WDTV and playing it - it doesnt have to decode anything in that case.

Transcoding is often used where media server software (plex/serviio etc) is trying to stream to a device that will be doing the decoding and playback. In that case the video/audio is changed to a format that the playback device can handle. This can create quite an overhead for the transcoding software/device.





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  Reply # 1072628 23-Jun-2014 14:15
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Thanks for the info, looks like transcoding shouldn't be much of a problem then.

So long as it can play the ripped dvd's (VIDEO_TS folders and their vobs), that's likely to be the main thing - lots of kids (and a few grown up) dvd's.

I don't have a NAS, so it will have to, hopefully, play stuff off an external drive attached to our main PC, though I have a router with usb port so I might move it there sometime.





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  Reply # 1072638 23-Jun-2014 14:27
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From what I have read I'm fairly sure that WD TV will NOT play Video_TS Vobs natively, you will need to encode them into a format like MP4/MKV etc

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  Reply # 1072655 23-Jun-2014 14:45
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wellygary: From what I have read I'm fairly sure that WD TV will NOT play Video_TS Vobs natively, you will need to encode them into a format like MP4/MKV etc


I have an older generation WDTV HD Live Plus (or something like that) non-wifi version, which I'm pretty sure I have played a DVD ripped into a folder structure complete with menus etc, but you might want to research how the newer ones do it. I think if you are trying to play a DVD vob from a media server as opposed to a shared drive they used to have issues.

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  Reply # 1072668 23-Jun-2014 15:00
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rb99: ...

I don't have a NAS, so it will have to, hopefully, play stuff off an external drive attached to our main PC, though I have a router with usb port so I might move it there sometime.



That's perfectly fine, it supports local USB (think it has two ports), CIFS and SMB shares too. They'll be WAY faster than your routers USB port, those are notoriously slow.

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  Reply # 1072677 23-Jun-2014 15:19
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rb99: Am thinking of buying a WD TV Live, if for no other reason than they happen to be only $129 at Noel Leeming at the moment.


At that price point I'd look seriously at getting a Roku 3 from Amazon instead.  The head phone socket in the remote turns out to be really useful.



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  Reply # 1072825 23-Jun-2014 17:22
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Thanks for all the replies and the useful information.

Playing back DVD rips does seem to be a bit of a problem. Googling this stuff gives all sorts of answers, though this one http://community.wd.com/t5/WD-TV-Live-Live-Plus/quot-Autoplay-quot-folders-that-contain-Video-TS-VOB-files/td-p/204588 was quite interesting, in that it appears that you can drill down and play individual DVD vobs, but you can't just play the actual DVD 'folder'.

I guess I could extract the main movie or try the .iso or .mkv formats, but as it stands at the moment, I don't think I'd be very popular paying $130 for something that plays DVD rips in a more inconvenient manner than the likes of Mezzmo or MediaPortal or whatever. (even though it obviously does other things as well).

I guess the Roku does a similar sort of thing ?

(am still tempted though....)




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  Reply # 1072859 23-Jun-2014 19:10
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I had an older version of a WD media player, and had to return it as it wouldn't fast forward videos properly. Instead it jump all over the place. Also the interface was laggy. Not sure if the Live version is any better, but I would buy from somewhere where you can try it out first to test it, and return it if you need to.

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  Reply # 1072905 23-Jun-2014 20:26
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rb99: Thanks for all the replies and the useful information.

Playing back DVD rips does seem to be a bit of a problem. Googling this stuff gives all sorts of answers, though this one http://community.wd.com/t5/WD-TV-Live-Live-Plus/quot-Autoplay-quot-folders-that-contain-Video-TS-VOB-files/td-p/204588 was quite interesting, in that it appears that you can drill down and play individual DVD vobs, but you can't just play the actual DVD 'folder'.


So when I needed to solve the problem of what to do with some DVDs created by my children's school to ensure we had continued access to the content I turned to Handbrake to encode them as MP4s.  It will also do MKV.  It's a very painless way for dealing DVD rips of family movies et al.

I'm currently thinking about reimaging my NAS with OpenMediaVault and putting Plex on it, as it would vastly simply the whole process of watching home movies.

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  Reply # 1072912 23-Jun-2014 20:42
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mattwnz:Also the interface was laggy. Not sure if the Live version is any better,


Its not.

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  Reply # 1072916 23-Jun-2014 20:56
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I have the latest WDTV live. It plays ripped DVDs flawlessly. I rip using DVD shrink. On the wdtv, I select the top level vob_0 and the wdtv takes me directly to the DVD top menu. From there, its performs just like a DVD. Perfect.

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